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One Sunset Day 1: Our Take

We received some lengthy first reports about One Sunset over the last few days, so we couldn't help but stop by the new resto-lounge its debut night. A little reminder about One. This is the first West Coast addition to the growing One Group, which owns One Little West 12th an STK in New York. Primary partners are Erica Cohen and Celeste Fierro, a couple of gals who started in events, marketing, fashion, etc. Gawker gave One a hard time when it opened in the Meatpacking District, but it's still open and popular, as far as we know. Initially, One Sunset was supposed to open in March, then as tends to happen, the debut got pushed back to last night. And here we are.

First, a disclaimer: Our camera does not take great pictures in the dark, and we're not one to use the flash and call attention to our spying, so we focus on things that have a lot of light and hope for the best. Thus, shots like the one above that don't really say much, but it still looks cool. Enjoy. Second disclaimer: We didn't eat at One last night, just popped in for a drink and a quick looksee. An inside source says the owners really want to make this place known as a restaurant, and want to stifle the media's opinion as much as possible in these early stages (oops). But we said it before, and we'll say it again: We like former Vibrato chef Chris Ennis and know he's capable of creating some interesting dishes, but if a place looks like a lounge and acts like a lounge, it's probably going to be received as a lounge. And last night, the place was packed with svelte see-and-be-seen loungers.

The space is quite large, and as noted by our gushing reader, has a nice flow. The tables are low, even ones that have chairs instead of ottomans. We hope those aren't the kind of low-slung tables that crunch long legs underneath. That ambient, techno, DJ lounge sound played overhead. Two bars in the front, right when you walk in. One has a few high tables and stools, the other lounge tables. The design is very similar to One in NYC; some of the original's aesthetics are hinted at, like arabesque-inspired swirls on columns. Two sculpted trees with candles and flowers hanging from the branches flank the larger bar. Nice. Very Parc-like. In fact, the whole vibe reminds of us Parc, except at 10:30, diners aren't pushed out of the tables for bottle service reservations. We're told its very Hyde-like, too, but we're not cool enough to go there. Table reservations will probably help at One, if not be mandatory.

Towards the back, an enclave of banquettes and tables is most likely the VIPish section, but kudos for making it near the bathrooms so gawkers can see who's canoodling who. Many tables had one or two plates of nibbly-type food on them, but most people were just cocktailing it. We ourselves had a refreshing Hendrick's gin concoction with cucumber and dill. The crowd was a mix of well-coifed trendsters. Very Sunset Strip, everyone was attractive, fairly mellow, many seemed to know each other. Were we out of our element? No. But maybe we'll grab a bunch of friends for the next visit, take on the extremely large menu, and see who shows up. It will be interesting to see what happens when BLT opens in the Le Dome space next door (this summer, supposedly).
· One Sunset Day 1: One Reader's Take [~ELA~]