The Gourmet Detective

Sadie Kitchen & Lounge
Once A Famous Spot, Always A Famous Spot

by Michele Elyzabeth & Pamela Price

Though Hollywood Boulevard may not seem to have changed much since I moved here years ago, it is constantly evolving. As you know by now, Pamela and I have a passion for food and good wine, and we are always prepared to discover or rediscover the restaurants in our city. This month is no exception. So let us introduce to you our latest find: “Sadie Kitchen and Lounge” located at 1638 N. Las Palmas Avenue in the heart of Hollywood. Originally built in the 1920s, the place was once a two-story home which reportedly belonged to actor James Cagney in the 30s. A lot happened in between I am sure. In the 90s it was taken over by French fashion designer Michele Lamy, who made it her own “Les Deux Cafes” restaurant, which rapidly became one of the hippest places in the city. It was a Hollywood hot spot where celebrities, show biz executives and jet-setters would mingle together on the patio under the olive trees that she had planted personally, and which still remain today. Later, Michele turned it into the famous night club “Les Deux,” but after a four year run, it closed its doors. However, once a famous spot always a famous spot.
I had not been there since “Les Deux,” so I was anxious to see how the place turned out. Redesigned and under new ownership for the past two years, it is known as Sadie Kitchen and Lounge, a charming restaurant which has preserved the intimate atmosphere of the house and added their personal touch. As soon as Pamela and I arrived, we were warmly greeted by Patrick Doherty, Sadie’s manager who offered us a tour starting with The Center Lounge, which essentially is the heart of the restaurant, featuring a gorgeous 400 square foot bar, private upholstered booths, vintage light fixtures, and antique photographs reminiscent of a1940s speakeasy. Their main dining takes place in their Zen Courtyard, which showcases a garden with exposed brick, stone walls, a water feature, with an elevated deck and communal dining tables. The space is equipped with a full range sound system that has live music capabilities. Rain or shine, the dining area is protected by a fully-retractable and weatherproof roof. However, if you are looking to host a small private event, ask Patrick Doherty to show you the "Parlour," their Prohibition-style low-lit lounge with its own beautiful bar and separate entrance, which is perfect for any occasion.
Modern and sophisticated, yet elegant, Sadie’s combines the best of old-world and Hollywood-chic, with an unpretentious "at-home" atmosphere. The garden area was the last space we visited. It is as charming as ever and allows you to feel anywhere else but in the city. At that point, we were sold. Our next step was to try the food and we were ready for it.
Sadie’s Executive Chef, Jonathan Moulton, sat with us to talk about his special touch on the menu. Having been with the restaurant for over two years now, Moulton prefers to switch up the menu by adding new dishes from time to time. He describes his cuisine as a combination of comfort food mixed with ingredients from different cultures. He said, “I call it California. It’s local and fresh products seen through a metropolitan viewpoint. We have Thai Town, Koreatown, etc. You can find just about every ethnicity in this city and we’re all used to eating that way. So that’s how I cook. I take something that’s kind of normal and throw a flavor, ingredient or sauce from another culture.”
We had the pleasure of tasting Chef Moulton’s personal favorites and Sadie’s signature dishes and drinks. Michele and I decided to start with their popular cocktails. I tried “Eastside” ($12), a refreshing drink that is perfect for the summer with oxley gin, fresh lemon juice, fresh mint, cucumber, simple syrup and a splash of soda. Michele’s cocktail had a real kick to it: the “Kentucky Ninja” ($13) with chivas regal scotch, bourbon, fresh lemon juice, lavender-infused wild honey and served with a spray of peychaud’s bitters.
Looking at the menu, our eyes gravitated towards the oysters. Chef Moulton recommended the Shigoku Oysters (Market Price), which are from the Pacific Northwest waters. They were fresh and absolutely delicious. There’s nothing better than a great oyster. From seafood to comfort food, Sadie’s freshly made Buttermilk Biscuits are called “a must.” Now we know why. Straight from the oven, the biscuits are perfectly combined with red eye butter, which is based off of red eye gravy with bacon, coffee and brown sugar. One bite of a biscuit dipped in the butter is perfection. A great starter is their unique Burrata ($9). While most restaurants have the simple crostini, burrata and tomato, Sadie adds a twist. Hold the tomato, add house cured salmon roe. The combination is delectable.
Next was the Chef’s favorite dish, and an idea he had while sitting in traffic on the 101 freeway thinking about Shawarma. His version is Grilled Octopus “Shawarma” ($14) with baby tomatoes, herbs and pickled turnip on a bed of garlic aioli sauce. A light dish, the octopus is grilled perfectly with no chewy consistency whatsoever. The menu is certainly eclectic, as we went from octopus to the Chef’s special that evening, Crispy Sweet Grits with braised carrots and black licorice mole sauce. More often than not, a mole sauce is an acquired taste and not my cup of tea. This is the first I’ve tried that isn’t too overpowering.
Another one of the comfort foods offered is the Mac N’ Cheese ($7), made with large shells in a creamy four cheese sauce with a parmesan crust. It goes perfectly with our main dish, Sadie’s Fried Chicken ($24) with grilled peaches, baby lettuces, torpedo onion, sriracha-honey glaze. The best of the evening, Chef Moulton’s fried chicken isn’t too greasy and the skin is crispy with a sweetness to it. This is certainly our most recommended entrée.
As for dessert, we ended on a chocolate note with the Triple Chocolate Tart ($10) dressed with strawberries and whipped cream. It has a crunchy crust described as a “salty oreo.” In the middle, a chocolate center similar to a light pudding.
We discovered another restaurant treasure in the heart of Hollywood.

1638 N. Las Palmas Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Tel: (323) 467-0200
http://www.sadiela.com/