Monday, August 22, 2011

Public Kitchen & Bar - Weekend Brunch With Bottomless Mimosas/Bellinis!

Bright and early Sunday morning (that is to say, noon for me) - "Designer" and I met up with fellow bloggers SinoSoul and FinerThingsLA to take advantage of the Travelzoo deal we'd all bought earlier in the month for brunch at Public Kitchen and Bar at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel - $49 brunch for two (basically 3-course meal + side and bottomless drinks).  On the regular weekend brunch menu, that would cost $35 per person (extra for sides & dessert, and add $6 for bottomless mimosas/bellinis).

Regular readers know that The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel houses my favorite bar in LA - 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.
For her appetizer, Designer chose Balik Salmon "Tartine" with grilled olive bread and

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.
For her large plate selection, Designer chose Diver Scallops with  zucchini risotto / mint mascarpone. The scallops were nicely seared with a juicy, tender and sweet interior.  The risotto was also perfectly al dente, made just a touch creamy with the mascarpone tinged with the slightest hint of mint.

(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)
Being a complete eggs benedict addict, I really had no choice but to go with the Duck Confit Hash Benedict with grilled rustic bread.  The poached eggs oozed liquid sunshine, but though I liked the gamey-ness of the duck confit hash, it was a bit on the dry side, as was the crusty bread.  Another order of the same dish that came to the table was inexplicably opposite in textures - the eggs were overcooked while the hash and bread were nice and moist.  Another inconsistency with quality which could be concerning - but hopefully it was an 'off' day perhaps for some members of the kitchen, and that this would not be a regular occurence. 
We also get to choose one side each with our meal, and single ladies, Designer and I, both chose "Today's Sausage".  Neither of us go to church, and joked that this brunch was our Sunday service - and the sausages really gave us our religious experience of the day.  These were housemade links that not only had the perfect intensity of flavor - but more importantly were not at all greasy.  We would almost say they tasted - 'healthy' - except that healthy in our book usually translates to "not tasty" - and that is definitely not the case here.  They were just sausages that were flavorful but not drowning in grease - simply perfect!
For dessert, the deal offered 1 plate to share for each 'couple' - so we received one of each of the desserts on the menu.  First up was the Warm Berliners with cinnamon & nutmeg.  These were essentially fresh made doughnuts with some sort of cream sauce.  The doughnuts were pillowy and nice, but the sauce we found a bit bland, and its (lack of) flavor and texture didn't add anything to the dish.
Next up was Sour Cherry Pie with sour cream and cherry ice cream.  This tasted market fresh and was nicely presented in a cast iron pot. However, we wanted a bit more tartness from the cherries to come through - as it was, the pie was not a standout piece.
Saving the best for last: the Salted Caramel & Chocolate Puddings with butterscotch cookie were tasty - and if I had any stomach capacity at all left at that point I would have devoured the glasses whole.  The puddings were light and creamy, with the lovely sea salt cutting through the caramel pudding nicely.

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
Phone: 323.466.7000

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:

Public Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Ahh, I wish I were a seafood lover. The desserts look amazing though (and I love bottomless mimosas!). Will have to check this out the next time I'm in LA :)

  2. Yeah we definitely got our money's worth and more in bottomless drinks, and food!

    Too bad the Library Bar doesn't open earlier in the day, or else you can make it a 2-fer on your next trip and do a "Public" "Library" run on the same day ;)

  3. I had them sausages for lunch on the day of this post. Paired them with the left over fries (yuck), and they were just divine.

    It's too bad there was simply no room left for sharing. So freakin' stuffed, wanted to try the duck hash + crab benedict, but just had no willpower left.

  4. Nice! Yeah that was a LOT Of food!! I've been craving those sausages all week and can't wait to go back!!



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