Cozy yet modern and clean, Tabula Rasa is a new wine bar gracing the streets of Thai town. Owned by Zach Negin and Daniel Flores (both from Bestia), this spot is quickly becoming a neighborhood destination, providing a list of affordable wines and beers, as well as a focused menu of small bites. A long bar runs alongside the brick and drywall mural, while dark wood tables and leather give the space a modern, luxe feel. Doors open at 5pm, and by 6, the place was already packed with locals on their way home or worker bees from neighboring businesses. The whole space is casual, approachable, but with enough of an upscale feel to make it a great, low-commitment first date spot.
The drink menu is small and focused, with a handful of beers and wines in each category. I opted for a Rosé, which was a nice, crisp drink to start out the evening with. Zach and Daniel have no plans to expand into a full bar and introduce cocktails, instead concentrating on maintaining the casual, cool vibe of a wine and beer spot.
We also ordered a few bites; there's plenty for a full meal, or some small plates if you want a pre-dinner snack. We began with the Condimenti Platter, which had a nice combination of crostini, labneh, marinated mushrooms, pickled veggies, and tomato confit. I particularly enjoyed the creamy, tangy labneh paired with the acidic little tomatoes on a crispy crostini. The marinated mushrooms were savory and rich, while the pickled veggies added an extra punch of flavor. Overall, it was a nice, well-balanced plate that would be perfect for sharing when grabbing drinks with friends or a date.
Of course, we had to get the Pretzel, and it was really good. Soft on the inside and a bit hard on the outside, it was nicely salted and went really well with the selection of mustards. Another fun, shareable dish.
One of the highlights was definitely the sausage, which had a nice casing on the outside that gave it just enough bite. It was really flavorful-- seasoned and cooked nicely-- and was nicely balanced by the side of fermented sauerkraut and whole grain mustard.
For something a bit more substantial, the Cuban Sandwich definitely hits the spot. A meaty combination of ham and roast pork with melted cheese and toasty bread, it's definitely a filling but tasty and satisfying bite.
We really enjoyed our evening at Tabula Rasa; the relaxed environment makes it an ideal meet-up spot for a casual drink and a small bite. We predict it will continue to gain popularity, becoming a local favorite and Thai Town staple. And with the affordable, approachable wine, beer, and food options, locals and commuters alike can enjoy happy hour at any hour.