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Chef Tim Goodell’s newest endeavor, Public Kitchen and Bar at the glamorous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel shines on Hollywood Boulevard. Originally from Albuquerque, Goodell was named “Best New Chef in 2000” by Food and Wine Magazine and is also the Executive chef at 25 Degrees, another restaurant located inside the hotel. 25 Degrees is one of the first build-your-own gourmet burger bars, where the hip and trendy grab a burger and glass of wine, before hitting the clubs or seeing a show across the street at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater or Kodak Theatre.
Just open for about two months, Public Kitchen continued the décor of the hotel lobby into the restaurant with the same lines, colors and essence of the historic Spanish style hotel.
The Roosevelt opened in 1927 and hosted the first Academy Awards in 1929.
In the 50s, Marilyn Monroe lived in the hotel for two years while her modeling career blossomed. Today, guests may reserve the nostalgic Marilyn Monroe suite.
While waiting for my party to arrive, I admired the beauty of the ceiling inside Public Kitchen. When they renovated the restaurant, they discovered exquisite art deco paintings underneath heavy plaster. The artwork was painstakingly restored, bringing the room back to its glory.
Along the back room is a living wall with live plants growing. A special green thumb gardener comes weekly to nurture these unique and tranquil looking plants. It’s an ideal space for large groups and private parties.
Seated at butcher-block tables, I eyed the black and white photos on the walls (one is of Goodell and his family), before perusing the eclectic menu.
The dish towel style napkin adds to the playful vibe. The restaurant is stylish, yet utilitarian. The concept is that Goodell prepares food that he would serve to family and friends in his home. It’s a cross between fine dining and his burger café.
Sipping ice tea, we glanced at the wine and beer list filled with American craft and draft beers. This is a wonderful spot for friends to order a few pints with some delicious plates of American fare.
We started with the three cheese and chickpea fritters that were deep fried for an extra crunch and served with a zatar aioli made with a Mediterranean spice, not too spicy, yet tickled my lips.
Next, arrived a creamy burrata in a glass mason jar embellished with a bagnet vert (parsley and garlic sauce) and large dried cherry tomatoes on top. Served with grilled rustic bread, I could have made this dish my meal, as I spread the luscious white cheese on to my plate. Similar in presentation, the rich tasting chicken liver terrine was accompanied with a slightly sweet rhubarb marmalade.
I ordered the tender asparagus salad with a fried egg on top. On the bottom of the dish was a heap of gribiche (fancy French word for egg salad). It’s made with eggs, mayonnaise, mustard and chopped pickles. On top of the gribiche was a piece of grilled bread with pea-colored asparagus and a fried egg on top. It was a thoroughly flavorsome dish.
On Goodell’s menu it states, “Everything tastes better with an egg on it” so guests can top any dish with an egg for an extra $2.
We split two sandwiches from the menu. The roast turkey dressed up with a dulcet pear and ginger marmalade, slices of avocado, and honey mustard spread on the bread, arrived with house made potato chips. The grilled cheese and short rib with caramelized onions was scrumptious.
The lunch board sounded appealing with house made pickles and chips.
We sampled the cured Italian meats with oven dried tomatoes, arugula, thick shavings of parmigiano reggiano and pickled vegetables. It’s another excellent dish to share with friends and a great bottle of wine.
Before leaving, we strolled outside to gaze at the David Hockney underwater artwork at the bottom of the hotel’s pool. The Hollywood Rooselvelt Hotel is on the National Historic Register, making it one of the landmarks of this beautiful city.
Parking is free during lunch with a validation. $$ 7000 Hollywood Blvd. (323)769-8888. Open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
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