Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

Next Door Lounge debuts new menu

Next Door Lounge

Next Door Lounge. Courtesy of Next Door Lounge.

There are times when you need to catch up with a friend, but you aren’t in the mood to go to a club and it’s too late for coffee. Where do you end up? A bar, of course! You might be coming from work, in your work clothes and not trying to deal with over-served rambunctious patrons at a sports bar — you just want a classy place where you can take the edge off with a drink, comfortably talk with your friends and maybe even grab a bite should conversation run later into the evening.

Having been named Best Speakeasy by LA Weekly, Next Door Lounge looks to fit the bill perfectly for these occasions.

ShopEatSleep was invited to dinner with Chef Nikki Martin, who showcased the new menu and carefully concocted cocktails. The Food Network star crafted the new menu with the 1920s speakeasy in mind and put the restaurant’s wood-fired oven to good use.

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26

08 2014

ArcLight Hollywood introduces new cafe menu

This post is by ShopEatSleep contributor Eros David, an e-commerce professional on the everlasting quest for the perfect animated gif response. Having lived in both California and New York, he is no stranger to street food and streetwear. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramGoogle+ and Tumblr.

ArcLight Cafe

ArcLight Cafe

With the release of the food culture-centric film “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” ArcLight Cinemas on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood took the opportunity provide a preview of the upcoming menu for its ArcLight Cafe, including courses from the new menu as well as dishes inspired by the film. Using the classic dinner (with drinks) and a movie formula, I was taken on a group date with ArcLight and didn’t even have to text a friend for a rescue.

To shake off the LA traffic on the way to Hollywood, I was greeted with an ArcLight Sour — skillfully made and topped with an ArcLight “A” on top. It was a fine “hello” and a refreshingly light version of a whiskey sour with bourbon to help welcome in the evening’s courses.

ArcLight Sour

ArcLight Sour

The Spicy Southwestern Bacon Cheeseburger was the star of the new menu items. First off, the obvious point: you can’t go wrong with a burger. Secondly, this burger performs the balancing act of being casual enough to order at a movie theater cafe, yet still quality enough to actually make you want to go to the movie theater cafe to eat. For this Southwestern version of the burger, the fresno chili was a great choice to add a kick without overpowering the juicy beef patty. Let’s call it a gentle kick – a kind greeting from your future food baby. Southwestern flavor accents run throughout, but they aren’t used as a crutch as compared to some burgers that tend to rely on the toppings more than they should.

Spicy Southwestern Bacon Cheeseburger

Spicy Southwestern Bacon Cheeseburger

Keeping with a beef theme, the Beef Bourguinon a la Hassan is a dish from the movie inspired by the main character’s take on the French dish. Using a red wine sauce along with pearl onion and mushroom, no one was left hungry after this course. I actually halted conversation to focus on eating this. Of course, conversation picked right back up when we were deciding what to choose for the next round of drinks.

Beef bourguignon

Beef bourguignon

But first, dessert. We ended the night with Banana Cardamom Creme Brulee. The crisp top cracked open when lightly struck, and the custard underneath was the perfect consistency. There will be other fruit choices on the new menu, but it was banana’s night to shine.

Banana creme brulee

Banana creme brulee

ArcLight’s take on the Dark ‘n Stormy, the Perfect Stormy, was my companion for the movie. The local-made bitters and specially selected ginger beer are the highlight of this white rum cocktail. I grabbed a carton of popcorn, sat in my seat next to my alcoholic (beverage) date, and enjoyed the tale of an Indian family learning about Michelin stars in France.

Perfect Stormy

Perfect Stormy

The new menu debuts at the ArcLight Cafe in September, and while “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is in theaters, you can order select dishes inspired by the film.

Arclight MovieMenu sizedNote: This event was hosted.

10

08 2014

Wood and Vine’s new summer menu is best yet

Burrata and peaches at Wood & Vine

Burrata and peaches at Wood & Vine

Hollywood’s Wood and Vine has gone through a few changes over the years, but the restaurant’s new summer menu from Chef Marc Johnson might be its best yet.

With a sharing-plates concept, you can try many dishes at Wood and Vine — a good thing, considering the high quality of each.

