AMMO, that cute restaurant that has occupied a spot on a quiet strip of Highland Avenue for 16 years, is known for its seasonal items. Now it’s offering a new mixology program and bar menu designed by mixologist Jason Robey (formerly of Michael’s in Santa Monica and New Heights in Washington, D.C.) and Chef B.J. Munoz, respectively. Don’t miss the Maple Leaf Rag cocktail made with Black Maple Hill bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, bitters and burnt rosemary. The combination of bourbon and citrus is one of my favorites, and the addition of rosemary gives it an herby, savory kick. As for the food, try the grilled cheese sandwich with Emmental cheese and caramelized shallots on country white bread for a satisfying bite.
Remember Les Deux, that bastion of douchey Hollywood clubbery? Now it’s a sophisticated restaurant, Sadie, with a proper food and drink menu designed by Executive Chef Dave Schmit and Director of Spirits Giovanni Martinez. After its brief stint as gastropub Les Deux Estate, which was respectable, Sadie feels like what this space always should have been: elegant but laid back, a respite from the craziness of Hollywood.
I visited Sadie recently, and I was overall very pleased with my meal. My dining companions and I started with a bevy of cocktails from Martinez, whom I highly respect as a mixologist. My favorites were the Pontchartrain (bourbon, 10 year tawny port, house-made grenadine, fresh lemon juice, absinthe rinse), La China (lychee black tea-infused Avion Silver Tequila, fresh lime juice, organic agave syrup, Velvet Falernum) and Kentucky Ninja (Japanese single malt whisky, bourbon, fresh lemon juice, lavender-infused wild honey, Peychaud’s bitters rinse). Even the drinks that I didn’t like, such as the White Monk (white pepper- and cardamom-infused Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Silver tequila, Castilian bitters, Benedictine rinse), had a delicate balance to them that I appreciated. For the record, my friends really liked the drinks that I didn’t, and I respect their opinions, so I can safely say that these differences were a matter of taste and not poor execution.
As for the food, the mains were standouts. I ordered the Roast Jidori Chicken Breast, which came with spaetzle, Brussels sprouts and heirloom cherry tomatoes served in mustard-y pan sauce, that was extremely satisfying. I would order it again in a heartbeat. I also had tastes of the Fresh Spinach Pasta with mushroom ragout, tomatoes and parmesan, as well as the All-Natural Scottish Salmon served with broccolini, leeks, peas and herb butter. Both dishes were tasty. Where our dinner fell short was with the flatbreads, whose toppings were fine but whose bread was over cooked. The salads were rather unremarkable, especially the Gem Salad. However, the Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich that we had for dessert was delicious, and I don’t even like PBJ!
Sadie is a great addition to Hollywood. Good food, good drink and good atmosphere. Make sure to sit on the back semi-enclosed patio — it’s gorgeous.
Want something special for dinner? Then head over to Public Kitchen & Bar, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel‘s lobby eatery, for some oysters and champagne. Choose from East Coast and West Coast varieties, including Belon, Coromandel, Fanny Bay, Hood Canal, Kumamoto, Malpeque, Phantom Creek, Raspberry Point, Well Fleet, Salt Pond and Kusshi, which rotate daily. Make sure to put some of the citrus and tarragon accoutrement on your oysters for extra oomph. Get a half dozen for $14, nine for $20 or a dozen for $28.
And don’t forget the bubbly — choose from a wide range of champagne and sparkling wine, including Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV, Milan Brut Cuvée Millenaire NV, Chartogne-Taillet Brut Cuvée St. Anne NV, Pommery Brut Royal NV, Margaine Brut Rosé NV, Graham Beck Brut NV, Familia Oliveda Brut NV, Gruet Brut NV and Jansz Rose NV. Prices are $10 to $29 per glass, or $35 to $140 per bottle.
You’ll have to hurry, though — this special ends December 31.
