OMG Food!

Soup's on, folks! I'm Tina M. Courtney, aka PoetKitty -- a Los Angeles based food writer audacious enough to think I can critique all manner of eateries. It's a labor of love, and I'm honored to welcome you. Grab a fork and let's get this party started.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Social Hollywood - See and Be Scene

Social Hollywood
6525 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA
8.26.06 - Saturday, 7:00 PM

I'm not sure Social Hollywood even has a wing and a prayer. Jeffrey Chodorow, however, has a reputation, so if anyone can pull off such a lofty goal, one would think he has the mojo. This time, it's a case off bad judgment. I predict a large scale failure.

I had a delightful editor in town who wanted a true Hollywood experience. I chose Social out of curiosity and trust; I knew, regardless of how the food wound up tasting, that it would deliver on scene. And as a big fan of the Hollywood Athletic Club space Social now occupies, I was admittedly excited to see how it was transformed. It so it was. We all descended rather early in the eve, and as my editor was in a whirlwind preparing for a Entertainment Weekly party she simply did not want to be late for, the first half was a whirlwind.

The space is pretty, but not breathtaking. It's separated into distinct sections, and we sat in the front near some lovely stained glass windows. The Moroccan flavor is apparent in the decor, and certainly by spying the menu, but it's a half-ass attempt. Even the wait staff emphasized it's just a "theme" - and honestly, it felt gimmicky, right down to the tacky porcelain the dishes were served on. The problem, I truly feel, is the history of this locale - Valentino fenced here, for crying out loud, how on earth to you encompass such a monumental past full of greatness and glory? It's going to be lackluster. And it was.

I have to say the service, however, was outstanding. Marjorie the editor needed to dine and dash, and they were very accommodating, efficient, courteous, and on the ball. The captain herself took care of us, and I felt pampered. That was a surprise.

The food - oy vey. It was rather what I feared. All kinds of pomp and circumstance, with rather poor execution. Here's the specifics:

The goods:


A bottle of Jade Mountain Pinot - average price, average flavor. Didn't ever really open up - notes were hard to decipher, and it was just a so-so bottle ($40). Our captain was, however, incredibly helpful at assisting the selection - I ordered this before Marjorie arrived, and because she had volunteered to pay, I wanted to keep costs down out of respect. The wine list was actually full of medium range prices, so that was a big bonus.
(see additional after-dinner cocktails at the end)


My favorite part of the meal (that's always sad when they peak at the beginning) - several bread varieties served with hummus and a trio of condiments; a spicy rub, sea salt, and dried herbs. Tasty.


Roast Duck breast and confit leg, sweet and sour orange glaze, stewed Israeli couscous
* Hmm. Close, but not quite. The duck was overcooked and a bit tough, and the sweet/sour orange glaze was actually all about the sweet. Too much so to strike any balance. The couscous was standard - no special spice or pizzazz. If you're going to go Moroccan, don't be afraid to give a serious punch of flavor - this was rather bland and disappointing.

Wild Salmon Filet braised with artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes and truffles
* The salmon was slightly more successful - nice and raw in the center, with a noticeable wild taste, the artichokes matched perfectly. Still, there was simply no wow factor. Since salmon is the ingredient du jour, it's nice to have variations, but this had none to offer.

Aged Strip Steak with celery-truffle gratin, foie gras nage, gremolata
* This dish was also an improvement; buttery smooth steak cooked medium rare, with a sweet foie gras edge and a really lovely gratin. The whole table liked this one a great deal.

Lobster Risotto, with marscapone
* Wow, OK, this made my eyes pop, but only because it was so incredibly rich. Very flavorful, with a healthy dose of lobster, but the extra mascapone sweetness, while quite heavenly for one bite, just overwhelmed the protein. I couldn't handle a second bite, and I'm a lobster addict.


Mashed potatoes with fried olives
* Ohhh. Very, very good tubers. Ultra smooth, not too buttery, and the fried olives were far superior to those I've recently had at Eat. On Sunset.

Sauted Mushrooms
* I believe they served us straight chanterelles, and there's no complaints here - not as mind blowing as those at AOC, but not bad at all.


Social Chocolate Decadence
* Chocolate coconut cake with chocolate gelato and a candied coconut topping
Fine, fine, so you can bake a decadent dessert. Well, who can't? Of course it was tasty, it was almost solid chocolate + butter. But without any ingenuity, this is just another chocolate cake.


Pomegranate Blossom
* Absolut Citron Vodka and Fresh sweetened Lemon juice shaken with Fresh pomegranate juice and topped with a edible flower
Not a bad cocktail - more acidic than annoying sweet, I have to see the edible flower is a nice touch. But no, I didn't eat it.

The Social Martini
Ultimat Vodka and a whisper of dry vermouth, shaken tableside and of course the shaker is yours to keep
* Interesting, as we did not receive this shaken tableside, nor did we score a shaker. This was a $20 martini. Good, but not THAT good. Maybe if I had gotten a shaker out of the deal . . .

The damage for 1 bottle of wine, 2 cocktails, 4 entrees, 2 sides, and 1 dessert was about $270, before tip.

RESTAURANT REPORT CARD - Social Hollywood, visit 1

Ambiance - B-
Service - A-
Food (Taste) - C+
Food (Presentation) - C+
Wine/Drinks - B
Value - C-
Vibe/Energy/Scene - B
Overall Experience - C+

Final word - While we were taken care of, the food execution does not add up to the dollar amounts. Social has bitten off more than it can chew.

For more from moi, hit PoetKitty


  • At Fri Sep 01, 11:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very nice! I found a place where you can
    make some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site below
    and put in your zip to see what's available in your area.
    I made over $900 last month having fun!
    make extra money

  • At Sat Sep 02, 12:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very nice! I found a place where you can
    make some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site below
    and put in your zip to see what's available in your area.
    I made over $900 last month having fun!
    make extra money

  • At Sat Jun 26, 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To be a upright human being is to procure a philanthropic of openness to the world, an cleverness to trusteeship unsure things beyond your own restrain, that can take you to be shattered in hugely exceptional circumstances on which you were not to blame. That says something very weighty about the get of the honest life: that it is based on a corporation in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a weed than like a prize, something kind of fragile, but whose mere item handsomeness is inseparable from that fragility.

  • At Fri Jul 16, 04:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In harry's time, at some dated, our inner foment goes out. It is then bust into flame at near an encounter with another magnanimous being. We should all be glad for those people who rekindle the inner inclination

  • At Sat Jul 17, 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In every tom's life, at some occasion, our inner foment goes out. It is then blow up into passion beside an be faced with with another benign being. We should all be indebted quest of those people who rekindle the inner spirit


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home