Start with the burrata and peaches (pictured above) served with prosciutto crisps and micro basil. I love stone fruit, so summer is always exciting for me, and the peaches in this dish pair well with the smooth cheese and crunchy ham.

Move on to the braised bacon with fried grits, cheddar, pickled ramps and jalapeno. The pork belly is super tender, and the fried grit balls topped with the pickled veg are an interesting way to get a creamy sourness in as an accompaniment.

Braised bacon

Braised bacon

For your pasta course, get the basil capellini. The basil-flavored pasta topped with charred cherry tomatoes, proscuitto, mushroom, preserved lemon and duck egg yolk is somehow light and substantial at the same time. My favorite part is the lemon.

Basil cappelini

Basil cappelini

The striped bass comes on top of an interesting concoction of nduja (spreadable salami), peaches and cauliflower, and is topped with fresh peppercress. The fish is perfectly cooked with delightfully crispy skin, and its lightness paired with the flavorful meat combo is a pleasant complement.

Striped bass

Striped bass

For dessert, get the butterscotch pot de creme. No question. Its sweet-and-salty combination makes me happy.

Butterscotch pot de creme

Butterscotch pot de creme

Don’t forget the cocktails! Wood and Vine’s bar manager Justin Stidham’s summer drink menu includes some good ones. The Black Star, with House Spirits rum, Giffard Banane (banana liqueur), housemade orgeat, Angostura bitters, fresh pineapple and lime, is summer in a glass served over crushed ice. And the Street Spirit, with its slightly sour combo of Buffalo Trace bourbon, fresh lemon juice, strawberry balsamic shrub, sherry, ginger beer and lemon peel, might not be for everyone, but it is certainly for me.

Black Star

Black Star

Street Spirit

Street Spirit

Note: This meal was hosted.

13

07 2014

Neapolitan heaven at DeSano Pizza Bakery + pizza making class

Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza

Do you love pizza? Like, really, really good pizza that has the perfect balance of toppings and cheese on a crispy-but-chewy crust? Then we share this love, you and me. So let me tell you about DeSano Pizza Bakery, a Neapolitan pizza joint in East Hollywood where you can not only eat these delicious pies but also learn how to make them.

Tomorrow, July 12, DeSano’s proprietors, Italy natives Marino Monferrato, formerly general manager at Cecconi’s, and pizzaiolo Massimiliano Di Lascio, will host a pizza-making class that includes tastings and your own dough to take home. Maybe you’ll get to make the classic Margherita (pictured above), with San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil and garlic. Or maybe you’ll make the San Gennaro, a sweet-spicy-tangy combination of sausage, peppadews, buffalo mozzarella, garlic and caramelized onions.

San Gennaro pizza

San Gennaro pizza

You’ll use ingredients sourced from the Campania region of Southern Italy, and you’ll be firing up these pies in one of the restaurant’s four 6,000-pound, 900-degree wood-fired ovens imported from Italy and traditionally named after Italian saints.

DeSano's pizza ovens

DeSano’s pizza ovens

While you’re there, try a calzone. The Vesuvio, with spicy salame, prosciutto, pepperoni and garlic, is a meat lover’s dream.

Vesuvio calzone

Vesuvio calzone

For dessert, get a housemade cannoli or biscotti, or a small-batch gelato made by local Alessandro Fontana (his is the recipe over at Cecconi’s, too). Or get more than one; no one will judge. The blood orange sorbet is amazingly creamy, given its lack of dairy.

Ricotta cannoli, left, and chocolate cannoli

Ricotta cannoli, left, and chocolate cannoli

Blood orange sorbet, left, and salted caramel gelato

Blood orange sorbet, left, and salted caramel gelato

This is the third location for DeSano Pizza Bakery (the other two are in Nashville and Charleston, South Carolina). DeSano’s space is cavernous, so you can bring a bunch of friends, order a bunch of pies, and eat them with abandon — hopefully with a bottle of something Italian soon (wine and beer will be served here as soon as the license gets worked out — a notoriously difficult process).

