Eva Longoria-Parker was on Jimmy Kimmel last week talking about her husband, the new Desperate Housewives season, and of course, her new Hollywood restaurant Beso. Coincidentally, it was the same day we had dinner at Beso. Let's compare notes, shall we?
Kimmel says the chef of her restaurant was just on his show and made something "delicious."
That would be Todd English, pimping the restaurant weeks before it ever opened to the public. He made artichoke guacamole (actually quite tasty), "drunken shrimp" (Get it off the menu. Now.) and fresh-fruit cocktails (very sweet).
Longoria-Parker invited the whole audience to go to Beso.
On Friday it was equal parts typical weekend Hollywood crowd (dude next to us wore a fedora and an ascot, his table barely touched their food, then they all went to Villa) and Midwestern tourists.
Eva: The restaurant is "an extension of my kitchen."
When we asked our server which of the two gaucamoles on the menu were Eva's, he got very serious and said, "It's all Eva's. It's a collaborative effort." Hmmm...yes. Sidenote: There's no way that "famous tortilla soup" won her that hunky husband.
Kimmel asks: "It's Tex-Mex, right?"
He's not the only one. A woman this weekend told us she wanted to try Beso because she's looking for good Tex-Mex in LA; she read about it in one of the celebrity rags. Not even close. Longoria says: "It's international with Spanish flair" (thanks, Mario Lopez), and Todd English told Eater it would be "Olives meets Spain meets Mexican steakhouse." The latter best fits the menu we saw: Olives-esque flatbreads, a taco bar (skirt steak, lobster taquitos OK; skip the plantain tacos), ceviche, shaved artichoke salad with parmesan cake, crispy lamb ribs with honey creme fraiche, typical steakhouse meat and seafood options, and entrees like chili-rubbed skirt steak, grilled sirloin with patatas bravas, parmesan fries, creamy feta spinach. We repeat: Avoid the drunken shrimp at all cost; ditto the soupy paella. And no, Mario, it's not the Mexican restuarant you've been waiting for.
Postscript: To be fair, Beso just "officially" opened to the public. No one expects perfection. Eight days in, one expects service hiccups, maybe timing issues from the kitchen, lost reservations. But one also expects a solid menu, not one with items even the management questions (i.e. drunken shrimp). Let's see where this one goes.
· Eater Inside: Beso [~ELA~]
· Eva Longoria Parker Kimmel Part 1 [YouTube]
· Beso: Thank God For Eva's Tortilla Soup and Guac [~ELA~]
· Breaking: Beso Details Finally Unfurl [~ELA~]
· Beso Party Addendum [~ELA~]