Hollywood: New Chef at Wood and Vine
Wood and Vine not only has a new Executive chef Marc Johnson but there’s a new beverage director, Justin Stidham as well. Justin actually returns to Wood and Vine after a stint in Texas.
The Hollywood favorite is popular with the pre-theatre crowd but shouldn’t be overlooked for late-night options.
Meatier options include the braised lamb with chickpea gnocchi, pork meatballs and pork ribs. If you’re more in the mood to snack, I suggest the roasted cauliflower, mussels and you can go wrong with the assorted charcuterie.
I go with either swift and strong or something that wakes up your appetite. If you want to nosh, the Southern Sour is very food friendly. The sour drink has both whiskey and apple brandy with egg white and rhubarb syrup. I found the tangerine a fresh citrus that doesn’t get used as much in drinks.
Southern Sour– Buffalo Trace bourbon, Laird’s applejack, tangerine, rhubarb syrup, egg white, Peychaud’s bitters
Wood and Vine charcuterie is still outstanding. Lots of spreadable pates and loafs as well as mousse.
Remember the mania of beet salads a few years ago? Well, I’m glad they’re still trendy after kale has seemingly taken over our #1 vegetable love. Wood and Vine’s beet salad was very cool with kumquat and micro amaranth.
Another drink to wake up the appetite would be the Thai Town. If you like daiquiris, this reminded me of the simple but always delicious drink.
Thai Town – Nolet’s gin, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, vanilla, honey
As mentioned, the roasted cauliflower was a nice light dish. It’s perfect to share and it’s really versatile as a vehicle for sauce or dip. It’s always been one of my favorite veggies and I’m glad to see it popping up on more menus.
I also enjoy this trend of Asian-flavored broths for mussels. With onion, ginger, coconut, cilantro and lime, the flavors of South East Asia come to mind. Be sure to sop up all the delicious broth with the provided baguette.
I probably should have saved the Above the Clouds towards to the end. The sweet rum drink could double as my dessert replacement.
Above the Clouds – Ron Zacapa rum, blood orange, cinnamon reduction, lime, Angostura bitters
Has it been 5 years since I said I’d give up ground meat? Or maybe more? Well, I still keep eating meatballs and other ground meat so I wasn’t that serious about giving up ground meat. It’s a good thing too because I loved that these meatballs came with collard greens.
Talk about fall-off-the-bone tender, the pork ribs were surprisngly different with a swipe of aji amarillo bringing its flavors closer to Latin America.
My favorite dish this evening was the squid ink risotto with crab and corn. It screams summer (or a very hot spring) to me.
The Ancho Rancho was another great food-friendly cocktail. No wonder with the bell pepper and spicy ancho chili liqueur, Ancho Reyes. The mezcal keeps things interesting.
Ancho Rancho – Pierde Almas mezcal, Ancho Reyes liqueur, bell pepper, lemon, honey
Until this night, I hadn’t had dessert at Wood and Vine before. I had always been too full. I’m glad I saved room for a little butterscotch pot de creme. It was so good, I may have taken more than two or three bites which is my absolute limit on sweets.
Check out Wood and Vine any time of year but I’ll be glad when the new season starts again at the Pantages across the street.
6280 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 – (323) 334-3360
© The Minty 2014
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