HOLLYWOOD— Get an advanced sneak peek of The Oaks Gourmet straight from Blackburn and Sweetzer. The market/cafe will debut tomorrow with tons of merch, olive oil, coffee, cheese, beer, liquor, the works. [B+S]
HOLLYWOOD— East starts accepting reservation next Tuesday, but last night the Hollywood Blvd eatery opened up for a multi-coursed preview tasting. The space itself is chic, decked out to the nines with unconventional touches like a full-on paper wall in the lounge area made literally from stacks of white paper. But then there are bits of what looks like crumpled black paper (though they are made from leather) stuck to the ceiling also in the lounge.
The bar is serving freshly-muddled fruit cocktails and our red pepper concoction would have been good had the whiskey been higher quality. The "Asian church" atrium hasn't changed much from the original photos posted, but some lights have been hung in the interim. We were seated in one of those over sized booth/confessionals and they are pretty comfortable but the table is a little bit low and it gets tricky when extricating oneself from the booth. Oh, and the bathrooms don't really look like bathrooms, more like wall area, so for anyone planning on going to dinner and using a restroom, make sure to ask a server to show you the way. As for the Asian fusion fare, overall much better than expected. Best dishes were the sashimi courses (hamachi with soy/lime and green papaya; Hawaiian walu with garlic and chile; scallop with wasabi creme fraiche, shiso, and cilantro), a little bit over-sauced but good flavors and fresh fish. Desserts were the downfall of the meal though we only got small tastes of two, and on the service side, the waitstaff was knowledgeable and explained each dish as it was served. Overall East is a solid first restaurant from club-owner David Judaken. It does feel somewhat clubby with the large spaces, high ceilings and designy-design, but the food isn't your average run of the mill, so kudos to that. [EaterWire]