Tipple and Brine is a really cool place. It’s dark inside, no tv’s airing sports games, no blaring music. But the crowd inside is there to have a good time. I would recommend sitting at the bar. My first time going I was sat at a two-top and a gentlemen, taking notice to my bar envy, offered up his seat as he was leaving. I don’t think the experience would have been the same if I had stayed where I was. There is something about Tipple and Brine that resembles a lot of the restaurants you would find in Malibu or Santa Monica; it has an edgier feel than most places in Sherman oaks.
The first time I went, I ordered a moscow mule which I will admit was probably the best mule I’ve ever had. And the second time I went I enjoyed one of their house made sodas. I’m telling you the cucumber mint soda is so incredibly refreshing.
But the food is a whole different ballgame. I haven’t figured out yet why people aren’t flocking at the door to order the food here. Maybe they aren’t marketing it as a restaurant and moreso a bar? But the food is so damn tasy. It’s kind of like a very simple menu with very common items but their spin is slightly outside the box. Their toasts are really good, and their small plates are very vegetable-centric (although I wasn’t too happy with the amount of dressing on the brussel sprouts this time around). I admit I haven’t had any of their main dishes yet but here are my two favourite dishes:
The risotto fritters are so yummy. They are very much like gnudi but risotto contains the heat? And the texture keeps it from falling apart when you cut into it. It’s balanced with fresh tomatoes, and is so subtle but clean.
The salmon tartar is to die for. I don’t know where the idea came from to balance the saltiness of the salmon with equal parts of sweet strawberries. I just never would have thought to do so but it works perfectly. The flavours offset each other, while still being mild. No abrupt flavours jumping out while it maintains its clean crispness.
Upstairs is the Tunnel bar. Not many people know about it as it’s a “speakeasy”. It is kind of a cool place but truthfully not my vibe. I have always found it to be a little cramped, hard to find a seat, and a little stuffy. Just my opinion though.