Feature

An old Hollywood star gets a makeover

The restaurant at the fabled Chateau Marmont hotel is now under the guidance of Carolynn Spence, the former chef of the Spotted Pig in New York.

The fabled Chateau Marmont hotel has towered over Sunset Boulevard since 1929, said S. Irene Virbila in the Los Angeles Times. Its restaurant, long an emblem of Old Hollywood, has had some ups and downs. Now, under the guidance of Carolynn Spence, former chef of New York’s gastropub the Spotted Pig, it’s on a bit of an upswing.

The demure little dining room, with its fringed red velvet curtains, antique lamps, and deep armchairs, evokes “the faded glamour of an old hotel on the French Riviera.” But the best place to dine is the romantic outdoor garden, filled with faux-wicker cafe tables and chairs sheltered by palm trees and white rectangular umbrellas. High hedges and walls envelop diners in a cocoon of privileged privacy.

Yet this little corner of paradise isn’t perfect. The one-page wine list is too limited, and the wines too expensive—“not a single bottle under $50 is to be found.” Disappointments included tasteless beef carpaccio, near-raw broccoli rabe, and not-quite-cooked ravioli. On the other hand, the king salmon with saffron aioli worked beautifully, and the thyme-roasted chicken with celery root–parsnip purée was dependable comfort food. But “stay away from the lamb osso buco.”
8221 Sunset Blvd., (323) 656-1010

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