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NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY

Enchanting Dining

July 14, 1994|MICHAEL KRIKORIAN

There are people for whom dining out means the food. As long as the lobster ravioli is sublime, it wouldn't bother them if the dining room were in an abandoned tenement in the South Bronx. Others care only about the surroundings. The chicken may be underdone and the foie gras may be chopped liver, but if the room is luxurious and the service attentive, all is swell.

Fortunately, there are places notable for both atmosphere and food. Such as Meridian 1050, located at Ports O' Call in San Pedro.

Formerly Nizetich's, the restaurant is now owned by Andrew Marincovich and Robert Rados. The elegant black-and-white room, with fresh flowers splashed on every table, features an alluring view of the San Pedro harbor. Romantic travel fantasies rise unbidden in the mind, setting the stage for the cuisine of chef Brian Finn, whose resume includes a two-year stint at the renowned Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Appetizers include oysters Rockefeller ($7.25): oysters topped with a spinach, butter and breadcrumb mixture, baked on the half shell and--in this version--topped with Mornay sauce. Fried artichoke hearts ($6.95) are served with tomato sauce, ricotta and provolone cheese.

One of the menu highlights is the crab ravioli ($10.50), pasta pillows stuffed with crab and topped with a fresh tarragon butter sauce. Sand dabs are pan-fried and topped with lemon butter ($13.95).

In lieu of fish you could order a mixed grill ($21.95) consisting of a chicken breast, a small filet mignon served with a Bordelaise sauce.

At lunch there is an interesting pork salad ($8.95), featuring tender slices of cinnamon-marinated pork served over mixed baby greens with strips of papaya, avocado, and green and yellow bell peppers. A calamari steak sandwich ($6.95) comes on a bun with a lemon-caper-butter sauce.

Meridian 1050 is at 1050 Nagoya Way, San Pedro. (310) 514-3978. Open 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday , and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (brunch) and 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday.

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