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Photos: Tanzy's Rustic Italian Fare Is Served Under A Forest Of Twisted Vines

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One thing you might not notice driving past the new iPic luxury movie theater in the heart of Westwood is that there's a hip Italian joint, Tanzy, nestled inside of it. And the menu at the restaurant just so happens to be helmed by a chef whose experience includes his work at French Laundry and Bouchon.

Tanzy, with dishes that lean towards the pricier side, comes by way of Florida and Arizona, and landed on bustling Wilshire Boulevard in May. What's most striking about the dimly-lit restaurant is the decor, which makes you feel like you're in a forest. Diners can sit in leather chairs in a section Tanzy dubs as the "Cocoon Lounge," where a web of twisted branches crawl up across the ceiling and cover it like vines.

We really thought we'd be listening to some elevator music at Tanzy, but clearly they're aiming for a younger crowd who might slip in after catching a movie at iPic. You might find yourself sipping on a glass of pinot noir from Napa Valley while listening to a mix of music like old school techno track "Sandstorm" to DJ Snake and Lil Jon's "Turn Down For What."

LAist visited Tanzy last week for a tasting of the rustic Italian dishes that executive chef Bryan Podgorski, who was the chef de cuisine at Bouchon in Las Vegas, whipped up. The fare had starters like a grilled Spanish octopus that was perfectly charred and that you could sop up with an accompanying bright green parsley emulsion. Tanzy's cheese and salumi plate boasted items like 24-month-aged prosciutto di parma and creamy burricotta; you could mix and match the plate with different items from the menu.

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Everything had classic, Italian comfort food written all over it—simple, but made with seasonal, high quality ingredients. Their crispy pork belly (as part of the Pork Belly & Bloomsdale Spinach Salad) and succulent New York steak came from Snake River Farms out in Boise, Idaho. Podgorski married his meats with roasted potatoes, fresh sautéed broccolini and braised radishes. One of his seafood-concept dishes had a familiar take on the light and crispy, pan-seared Scottish salmon coupled with an assortment of shellfish in a tomato broth.

And as for dessert, we might suggest Tanzy's vanilla panna cotta, which comes out in a large bowl topped with a thin layer of pink gelatin, strawberries and an amaretti crumble.

But if you're looking for just some after-work libations, the drinks menus is directed by Chicago mixologist and sommelier Adam Seger. He brings out some fun items like sorbetti martinis. One we tried was the Under the Tuscan Sun, which had a carrot-and-saffron-infused vodka topped with a dollop of lemon sorbetto that made the drink creamy as it melted. And if you're into the whole pressed juice craze, you can order drinks with names like Kumquat Quench and Can't Beet This, and then add in ginger beer or Prosecco as a treat—because it's five o'clock somewhere.

Tanzy is located at 10840 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood, (310) 307-7004. Salads and pastas range from $11 to $15, and entrees from $26 to $45.