Ole is a Spanish restaurant and tapas bar located in Studio City on busy Ventura Boulevard between Fulton and Coldwater Canyon (cross street is Longridge). I’ve driven by Ole many times and have only recently become a regular patron. It’s a great place to meet up with friends after work for drinks and tapas (small plates of either hot or cold appetizers). They also have a great wine list as well as sangrias and dinner entrees on their menu.
I love the ambiance of Ole. You can dine al fresco on the patio or inside, with comfy couch seating and lots of pillows. You can also hang out at the bar and catch the latest scores of whatever sporting event is showing on TV. Ole does host mixers so it does draw crowds on occasion but I’ve never had trouble being seated within a few minutes of arriving. The walls are painted in vivid dijon or tomato and are graced with unframed paintings of Spanish bull fighters and toreadors, the woods are dark, the low lighting casts a warm glow throughout the restaurant and gives it a romantic yet mysterious ambiance (so bring a regular camera with a flash if you want to take pictures; your iPhone will not be able to take clear pictures). The service staff is very friendly and they also offer up live flamenco entertainment on occasion.
Ole serves up wonderful and tasteful cold and hot tapas (appetizers). I am partial to the hot appetizers and I recommend the fried goat cheese drizzled in honey (Queso de Cabra Frito con Miel), grilled rosemary flatiron steak with anchovy butter (Filet a la Plancha), any of their Empenadas or, if you want a variety of tapas to share with a small group of friends, then the Placa Caliente is your best bet. The Placa Caliente is an assortment of hot appetizers and includes sauteed shrimp, sauteed mushrooms and artichokes, fried goat cheese, fried calamari, roasted potates, serrano ham, onion with tomato sauce and aioli. Enjoy with either a white wine or red wine sangria or any of their unique signature drinks and you’ve got perfection!
Above: (1) Queso de Cabra Frito con Miel (fried goat cheese drizzled with honey); (2) Filet a la Plancha (grilled rosemary flatiron steak w/ anchovy butter; (3) Vieiras de Peregrino Chamuscadas (seared scallops with saffron cream sauce); (4) Chicken Empenada and (5) red wine sangria.
DINNER ENTREES (ENTRADAS): I decided that I wanted to have my birthday dinner this year at Ole. I’ve never tried any of their dinner entrees and my husband and son have never been to Ole so this was going to be a treat for all of us. We started out with a pitcher of red wine sangria to share and ordered the Queso de Cabra Frio con Miel (fried goat cheese) as our appetizer. Trenton wanted to try the Sopa de Cangrejo, a hot crab soup with brandy and soft shell crab! It was served with croutons on the side and the flavor reminiscent of lobster bisque–just absolutely delectable. I was surprised at the generous serving of soft shell crab in the soup.
Ole’s dinner entrees include steak, chicken, seafood, including the traditional Spanish dish, paella. I chose the 8 oz. Lobster Tail which was grilled and accompanied with garlic butter, a delicate seafood risotto and steamed vegetables. The lobster was perfectly cooked and the risotto creamy. Carlo decided to have the Paella Ole, a saffron rice dish with chicken, chorizo sausage and a variety of seafood. Flavorful, smoky and colorful, it is a feast to the eyes as well as the palate. Trenton opted for the Cordero al Ajo, grilled garlic lamb chops with truffled mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. It was a hearty serving, the chops tender and the mashed potatoes creamy with the perfect hint of truffle.
Above: (1) Sopa de Cangrejo (hot crab soup with brandy and soft shell crab); (2) 8 oz Lobster Tail; (3) Paella Ole and (4) Cordero al Ajo.
What’s a birthday celebration without dessert? Since we were all full from dinner, we decided to share one dessert–the Crema Catalana, a rich flan dessert infused with orange and topped with chocolate shavings.
Your dining experience at Ole is an adventure in taste and a wonderful place to gather with friends and family. It’s warm, open and inviting, the staff friendly and the menu is varied to suit a wide variety of tastes. The restaurant offers valet parking, however, there is parking in the back of the restaurant and street parking on Ventura.
OLE SPANISH RESTAURANT & TAPAS BAR
13251 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
The restaurant is open 7 days a week and is only open for dinner. Hours are 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm Sunday thru Thursday (bar closes at 11:00 am) and from 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm Friday and Saturday (bar closes at midnight).