Here's the scene:
Boy met via internet calls rather spontaneously yesterday with a "Hey, wanna have dinner?" offer. It's a third date. Those are pivotal. I say Yes. He says "OK, Chow, you pick the place - I'll pick you up at 7."
I'm thinking - casual yet elegant, good bar, good lighting (gotta LOOK good, yo), and yes, of course, good food. I live near Magnolia, and have been meaning to give a whirl, SO . . .
Place: Magnolia, Tuesday, 3/7 - 7:15 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Crazy-hot wild/fun 'net date)
Ratings in brief:
Ambiance - B+
Mmmmm yes, this was the lighting I was looking for. Urban elegance. We got a table near the door, however, and the draft? Annoying. Whatareyagonnado.
Service - C+
Nice waiter, but the rest of the staff? Overzealous. My date and I took three steps outside so he could suck down a cigarette, and our half full plates were cleared. The waiter noticed before we did and comped dessert. But really, there were oodles of smokers lingering - did they all lose their foodstuffs too? That sucked. But we kept drinking anyway :)
Food (Taste) - C+
Very basic menu, but really pretty tasty.
Food (Presentation) - C
Wine/Drinks - B+
Small but decent wine list, and really well made martinis.
Value - B-
Can't really know for sure, as the date graciously paid the tab without me spying the total, but the prices on food, at least, were very reasonable.
Overall Experience - B-
I'd like to try some different dishes - but believe me, next time, I won't take my eyes off the plates lest they disappear again.
Right then - so we swoop into Magnolia on time, and are seated immediately - the place is about half full and already pulsing with a great vibe. Note to future Mag diners - ask for a table in the room behind the bar and you'll avoid the annoying door draft. Burrrrrrr.
They've got a small menu, scattered with a little of everything - Asian, Italian, American. We weren't famished, but I wanted to try a few different goodies. Here's the rundown:
Dirty gin martinis for the dinner courses were awesome - well mixed and the perfect temp.
The date had a lovely house merlot (from Washington).
Dessert drinks - lemon drop martinis. Also really well thrown together.
Hummus with Pita Chips - Great homemade pita chips, and LOTS of them (it's as pet peeve of mine when you order dishes like this and get, oh, 3 triangles of bread for a mountain o' spread - Hi Mirabelle, I'm talking to you). The hummus wasn't anything special, but had a lovely velvety texture but not enough kick. Also served with standard yet fabulous olives.
Magnolia Salad - this had candied walnuts, blue cheese, cabbage, lettuce, and a fabulously light citrusy-vinegarette. Quite tasty, and puurrrty to look at.
Salmon with veggies and mashed potatoes - This was as expected - no special sauce, but fresh fish and yummy taters.
Vanilla bean creme brulee - I'm a bit of a brulee snob, and this didn't quite hit a bullseye. The texture of the cream was fantastic (flavor also really nice) but they were skimpy on the yummy crusty sugary top coating - needed more brulee for sure.
I don't have a clue what the tab was, but we threw back 8 drinks along with our food samples, so my guess is we hit the $120 mark, with about 1/3 of that the food tab.
Good times, great drinks, OK food. BUT, I'm giving Mag another shot, food wise - don't think it's had a fair shake on these taste buds just yet.
6266 1/2 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Ciao, 'Hounds -