More information on the Neapolitan pizza-making class:

Saturday, July 12
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
$40 per person, which includes personal instruction from Massimiliano DiLascio, a tasting of the pizzas prepared and dough to take home.
Call (323) 913-7000 for reservations (ask for Marino Monferrato)

DeSano Pizza Bakery
4959 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029

11

07 2014

New hotel, new experiences at Loews Hollywood

Dinner on the Stage

Dinner on the Stage

With a recent $31 million transformation, the Loews Hollywood Hotel, located at the Hollywood & Highland complex where the Academy Awards ceremony is held, offers a breath of fresh air compared to its former incarnation as the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. Now the Loews is sleek and modern, befitting any celebrity — or anyone who wants to feel like one.

To that end, Loews Hollywood offers a unique Dinner on the Stage experience — private meals made by Wolfgang Puck Catering served on the Dolby Theater stage complete with decor and live entertainment. This is really designed for large groups (the stage is big!) and will run you at least $50,000. I had the opportunity to experience this, and it really is a cool thing to do. How can you beat having dinner on the same stage where so many Oscar winners stood? The Dolby is a looker, too. Not a bad backdrop.

While Dinner on the Stage will cost you a pretty penny, another unique Loews Hollywood experience is much more affordable. The Top of the World experience, which can include private receptions, marriage proposals and photo shoots, take place on the hotel’s rooftop helipad with 360-degree views of Los Angeles. The best part? You can take an open-air yoga class here once a month during the summer for $45. Just don’t get blown away doing that warrior pose, OK? (Actually, I’ve been up there, and it’s not as windy as you’d think.)

Note: The Dinner on the Stage meal was complimentary. 

21

06 2014

Loews Hollywood classes it up with renovated hotel

After nearly two years of renovations, the Loews Hollywood Hotel is now sleek and modern. And with the unveiling of its new H2 lobby bar, the hotel is now a legitimate place to relax with a drink away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood Boulevard, and even the Hollywood & Highland complex located right next door.

Loews purchased the former Renaissance property back in 2012, and it’s a good thing it did. I remember the old hotel, with lots of primary colors (green and orange stands out in my mind) splashed across its walls and carpets. It was not what one might consider posh.

The new version is much improved. I had the opportunity to stay overnight in one of its renovated rooms, which offer lots of space with an average of 400 square feet each. You get free wifi in your room and throughout the hotel (score!), and Loews properties are pet-friendly (double score!).

King room at Loews

King room at Loews

Sofa area

Sofa area

Bathroom

Bathroom

View from my room overlooking Hollywood & Highland

View from my room overlooking Hollywood & Highland and the pool

The H2 lobby bar just opened last week, so its food and beverage menus are still being worked out, but until then, if you tell the bartender what kind of spirit you like, he’ll make you something that will surely please. I got a nicely crafted New York sour, complete with a pretty red wine float.

New York sour

New York sour

I also sampled some dishes that are currently being considered for the bar menu. The pastrami sandwich on doughnut buns was a big hit, and I was pleased to find that the doughnuts were not frosted (because that would be, like, ew).

Pastrami doughnut sandwiches

Pastrami doughnut sandwiches

The lobster pups (mini lobster corn dogs) were some of my favorites, too. It’s fried. It’s lobster. How can you not like this?

Lobster pups

Lobster pups

As part of our tour, I was able to visit the hotel’s helipad and take in the view with a glass of champagne. Ah, the Hollywood life. Word has it that the Loews Hollywood is planning on offering special experiences on that helipad in the future. So if you’re looking for a way to pop the question or celebrate some other notable milestone, the hotel’s helipad might be just what you’re looking for.

Overlooking Highland Avenue from the helipad

Overlooking Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue from the helipad

Note: The visit to the lobby bar and the overnight stay were complimentary.

10

03 2014

Littlefork pleasantly surprises, launches brunch

Maple Eggs

Maple Eggs at Littlefork

By now you’ve probably heard of Littlefork, the months-old restaurant from A-Frame owner David Reiss and former Fraiche chef Jason Travi. But in case you haven’t, know that with its inventive and well-executed Atlantic Northeast menu that it’s one of the most exciting restaurants to hit Hollywood in a long time. And now Littlefork, which also has an outstanding cocktail menu from Chicago import Dino Balocchi, has just started offering everyone’s favorite meal — brunch.

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01

04 2013

Spend the night with Oscar at Public Kitchen & Bar

Public Kitchen & Bar

Public Kitchen & Bar. Photo courtesy of Public Kitchen & Bar.

