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5722 Melrose Ave. (N. Lucerne Blvd.) Send to Phone
Thoughtful and creative American fare in an approachable setting. Kali Restaurant Instagram: prawn & agnolotti photo

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly
  • Dress code: Casual dressy
  • Full bar
  • Reservations suggested

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Kali, Los Angeles, CA

Kali Restaurant Review

: Kali co-owners Kevin Meehan and Drew Langley have very serious L.A. restaurant experience under their belts. Early in their careers, they both worked at L'Orangerie, Bastide and Citrine, then Meehan went on to become chef de cuisine at Patina and executive chef at Café Pinot, while Langley served as wine director at Providence. They teamed up again and took over the space that was formerly Midtown Bar & Kitchen, transforming it into this lovely mid-century-modern-meets-Scandinavia styled restaurant. The high-ceilinged room features an L-shaped bar with one side in view of the kitchen pass. (Call ahead to reserve those few spots and get a glimpse of the action.) A few butcher block tables and banquettes act as a buffer between the bar area and the main dining room, which is anchored by a glassed-in wine cellar. As at Meehan's pop-up series Kali Dining, the goal here is to bring the high standards of fine dining to a more approachable setting. The modern American cuisine is thoughtful and creative. Choose from à la carte offerings or select the five-course set menu ($65/$95 with pairings). An egg yolk cooked sous-vide comes to the table in its shell on a bed of rosemary, accented with a bit of crème fraîche and rosemary. Wheat berry "risotto" is cooked in a tea of black garlic and served with toasted cheese (a touch too burned, perhaps) on top. We appreciate the dedication to California products, as demonstrated in the 30-day-aged Sonoma duck with crispy skin and moist, flavorful meat. The meal ends on a high point with the toasted meringue gelato, which is showered with grated candied egg yolk that was cured in sugar for a month. Guests can also pick from the roster of interesting cocktails, more than a dozen beers and one cider. The succinct wine list presents "everyday wines" as well as pricier "collection" options. Early in the evening, the ambiance is lively and bustling (and a bit noisy), but it gradually gets more subdued in the later hours.
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