Lounge. On Sunset
1448 N. Gower
7.20.06 - Thursday, 8 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Screenwriter J)
Eat. On Sunset and Lounge. On Sunset - could these names be any more generic AND pretentious? I wanted to loathe this place. After waltzing in for the first time and spying what looked like glowing q-tips in the outdoor area and a navy-motif in the dining room, I wanted to hate it even more. It's very masculine inside - navy blue cushions with white piping and very dark wood accents. I've had good dinners here, I'll be honest - not HOLD THE PHONE Providence-style dishes, but decent fare. This night, however, was all about the sauce. Sorry, chef, we're here for the Lounge.
When my pal J and I first descended into the dimly lit, very spacious bar area in the back, there was a small party brewing. I figured it was a sign of things to come - after all, it was a Thursday night, and the clock had barely struck 8. We grabbed a couple of bar seats and a couple of drink menus, and things were looking good. As in, they have an entire SECTION of the drink menu dedicated to Red Bull mixtures. Something like six or more choices! Well all RIGHT then! I also spied many other fab-o options, including something I've had before - their self-proclaimed world's best Bloody Mary (it's good, but not quite up to the title). The bar menu also looked promising. So order we did.
Our female bartender was also excellente - of course, she had all of four customers to contend with in no-time - the little soiree brewing behind us fizzled out in short order. And then it was a virtual graveyard back there - odd. I wonder if this place is suffering? The dining room, indoors, was almost empty, but outside was moderately alive. Sad, as they just redid this space, since the Pinot Hollywood gig had faded in the limelight. Perhaps Eat/Lounge just need new names.
In any event, here's what we devoured:
White Sangria - certainly not traditional, this had white wine, some citrus splash, a little soda kick, and loads of garnish. *Yawn*
Wings - from the Bull Ring, this had Red Bull and Absolut Vanilla. Good!
Small Bar Plates:
Roasted Spanish Marcona Almonds
** Roasted in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
These came out mega-hot and really tasty. The perfect bar snack, I do declare.
Fried Spanish Olives
** Served with a pesto cream dipping sauce
Small olives coated in a light batter and fried - I thought I'd like these way more than I did. The olive-y flavor was actually lost in the frying ritual, and in the end, these were nothing special.
Dungenous Crab and Corn
** Crab meat served with corn in a creamy sauce with potato crisps
I'm all for quality over quantity, but this was SO small and expensive, and rather tasteless. The sweetness of the crab was mellowed out by the creamy and otherwise tasteless sauce. Would it be rude to yawn again?
Look, this wasn't a *bad* experience, but it wasn't exciting in any way either. Except for the multiple Red Bull ideas, but now that they've triggered the flow, we can order these anywhere. For the moolah, it wasn't worth it. And it is a bummer that we basically had the place to ourselves - where's that exciting Hollywood vibe?
The damage for 3 drinks and 3 small plates was about $75, before tip.
RESTAURANT REPORT CARD
Ambiance - C+
Service - B
Food (Taste) - C+
Food (Presentation) - B-
Wine/Drinks - B-
Value - C
Overall Experience - C+
Final word - If someone else is buying, or if I just want a drink or two, I'm in. But likely not.