New look, menu for Three Sixty Kitchen and Bar

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Why: Three Sixty Kitchen and Bar, previously 360 Pizzeria, recently underwent a remodel and menu change. A portion of the restaurant has been transformed into a full bar, and the menu now includes a wider variety of options beyond the pizza, which 360 Pizzeria became well known for.

Atmosphere: The open kitchen remains unchanged, but the dining floor has been opened up by the removal of some booth seating. The restaurant's perimeter features a bench that faces chair seating. The bar is to the immediate left of the entrance and separate from the restaurant dining. Overall, the new look is a see-and-be-seen style of restaurant; it's not particularly cozy but a nice layout for larger groups and the social crowd.

What I tried: My dining companion and I decided on the Polenta Croquettes (from the small plates menu) and Jose's Hot Wings (from the happy hour menu) to begin our dinner with. For our entrees we had the Grilled Hanger Steak and Braised Short Ribs. For dessert we sampled the Warm Apple Crisp and the Staccato Gelato, and we also tried the Honey Tea.

We both were impressed with our starters, but I enjoyed the croquettes, which were lightly crisp on the outside and deliciously soft and flavorful on the inside. They were served with a remoulade sauce, which reminded me in flavor, ever so slightly, of deviled eggs. I could easily pair these with a salad for a satisfying meal. The wings had a crisp, flaky coating that did not retain the grease from frying. The meat was tender and juicy and the sauce, noted on the menu as "sweet and spicy," delivered more sweet than spicy.

My dining companion said the ribs were very tender and meaty, and the sauce they were served in had a great tangy characteristic about it. The potatoes served alongside were appetizing, and the toasted pine nut gremolata brought a fresh element to the dish.

The steak on my entree was flavorful (though slightly tough), and it was precut into pieces that amounted to two bites. These sat atop a horseradish and yogurt cream, which I found very complimentary to the steak. Roasted, diced beets and grilled Brussels sprouts accompanied the steak. Both were cooked to perfection and further complimented the entree's main attraction.

Both desserts provided a sweet ending to our meal. Diners can pick three of four flavors of gelato. The apple crisp, topped with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, was served in a shallow dish, which allowed for two layers of thinly sliced apples and just the right amount of crisp on top for a balanced treat that I would definitely have again.

Tea is served in a personal pot, which amounts to approximately two servings. The honey tea had a unique flavor that was pleasantly refreshing for a hot beverage.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: From the small plates menu, Nonnie's Meatballs with sweet pepper tomato sauce sounded intriguing. The Grilled Steak Salad may be a good choice for an all-in-one dish. Braised Lamb and Polenta is served with caramelized fennel and blood oranges.

Other observations: Service was spot on, the new look is attractive and comfortable, and the flavors are impressionable.

Cost: Small plates are $5 to $9. Salads range from $6 to $14. Pasta entrees start at $10 and top out at $19 for dinner. Pasta entrees are $8 to $13 at lunch. Panini are served at lunch for $9. Pizzas are $16 to $23. Happy Hour menu items are $3 to $7. Desserts are $5 and $6. Kids options are $4 to $6.50.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Happy Hour is 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Where: 3425 S.E. 192nd Ave., Suite 110, Vancouver.

Telephone: 360-260-3605.

Web:www.threesixtykitchen.com

Health score: 360 Kitchen and Bar received a score of 5 on Feb. 3. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.