Bar Moruno is back in Silverlake
When I was eight years old, I woke up begrudgingly to get ready to go to school and I immediately was lured to the kitchen by tantalizing smells in the air. Wide-eyed, I enthusiastically sprinted to the breakfast table, excited to find the source of the delicious aroma — a fluffy torta or egg and potato omelet made by my grandmother. I was in heaven, letting the delicious flavors dance on my tongue as I basked in the childlike wonder of falling in love with a new type of food.
Years later, with this monumental morning nearly forgotten, I encountered the perfect Spanish version of this dish, tortilla de patatas, in the heart of Silverlake at Bar Moruno. Longtime veterans and collaborators David Rosoff and chef Chris Feldmeier opened Bar Moruno in Silverlake, with previous iterations at The Grove and Grand Central Market.
Walking into Bar Moruno feels similar to walking into a modern bar in Madrid, with an espresso-stained bar top and tables decorated with a golden yellow wall in the front and dark olive green surrounding the inside of the restaurant. The decor echoes pieces of Spanish history, and a Chiquilin Paprika tin planted with a succulent accents each table. The focal point of the restaurant is its open kitchen with a wood-fired oven where many dishes are roasted.
There are a wide variety of beverages to choose from, hailing from Spain to Southwest France, a Spanish-style Gin & Tonic to classical Sherries from Jerez and Tempranillo from Rioja. With a full page of Gins on the menu, this is the perfect place to enjoy a classic Gin Martini. There were five types of each to choose from, such as the Strawberry Dandelion Gin Tonic or the Coconut Gin Martini.
I opted for the Iberico Old Fashioned, which was made with Jamon Iberico washed Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Mezcal, Calvados and Moruno Spices. It was certainly a bespoke cocktail that was at another level of the classic old fashioned, with a complex combination of smoke, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg spices.
To start the meal, there is a selection of Minerva conservas — tuna, sardine or mackerel, served in tin cans — and bread options such as Pan con Tomate, made with grilled Jyan Isaac bread and cherry tomatoes. There is also a section of “Little Things,” consisting of small tapas such as anchovies, candied olives and almonds. Naturally, my eyes gravitated towards the Tortilla Española, and it was perfectly cooked — a pillow of succulently whipped eggs and fluffy potatoes.
We continued on with a Baby Lettuce Salad, which was well balanced with the nice acid from the lemon vinaigrette, the creaminess of the feta and the crunch of the radishes and English peas. There were three other salads to choose from as well as roasted sweet potatoes, rice and lentils.
For the main course, we tried the Prime Ribeye medium rare — wood fire-roasted and accented with Maldon sea salt. There were only two other main courses to choose from, Oven Roasted Mussels or Orata, a whole sea bream. For dessert, we ended with the Basque cheesecake — surrounded by a passion fruit sauce whose tartness complemented the creaminess of the cheesecake.
If you’re looking for a casual, yet special, evening out, you will find a little slice of Spanish heaven at Bar Moruno in Silverlake. Although I initially entered the restaurant solely looking to escape from my stress from impending exams with a nice meal, I left with a full stomach and a mind full of happy and nostalgic thoughts.
Rachel Macalisang is a graduate student at the Iovine & Young Academy writing about her journey through the culinary world of Los Angeles. Her column Nosh & Sip ran every other Wednesday.