The 24 Hour Restaurant at the Standard Hotel West Hollywood

Posted on 03 October 2008

By Bob Schriner

What better way to spend a Monday night than being one of the first to taste a new menu? Our friends at the Standard in Hollywood were kind enough to have us over to see what’s in store for Fall dining. Chef Eric Ernest greeted us and said that the menu was not quite ready, but he would give us a sample of some of the new dishes that he was excited about. Our waiter Jason started us off with a pair of mojitos. I watched him behind the bar as he pressed a fistful of fresh mint leaves into our glasses, which got my attention. The drink was tart to the point that it nearly overwhelmed, but just before I was about to pucker a minty-sweet wave came over me that was so refreshing. We had indeed started with a good foundation.
The first dish we tried was a platter of prime sliders. The patties on these mini-burgers were about an inch thick and cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The grilled onions and toasted buns made these burgers zing. Now it’s hasty if not foolish to fill up on the appetizer, but these were so tasty that feared I could send the wrong message by not cleaning my plate. Next we had the Cuban sandwich. Now the sliders were good, but this sandwich raised the bar, to the ceiling! The pressed and grilled panini played host to ham, bacon, a very thinly sliced pickle and spicy mustard. Each flavor of the sandwich was of equal presence giving it a bold yet balanced feel. As if all this weren’t impressive enough, the plate came with mixed greens in a light V&O and the best hand-cut plantain chips I’ve had in a long time.
If you think the job of a food critic is easy, you should have seen how effortless a task my knife had as it made the first cut into my New York Strip steak. This steak was seared, yet pink in the middle, just the way I like it and covered in a thickened au jus. The steak was so good I felt I should have tracked down the family of the cow and sent them a “thank you” card. To give me a bit less guilt for my gluttony, the steak was accompanied by steamed baby spinach with roasted garlic that was a nice touch. Just as I thought I had everything under control, Jason dropped off an order of fries that looked like a bouquet of flowers. The fries were nicely seasoned with flat parsley, truffle oil and parmesan cheese, this could have been a meal on their own. Eric came out to see how we were doing, but probably didn’t need to ask after seeing our smiling faces and clean plates. We talked for a bit, which is nice as I like to know the people who cook for me…and I needed all the time I could get before I heard the word dessert.
Like each dish, Eric never told us what he was making, but each surprise was a pleasant one. Dessert was no exception as we were served a S’mores Cake and a Donut Tower with a maple glaze and a caramel dipping sauce. We had truly entered the holiest inner-circle of leisure eating. The S’mores Cake was a thing of beauty. Coated in chocolate and topped with toasted marshmallow that displayed firm peaks like a circus tent rested on a crisp graham cracker, this dessert merged cozy campfire treat and sophistication like a Louis Vuitton sleeping bag. I only wish I had more room to pack it in, but I had to devote some trunk space to another dessert. The Donut Tower consisted of round donuts and the traditional whole-in-the-middle variety that were made only moments earlier. They reminded me of funnel cake, that Pennsylvania-Dutch indulgence of my childhood. The caramel sauce was thin enough to be playful and had a nice creamy touch. If pressed to pick one over the other I would have to go with the S’mores Cake as it was as visually appealing as it was delicious.
The Standard is doing some amazing new things and lucky for those on the Sunset Strip, they’re open 24 Hours so stop in and say hello to Eric for us, have a mojito or two, try the Cuban and save room for dessert, you will be thankful that you did.

Categorized | Eat & Drink

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