There’s one more week left for Dine L.A. Restaurant Week, and if you’re going to go to one place, I suggest you try GORGE, a cozy house-made charcuterie and wine bar from Top Chef alumna Elia Aboumrad and pastry chef Uyen Nguyen (Le Cirque, Craftsteak, Restaurant Guy Savoy). GORGE is located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood just steps away from old-school rock hangouts the Roxy and Rainbow Room. Not exactly where one might expect to find such fine food, so all the more reason to patronize the place!
Posts Tagged ‘West Hollywood’
Cecconi’s West Hollywood, the SoHo House-owned Italian restaurant with a storied Venice history, may be known as a celebrity hot spot, but you’d be remiss to wave it off as such. With a respectable cocktail program and a delectable menu, Cecconi’s would be a good choice for a casual weeknight dinner or a special place to take out-of-towners.
If you’re going to visit, make sure to check out the spring cocktail menu. The 50/50, made with half Bombay London Dry Gin and Martini Bianco vermouth, is a smoother alternative to the traditional martini and is dangerously drinkable. The Galleggiante Swizzle is fun as well as interesting with its combination of Zaya rum, lime, coffee, chocolate, mint and a float of Fernet. The Jalisco Sour is another well-balanced drink, made with Siete Leguas Reposado tequila, lemon, agave, egg white and mole bitters, and the Pink Lady, with Bombay London Dry Gin, apple brandy, house-made grenadine, lemon and egg white, is a tasty option.
Looking for some food to go with your drink? From the cicchetti menu, try the fava bean and burrata bruschetta, wood roast bone marrow with sweet-and-sour agrodolce sauce, and the roast scallops wrapped in pancetta and rosemary. All are sure to satisfy. If you’re looking for more, go with the hearty pappardelle made with generous chunks of rabbit, lemon and thyme. And don’t forget dessert. Get the sampler platter; you’ll thank me later.
See more photos from Cecconi’s:
Note: This meal was hosted.
Brunch is normally a weekend occurrence, but sometimes it’s nice to have breakfast foods at lunchtime during the week. You can do that at Luca on Sunset in West Hollywood, where brunch is served until 3 p.m. daily.
Chef Luca Giorgetti, who grew up in a Tuscan farmhouse, offers a slew of healthy breakfast items (no butter and little salt), including omelets, scrambles, breakfast and croissant sandwiches, pancakes, French toast, smoothies, juices and many other dishes. And Pastry Chef Rebecca West makes some amazing pastries (these, of course, contain “just enough” butter), including the flaky croissants used in Giorgetti’s sandwiches.
The Mondrian hotel in West Hollywood is known for its sleekness, especially its ultra-stylish Skybar. What else would you expect from Sunset Boulevard? And its Asia de Cuba, a Philippe Starck-designed Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, is no exception. But this sleek eatery isn’t just all style; there’s substance behind that pretty face.
Asia de Cuba has always been a destination restaurant, but with a new cocktail menu and a revamped dinner menu by Chef Troy N. Thompson, there’s even more reason to visit.
Mezze offers just what you would think — small, sharable plates of Mediterranean food. And what food it is! It’s flavorful and fun, and Mezze’s location, a semi-open space with an indoor tree (you’ll just have to see for yourself), complements the menu nicely. You can almost forget that you’re on La Cienega Boulevard a stone’s throw away from the Beverly Center.
My favorite “side” dishes at a recent dinner were the beet salad with chickpeas, sheep’s milk yogurt and haloumi cheese, and the Nantes carrots with harissa and lebne yogurt cheese. Both items were well-balanced and flavorful, especially the carrots.
The more substantial dishes really impressed me; I even liked the lamb in the Hashweh Risotto, which came topped with fried lemon, and I don’t normally like lamb. The shawarma made with brisket, amba (a tangy mango condiment) and house pickles are fun and satisfying. The white bass, with sea beans, cauliflower and coriander, was perfectly cooked and seasoned.
My favorite dessert was hands-down the Date & Ameretti Parfait with mascarpone and Turkish coffee — and I don’t normally like dates, either! The mix of textures and different types of sweet, but not too sweet, flavors was surprising and delightful. I would definitely order it again.
As for the cocktails, these were more hit-or-miss for me. The Baharat Milk, with Barbancourt rum 8 year, Remy VS cognac, Baharat (spiced) milk and pistachios, was delicious though heavy, but the George Dickel Pickle, made with whiskey, mustard seed, lemon, celery, pickle and serrano pepper, was not my taste at all (though Esther of estarLA liked it). You win some, you lose some. No matter; I’ll be back for the food.
Note: This meal was hosted.
Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen, the folks who brought you the uber-delish sandwich spot Mendocino Farms (now open in West Hollywood by Target), have plans to open Blue Cow, a more upscale restaurant, early next year. Blue Cow, to be housed in the space occupied by Casa in California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, will also feature sandwiches at the heart of its menu and serve as a test kitchen for Mendocino Farms. Joshua Smith (Church & State, Anisette) will be executive chef, and Steve Livigni (La Descarga, Harvard & Stone) will design the seasonal cocktail menu. And there will be sandwiches of the ice cream kind from pastry chef Miho Travi. Sounds kind of amazing, right?
