Place: O-Bar Restaurant - Santa Monica Blvd. near Sweetzer - West Hollywood
Saturday, 8/20/05 - 7:00 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Noah, a friend and work associate)
Ambiance - A
Service - A-
Food (Taste) - B-
Food (Presentation) - B
Wine/Drinks - A-
Price - B-
Overall Experience - B
O-Bar has gone through some recent changes - a new chef (Scott Hawley) and a new dining room manager (much to my dismay as Aaron, the last manager, was such a delight). This has been one of my favorite haunts for a year and a half now, so I was anxious to see what was cookin'.
I adore the ambiance in this place - an absolutely beautiful design, and the host sat us at a creme table overlooking the stunning backyard landscaping. Happy, happy girl.
Our server swung by the say hello immediately (David) - I love the wait staff here, they are attentive and friendly without being snobby and pretentious - nice combo indeed. Oh, and our host, Kelly, was adorable and remembered me from a NoHo Starbucks during his barista days - too funny!
Beverages - I was the only one drinking - I just had a cherry vodka/red bull combo (divine - the bartender had the cherry idea and it was awesome) - but I know they have great mojitos and other well drinks here too. Wine list - not impressive, so stick to the cocktails for sure.
Bread/Appetizers - back in the day, O-Bar served this bean dip and chip combo in lieu of bread that was AMAZING - now it's the old standby bread/butter, and really, nothing to write home about. I missed the pizazz of the old days.
Entrees - I had the new salmon dish - with crispy skin and satueed greens, served on a bed of lobster mashed potatoes. Frankly, it didn't hold up to previous salmon incarnations here - although it was cooked nicely (not overdone - crispy outside with a soft buttery center), the lobster mashed was lost on me - couldn't taste a smidgen of the shellfish, and overall, it was rather bland. Big disappointment.
My companion had the Mediterranean Platter - an appetizer, but in the old days, this was a very large offering. Now, it's more expensive and significantly smaller - it just had three tiny dishes of various sauces (hummus, tomatoes, onions, etc.) and a ton of pita bread. Not very exciting in the least.
Dessert - I'm thrilled to report that Meadow Lyn Ramsey is still the pastry chef, and she rocks. We had my old standby fav - the Decadent O-Cookie - it's a skillet cookie chocolate chip masterpiece with heavenly vanilla ice cream, chocolate drizzles, and caramel - comfort food with a gourmet twist that makes me weepy it's so damn good.
So yeah, I was not as impressed as I used to be with this scenester WeHo haven, but of course, I would return - it's just not at the top of the Love It list.