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A Good Night at Sonny's Hideaway

Will Owen | Feb 11, 201502:39 PM

With some recs for and some against this place on another thread, Mrs. O decreed that her birthday-gift meal for me and our friend Ms. T would be at Sonny's, and we'd decide if it was good or just okay. So at around 7:45 last night we were sitting in the most comfortable booth I could remember, waiting for our cocktails and grousing about how different this menu was from the online version – including the cocktail and wine list! But Ms. T's Pimm's Cup, Mrs. O's Gilmore (you'll have to ask her) and my perfectly not-too-dry martini were wonderfully soothing, and we found plenty to like in the food selections, including several good veg options for Mrs. O. She chose the ricotta dumplings; Ms. T found the roasted chicken breast appealing, and I chose to pig out on braised pork cheek with spring onions and cilantro, plus the side dish of roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon. Since I didn't write anything down I don't know whose pinot noir Mrs. O and I had, but it was the only one offered and very nice at $10 for a rather conservative pour.

For some reason even the usually snap-happy Mrs. O kept her phone in her bag, so we have no show-and-tell on this program. There wasn't much bite-swapping either, though I traded a sprout for a bite of dumpling, a nicely rich comfort item with some snappy spicy sauce to back it up. The sprouts were a delight, but the portion large enough to take about half home, especially given the rich decadence of the two half-rounds of the pork and their sauce, just fibrous enough to give heft to an almost-gelatinous tenderness and tasting of hog heaven. The cilantro was light on its sometimes assertive flavor, and with the slivers of green onion and near-transparent slices of radish it kept the porkiness from overwhelming. This was supposed to be a special on the Tiki Tuesdays sub-menu, by the way, but I think I got the full-menu version. Anyway it was awfully good, and the sprouts went nicely with it. Ms. T cleaned her substantial half-breast plus whatever greenery it was sitting on with hardly a pause or murmur, except for "THAT was really nice!" at the end.

Then came the question of dessert. I was ready just to waddle out, but the women decided that the Semifreddo looked too good to leave behind. "Just two spoons, please" I told the waiter, who ignored me and brought three. Well, I didn't have much, but I can tell you it's both rich and refreshing, much lighter than an ice cream and rather complex, with nut halves held together by something white and sweet, on a thick cream base and topped with more nuts and butter-brickle-like crunchy bits. And it's just perfect for two or three not-hungry people to share.

Since Ms. T and I were being treated I didn't even get a look at the check, but cocktails run around $13, sides $6-10, mains $10-25 (that's the flank steak; most are around $15). Our pinot noir at $10 was the most expensive red. Service was good, not snappy or really attentive, as there was just one waiter and two other men bringing and retrieving plates. For the first half-hour we had some semi-loud conversation next to us, but when they left it was pretty calm. By around 9:30 there were maybe a dozen patrons; I'd expect Fridays and weekends to be a different story, but Tuesday will probably be our date-night for this place. The room is nice, the atmosphere nicer, the food more than worth the price.

5137 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-2000

Sonny's Hideaway,
Sonny's Bistro
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