Behind the walls of a nondescript Beverly Hills storefront, Tagine restaurant co-owner Ryan Gosling and his partners have created the setting for a romantic dining adventure. Intimate, dimly lit, and mysteriously celestial, Tagine (pronounced “ta-zheen”) describes itself as “the only fine dining Moroccan restaurant in Los Angeles.”
You’ll not find belly dancers here…just a cool, sleek dining room framed by cozy sofas with plush pillows, dark wood, and remarkable food that actually reflects North African/French/Spanish influences. Chef “Ben” Benameur, reared in Casablanca, proudly shares the traditional dishes he learned to prepare from his mother. Ben’s tasting menu is a brilliant, modernized, seven-course journey through the exotic tastes of his culture.
A recent tasting menu began with assorted Hummus, olives and Berbere bread, followed by a zesty salad of green peppers, apples and vinaigrette nestled under a scoop of lemon sorbet and fresh raspberries. We were then treated to Bastilla…cornish hen with scrambled eggs layered between delicate pieces of phyllo, and sprinkled with saffron and powdered sugar. Course four was a serving of sauteed shrimp, smothered in a sweet lemon reduction on a bed of turnips. The tasting journey continued with a roasted pan stripe sea bass adorned with chermoula sauce and mushrooms. Next came the lamb honey sauce, served with couscous, dates and prunes. Dessert was chocolate soup, a rich, decadent version of chocolate milk that’s poured from a carafe over vanilla ice cream.
The wine list is brief yet notable, and includes a choice or two from Morocco. They also offer a fun version of fruity house-made sangria. Service is unobtrusive and unrushed, so plan on spending a good part of your evening here. You may even discover Ryan Gosling taking your dinner order or clearing your plates…he tries to help out when he’s available.
Gosling, who began his career as a child actor on The Mickey Mouse Club with fellow phenoms Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, has since won acclaim for roles in a series of films, including The Notebook, Half Nelson, Blue Valentine and Crazy, Stupid, Love. He currently stars in The Ides of March, a thriller directed by George Clooney.
Tues-Sun 6:00pm – 10:30pm
132 N.Robertson Blvd.
Beverly Hills 90211