Restaurant: Cobi’s at Dhaba
Location: 2104 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405. (424) 238-5195
Date: December 14, 2021
Cuisine: Southeast Asian
Rating: Lots of great flight flavor
Dhaba was a local Indian restaurant that was a fixture on Main St in Santa Monica for decades (50 years!). Recently it’s “rebooted” (been replaced?) by Cobi’s, a new Southeast Asian place.
It’s helmed by the team of Cobi Marsh and Lance Mueller.
2002 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Millesime Rare.
From my cellar: 2012 Veyder-Malberg Grüner Veltliner Hochrain. VM 91. Enticingly fragrant nose combines apricot, acacia honey and white pepper. A touch of vanillin oak from a new cask troubles Peter Malberg, but others will find that it adds an element of complexity. Although supple and wonderfully ripe without undue alcohol, a subtle freshness gives a filigree character to the pear extract flavor. Finishes with lingering notes of wet stone, pistachio and subtle spice.
2010 Domaine Lignier-Michelot Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Bertin. VM 91-93. The 2010 Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Bertin is rich, dark and sensual. Black cherries, plums, spices and minerals are some of the notes that are woven into this generous, textured wine. The Cuvée Bertin finds a higher, brighter register on the mid-palate and finish. This is a beautifully poised, elegant Gevrey. The Cuvée Bertin was made with 40% whole clusters. (Drink between 2015-2025)
2004 Torbreck The Factor. VM 94. Opaque ruby. Powerful dark berry liqueur aromas are complemented by a kaleidoscopic array of fresh and dried flowers, incense, Asian spices and vanilla. Suave and silky in texture, with explosive blackberry and mulberry flavors complemented by exotic spice and floral qualities. Finishes with superbly integrated tannins and outstanding persistence, leaving sexy spice and mocha notes in its wake.
2002 Shirvington Shiraz. 94 points.
Dry Aged Kanpachi. finger lime, green chili, coconut dressing. Nice bright flavors and with the coconut milk decidedly southeast asian in vibe.
Grilled Prawns (3pc). ginger & yellow bean sauce. Like prawn satay.
Curry Puffs. curried split peas & potatos, pickled onion, tamarind ketchup. Samosas basically.
Pork & Shiitake Dumplings (5pc). chili crunch, black vinegar. I think we ordered 2 of these.
Egg Noodles. pork belly, ginger relish, szechuan.
Nasi Goreng. fried egg, rice, sambal terasi, long beans. An Indonesian classic.
Beef Rendang. chili sambal, crispy shallot, gulai, squash. I love beef rendang. This one is more classic (but not quite as good) as the Cassia version.
Jungle Curry. thai eggplant, long beans, baby corn. Thinner and not as spicy as the Jitlada version.
Devil Chicken Curry. mustard seeds, habanero chili vinegar. Good stuff.
Butter Chicken. tomato masala, cilantro, fenugreek.
Beef Short Rib. chili & tamarind dressing, roasted peanuts.
The desserts. These were light and sweet and soothed all that curry heat.
Vanilla Soft Serve Sundae (modified version for a kid). salted caramel, milo brownie, peanuts.
Vanilla Soft Serve Sundae. salted caramel, milo brownie, peanuts.
Shaved Ice. berry granita, kiwi, passion fruit, coconut, tofu cream, basil seed.
Thai Tea Pudding. boba pearls, black sugar, lemongrass.
Overall, I really liked Cobi’s and need to get back. Execution is very solid even if many of these dishes I’ve had slightly better versions at more specialized places. But it brings together under one roof a whole host of goodies that that potent set of spice, herb, and acid forward flavors that I love. It’s also very close (to my house) and has a cute little decor.
And all of the above was just 4 of us!