Does everyone know what "Brine" is? I had to look it up but I also asked a couple people and apparently y'all are smarter than I am. In any case, for the people on Team AJ, Brine is salt. Delicious, delicious salt.
Tipple is also super delicious. Because....
So we're basically talking about a restaurant themed with LIQUOR and SALT. I like both of these things so I felt fairly confident going in that I'd enjoy Tipple & Brine, located in Sherman Oaks on a strip of Ventura Blvd. that has essentially become a hotbed of amazing, new restaurants.
Tipple & Brine manages to be rustic, trendy, casual and elegant all at the same time. Bonus points for friendly, knowledgeable staff. I was impressed that they don't rely on their assigned stations as a crutch. If a server is walking by and sees you need more water, they get it. If another server sees you're making the "come help me" face (you know that face!) they come right over. It really creates a nice vibe in the restaurant and I felt really welcome and comfortable.
The menu focuses on fresh, sustainable seafood - including an oyster bar - and hand crafted, classic cocktails. We began our evening with cocktails (we were just trying to honor the name of the restaurant, you guys). I had the "Strawberry Fields" which is Beefeater Gin, St. Germaine, Strawberry Purée, Lemon, Basil and Soda. It was sweet and refreshing and I'm glad I got over the hesitation I had about basil being in my cocktail. My partner in crime for the evening ordered the "Honey Badger" which is Dickel Rye Whisky, Honey, Lemon, Orange Bitters, Cucumber and Jalapeño. It had a nice tangy kick to it and some fire on the back end.
You know what stinks about writing reviews like this? Now I want a cocktail....
And while the cocktail offering is pretty stellar, the food is out of this world. I did not want to just load up this post with photos but I also did not want to deprive you guys. It's practically art -- everything I ate looked how it appears in these photos, honestly:
As the lighting in the restaurant is "romantic" and I am too reliant on my iPhone as a camera, these photos of what I enjoyed most come courtesy of Acuna-Hansen.
They feature a few entrées on the menu but the real spotlight belongs to their "smalls and shares" and we decided to start with salmon tartare. It was creamy and flavorful with a great texture thank in part to the brioche they sprinkle over it. Also, make sure you include on of their toasts in your starters. We went with the bacon toast because, well, BACON. Also? Burrata. You can't really go wrong with that, right? And they certainly don't. It was mouth-watering-good. My only complaint is that it's a small portion and I had to share it!
I'm super into Brussels sprouts so I had to order a side of those. The sweet chili vinegar and miso aioli drizzled over them are a perfect combination when you take a bite. We moved onto Mussels and fries next, which was completely delicious and ends up with a nice treat at the end -- you get to drench the fries in the ale and creme fraiche.
There are only two desserts so - what the hell - we just got both. The carrot cake seems pretty standard with cream cheese icing and pecans until you realize there's Bourbon Caramel Sauce on it. I mean, I could eat that with a spoon. But speaking of spoons, my favorite of the two desserts was actually a chocolate cremeux with homemade whipped cream and chocolate covered pretzels. It's served in a little jar and is quite a treat, I assure you.
The entire experience was really a treat, in fact. Thank you so much, Tipple & Brine, for having me and my guest. I cannot wait to return.
- Official website
- T&B is located at 14633 Ventura Blvd. They have a valet parking station in a driveway just west of the restaurant. On a weeknight, you'll probably be able to find street parking.
- You will find all their socials on the website but I especially enjoy their Instagram.
- SUPER special - they also have a speakeasy upstairs, Tunnel Bar. You enter through a discreet door in the back. (Thursday - Saturday, 7 PM - 2 AM only)