The Library Bar and master bartender Matt Biancaniello. Every time I visit, I pretty much make a beeline for The Library Bar. It's only recently that I've begun to explore the rest of the beautiful, historic hotel - and with this Travelzoo deal I couldn't wait to eat at the Public Kitchen and Bar (helmed by Tim Goodell, best known for Aubergine) for the first time.
We started of course, with a round of bellinis / mimosas, which hit the spot immediately (and our wonderful server diligently kept our glasses full throughout the meal). While waiting for our food, we noshed on a small cast iron tray of bread, including cranberry scones, with fresh whipped butter.
caper berries. We loved this dish, and the use of fragrant fennel vs. the expected dill - though SinoSoul noticed that the other order of the same dish that came to the table contained frisee, while Designer's did not, so there was some inconsistency there. Though, Designer's a bit of an uber-carnivore, so the veggies were not missed.
For my starter, I ordered the Summer Corn Soup with pork belly and curried lebneh, just because corn is in season, I love a good corn soup and can't resist the combination with pork belly. This turned out to be possibly the best corn soup I've had this year - smooth and well balanced to let the fresh corn flavors shine through, punctuated by an unctuous piece of pork belly and curried lebneh (middle eastern yogurt cheese). A really, really lovely soup that is creamy, yet light enough for a summer meal.
(I've only reviewed the dishes I actually tasted here, but you can see pictures of other orders at the table including the massive Public Burger and Fromage Blanc Omelette with asparagus and morel cream on my Facebook page)
Though the desserts were not all spectacular, overall I thought the meal and the service (and the company!) were all fantastic - and would definitely come back even without a group buy deal. At $35 per person for appetizer, large plate or benedict and drink - and just $6 extra for the bottomless bellinis / mimosas, it's a good deal for fine dining fare. And gotta love that they offer a selection of "Morning Cocktails" ($12 each).
On top of it all, you get to brunch in a lovely space at a Hollywood landmark! Walk off your meal afterwards by exploring the grounds - check out the pool, where they host Monday Movie Mashups (free screenings of mashed-up movies of choice for the week), go to the lower level to see the hidden bookcase entrance to Beacher's Madhouse (a 'theater' that is essentially a bar featuring the unusual including midgets), and catch a member of staff if you can to hear about the legendary ghost stories including famed and longtime guest Marilyn Monroe.
[Update 10/18/11: Deal alert: Cirque du Soleil IRIS ticket holders, bring your ticket stubs to get discounts on dinner at Public Kitchen + Bar: Pre-theater you'll get a prix fixe menu of appetizer + entree + cocktail for $35, or 10% off your meal. Post-theater you'll get 10% off your meal. Thanks to Wagstaff PR for the tip!]
On a 7 point scale:
Flavor - 5.5 bites
Presentation - 6 bites
Originality - 5.5 bites
Ambience - 6 stars
Service - 6 stars
Overall experience - 6 bites
Price - $$ (2 bite marks)
Probability of return visit - 100%
[To find more deals like the one used here, check out my Get More Bites Outta Your Budget page, and follow me on Twitter for up to the minute finds!]
Public Kitchen & Bar
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Parking: Valet with validation $6 for first 3 hours, $2 for every additional half hour. (Or park across the street at Hollywood & Highland - $2 first 2 hours w/ validation from any purchase at stores in the complex, $1 for each additional 15 mins.)
Look for reservations: Opentable.com