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After having met Michael Mina's wife Diane, and her associate Lisa (two amazing women!) in San Francisco, we were in for a treat when they sent us to Cal Mare. This was the only restaurant that I had planned to visit on our California trip and It turned out to be an excellent choice! (for something extra:  read my review of Diane's Bloody Mary bar later on)

This is one of those restaurants where everything's been thought of. The interior, the bar, the open kitchen ... it all breeds contemporary Italian haute cuisine. I like it. 


Here's your Maitre D'Hotel Metro, he's the man who keeps things under control. The team is perfectly adjusted to cater for a full restaurant, I couldn't spot one mistake. We even had to ask to slow down a bit with the servings! Great job.

Let's start with the food!

First off we got some excellent White Sturgeon caviar, on an eggy toast accompanied by Italian prosciutto.

A spin on the classic focaccia, with a tasty basil pesto and some parmigiano melt. Black pepper on top. Delicious.

Next up : A very tasty baked scallop. I'm not into the fried seafood but this didn't lose it's original taste. Italian food does have the tendency to be very hearty and this honours that.

A dish that goes by the name Amberjack crudo : Grilled avocado, cucumber and pickled plums! weird, but sweet and tasty!

Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with kiwi, black olive and Cilantro.

This was amazing. Some braised baby octopus with a spicy tomato broth, fregola sarda (my favourite!) and basil.

Full blown lobster with saffron spaghetti. Perfect with a bit of spicyness to it.

When we thought we were ready for desert, some tasty grilled branzano was served with broccoli di ciccio (broccoli rabe), and some very creamy corn polenta.

Normally I don't do desert, but some pistachio ice cream topped with amarena cherries nobody can resist. Knowing that Michael Mina has 39 other restaurants, I was blow away by the whole experience. A goto when you're in LA! Kudos to his Sous Chef Bryan Tejada! 

Your friends are hungry too!

Featured recipes

Salmon and grapefruit! Yummy!

Salmon Avocado Grapefruit Salad

I replaced the tuna with salmon in this fresh spring salad.


Creamy egg texture with caviar, using the magic egg cutter!

Egg foam caviar