If you call the new Todd English/Eva Longoria (top billing depends on who you talk to) restaurant Beso, you'll find out that the restauant is indeed open for business, which completely defies what English told us directly, in person: "We won't open until I think we're ready." The grand opening party last Thursday, we were told, was not the official opening, but that the restaurant would be in preview mode for at least a week to 10 days, maybe even two weeks. Chef didn't sound confident at that moment, but sincere. Who knows, maybe he finally turned all that screen time into a solid acting career. Wait, it gets better: Ask for a reservation, and you're told the restaurant is booked solid until April 3. Ask if you can come in for a drink or app at the bar, and you'll hear that, no, you need a dinner reservation. To walk into the bar. For a cocktail. Even if you don't want to eat. "But that may change after April 3."
So let's get this straight, the restaurant is "officially" open, but sounds to be very much in high preview mode and charging people for the privelege. Let's assume they're holding back reservations so the kitchen can get its bearings together, because these people have opened restaurants before. They know what they're doing, right? The whole can't-go-into-the-bar-without-a-reservation is one step shy of douchebag-guarded velvet ropes and lines, and they better rethink that one; then again, it is Hollywood. A co-worker called the whole Beso affair a "shitshow," but we're not quite there yet. We'll give it the benefit of the doubt. We're holding out for greatness from the celebrity chef's kitchen, or at least good. But it's starting to look a little slapped together, hasty, with many many, far too many cooks in the proverbial kitchen and everyone wanting to call out tickets. Either everyone's misinformed, or too many people informed the wrong people about what's what, because it's all mixed messages. Still: Ressies await, get your name on a waiting list for later this month or shoot for something in April. And then wholeheartedly report back. (6350 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.467.7991)
· Eater Sneak Peek: Beso Revealed [~ELA~]
· Beso: Thank God For Eva's Tortilla Soup and Guac [~ELA~]