Just went to Ketchup (the newest spawn of the hit-and-miss Dolce Group) for a friend’s birthday dinner, and here’s my take on it.
The food (most important!) for a party of 4 voracious girls--
-Onion ring tower ($11), accompanied by 5 different ketchups: regular, chipotle, maple, ranch, and mango. The onion rings were nice and crispy, and well-seasoned with parmesan and garlic. The chipotle ketchup definitely stood out… I needed a few more servings with the rest of my meal. The ranch ketchup was not that great, and the others were passable, but not fantastic.
-Sweet potato fries ($9): good, if you like soggy-ish fries. Also came accompanied by the 5 ketchups.
-“In the Raw” salad, a.k.a. tuna tartare ($14): served with tomato and avocado in a soy sauce mixture, served with basil potato chips. The plate itself was good; the chiffonade-ed basil on top really did the trick.
-Kobe sliders ($17): PASS! The meat was totally dry and the meat to bread ratio was WAY off—too much bread for the tiny amount of meat. I could barely choke that thing down, even after I smothered it in chipotle ketchup
-Momma’s meat loaf ($20): also pass. WAY too salty, although the texture of the meat loaf was OK. Accompanying veggies were also way oversalted and the mashed potatoes were unimpressive. The mushroom gravy could’ve been good if, again, they eased up on the salt.
-Mac and cheese with Dungeness crab (side dish, $12): EXCELLENT. One of the best mac and cheese dishes I’ve had and, believe me, I love mac and cheese. It was so good that I suggested to the owner to have this as a main entrée.
-Dessert: none ordered. The dessert menu didn’t seem too enticing, and this is saying a lot considering we weren’t completely full after our meal.
They give out (free!) tastes of the day’s featured martinis. The sommelier/drink specialist she called herself roams around with a cart, offering samples and making drinks for diners. The special that day was the Monarchy, which had vodka, Kool-Aid, and some other stuff. Tasted good, but I opted for “Summer Lovin’” which was a pseudo-martini and tasted very grapefruity and had a splash of champagne. Don’t remember what exactly was in it, but would recommend it if you’re into sweet drinks.
Our waiter was adorable and very nice. He came by our table often, checked up on us. In general, the waitstaff seemed very concerned with whether or not we liked the food. One of the owners came by and asked us for our honest opinion re: the food. I basically told him everything that I’ve written above. Ixnay on the meatloaf and bring on the mac and cheese!
Nice interior design, although a bit too red for me. The entire room is tinted pink or red (coming from the red lights—the walls, tables, and seats themselves are white). And there are tomato centerpieces on the tables. Maybe a bit much… Pretty loud and lively; very spacious booths. A loud, relaxed vibe. A bit too “Hollywood” for my taste.
WAY overpriced for what it is (typical comfort food). I'm sure they're still working out the kinks, since they've been open for less than 2 weeks. Might be good for out-of-town guests who are looking for something “Hollywood.” Probably a good place to people-watch. It was worth the try, but I wouldn’t pay $8 for a glass of Yoohoo and a chocolate cookie (on their dessert menu). Being that the restaurant’s name is Ketchup, they could be a lot more creative with that good ol’ American condiment.
8590 Sunset Blvd. (Just west of La Cienega)
West Hollywood, 90069