February 17, 2012

Meet-and-Tweet: 25 Degrees & Public Kitchen and Bar

Last night, I had the pleasure to attend my first "Meet-and-Tweet" event at the Hotel Roosevelt.  Thanks to fellow bloggers and media, and Wagstaff Worldwide for organizing the event, 25 DegreesPublic Kitchen and Bar, and Chef Tim Goodell were showered with love and tweets.  Both restaurants shined equally as they presented a number of delicious appetizers showcased on the happy hour menu below.

Although I didn't have a chance to sample the 25 Degrees' onion rings or Public Kitchen's kale salad, I still did plenty of noshing and happy drinking.  Here's a glimpse of what we ate in between our rapid tweeting and photo-shooting.

Charcuterie board with Black Truffle Salami and thinly-sliced hams

Cheese platter

Slices of rustic bread, drizzled with olive oil and grilled - mmm

Plate #1

Everything on the classic meat and cheese plates were delicious, but the Black Truffle Salami and the incredibly thinly-sliced hams were the real winners in my books.  I'm not even a huge fan of ham, but these were sliced in such a way that nearly melted in my mouth.  Well done.

Potato and 3 Cheese fritter (3 cheese include: Parmesan, Cheddar, and Goat)

The perfect balance of cheese, potato, and outer crunch.

I can never refuse a fried ball of mashed potato and cheese (or meat if from Porto's), even if it means adding another mile to my run.  Such a delicacy can do wrong in my book.  Public Kitchen, you not only did no wrong; you did everything right!  Be still my heart (but in a non-cardiac arrest kind of way).

"Whiskey Smash" cocktail 

Washed the fritter down with a classic Whiskey Smash, and moved right on to the next delightful bite...

25 Degree Sliders - hatch green chiles, bacon, pheasant ring reserve

Juicy and delicious.

Trying to find the best burger joint in LA is like trying to find the best ramen shop in Japan (or so I imagine).  There are so many varieties and styles of burgers that at the end of the day, it comes down to preference and price.  On some rare occasions, you come across a burger joint that consistently serves a solid burger at every visit.  At the event, this slider was just a taste of what 25 Degrees has to offer, but from that sample, I've decided a proper visit is in order.  LA's best burger?  We shall see.

Guinness Shake 

While I haven't officially deemed 25 Degrees' burger as "LA's best,"I can wholeheartedly tell you that they have the best Guinness Shake.  Simply made with vanilla bean ice cream, house-made chocolate sauce, and Guinness beer, this little guy was didn't last long in my hands.  Guinness is a smooth Irish stout to begin with, but add some creaminess to it and you'll be asking for more.

Half-shell Oysters (with mignonette)

Fresh oysters?  Seems odd to follow up a burger and beer/ milkshake with a half-shell oyster, but I can't complain.  The raw oyster was fresh and the tarragon mignonette sauce brought a a flavorful depth to the aphrodisiac.  Whether you love oysters or hate 'em, just know that Public Kitchen serves up a good tray.

Morgan Murtha, GM of 25 Degrees, serving up Black & White sundaes

Black & White Sundae

When these mini sundaes appeared in my line of vision, I gasped.  While I rarely discriminate with food, I have to sometimes play favorites, and without a doubt, ice cream (or any version of such) sits high on the list of must-haves.  This concoction of chocolate & vanilla ice cream, house-made chocolate and marshmallow sauces, topped with toasted almonds and whipped cream was a dream.  

Sea Scallop atop a bed of grits

Last, but not least, the Sea Scallop.  Here, you have Anson Mills grits (made with Parmesan milk and butter) with a potato puree, and topped with B√©arnaise and a nice, fatty piece of maple glazed bacon.  The contrasting flavors and textures were what made this dish interesting.  The coarse grits v. creamy potato puree; the saltiness of the bacon v. the sweetness of the maple-glaze.  The scallop may have been slightly over-cooked, but the contrasts turned into compliments, working in its favor.

Hotel Roosevelt it a beautiful, historic venue, and Public Kitchen did well in preserving the beauty inside its walls.  One of the best features of the back room was the lighting - subtle, yet welcoming.

Overall, I felt satisfied at the end of the event.  Along with meeting new friends (Hi Miss Wilson and Gourmet Pigs!), I enjoyed delicious bites at two restaurants that I wouldn't have normally gone to on a weeknight.  I'll have to return soon for a full survey of their food.

Even though a trek to Hollywood from Santa Monica is a huge pain, I won't rule out Public Kitchen and Bar or 25 Degrees now that I know that the food won't disappoint.  You shouldn't either.

Cheers to good food and good company!

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Public Kitchen and Bar
cuisine: American Gastropub
links: { website | yelp }
attire: Casual/ Dressy
parking: Hotel valet or street parking

25 Degrees Burger Bar
cuisine: American; burger
links: { website | yelp }
attire: Casual
parking: Hotel valet or street parking