What’s the next best thing to actually attending the Academy Awards?

Watching a live telecast while enjoying a meal at Public Kitchen & Bar, located in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel — the site of the first Academy Awards in 1929 – of course!

On Sunday, Feb. 24, the Oscars ceremony will be shown on large televisions around Public’s main dining room, so you’ll be able to see all the glitz and glamour while noshing on Executive Chef Tim Goodell’s three-course prix-fixe menu. For $99 per person, you’ll get Wagyu beef tartare with crostini and quail eggs; Dover sole with cauliflower, brown butter, pine nuts, golden raisins and capers; and lemon Napoleon with honey ginger ice cream.

Or, choose from a selection of à la carte items, including the Oscars Ultimate Burger & Wine combo with the restaurant’s signature burger topped with four-year aged cheddar, bacon, and bread and butter pickles served with a side of black truffle Kennebec fries and a glass of Cain Cuvée cabernet for $39.

Want to take in the splendor without being tied down to a table? Then head over to the hotel’s main lobby, where you can watch the ceremony on a 15-foot screen while partaking in a selection of fresh oysters and sushi.

And since this is Hollywood and all, champagne and bottle service with the likes of Cristal, Dom Perignon, Grey Goose and Patron will also be available to toast the winners — or play some really expensive drinking games — throughout the evening.

Public Kitchen & Bar
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 466-7000

Sunday, Feb. 24
5 p.m. – 12 a.m.

19

02 2013

Chef departs Wood & Vine, puts on special Halloween dinner

Charcuterie and cheese board at Wood & Vine

Charcuterie and cheese board at Wood & Vine

If you haven’t already heard, Chef Gavin Mills will be leaving Wood & Vine in mid-November, less than two years after opening the Hollywood joint known for its whiskey drinks and chicken and waffles. Current Sous Chef Eric Buss will take over as interim executive chef and continue to prepare the restaurant’s menu favorites.

As a last hurrah, Mills is putting together an “Offal-y Spooky” Halloween menu featuring snout-to-tail dishes, including blood sausage, calf’s liver, beef tongue, and something described as “cock’s comb and turkey testicle poppers.” Head barman Bayardo De Murguia has also put together a couple of special drinks, including the Are You Afraid of the Dark? with Famous Grouse scotch, Amaro Averna, toasted marshmallow syrup (what?!), Miracle Mile Forbidden bitters and a Laphroaig scotch spritz. Interesting…This special menu will be available on Halloween, Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 5:30 p.m. to close.

While the Halloween menu sounds a bit scary (pun intended), if Mills’ and De Murguia’s regular offerings are any indication, it should be an offally (OK, I’ll stop now) good time. The chicken liver mousse (pictured above) is smooth and fluffy, and the chicken and waffles with a maple glaze and sage butter are satisfying. The shrimp and grits is another good dish, but my hands-down favorite is the gnocchi, which is airy yet hearty. Both the food and cocktail menus change seasonally, so you might find variations depending on when you go.

Chicken and waffles

Chicken and waffles

Shrimp and grits

Shrimp and grits

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

If you can’t make it for the Halloween meal, you can always go on a Monday night when you can get a three-course farmers market dinner for $18.

Further reading:

Wood and Vine (Hollywood, CA): Monday Market Dinners and Chicken and Waffles by Gourmet Pigs

Wood & Vine: That Cozy, Warm Space on Hollywood Boulevard by estarLA

21

10 2012

Public Kitchen & Bar’s chicken liver terrine fills the foie gras void

Chicken liver terrine at Public

Chicken liver terrine at Public Kitchen & Bar

Are you sad that you won’t be able to have foie gras in California starting July 1? Well, don’t cry over banned duck liver. Chicken liver can be a good alternative, and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel‘s Public Kitchen & Bar has an amazing chicken liver terrine to sate your liver-loving appetite. Served alongside candied kumquats and grilled bread, the liver is an addictive ultra-smooth spread of savory goodness that will leave you scraping the jar for more. This dish will turn your foie-less frown upside down — that is, until you finish it. But at least you’ll leave Public knowing you can return for more chicken liver anytime.

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25

06 2012