Thanks to all the Hounds who helped out with the Hungry Cat vs Magnolia dilemma I had last week. We wound up at Magnolia to accomodate the pregnant portion of our party (all three women). A virile pack of men are we.
Chic, dimly lit joint, with mirror lined walls, comfy booths, and full bar adorned with twinkly lights, festively drawing out one's inner alcoholic. Crowd is a mixture of beautiful but desperate Hollywood wanna-bes, with the occasional Silverlake/Echo Park grubster thrown in (rabo raises his grimy hand). Immediately upon entering, one gets the distinct feeling that good food is not a priority. I shudder nervously.
The menu is rather small, and extremely run of the mill. Skirt steak, mac n' cheese, roasted chicken, salmon. I sprint through a couple of stiff martinis to work up my optimism.
We order a bunch of starters to share, slinging plates around the table at warp speed. Whatever happened to Lazy Susan's?
Immediately, things start to look up. The baked mac n' cheese, snuggly tucked under a layer of bubbling, brown crust, is pretty damned good. Salads are fine, although it is noted that the hunk of creamy mozzarella that comes with each order is of high quality (I dutifully taste some to verify---indeed it is). Grilled shrimp cocktail is also tasty. Good basket of fries for the table.
For entrees, both mrs rabo and I get the marinated skirt steak, served with mashed potatoes and grilled green onions, all pooled in some sort of wine reduction. Very tender and tasty slab o' flesh, rendered a perfect medium rare. The limp, slick green onions are actually wonderful.
Other entrees include a pork tenderloin, steak frites, the roasted chicken, and, back by popular demand, another order of the mac and cheese. Conversation dies down to a murmur as everyone eats, occasionally emitting utterances of pleasant surprise.
Desserts: creme brulee (fine), chocolate mousse served on a hunk of dark chocolate (very nice---light, airy, slightly bitter, not too sweet) and, the coup de grace, a mint, chocolate-chip, cookie-dough, ice cream sandwich. Jeepers. An ungodly mess to eat, next to impossible to share, utterly delicious. The kind of dessert that immediately catapults you back into the second grade.
Hostess and server were very nice (always helps to have pregnant women with you to bring out the best in people). Food + 6 cocktails + 3 beers = $330. Not too bad for 6 people.
Because our expectations were low, we were pleasantly surprised. As many Hounds stated previously, the focus is more on waifish, cocktail-slamming Barbie Dolls and the chiseled metasexual chumps who lust after them, and yet the food is quite competently done, and in some cases, downright good.
6266 1/2 W Sunset
Los Angeles, CA 90028