We framed a performance of the entertaining "Southern Baptist Sissies" at the Zephyr Theater on Melrose with a 6pm visit to Girasole on Larchemont and an 11pm stop at 25 Degrees at the Hollywood Roosevelt last night. A late afternoon call to another Hound produced the Girasole recommendation which fit the bill nicely. A charming traditional store front setting that looks onto an equally charming and quaint street was a great start and the no wine, no corkage policy was a gift with a well stocked wine and cheese shop right next store.
We began with two pedestrian but satisfying insalata mistas for $5.95 each and followed with two less than satisfying main courses. Mine was a special spaghetti carbonara for $12.95 that arrived looking like a bowl of egg salad it was so overdone. Still the classic flavors came through and I ate half of it. My friend's chicken cutlet piccata was not much better being bland though served with nice sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes for $15.95. We finished with a perfect torta della nonna for $6.95 and two cups of coffee. The dessert and the wine bargain, a 2003 Campion pinot noir for $18, made the outing pleasurable. Next time a hearty red sauce that can take the kitchen's heavy hand might be in order. (By the way, you approach the restroom through the well maintained kitchen and it is the most thoughtfully detailed little commode I've ever encountered.) $56 for two before tip and not counting the wine from next door.
Wed not been inside the Hollywood Roosevelt since the redo and its nice to report that some of the lost glamour has been restored although on this particular Tuesday night I dont know that the rather young hip crowd knew quite what to do with themselves. Its not really a club environment but more of a sophisticated watering hole. 25 Degrees which sits at the front of the hotel is a kind of darkened almost Edward Gorey like treatment of a diner and although the staff look like all girl band wannabes, they certainly present first rate service to, well, a sometimes challenging crowd. The burger we asked to share was topped with Neals Yard English cheddar which you can add for $2. We told them to hold the bleu but leave the sautéed onions which they did and the resulting burger was one of the best in the city. Nice, too, was that they split it on two plates each individually wrapped in wax paper. Great onion rings come in a spicy batter and for $4.50 you can order a combo with shoestring fries. A gigantic Gladstones style chocolate layer cake supplied the finishing touch, though most remained as a decent snack with coffee this morning. Scary, I know. One final note. Make sure you get your ticket validated. Parking is at a premium and you save $4 with the validation. Final tab was $43 before tip. Definite late night option.