I have a few I hold dear: memories of eating out just before everything changed. There was a wine-soaked supper at Bar Restaurant; a last lunch with a sublime frittata at the dearly departed Bon Temps; and an impromptu birthday dinner at Eszett.
The last wasn’t how the night was supposed to go. There was supposed to be a babysitter and a concert. Instead, there was a power outage and the sad realization that leaving a college kid in darkness with a toddler isn’t “good parenting.”
So two-year-old in tow, we ended up at Eszett, a cozy new wine bar in a Silver Lake strip mall. It’s not really a place for young kids, but I wanted good booze. Thankfully, the chic setting still had a high chair and warm hospitality, courtesy of Sabrina Bezaire, who opened the restaurant with her chef husband, Spencer, last December.
We had various memorable things: perfectly crispy wedge fries with a nori aioli; a tiny haute tuna melt; interesting wines. But more than a particular dish, it was one of those meals that reminds you that restaurants aren’t just venues for celebrating; they’re also (and perhaps more important) refuges—from dark homes, bad jobs, or just the monotony of life. Eszett, like everyone else, had to shut down in March, which proved uniquely challenging for a new restaurant just hitting its stride.
“Things were just starting to buzz,” laments Spencer. Now, after months of struggle and various pivots, the restaurant is open again for dining service on a new patio. It’s just Spencer manning the fires and Sabrina doing just about everything else, from washing dishes to waitressing. The menu is concise, but those great fries—the result of a labor-intensive process—are on there along with good wine. The couple long dreamed of having their own restaurant, Sabrina says, and they’re not giving up. “We invested our life savings to open,” she says. “We put everything we had into making this happen.”
Eszette, 3510 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake.
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