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Eleven Restaurant and Nightclub

Haute Cuisine in West Hollywood

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Eleven Restaurant in West Hollywood

The dining room overlooks the bar at Eleven Restaurant in West Hollywood

Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
Eleven Restaurant and Nightclub
8811 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 855-0800
Hours: Lunch/Brunch Wed-Sun 11-3, Dinner 7 days 6-10 pm, Bar menu 11 am - 1:30 am
www.eleven.la

NOTE: SINCE THIS REVIEW THEY HAVE A NEW CHEF AND THE MENU HAS BEEN COMPLETELY REVISED.

Overview

Santa Monica Boulevard through West Hollywood is known for its hot gay club scene not haute cuisine. Entrepreneur Richard Grossi and his friend, former puppeteer and TV produce Sid Krofft are hoping to change that with the addition of their new restaurant Eleven at the corner of Santa Monica and Larabee.

The building was originally the First National Bank of Sherman and later Larrabee Sound Studios. It was stripped back to the basics and the restaurant decor is exposed brick, wood beams and mosaic tile. The upstairs loft dining room overlooks the bar downstairs. Divided from the dining room by a fireplace is an upstairs lounge. A tiny stage across from the dining area has just enough room for a DJ. An aerialist performs between diners and DJ on weekends.

The downstairs bar scene is upscale and about 80% gay. The dinner crowd is more mixed. At 11 pm the whole place converts to a nightclub. The restrooms are unisex, which some people in our group found uncomfortable, but full-length doors on the stalls and an attendant help.

I had a chance to participate in a tasting dinner of some dishes scheduled to appear on the spring menu. It was a great opportunity to try some things I might not order myself. I admit to being a bit of a picky eater. There are a lot of things I don't particularly care for. I was impressed that executive chef Vincent Manna (formerly chef at Maple Drive, and sous chef at Melisse and Spago) managed to take a lot of things I wouldn't normally eat and turn them into delectable taste sensations.

For Starters

Shrimp Tempura at Eleven Restaurant

Shrimp Tempura at Eleven Restaurant

Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
The amuse bouche of creamy cauliflower soup was delicious, despite the fact that I don't like cauliflower. I loved the Blue Fin tuna sashimi with watermelon Daikon salad and Yuzu, even though I'm not normally a fan of raw fish. The Sweet Maine Shrimp Tempura with Orange Aioli and Asian Cabbage Slaw was tasty, but I find most tempura too greasy and it was here too.

The Main Event

I couldn't imagine liking anything made with beets, but the unlikely Roasted Beet Agnolotti pasta dish was melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and I finished every bite. I expected to like the Crispy Skin Black Bass with Carrot-Apple Puree in a Carrot-Coconut Emulsion and I did, but maybe because of all the other surprises to my tongue, it seemed almost common. I didn't love the Pumpkin Seed Crusted Squab Breast, but that was more an issue of texture than flavor.

The Afterglow

Roasted Beet Agnolotti

Roasted Beet Agnolotti at Eleven Restuarant in West Hollywood

Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
Our tasting included a piece of shortcake with blood orange mousse surrounded by slices of blood oranges. I would skip that and go back for more roasted beet agniolotti. I hope that one makes it onto the permanent menu.


Note: This story was accurate when it was published. All prices and menu items are subject to change without notice.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary meal for the purpose of this review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary food for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.
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