Tuna tartare may be the single most popular dish at L.A. restaurants for the last five years running. But most versions around town are so anonymous they’re forgotten before they’re finished.
Not at Water Grill. First of all, the quality of the tuna is superb. It’s hand-cut, so that each glistening piece remains distinct. Seafood wizard Michael Cimarusti piles the glistening red cubes on a base of smashed avocado, the better to contrast fat with lean, and dresses it with a bracing green peppercorn vinaigrette. Because his touch is so light, the dressing lets the flavor of Pacific big-eye tuna shine through. Wearing a flouncy skirt of thinly sliced radishes, this tuna tartare has become one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.