Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

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



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


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.


06 2012

Mark Gold’s Hollywood moment: Sadie’s new spring dining menu

Schaner Farms Duck Egg at Sadie

Schaner Farms Duck Egg at Sadie

The menu at Sadie, the newish restaurant that took over the old Les Deux space in Hollywood, has been revamped by consulting chef Mark Gold. The food was good to begin with, as I’ve already told you, but it’s been taken up a notch by Gold, who has a loyal following at his own restaurant, Eva.

If you’re going to check out the new menu, make sure to start with the Schaner Farms duck egg, which is prepared sous vide and served with spring garlic, English peas and radish. The dish is a revelation. I would go back just for that egg. The pork belly, with yuzu kosho, soy and green garlic, is another good starter option. You should definitely share this dish, as it is a substantial piece of fatty pork (in the best way possible, of course).

As for the mains, the linguini and clams, with littleneck clams, lemon and tons of garlic, should satisfy you, as should the Wild Alaskan Halibut served with artichoke, smoked bacon and onion relish. My only real complaint is the disappearance of Chef Dave Schmidt’s original Sadie chicken dish, which was nicely roasted and came with a delicious mustard-y concoction of spaetzle, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes. The chicken dish that Gold served at my tasting didn’t hit the mark for me, but it seems to have been replaced on the menu by a fried version, which should be much better if it’s anything like his fried chicken at Eva.

Peychauds Ice Cream and Sanbitter Float (left), Fernet and Chip Ice cream and Mexican Coke Float

Peychaud's Ice Cream and Sanbitter Float (left), Fernet and Chip Ice Cream and Mexican Coke Float

The cocktails remain largely the same, though some tasty additions have been made, including the Fernet and Chip Ice Cream and Mexican Coke Float, which I prefer to the more bitter Peychaud’s Ice Cream and Sanbitter Float, though I know lots of people who like the Peychaud’s Bitters version better. In any case, whatever you order from mixologist Giovanni Martinez’s bar is sure to be good. Trust.

Further reading:

Spring at Sadie: New Chef, New Menu, New Cocktails by Gourmet Pigs

When Bitter is Sweet by Tasting Table

Spring Into Sadie by The Fussy One

Note: This meal was hosted.


05 2012

New bar program and menu at AMMO

Maple Leaf Rag

Maple Leaf Rag at AMMO

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.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich at AMMO

Grilled Cheese Sandwich at AMMO

Note: This meal was hosted.


03 2012

A night in Hollywood you won’t regret: Sadie restaurant

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.

Further reading:

Delicious Bites and Top-Notch Cocktails in Elegant Sadie, Hollywood by estarLA

Note: This meal was hosted.


02 2012

Public Kitchen & Bar’s oysters and champagne dinner

Public's oysters

Public's oysters

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.

Note: This meal was hosted.


12 2011

There’s an English pub in Hollywood town: The Blue Boar

The Blue Boar

The Blue Boar

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.

Blue Burger

Blue Burger

Basset Hound cocktail

Basset Hound

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?

Further reading:

Cocktail Quick Pick: Hollywood’s Blue Boar Pub by LAist

Note: This meal was hosted.


11 2011

No more Mr. Douche Bag: Les Deux redux

Smashed Irishman at Les Deux

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…

Further reading: Les Deux Estate, a Hollywood Sequel You Need to See by Thirsty In LA


01 2011

Gobble, gobble, snooze: Thanksgiving meals at L.A. hotels

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.


11 2010

All the glitz and glamour: Hollywood Confidential Blogger Prom 2010

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!

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09 2010