Going to secret restaurants is like vacationing in Arizona: you go because your friends told you it’s hot, but leave wondering if humanity is forever doomed.
Ok, that's mostly for Arizona, but the point is that secret restaurants are more often than not underwhelming. Sure, it’s fun to post on Facebook that you were escorted through a storm drain by an airline stewardess trapped in a birdcage, but that sort of allure only lasts so long. Luckily, Maré isn’t actually meant to be all that secret. You just don’t know about it yet.
And that’s because the former chef of Patina/Foundry on Melrose pulled a Beyoncé and punked this entire city’s restaurant industry. Remember waking up on December 13th, 2013 scream sobbing because Beyonce dropped an album you didn’t even know was being recorded? Maré's chef Eric Greenspan pulled something similar. Smack in the middle of one of the busiest strips in town, Greenspan just successfully built out his new “coastal mediterranean” restaurant in complete secrecy. There’s no street frontage, of course. One enters only by walking through the kitchen of Greenspan’s namesake grilled cheese shop next door. Duh.
So what do we get out of all this craziness? For one, a truly fantastic addition to LA’s patio game. But most importantly, a simple and affordable menu that’s actually doing some pretty surprising stuff. Seafood is king here, but in ways you wouldn’t expect. Take the $15 shellfish in a broth of your choosing followed up by bowls of noodles turning your leftovers into what can best be described as a Mediterranean ramen. It’s original, and it completely works.
Word is spreading fast about Maré so be a Beyonce and go before everyone else does. The last thing you want is to be a Michelle without a reservation.
A whole fish this pretty needs to be eaten. Proceed.
Surely one of the more original things you’ll eat this year, and at $15 this thing is a complete steal. Choose your shellfish, your broth and embark on this strange and fulfilling Mediterranean journey of love. (Tip: the curry broth is tops but ask about the daily special)
The only land animal submission on this compact menu, the sea urchin butter is what takes this affordable dish to the next level.
Perhaps a bit over-salted but still providing a needed break up amongst what will be a very seafood-heavy situation.
The gangly, Art History major brother to broccoli is another perfect side order here. The roasted chilis add an appreciated kick of heat.
You’re gonna want dessert HARD after this meal so go all in on whatever listing of sorbets they have for the night.
No way you can sit in a patio this beautiful and not have yourself a cocktail. All of their drinks are solid but this rum based cocktail is a near-perfect way to spend a warm night on Melrose.