Could it be? A sophisticated restaurant and cocktail bar at Hollywood and vine? Indeed, inside the 1923 Taft Building is a steampunk spin on Old Hollywood, with industrial lighting, cushy chairs, and plenty of wood and brass. Sip an old-fashioned cocktail on the second-story perch that peers over the bar and courtyard patio. These days it's not hard to find a decent Sazerac in town, but paired with a plate of chicken and waffles that would make Roscoe himself go back to the drawing board is something else. Carlsbad mussels have an anise-y kick, thanks to a dash of absinthe. Roasted bone marrow with grilled bread and risotto with hen-of-the-woods and blue-foot mushrooms aim for local provenance and sustainability. If you haven't had your fill from the bar, try the whisky-flavored ice cream for dessert. The California wine list is as fussed over as the cocktails.
Best Waffle Dish, August 2011
Last year Shaky Alibi brought sugary Liège waffles to Beverly Boulevard, stuffing them with ham and melted cheese. At Bru's Wiffle everything from sausage-and-eggs slider waffles to ones smothered in pizza toppings can be had, while Fig's brunch-only bacon waffle is the piggiest on the planet. Rising above them all is the fried chicken and waffles at Hollywood's Wood & Vine
. The fluffy rounds are flecked with vanilla bean; the chicken—crisp, moist, and full of herby flavor—is the ultimate accompaniment to sweet maple and sage butter and chunks of caramelized butternut squash. Even as Roscoe's beckons from around the corner, we're hailing a new chicken and waffle leader.