The Rolling Stone Restaurant & Lounge officially opens at the end of the week, but it's already rocking out with its lunch and dinner service at the Hollywood & Highland.
Situated at the back of the complex, the restaurant does not look like much at first glance. However, that all changes the second you step through the front doors and into the bar. The first thing that you'll notice is the rock music blaring over the speakers at just the right volume. Listen for tunes from bands such as Led Zeppelin or The Black Crowes.
The second thing that you'll notice is the decor. Artful black and white photographs of rock stars such as Little Richard and Sid Vicious cover the walls. The pictures are accompanied by framed quotes from musicians, each one a little snippet of wisdom dispensed by some of our greatest poets.
Although it would be easy to lose yourself in this tour of rock history, it's worth a trip to the bar for one of the signature cocktails crafted by mixologist Tricia Alley.
Every morning, a worker spends four to five hours making the fresh pressed juices and mixers that go into the farm-to-table cocktails. Try the Whiskey Delicious, a refreshing blend of cucumber, mint and Jameson Irish Whiskey. For something more fruity, opt for the Strawberry Field, a sweet and tangy concoction of vodka and fresh strawberry juice. You can't go wrong — they're all delicious.
While you sip your cocktail, and maybe order a second, make sure to gaze over the railing at the spacious lounge on the floor below; it's a sleek room filled with white leather circular banquettes and high-end table liquor service, all bathed in modern ultraviolet light.
After a drink, head into the dining room and settle into a red leather booth to feast on the market-driven menu from executive chef Christopher Ennis. The menu, which is modeled after Rolling Stone magazine, offers such appetizer fare as soft pretzel knots ($5), warm cheddar popovers ($5), acorn squash tortellini ($11) and Dungeness crab stuffed mushrooms ($12).
The entrees are sure to satisfy any palate, including the pizza lover who will drool over Rolling Stone's flat bread pizzas in flavors such as prosciutto ($14) and truffled enochi mushroom ($13); the pescatarian who will love seafood dishes such as the pan roasted Atlantic salmon ($20) served with spinach, capers and golden raisins; and the brazen carnivore who will dig into the cabernet braised short rib osso buco ($22). Add a side of the hand cut french fries ($6) with garlic, parsley and spicy ketchup for the table. There's something for everybody here.
Any dietary restrictions? Ennis is happy to accommodate even the most challenging requests. For my vegetarian dining partner, the kitchen whipped up a lovely main course of red quinoa with braised cauliflower and mint yogurt on the fly. It came out with the acorn squash tortellini, each bite a buttery, rich little taste of culinary heaven.
Many of the ingredients on the menu including the golden and purple beets and the delicate lettuces are sourced from the local farmers market, held right up the street every Sunday morning. This has the overall effect of elevating the cuisine and connecting the restaurant to the Hollywood community. It's a win-win situation, and kudos to Ennis for embracing the concept.
Not ready to leave yet? Then head down to the lounge to enjoy more cocktails and music until late in the night.
So if you're looking for a great place to grab a cocktail or chow down on some tasty grub, all served with a heaping side of rock 'n' roll, then check out the Rolling Stone Restaurant & Lounge.