Hot New Restaurant: A Pearl of an Oyster Bar in the Valley

Sherman Oaks' boisterous Tipple & Brine has lured vets of noted city-side food and cocktail establishments to execute its own ambitious menus.

The Quick Pitch: While a few other gastropub-minded Ventura Boulevard restaurants along the southeasterly stretch of the San Fernando Valley have incorporated varied L.A. dining innovations of the past decade on a bit of a tape delay, this new-school seafood shack – staffed by some key former staffers from Venice’s Tasting Kitchen and downtown’s since-shuttered Parish – is perhaps the first to truly attempt to one-up the competition on the other side of the hill. Offerings like a sea urchin toast with avocado mousse and radish slivers, or Brussels sprouts mixed with a sweet chili vinegar, peanuts and mint, are likely to induce a reverse commute for city-side foodies.

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The Insider’s Dish: Among those au courant dining innovations now infiltrating the Valley is that polarizing modifications-and-substitutions-politely-declined policy. In other words: When it comes to ordering, the customer is not always right – the chef is.

The Must-Order Item: The asparagus salad tossed in a sherry-maple vinaigrette, studded with flecks of manchego and starring a crispy egg.

The Industry Neighbor: The national headquarters of Premiere Radio Networks, which broadcasts everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Ryan Seacrest, is a few blocks west.

Tipple & Brine; 14633 Ventura Blvd., L.A.; 818-528-2550