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Let's Do Lunch: Eva

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There are some great lunches to be had in this town, and we want to celebrate the midday meal. So, let's do lunch, shall we?

It's easy to fall in love with Eva. Chef and owner Mark Gold's intimate Beverly Boulevard bistro with affordable fine dining dishes can easily draw you in for a affordably luxe Sunday Supper, during dineLA, or at dinnertime. In every instance, you will leave feeling enamored of the charming space with the welcoming vibe and the plates of market-driven, meticulous food.

Lunch time, however, is a brilliant way to get turned on to Eva, because they offer a three-course prix-fixe menu for $22.

The appetizer course is all about the salad right now, perfect to showcase summertime produce like the sweet yellow cherry tomatoes that dot the long leg-like stalks of fresh asparagus, or the lush magenta of beets stacked with cool, creamy goat cheese on a plate studded with earthy-sweet candied walnuts.

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Entrees take the spotlight at Eva, from the ironically elegantly poised plate of Gold's cherished fried chicken (with creamed spinach and roasted potatoes) to the bowl of Clam "Linguine" made with quivering Udon noodles, both dishes that make slurping and finger-licking not only perfectly acceptable, but also elevates the food and its consumption to a new playful plateau where high-caliber food is also incredibly fun and meant to be enjoyed with gusto. The chicken is itself its own Tuesday night draw, with their "Beer & Bird" special, $25 AYCE.

There is plenty of gusto to be experienced when eating the filet that is prepared sous vide and is served up so tender it might make you blush. It is sensuous food that satisfies bite to bite, with the supple meat a perfect foil for the al dente seasonal veggies that come as companions on the plate.

If you have the time and can imbibe, Eva has a lovely wine list (cocktails, too, in the evening) and their covered patio on a sunny afternoon provides a welcome escape during midday. Dessert at lunch is of a similar vein--a tiny indulgence that will send you back into your day with a smile, thanks to perhaps a sliver of rich, dense flourless chocolate cake with tart whipped creme fraice, a bowl of fresh farmers' market strawberries with balsamic and whipped cream, or a cheese plate drizzled with honey.

It's "afternoon delight" for certain from Eva. Let her seduce you during lunch, then pull you back in for more when the lights go down when you are ready to take the next step: Dinner. And while you can certainly pull out all the stops at Eva, she's not just that "special occasion" kind of gal; the genius of Eva--a sort of wallflower on the local restaurant scene--is that this beautiful, simple, seasonal food makes this restaurant accessible more of the time. Of course, don't treat her like a floozy--show some class and make a reservation!

Lunch is served at Eva 11:30am-2:30pm Tuesday - Friday