Memphis in Hollywood
Below you will find the review a friend of mine wrote up after our terrible experience at Memphis. I'll admit it was opening week (or right after) and I'm sure it's much better now, but besides the cool atmosphere (although if you sit outside you kinda feel like you're eating in a shopping strip mall) there wasn't anything else that was great.
Here's a summary of what went down...
"This place is the pits! Went there this Saturday (1/7) night with some friends and had a horrible dinner. Took 2.5 hours, the food was mediocre at best (my fried chicken was totally average), unedible at worst (the steak was literally all fat and the shrimp hadnt been cleaned - yes, poopy shrimp!!!!). Way overpriced and service was awful. Half the things we ordered never came out and half the things we were served were'nt things we'd ordered. When we finally had to go speak with the manager we found there were many tables waiting to do the same. While the manager did remove all of the non-ordered, non-served and unedible items off of our bill, it still didnt make the meal enjoyable. The space was somewhat cool (not amazing), and it has potnential to be good, but its far too early and they defintely havent worked out their kinks!"
I had the poopy shrimp! On top of that, we missed a show we were trying to make!
Someone convince me to give it another shot...
Thank-you for reminding readers of #1 rule for dining at a brand new restaurant- DON'T! Wait at least a month and preferrably 2.
Overlapping ownership to Dolce and all of the other Gaucho Grill with partners operations all around hipdom, so do not expect the food to be the thing in the first place. It is the booze and the vibe - if the food ends up good, lucky you.
Keep your food expectations lowish and you do not have nearly the disappointment.
I went last week -- a friend wanted to go for her birthday -- and we actually had a very good meal. The service was a bit slow; it was quite busy and our waitress was clearly a bit in the weeds, but she was very polite and went out of her way for us. And the food was quite good. I am southern/cajun, so I tend to be picky with this type of food. Their gumbo is some of the best I have had in LA. It's not 'Yankee' gumbo, all tomatoey and thin. Instead, the roux was darker than most you find on the west coast and it was loaded with seafood. The red beans and rice were soupier than traditional red beans and rice, but they had excellent flavor. The lump crab and avocado salad was very good - different than what you would expect, with a tart dressing...and it was huge! (All of the servings were enormous, in fact.) For entrees, I had the fried chicken. Also good, though I wish LA restaurants would serve friend chicken on the bone. I know it is easier to eat boneless, which is why I imagine his trend has started. Call me old-fashioned, I guess, but when I order fried chicken, I want a thigh, a leg and a breast. It was tasty, though, and the coleslaw served with the fried chicken was terrific. My friend ordered ribs...they were also good and she must have been served an entire side of beef, we were both amazed at her portion of ribs. The mac and cheese was also quite good. Oh, and another friend of mine, also a southerner, loves the catfish. All in all, I would happily return. So I think they have grown quite a bit as a restaurant since opening.
Not sure if it has anything to do with Memphis in Costa Mesa. This Memphis is on Hollywood Blvd. just west of Cahuenga in a classic old house set back from the Boulevard. Everyone on the board hates it so much, I am curious if I happened to hit a 'good' night! Still, I am not sure anyone has been lately. We had a good time.
A buddy of mine was there, ordered a drink, paid, and the bartender looked at him dumbly and said, "did you give me a twenty?"
Not even in a friendly manner, either.