I thought I had been to the Abbey, but when I arrived at the Abbey the other night for dinner, I realized that I was mistaken. What I remembered about the Abbey was a tiny little patio with coffee and pastries.
This Abbey, in the heart of West Hollywood, is said to be “the BEST gay bar in America”. A veritable Mecca for the LGBT community in Southern California. Apparently, people come from all over the place to get loaded on their super strong mojitos and plentiful martinis, dance the night away, and most importantly, flirt with all the super studly (and shirtless) bartenders.
Zoubi and I were set up with Khaleel, the token female server. Khaleel was super sweet, totally down-to-earth and friendly. She introduced herself (handshakes, even), and brought us to one of the enormous booths on the sprawling patio. We exchanged niceties, mostly about the spelling of her name and Gibran reference, and then she offered us champagne with clementine. When our champagne arrived all iced up and high-balled, I wondered what was actually in there. To our united surprise, the “clementine” Khaleel mentioned was short for clementine-flavored VODKA! Not where I wanted to go straight out of the gate, nor did my dining buddy, so we had to sweet-talk Khaleel into exchanging our champagne/vodka drink for just straight champagne. She gladly consented and even suggested Kir Royales, which ended up being a much better choice.
We looked at the appetizers, which included “modern American’ starters like hummus (is this American?), spinach & artichoke dip, mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, calamari, and nachos. By ‘modern American’, I think they mean heavy enough to soak up the strong drinks you are likely to ingest while ogling the parade of people wandering about. Anyways, we took Khaleel’s recommendation and started with the Hummus plate and the Spinach & Artichoke dip. Both were bountiful in portion, which was a shame for the Hummus because it was remarkably bland. Perhaps, the Hummus’ lack of oomph was heightened by creamy deliciousness the Spinach & Artichoke dip put out! So cheesy! And those house-cut chips! Amazing!!
Another round of champagne drinks (Bellinis this time), and we decided on dinner. A Piedmontese skirt steak with mashed potatoes for the Zoub, and grilled swordfish for me. The swordfish was generous and grilled just right (I wasn’t sure it would be for some reason) and was served with cute little baby carrots and asparagus. The vegetables on the side were nicely done, and the salad…well it was simple.. There were no complaints from Zoubi on the steak , so I assume it was done well and tasted good (she’s not the least bit shy about what she likes and what she doesn’t like). Neither of us were able to fully take down all that was served, as everything dish is served XLarge. Did I already mention that the portions at the Abbey are BIG? Well, I’ll say it again, the portions at the Abbey are BIG!
Speaking of big, we spied a robust red-head wandering about wearing what we thought was an elf costume. She must have been about 5’11″, long ginger locks, wings fashioned from what looked like old panty hose stretched over twigs, a green crushed velvet mini skirt and some kind of halo thing. Once she spotted our questioning gazes, she hopped over and introduced herself, “I’m Flabby Abbey, the fat fairy! How you guys doin’ tonight?” We asked if we could snap pictures, to which she consented. She even went so far as to show us her new ruffle-covered panties, which were snapped with little hesitation. I mean, how often do you get to see a fat fairy’s ruffle panties?
Once we said our awkward good byes to Flabby Abbey, Khaleel offered us dessert. I don’t know if I have to even say it, but the desserts are B-I-G. The Red Velvet Cheesecake with whipped cream was fantastic; very sweet, very tall, totally worth splitting with 2-3 of your closest friends (we couldn’t finish it). We were also confronted with a Ding Dong Cake. Now, get your mind out of the gutter! This was a chocolate cake with vanilla filling covered in more chocolate and topped with Hostess’s signature curlie-cue white stuff. The kitchen even went to far as to top it off with a big ol’ dollop of whipped cream! It was just too much. TOO MUCH, I SAY!
The Abbey of old, as I mentioned before, started as a little café with pastries and afternoon cocktails. It has grown exponentially over the years and is now West Hollywood’s very own wonderland-lounge-bar-beer garden-club-fairyland. It’s definitely worth a trip for lunch, brunch dinner or at least for a drink and a dance with a fairy!
-Amy Jo Diaz
692 N. Robertson blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069