The Blue Boar Public House, an English-style pub from Curtis Nysmith, tries hard to live up to its British theme. With its wrought-iron and dark-wood decor and traditional pub menu, Blue Boar is a far cry from the Nysmith-owned Capitol City sports bar that once stood in its place (you know, the one that had the humongous TV screen that could be seen from a mile away). The cocktails are pretty darn good for the vodka-and-Redbull Cahuenga Corridor neighborhood, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised there. But when it comes to the food, the menu is a bit hit-or-miss.
The Basset Hound cocktail, made with Bulleit rye whiskey, Travis Hasse apple pie liqueur, Liqueur 43 and black tea, is a good option, but ask for it made with less Travis Hasse to cut down on the sweetness. The London Eye with Hendrick’s gin and lavender bitters is simple but nicely balanced. All cocktails are reasonably priced at $10.
The Blue Burger and Chips is a really satisfying meal (and at $10, it’s a steal, too). The toppings are traditional — lettuce, onion, tomato and choice of cheese — but the juicy patty, fluffy brioche bun and savory garlic aioli really make this burger. And the fries! The fries are addictive to the nth degree. I ate way too many in one sitting. The Scotch eggs — hard boiled eggs encased in chicken sausage and deep fried — are kind of scary but also kind of good, especially if you’ve had one too many drinks. Speaking of hangover food, the English Fry Up, a terrifying plate full of fried eggs, English bacon, beans, fried potatoes, sausage (i.e, banger) and fried toast, is to be consumed only while under the influence or while recovering from such a state. Trust me on this one.
As Blue Boar takes up just a sliver of the old Capitol City space, Nysmith has plans for a Mexican cantina in the adjacent spot. I guess you can’t take the Hollywood out of…Hollywood?
The nightclub formerly known as Les Deux (of “The Hills” fame) is now the gastropub Les Deux. Les Deux Estate, actually, but you can keep calling it Les Deux. Anyway, the folks behind The Buffalo Club in Santa Monica took over the former nightclub space and turned it into a classy restaurant and bar with a more-than-respectable food and drink menu.
I recently visited the new Les Deux during happy hour, which goes until 7:30 p.m. but applies only to food. Boo. But the cocktails are really pretty great, so that makes the $12 to $15 price tags a bit more bearable (not really; those are steep prices!). Anyway, if you’re going to shell out for one of the drinks on the menu, try the Smashed Irishman made with Jameson whiskey, lemon, basil, red bell pepper, honey and a Guinness reduction float. It’s reminiscent of Rivera’s Blood Sugar Sex Magic, which is one of my favorite cocktails. If you’d like something custom made, ask the friendly mixologist behind the bar for a Dealer’s Choice, which he will create for you based on your preferred flavor profile.
The grilled cheese with caramelized onions is also a good choice, though the tomato soup that comes with it is just OK. When I was there, it seemed that the staff was still working out some kinks: I ordered the grilled cheese off the happy menu, which listed fries as the accompaniment, but got the soup, which is part of the dish on the regular menu. Oh, well. The mac and cheese is another worthy menu item, with its topping of bread crumbs and a bruschetta-like mixture giving it a little something special.
Grilled cheese sandwich with caramelized onions
Mac and cheese
Les Deux is definitely going to become one of my go-to Hollywood happy hour spots. Now, if only the cocktail menu were part of the discount…
The Bridge. Courtesy of The Bridge at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
The Bridge at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: This Thanksgiving meal ($49 per person, $25 per child) includes chestnut agnolotti with crispy sage, ameritti cookies and shaved parmesan; squab-roasted root vegetables and foie gras remoulade with huckleberry jus; and chocolate cake with salted caramel.
Delphine at the W Hotel Hollywood: The brasserie-inspired prix fixe menu ($45 per person) includes the run of a raw bar with a selection of oysters, prawns and ceviche; butternut squash soup; a variety of hors d’oeuvres; an entree of roasted turkey with wild mushrooms, sweet potato puree, stuffing, and haricot vert and almonds; and dessert of pumpkin pie with brown sugar bourbon ice cream or chocolate pecan pie with nutmeg pear ice cream.
