LEXINGTON SOCIAL HOUSE
RUSTIC AMERICAN CUISINE IN A SWANK HOLLYWOOD SETTING
Most people know the swank Hollywood & Vine Lexington Social House as a cool club for A-listers, but as the name suggests, it’s also home to an intimate dining experience featuring rustic, modern American fare from executive chef Mette Williams, the first female Sous Chef at Spago in Beverly Hills.
Guests mingle over handcrafted food and drinks while high design and high energy synergize to create the perfect evening out. Indeed, Lexington Social House manages to create an environment where old textures blend with contemporary art and design, from classic Queen Anne chairs with five legs to modern stick figure art displayed throughout the space created and hand painted by leading hospitality designer Thomas Schoos. At Lexington Social House, as they like to say, the lines between food and décor design are blurred.
Eat in the main dining room and you will experiences an intimate dinner if that’s what you’re looking for, or chose a more relaxed experience while dining at the carrara marble bar. Eating in the garden patio, with its cocktail seating, fireplace, tree canopies and its own bar, will offer an entirely different evening out. While the setting at Lexington Social House may be swank, they don’t take themselves too serious as cool music, from The Cure to Psychedelic Furs to Morrissey to Ting Tings, permeates throughout creating a fun and laid back environment.
Chef Williams describes her style of cooking as “Rustic Modern American,” which focuses on fresh ingredients and classic techniques combined with new and innovative ideas to create a bold fare. Her menu at Lexington Social House can be best described as familiar food that entices the palate and satiates the appetite.
During a recent Friday night visit, we ate outside and started with the house-named Lexington cocktail. How could we not order the house’s signature drink? Made with Earl-Grey infused Woodford reserve bourbon, honey, lemon juice, and orange bitters, the taste was sweet and pleasant, but it was too small to cost $14. With an impressive handcrafted cocktail menu, do try the Teacher’s Pet, prepared with Bulleit rye whiskey, velvet falernum, crème de violet, and peychaud’s bitters. While still pricey and compact, this is a first rate stiff drink ala an Old Fashioned, which is all the rage these days.
A great starter from the Shared menu is the merguez sausage Flatbread. While the sausage is made in-house, this is a hearty order and tastes like a terrific pizza filled with spicy bits. This is definitely a great way to get dinner, or happy hour, under way.
Another fine Starter perfect for sharing is the Hamachi Collar, served with grapefruit, pomegranate, shishito peppers, cilantro, and soy. A $19 appetizer may seem much, but this dish is delicious, and loaded with an amazing and flavorful miso glaze taste. You will find it to be finger lickin’ good.
Although the Seared Scallops with Jerusalem artichokes, wild mushrooms, and preserved lemon butter is on Main menu, it also serves as a wonderful item to share. At $30, it’s really not worth ordering as an entrée, as it will hardly fill you, but it’s perfect for at least two people who are ordering additional food. Prepared with Nantucket scallops, it’s light and fresh and ever so tasty.
For our entrees, we went with the Short Ribs, served with creamy polenta and sautéed wild mushrooms, along with the Hawaiian Kampachi, which comes with red thumb potatoes, saffron pearl onions, and black olive vinaigrette.
The Short Ribs are tasty, filling and is a substantial meal. If you know that this is going to be your evening’s order, you may want to take it easy on the appetizers, unless you plan to share, which isn’t a bad idea. This is a meat lover’s pick.
The Hawaiian Kampachi, meanwhile, is a lighter order and not as guilty a pleasure. This order isn’t heavy and won’t put you into a food coma afterwards. Instead, it’s fresh and savory.
If you find that you have room for dessert, The Apple Tart Tartin, with maple ice cream and cinnamon tuille, is nice, but the Monkey Bread, prepared with brown sugar, pecans, and banana ice cream, is a winner. This is what dessert is all about. Forget any kind of diet with this order. Just enjoy.
While Thursday and Saturday nights seem to be the crazy club nights at the Lexington Social House, it’s a safe bet that the bar will be a happening scene by the time you finish with dinner, so there’s no need to run off anywhere else. Drink, dine and dance all under the same roof. Enjoyment doesn’t get much easier than that.
Lexington Social House is located at 1718 Vine Street in Hollywood. Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday: 5 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sunday: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Closed Mondays. Call 323-461-1700. For Dinner reservations email reservations@LexingtonSocialHouse.com.