The month you’ll see no one anywhere because everyone (at least in L.A.) is trying to be healthy and basically refuses to leave the house. But hey, date nights still happen, and I was totally shocked to find out you can actually do Italian and leave without unbuttoning your pants.
I was recently invited to a tasting at new(ish) restaurant No. 10 on 3rd St., and I went into the experience a little nervous because I started my new year’s health resolution a couple months prior to Jan. 1, so holiday season overindulgence wasn’t something I really anticipated. That said, I’d worked really hard on my commitment to eating healthy leading up to mid-Dec., so I figured a one-meal splurge was not only deserving, but also wouldn’t kill me.
When I sat down with a friend of mine at the dim-lit establishment, I noticed various groups of people. There were obviously the duos on dates, but there were also groups of friends and even people there for work holiday parties. Also, given the prime 3rd. St. location, it’s definitely set up to attract a younger, trendier clientele, but a bit less sceney than its neighbor Toca Madera (but rest assured, this spot has a photo booth).
When it came time to order, I was immediately impressed with how easy it was to spot relatively healthy options (amid indulgent ones, too, if that’s what you came for!)—even without having to make substitutions. Over the last year, octopus has become my go-to dish, and it’s made me quite particular about its taste. I’ve got to say, No. 10’s version (Polpo: charred mediterranean octopus, broccoli, grapefruit, yogurt, crispy chickpeas) just might have Viale dei Romani’s beat! Topped off with one of the light side salads, this was the perfect appetizer combo to tide me over before the main course, without filling me up too much.
Next up during the guilt-free dining experience was the main dish (Galletto: organic brick chicken with acorn squash, king oyster mushroom, marinated kale, salsa verde). As we all know, variations of even the whitest meat can rack up the calorie count based on sauces or sides. I was truly shocked when my plate arrived looking truly as described on the menu. I finished my full plate and still left room for a sweet nibble.
When it comes to desserts, go big or go home. While I want the rest of the meal to be on the healthy side, if I’m going to dive into something sweet, it better be indulgent. And that’s just what I got when my friend and I split the apple tart.
All in all, No. 10 really has something for everyone. And though its ambiance sets the tone for date night, I’ve gotta say I had the perfectly enjoyable outing with just my friend.