Restaurants & Bars

Honey - In the Avalon, Near the Pantages

lil mikey | Jul 19, 200707:17 PM    

They’re a little disheveled as they open at 5:00 p.m., but that can be expected and is totally acceptable. Beware: They're only open until 10:00 p.m.

Once things get on track, the service is simply outstanding. From the hostess to the waiter to the guy who walks around asking how everything is, they have their game down.

Of course, being the only diner in the restaurant helps.

But they do seem truly customer-centered, which I like.

The restaurant’s been open for 2 months. It’s in the Avalon night club, on the south side. You have to enter it by walking down a little alley. The front door is not on Vine, but on this little passageway.

If you get there early enough, you can hear the bands that are playing that night at the Avalon do their soundcheck.

They are obviously hoping for the Pantages/Wicked crowd, as they pass out flyers on the corner of Hollywood and Vine before the Wicked shows. And with the closing of the Hollywood and Vine Diner, I think this place might just have a chance.

The two slices of olive bread with butter was unimaginative. A thicker slice than the standard loaf slice would do it, or a roll would be fine, too. The flavor of the bread was very good, but the presentation lacked any real thought.

The tuna tartare appetizer was wonderful. I could make a meal out of this, and next time I might just do it. It’s a huge portion of tuna, about the size of a hockey puck, chopped and seasoned as you would expect it at Spago or Providence. But then it’s covered with a quarter inch of tiny red fish caviar. I don’t remember what fish this comes from. It’s not the large salmon roe, but rather the little tiny crunchy roe you get on the rolls in Japanese restaurants. I prefer this to the salmon roe. On top is a nice helping of daikon sprouts, and it’s served with a large handful of big house-fried flour tortilla chips.

I passed on the chips after two. They were a little old tasting. But the tuna and the rest of the dish was outstanding.

The main course was a buttermilk-infused fried chicken with gravy. This was also delicious. The breast was juicy and tender, with a gentle flavor of buttermilk. The gravy over the top was the kind you get with biscuits and gravy, but a little lighter. Unfortunately, the gravy took away the crispiness of most of the skin. But there was still some crispy skin around the edges.

It was served with perfectly mashed potatoes and a delicious fire roasted corn succotash. The succotash was slightly spicy due to some peppers in there, but not overwhelmingly so. I really enjoyed the fact that it was fire roasted. That gave it a nice deep flavor.

The champagne by the glass is pitiful. It’s a rose that’s dreadful. But the Sauvignon Blanc on the other hand is delightful, very fruity and fresh tasting...a good accompaniment to these dishes. Both are $10 per glass.

Also on the menu are a number of appetizers including crab cakes, a hummus and baba ganoush plate, and thin crust bacon and goat cheese pizza.

Other main courses include sea bass, pasta, tuna and a New York strip.

There are also sandwiches and salads.

Overall, this would be a perfect place before going to the Avalon (especially if you eat early and can hear your favorite band’s soundcheck), as well as before the Pantages, which is a block and a half away.

1735 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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