Back in the nineties, the last time a Democrat was in the White House, we managed to pull off four annual pilgrimages to New York City, mostly food driven peppered with the latest Broadway and Off Broadway offerings. In those days the most rewarding dining experience was likely to be at the hands of Tom Colicchio and Danny Meyer at Grammercy Tavern. The words Top Chef were reserved for the likes of Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Bouley and Gray Kunz. Charcuterie was something you languished with while sipping a glass of Sancerre at La Goulue on Madison Ave. in the late afternoon. Lucky Strike was Keith McNalley's saucy bar in the Village, not a bowling conglomerate in the suburbs.
For all the vigorous planning, however, it was the surprise find from a friendly local that often would be most memorable: the Kronos Quartet at BAM, the drag queens waiting on you at Lucky Cheng's in the East Village, fresh skate at the original Blue Ribbon in Soho. Few restaurants lived and breathed NYC more than Blue Ribbon with its store front oyster bar that seated maybe 8, the young maitre' d in a black T shirt who treated starlet and tourist alike, and a late night crowd that featured a who's who of the food and entertainment industries. On one such visit we ordered paella and the quintessential gourmet cheese burger sitting next to the late Jean-Louis Palladin while Puff Daddy pulled up in a purple Rolls Royce with Vanessa Williams at 2 a.m.
It is this same kind of allure that I wish for the new Boho in Hollywood next to the Arclight in what was recently Charcoal. Sitting at one of the recessed booths in the rear bar area last night during a friends and family test dinner you could not help but become caught up in the sweeping views of Sunset Blvd. and Ivar Ave., the fifty or so boutique beer selection being offered and a crowd both inside and outside that was determined to celebrate. But it's the food of Andre Guerrero that may be the real reason to rejoice. With reasonably priced plates both large and small that offer the traditional of more than a few cuisines you can belly up to the bar for an order of duck rillettes, chicken liver and prosciutto for $14 and a glass of pinot noir for $9. There are meaty pork ribs with a tangy BBQ sauce and fries for $22, a pizza selection that includes a smoked salmon, caper, creme fraiche, red onion and pesto pizza for $16 at the top end, salads and an assortment of appetizers. Hell, you can even order the Oinkster burger if you're so inclined.
I'm not a Monday morning menudo sort of guy but the stewed tripe with pig's trotters and garlic was the sort of small plate that was both comforting and satisfying. Similarly, a bowl of chile verde with jalapeno, green onion and tomatillo would bring me back in a second while braised fennel with bacon was equally good. (It looks like Susan Feniger isn't the only one celebrating street foods in L.A.) Desserts had the look and taste of Jan Purdy, also of Max, with a sensational coconut rice pudding standing out at $7 I think.
The room also features a traditional library interior with more lamp shades than a Lamps R Us but it all works to create a warm and relaxing space. GM Greg Cohen hails from Boa while Jaclyn Roe formerly of Spago adds great luster to the door. The service over all for a restaurant about to open is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.
6372 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028