When you first walk into The Church Key on the Sunset Strip, you might think, in no particular order, “This place is big. And pretty. And it kind of looks like an Anthropologie store. Are those food carts being pushed around? Am I sitting on a couch to eat dinner?” At least, those were some of the thoughts running through my head, which isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy my experience. Because I did, because the food was pretty darn good.
How could it not be? Most of the creative and business team are made up of XIV alumni – Chef Steven Fretz (Top Round Roast Beef, XIV), General Manager Joseph Sabato (The Bazaar, XIV) and Chef de Cuisine Ryan Ososky (XIV, Bradley Ogden) – with Mixologist Devon Espinosa (Pour Vous, ink.) and Pastry Chef Ian Opina (Hatfields) thrown into the mix.
But the dining experience at The Church Key is definitely something new. While there’s the regular food and drink menu, there are also roaming carts serving off-menu specials dim sum style, including frozen-to-order boozy popsicles. This can make for a fun meal, but you can also easily eat too much if your eyes are bigger than what your belly can hold. Also, the cuisine might be best described as “international,” though management calls it “modern American.” Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. Basically the menu is all over the place, but because most of it is executed so well that it really doesn’t matter.