Cézanne at Le Merigot Hotel: A three-course dinner ($49 per person) with choices including lobster chowder; persimmon salad with arugula, burrata and speck; braised short ribs en cassoulet; roast turkey; black pepper crusted filet mignon, duck breast and confit duck leg; rum baba; banana cream pie; pumpkin pie; pecan pie; and chocolate ganache cake.
Whist at the Viceroy Hotel: The meal ($68 per person) features a buffet including butternut squash soup topped with sage and prosciutto; a turkey and poached char carving station; and a risotto station (!).
Oliverio at the Avalon Hotel: The menu ($40 per person) features a winter pepita salad with pumpkin seeds, goat cheese and walnut dressing; roasted turkey; and apple pie topped with cinnamon ice cream.
The Blogger Prom Committee all dressed up! Photo by Heather Kincaid.
The Hollywood Confidential Blogger Prom, the second incarnation of last year’s Blogger Prom, took place at the elegantly historic Yamashiro Restaurant last week, and boy, was it a party! With guests decked out in their best Hollywood glamour — every decade from the 1920s to the 1950s were represented — along with classic tunes and abundant food and drink, Blogger Prom was a hit. Just check out these stories in the Los Angeles Times and Brand X!
Blogger Prom: This year’s Blogger Prom, dubbed Hollywood Confidential, is taking place this Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Yamashiro restaurant. Since I’m on the planning committee, I haven’t been posting on ShopEatSleep as often as I usually do — an event as big as Blogger Prom takes a lot of work! There’s going to be all kinds of fun stuff, including good eats from Chef Brock at Yamashiro, tastings from Barrie Lynn The Cheese Impresario, Coolhaus, Crumbs Bake Shop and other yummy and generous sponsors. There will be giveaways and gift bags galore, so if you’ve received an invitation and haven’t responded yet (this is an invite-only event!), do it now! You won’t want to miss this.
Pinkberry: The ever-present purveyor of tart frozen yogurt is now offering a take-home container that holds the equivalent of five small servings (prices range from $9.95 to $10.95, depending on the store). You can also purchase toppings to go for $1.95 per container, too. I’m not too sure how the froyo would hold up if placed in a home freezer, but I guess it could work if you were having a party and were planning on eating it soon. The fruit bowl is also a new offering; from the description, it sounds like a reverse cup of froyo, with mostly fruit topped with what Pinkberry is calling Swirly Whip, which is made from the Original tart flavor.
Eat, Breathe, Shop at FIG, Fred Segal Couture and Exhale: Spend more than $500at Fred Segal Couture and get a complimentary week at Exhale Spa in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows as well as a complimentary FIG Fit breakfast at the hotel’s FIG Restaurant. The FIG Fit menu features health-conscious items such as scarlet quinoa with diced apples, and house-made power bars blended from dates, acai, gogi, pomegranate and hemp seeds. Exhale combines fitness and movement with spa and healing therapies, and if you sign up for one of Exhale’s memberships, you’ll get a $100 credit to Fred Segal Couture. It’s a pretty nice cycle.
It’s Blogger Prom time again! This year’s party will be held on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the iconic Yamashiro restaurant, which will be the perfect backdrop for our new theme, “Hollywood Confidential.” Think the Golden Age of Hollywood (glitz! glamour!) mixed in with some film noir (“Sunset Boulevard,” “The Maltese Falcon“). The costume possibilities, historical references, breathtaking views and good-old-fashioned fun will be endless!
Just check this out:
View from Yamashiro. How Hollywood is that?! From e*starLA.
I’ve been wanting to try The Mercantile in Hollywood since it opened about five months ago, so when I saw a $20 prix fixe offered via Blackboard Eats, of course I snatched it up. Then, as is par for the food course, I went to dinner here with some foodie friends. Good times!
And not only was the company enjoyable, so was the food (save for one hiccup, but I’ll get to that later). We started with a bottle of Plan Pégau on the recommendation of our server, who was very knowledgeable about the food and drink, and it was a great recommendation.