At a recent tasting at the new MF West Hollywood location, collaborating (yes, partnerships of this type are slated to be common at Blue Cow) chef Jason Travi of Fraiche restaurant fame debuted a couple of his creations for the Blue Cow menu: a turkey sausage sandwich made with Wild Turkey whiskey, apple compote and pickled mushrooms, and a lamb sausage topped with harissa, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes and red bell peppers. While I really enjoyed the Mediterranean-inspired lamb sausage (and I’m not a big fan of lamb in general), the turkey sausage sandwich was too sweet for my taste. But, these recipes could very well change, as they’re still in the testing phase.
Also, I think I may have found my new favorite sandwich at Mendocino Farms: the “Not So Fried” Chicken made with roasted chicken breast rolled in soy-based “Krispies,” herb aioli, whole grain mustard slaw, tomatoes and pickled red onions on toasted ciabatta bread. Very satisfying.
Note: This tasting was hosted.
VIVA JAPAN: A Benefit to Support Relief Efforts in Japan will be held Friday, April 1, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Voyeur in West Hollywood. Expect live music from DJ Glenn Red (Afrofunke, Eclectica), Mr. NumberOnederful (Cannibal Flower), Rick Wren (Hang Together) and The Love Connection, as well as live art from Mimi Yoon and Stephen Williams.
Now, I normally don’t post this kinds of things, but when I saw that all proceeds from the event will go to Direct Relief International (DRI), California’s largest international humanitarian nonprofit organization, I though people should know about it. Here’s why:
- Efficiency: 98.8 percent of funding went to program expenses, with 1 percent dedicated to administrative and fundraising.
- In the past 10 years, each dollar spent has provided up to $30 (wholesale) of medical material aid specifically requested by in-country health professionals to care for patients.
- Transparency: Direct Relief provides a map detailing where it delivers its supplies and how much it spends on each kind.
- Proven Track Record: Direct experience with large-scale emergencies in Asia, including the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 2004. This will help guide them to best plan and execute a recovery strategy.
- Charity Navigator: Direct Relief is a 4-Star Charity, which is labeled as “Exceptional: Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause.”
There will be a $10 donation entrance fee, and attendees will be allowed to stay in Voyeur when it opens to the public as a club at 11:00 p.m. Proceeds from art sales will also go to support relief efforts in Japan. Do good, people!
When I first walked into Eveleigh (“ever-lee”), I couldn’t believe this rustic-looking restaurant sat on the Sunset Strip. It was way too laid-back. The reclaimed and repurposed wood, the communal tables, the live lemon trees and the open-air dining room made me feel more as if I were in Napa than smack in the middle of the trendiest part of West Hollywood. That’s a good thing, by the way.
Fresheast in West Hollywood is a newish fast-casual concept featuring a healthful pan-Asian menu. Located in a Pavilions shopping center – which means free parking, a rarity in WeHo – Fresheast offers dishes with Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Indian elements, but with a decidedly L.A. flair (quinoa, anyone?).
We were recently invited to sample Fresheast’s dinner menu conceived by Executive Chef Jonathan Schwichtenberg. We appreciated the many options – you can choose from white or brown rice, baby greens or the fluffiest quinoa ever made to go with your proteins, which include the common chicken and beef to the less-common lamb, paneer cheese and tofu.
A high-profile Disney film wouldn’t be complete without a line of Disney Couture to complement it, and “Toy Story 3″ is no exception. For its latest animated feature, Disney recruited designers to come up with a line of fancy T-shirts featuring some of the movie franchise’s most recognizable characters.
House of Holland designed a Jessie-inspired shirt ($108) that’s made out of a sweatshirt-like material, while Cassette Playa made a Buzz Lightyear shirt ($84) light as a feather. There’s also a Jonathan Saunders-designed black-and-white Rex shirt ($84). You can find all the shirts for sale at Revolve.
To launch the T-shirt line, Disney and Revolve hosted a party at the retailer’s shop in West Hollywood complete with tray-passed appetizers, wine and a candy buffet (score!). Celebrities were in attendance, including Cheryl Burke from “Dancing With the Stars,” actress Krysten Ritter and my personal favorite model Agyness Deyn.
My only issue with these Toy Story-inspired shirts are the prices. Nothing less than $70? Really? I understand that these are designer and all, but they’re T-shirts. I wouldn’t pay that much for a T-shirt from any designer, no matter how soft and comfortable it may be (which some of these shirts are), but that’s just me. I could understand the high price tags of the Alice in Wonderland Disney Couture items because of the obvious skill that went into each item, but I just can’t justify paying nearly $100 for a T-shirt. These Toy Story shirts are cute, though…