Oh the I-only-had-one-drink-but-I-am-Asian glow!
Before the art show
last night, Kara
and I decided to hit up one of the newest restaurants in town, Cafe Wa S
. First things first, that separate S after the Wa is hella annoying. Yelp
goes by Cafe Was so I'm sticking with that.
Created by Ivan Keane, the man who brought us the now defunct burlesque show Forty Deuce, this craziculous joint is just that...crazy ridiculous. (Thanks, Derrick, for the word. Came in handy.)
You walk in and you literally feel like you are in the grown-up version of the Haunted Mansion. Or maybe Dracula's lovers house. We're talking creepy candles, interesting light fixtures, torn wallpaper, sideways paintings. In the bathroom they have this Twiggy looking girl staring back at you while you are taking care of business.
The main bar
The main dining room - Piano is right smack dab in the middle of the main dining room. The pianist was getting on while we were leaving but I've read that the piano actually rotates around. Ok...let's add to the creepiness by making it rotate.
Bukowski Lounge - Where 6-8 people can hang out and have dinner.
Crazy staircase to nowhere - 'nuff said.
Entrance from Main Bar to Bukowski Lounge – this is shot from the Main Bar going into the Bukowski Lounge
Communal Room – this room can hold a max of 20 for a sit-down gathering.
Kara and I order the date/roquefort/bacon wrapped canape which sits warm in your mouth. Delightful. Heck wrap anything with bacon and I'll eat it. But really, it was a nice little treat. A little too big to scarf down all in one bite (which reminded me of a large sushi roll you don't know quite what to do with) but for a person who doesn't like dates...it was very tasty.
The side of mac-and-cheese is decent. A little on the bland side (needs a little more salt), it wasn't like Nook, but then again what is? The bread crumbs on top were a bit crispy and the cheese was just the right consistency for mac-in-cheese.
Moving on to the main courses.
Kara orders the duck - which she says is actually nicely prepared. Generous portions, not too overcooked, she quickly polishes it off.
I have the jidori chicken - again, pretty decent dish. Not too dry, cooked just right, delicious sauce that's not too heavy. (Can't go too wrong with chicken.)
I'm reading around that Yelpers
are bashing this place. For the people who got similar dishes, they had a pleasant dining experience. Others, who got the steak are calling this place shit. Keep in mind that you are definitely going for the atmosphere. The waiters were very attentive and I'm sure Ivan's keeping a close eye on all the reviews right now. Place is pretty empty so don't expect any good eye candy just yet.
Here's their spiel:
“Our goal is to combine local and seasonal ingredients with classic, French techniques to create honest French bistro fare.” Chef Reznik recently showcased his culinary talents for classic cuisine at Bally’s/Paris Resort and Casino in Las Vegas at the legendary Bally’s Steak House and Les Artistes Restaurant. Prior to that, Alex was Chef at the world-renowned, five-star Lutèce, the quintessential fine-dining French restaurant located in The Venetian in Las Vegas, where he used cutting edge micro gastronomy to create French nouveau cuisine.
Personally, Kara and I both enjoyed our dining experience. Food wasn't anything to write home about but was decent. Atmosphere was eclectic, not something I've ever really experienced. It's like they were going for Philippe Starck's S Bar
but not as refined. I felt like I was in that movie V for Vendetta...except I didn't have to shave my head and I wasn't taken captive. (Though that would have made for an awesome story.)
Who Should Go?:
People who want an interesting atmosphere, who are sick of eating at franchised restaurants and who like that french gothic look. People who will brave the traffic around Sunset and Vine to eat at a fairly new establishment. (They opened in Aug 2008.) People who want to take a date out to a craziculous place and then suck their blood afterward.
Valet parking is hella expensive so drive down a block or so and park in a structure.
(Oh yes and one last thing. In case you didn't get my title: Haunted - like haunted mansion a la Disneyland and Nordstroms - as in live piano music.) :)
Cafe Wa S (Yelp)
1521 N Vine St
Hollywood, CA 90028