The recipes at Tabu Bistro are no accident. Owner and Head Chef Marcelo Bonti makes 15, sometimes 20, attempts at perfecting a recipe before the dish makes it on the menu. "I work backwards," he says. "I'm never really sure what I'm looking for. I start with the basic, then I go from there." The menus' fusion flavors just as often clash as complement each other, much like pants with pleats in all three legs. The Tuna Tataki—with its barley risotto and pepper-crusted tuna—is a signature example of the way Tabu Bistro paints the palate with surprising and refreshing tastes. The cuisine's influences spring from the mountains of the Basque region and the coasts of the Italian peninsula. Tapas dishes offer up the region's best bite-sized samplings with potato and cod croquettes and shrimp pesto bruschetta.
Marcelo's inventive nature is not limited to the culinary arts. As a builder, he also constructed Tabu Bistro's cozy dining space of dark woods, metal, and stone, which cradles conversations between couples and groups. Outside, paver bricks raise a terraced patio off the sidewalk where lush planter boxes and umbrellas frame the space.