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Feb 15, 2007 11:22 AM

The Penthouse in SM -- Reactions Sought

Anyone been to The Penthouse in Santa Monica (atop The Huntley Hotel on 2nd Street)? If so, please let me know your views. Thanks.

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  1. What happened to Rod Aglibot? I thought he was the chef there, but his name is nowhere to be found.

    1. I too thought he was the chef there, but I have never seen a chef's name associated with more places than his has been in the last two years.

      1. We ate there on Saturday night and had a delicious meal. The new space is very pretty and open, lots of white and cool curtained booths along the sides of the room. It's a very modern space, pretty clearly designed to attract the pretty people crowd. Because of that, I was very pleasantly suprised by the quality of the food. The service was sweet, although our waitress started out right off the bat offering us the still/sparking water upsell. I hate that upsell, but I understand she's just doing her job. They brought a bread basket which had a some cute, little rolls (a cheese--maybe asiago--roll, a brioche roll, a pretzel roll, some fig walnut bread, and some thin sesame crsted bread sticks. I appreciated that the butter that came with wasn't rock hard. We started sharing their version of shrimp cocktail: huge, citrus-poached (although I couldn't discern and citrus flavor) served with a horseradish cocktail sauce and a red onion and carrot slaw. This was good, although nothing that I would order again.

        I would go back again tonight for my entree, though. I had perfectly cooked sugarcane skewered scallops served on a bed of pureed turnips and braised oxtails. Delicious. My BF ordered the chicken brest which was served bone-in and was incredibly juicy with a beautifully crisp skin. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and diced artichokes which were good, although nothing too exciting. For dessert, we shared the warm chocolate pudding cupcakes with spicy truffles. The cupckes were basically just mini flourless chocolate cakes and were good, although fairly boring. The spicy truffles, however, rocked! I'd be happy just having one or two of these for dessert. The presentation for all the dishes we ordered was very pretty, but not overly precious. Oh, and I can't decide whether I think it's funny or tacky that the dessert menu is entiteld "happy endings." As for drinks, he had an iced tea which they served with simple syrup on the side. Nice touch. I had a mango mojito which at $10 was the cheapest drink on the menu. Didn't tast like mint or mojito. The mango margarita I had last night at Jiraffe's bistro night was leaps and bounds better.

        Bill was almost exactly $100 before tip.

        We'll definitely be back.

        1. Expensive!

          $7 for french fries that come in a paper cone (maybe about 12 fries in all), $38 for a steak that looks like it came from Norm's.

          I will agree, though, beautiful view, beautiful room.

          1. Rod was initially the consulting chef, but left last fall, I think. Didn't see eye to eye with the owners.

            2 Replies
              1. re: AlabasterDisaster

                I heard Rod was recruited by a new restaurant company in Seattle. But, it's all been very secretive so far.