Anyone curious about the latest in the Hollywood Restaurant/Club scene should venture to The Velvet Margarita on Cahuenga just below Hollywood Blvd. The all black industrial facade is fitting for the secret world it conceals and in keeping with this new genre. Open less than two weeks, we stumbled upon it after glimpsing an AOL listing and was looking for something offbeat. We certainly got our money's worth in this regard. The design has got to be the most outlandish Mexican Restaurant interior since Frank Gehry hung an octopus over the dining room of Rebecca's. I won't spoil the great fun but suffice it to say this is a great place for a party.
The food unfortunately is mediocre with a really interesting pricing ploy. Lunch entrees are $11 and dinner are $15 and include soup or salad. We tried the spinach and chicken enchiladas, the spinach and cheese enchiladas and the chicken mole all of which have seen better days elsewhere. The menu is admittedly small (and in development) and begins promisingly with some nice warm red chili chips accompanied by three different salsas. The salad was a decent enough Caesar with a nice touch of fried parmesan and the soup a fair shrimp bisque. Dessert for $5 was a little chocolate mousse Aztec pyramid with an Anglaise center.
The trick here is managing the bar tab. Well drinks are $7, the house margarita $9 and the Velvet Margarita $15 and served in a hollowed out pineapple. Our bill managed to get to $112. Service was attentive and friendly in an aggressive can I bring you another cocktail sort of way.
As we left, we all tried to think of what might bring us back, the out of town friend you want to impress with the new Hollywood club scene. Or, a great spot for a late snack or cocktail (they serve until 3:45am) after "Hair Spray." Where else can you watch an old Cantiflas movie with glowing sombreros?