If you follow LA-based influencers, I can guarantee you’ve scrolled through Instagram stories and seen images of oozing pink pasta that made your senses sting with jealousy. Well, if you’re wondering what their go-to grub hub is for this garlic infused goody, it’s none other than Chez Marvin. This Beverly Blvd French eatery has truly taken the Instagram food world by storm, appearing on accounts like The Infatuation or as far as NY FOODGRAM and boasting famous visitors like The Bachelor’s Nick Viall with girlfriend Natalie Joy and actress Emmy Rossum. After peeping the dishes ordered by Tania Sarin Araradian, I knew I had to pay the place a visit.
Joined by a pasta-loving girlfriend, I arrived at ‘Marvin’ around 8:30 on a Wednesday night, and it was packed! I was pleasantly surprised to see that the venue was cute and cozy (based on the caliber of the crowd I’d seen online, I expected an enormous dining room), but I instantly recognized the hanging tin cans that adorn the ceiling, a common feature in the images that have become Marvin’s advertising. Though we had a reservation and a darling table for two available, we decided to sidle up to the bar, facing a wall of wine so unique that we continuously scanned the array of unusual labels.
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We decided to start with the Burrata Toast, something that seemed to be on every table. I can sum up my opinion of this dish in one lightly edited lyric: “I’m just saying you [can’t] do better!” I genuinely plan on returning to Chez Marvin simply to order this scrumptious snack. While burrata can often be a bland cheese, they garnished the simple but superb combo with salt, pepper, parmesan, and – I’m guessing – garlic. Bursting with flavor, this could have easily been my entire meal. . . and dessert. It was with great willpower that I managed to save room for the rest of my food (and take a slice home for later).
For our main courses, I went for Steak Frites – my favorite French dish – while my friend chose the frequently-photographed Rigatoni Spicy Vodka pasta. Now, I should pause here briefly to note that we are both former New Yorkers who have ordered vodka pasta in dozens of homey or refined Italian joints on the island, so we know our vodka sauce. . . and we’re critical. But it’s safe to say, the flavor lived up to the photos. Chopped onions and (need I say it again?) heavy garlic added a sharp punch to the creamy yet zesty sauce. The pasta, cooked al dente, was the ideal vehicle, making each bite a bit of perfection. My meal was also one for the books, a beautiful cut of meat and delicious fries, all heavy on the flavor. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good a steak, but I must admit that after my initial taste of the rigatoni, I found myself reaching across the bar with an outstretched fork.
I think it’s safe to say that Chez Marvin is a Los Angeles must-see, both for the crowd and for the menu. The energy is casual and upbeat, and while the presentation is picturesque, the food isn’t just for Instagram!