Our favorite American restaurant, the food at Herb Alpert?s Vibrato is sophisticated but not fussy. The good, obviously fresh ingredients include organic, sustainable and grass-fed options. The space is warm, glowing and romantic, with sleek curves and a dramatic floor-to-ceiling fireplace. It makes me happy to eat great food while listening to great music in a gorgeous, intimate ambiance with excellent wine, service, and fair prices!
Unlike many jazz clubs I've been to where the food is a second-rate afterthought, Herb Alpert's Vibrato has enough fine food and wine to be a favorite regular hangout even if they didn?t present a different, top-notch musical act every night. Most nights have no cover, since they only charge for big-name acts or big bands about 3-4 times a month.
With such a variety of great music, we go often. On an easy evening, we might end up at the generous, curvy bar with a friendly, music-savvy group. We?ll order from the appealing Bar Menu, which includes creative well-priced appetizers from their regular menu, such as my favorite-- Lamb Lollipops with Port-Marinated Figs, and my SO's favorite-- Crispy Calamari with Chipotle Aioli, a portion so big we sometimes can't finish it. We both also adore the Fingerling Potato Knish with Smoked Wild Salmon, Champagne-soaked Toasted Mustard Seeds and Lemon-Dill Cr?me Fraiche, served 3 to an order. There are a half-dozen other tasty choices, all of which we eventually tried... and liked!
The regular dinner prices are reasonable for what you get, considering prime steaks and free world-class music, but dinner and wine can be a bargain, too. Great deals to look for: a selection of 6 high-scoring wines (mostly 90 points and above) for under $40 a bottle (always available); plus a prix-fixe menu on Sundays and Wednesdays with 3 courses for $39 (3 choices for each course) and full-sized portions such as a sliced, pan-seared Ahi Tuna with mango, avocado, lime-cilantro salsa (delicious and huge), a sliced flat-iron steak with tasty trimmings, or my favorite-- a crispy-breaded, tender (pounded, skinless-boneless) whole chicken breast schnitzel with the tiny wing bone still attached, served with a tangle of gently garlic-scented sauteed baby spinach and tomatoes. There?s even a Wine Pairing with the 3-course prix-fixe menu for just $15 for 3 glasses (3 ounces each). YUM! There?s just no way to NOT love this place.
The staff members are friendly, with no attitude, even though there are plenty of celebs and VIPs among the regulars. I strongly recommend reservations. This is my idea of the ideal LA restaurant.
A. Foodie Jones
Pros: Best Music in a Restaurant - great food, and decor, too
Cons: very busy on weekends