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hard-rock-cafe-dine-review

HARD ROCK CAFE
SIGNATURE MENU GETS MAKEOVER

Most people turn 40 and take stock of how their life is and often use the benchmark as an opportunity to jumpstart some sort of makeover. When the iconic Hard Rock Cafe turned 40, it did the same thing and the result is a new menu that introduces 30 new offerings, including salads, desserts, entrees and drinks.

It’s hard to believe the Hard Rock Cafe is now actually 43 but since age is nothing but a number, it’s now slowing down any. During a recent visit to the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood & Highland location, which originally opened summer of 2010, we feasted on several new menu items.

hard-rock-cafe-dine-review

“Our food and beverage team has worked tirelessly over the last 14 months, evaluating every item on our menu from appetizers and entrees, to desserts and cocktails - even our china and glassware,” said Fred Thimm, Chief Operating Officer of Company Cafes for Hard Rock International.

“For more than 40 years, Hard Rock has served guests around the world by showing off our unique rock n’ roll atmosphere,” said Mike Zajak, Sr., Director of Culinary Development for Hard Rock. “This menu redesign reflects our ever-present commitment to bringing guests fresh, authentic scratch-based offerings.”

Eating family style, sharing everything, we started with the Spinach Artichoke Dip—think warm, creamy blend of spinach, artichokes and cheese, topped with Romano cheese and served with Parmesan flatbread—along with Rockin’ Wings—jumbo wings, coated with smoked dry rub, slow roasted and served with blue cheese and carrot and celery sticks. Damn tasty wings. The Nachopalooza is nacho overload but sometimes that’s just what hits the spot.

hard-rock-cafe-dine-review

The new cocktails included Air Mexico, a sample of three signature mini margaritas, Red Berry Press—pressed tableside with house-made lemonade, SVEDKA Clementine Vodka, fresh lemons, strawberries and raspberries—and Magical Mystery Mojito. While I loved the pressed presentation, I found the drinks too sweet for my liking. Personally, I always think for Hard Rock Cafe is a place to go for sweet and potent drinks like a Hurricane than fine, handcrafted cocktails.

There’s now a Grilled Chicken Arugula Salad, as well as Grilled Norwegian Salmon for diners looking for healthy options. That’s a great new twist. And the salmon is actually an 8-oz filet wrapped in cedar paper, grilled tender and drizzled with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce with maître de butter, served with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. Very nice!

And of course no meal at any Hard Rock Cafe would be complete without a burger, and their new hamburgers include the Original Legendary Burger topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, golden fried onion ring, crisp lettuce and vine ripened tomato; Fiesta Burger layered with roasted jalapeño salsa, melted Jack cheese, freshly made guacamole, and pico de gallo; and Tango Burger featuring two single premium patties layered with slow-cooked Sloppy-Joe, American and Jack cheeses, tangy barbecue sauce and finished with blue cheese and horseradish mayonnaise. Now, that’s hearty classic American fare.

I was a big fan of the new boozy liquid desserts—always a favorite of mine. Their Twist & Shout Skake comes with Bacardi OakHeart Spiced Rum, Guinness, DeKuyper Dark Crème de Cacao, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream and Monin Salted Caramel, topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate syrup and bacon pieces. Not to be outdone, the Salted Caramel Cafe is a fine mix of Tia Maria, Baileys Irish Cream, Monin Salted Caramel, half & half, topped with whipped cream, caramel corn and caramel sauce. Now that’s a way to finish any meal!

The Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. Call 323-464-7625.

Story By: Jose Martinez

 

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