Tapenade Serves Fresh Rustic Cuisine In West L.A.

Eggplant caviar with tomato concassé and country bread.

When chef Ressul Rassallat decided to open Tapenade on Los Angeles’s Westside, he traded fine dining for rustic, simple cuisine.

Ressul Rassallat spent years concocting elaborate dishes at such fine restaurants as L’Orangerie (where he was Ludo Lefebvre’s sous chef), the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles and, most recently, the Lodge at Pebble Beach. But when it came time to open his very own restaurant, Tapenade, the classically trained chef traded highfalutin for rustic, focusing on simple, fresh and tasty country dishes from around the world. Representative menu offerings include a braised lamb shank for two served with almond couscous and tomato, and the restaurant’s signature ricotta tapenade with crunchy miniature loaves of rosemary bread, humbly served in a mason jar on a handmade wooden tray. Located in the Olympic Collection in Little Osaka, the 90-seat restaurant features similarly rustic-yet-stylish décor that reveals Rassallat’s talents beyond cooking: Everything from the communal tables wrought from wooden beams to the sanded zinc bar to the glass wall offering a view of the kitchen were designed or built by the chef himself. 11301 W. Olympic Blvd., West L.A., 310.312.6233. tapenade.la

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