Stella Barra Hollywood
Spinach and Kale salad is well-presented with dark green spinach, purple kale, red and white radish slices, cream-colored pecorino and brown dates. And there’s a nice balance of flavor and texture with the salty cheese counteracted by the sweet dates, whose chewiness offsets the crisp kale. The mustard vinaigrette dressing is applied sparingly to preserve the flavors of the ingredients. This was a nice starter.
A pizza can feed two, and we ordered one to share (we also shared the salad). The crust is not thin (although you can order Roman style thin crust), and puffs up in places where the air bubbled while cooking. It’s got a good bite, and a faint yeasty flavor, demanding the next bite. It’s a very good crust.
We ordered the porchetta and fennel version, a red pizza which featured meaty porchetta slices and good-sized pieces of shaved fennel. It had a very slight spiciness to it, provided by “calabrian chiles” which I’d never tried before. It also had paprika and a cheese called caciocavallo, which is similar to mozzarella. The flavors worked well together, and the crust was perfect for it.
The salad was $10 and the pizza was $16. Including a diet coke, we (two people) got out of there for $32 before tip. There are also cocktails, beer and wine, but we didn't have those this time.
Other items on the menu, in addition to a variety of red and white pizzas, are various other salads and starters ranging from burrata to baked goat cheese to an antipasti plate to organic meatballs.
Service was outstanding. The place is enormous (I forgot Boho was so large), and has several seating areas, including a section with normal tables and a large section of high bar top tables with tall chairs. I don’t like this kind of chair as it’s uncomfortable. Next time I’ll ask for the normal lower tables. There’s also a large bar, and two counters. One counter is at the chef’s kitchen, with only six seats, and another large counter is toward the front.
They’re serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there’s a different menu for each meal. There’s also a baked goods case with a variety of cookies, morning buns (which looked delicious), muffins and homemade English muffins… and an espresso bar.
For lunch, in addition to the pizzas, there are paninis and other items. And for breakfast, in addition to the baked goods, there is a breakfast sandwich and an Italian version of a breakfast burrito. And you can also order the prosciutto, Gruyere and egg pizza.
There’s a lot going on here. I hope they’re successful, as based on the quality of the first meal it’s a great addition to the neighborhood.
Sunset & Ivar (in the Arclight complex)
Picked up baked goods for breakfast this morning, both delightful after the Hollywood Farmers Market across the street.
Bran muffin with blackberries had a moist cake-like interior, without the whole bran except on the top. And the top had a nice crust to it, which served to keep it from being too mono-textured. The fresh blackberries added flavor and even more moisture. This was a delicious bran muffin.
Cream cheese coffee cake was also moist, with a slightly crunchy, flavorful crumb crust. It was nicely flavored, with a cream cheese layer to make it rich and creamy.
I was disappointed they didn't have the morning buns we saw when we had dinner the other night. They looked awesome. But the bran muffin and coffee cake were both winners in my book.
From LA Eater "Stella Rossa in Santa Monica is going to be changing its name to Stella Barra, its new Hollywood sister outlet (located at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood), in order streamline the concept and branding. Everything else about Stella Barra Santa Monica will remain the same, the menu and all. "
Presumably the bakery items? There's a small-ish baked good areas immediately to the left when entering. Interestingly enough, signage (somewhere) out front said "bakery," although the interior (which is indeed huge) seems much more set-up for sit-down service.
Just went there tonight for an early dinner. Had the spinach and kale salad (which was good, aside from the overly large date slices) and the sliced mushroom pizza. The pizza was fantastic (both toppings and crust) and has overtaken Milo + Olive (which has only been merely good my last two times there) as my favorite pizza....
BTW, is this the same type of crust Stella Rossa was serving a yr ago? My recollection was that the crust there was a bit more rustic (but I only went there once).
I stopped in around 9 this morning to check out the breakfast offerings. There seem to be 2 egg dishes made to order, as well as whatever's in the baked-goods area. Today it was blackberry bran muffins (huge, dense and tasty, $2.95), something that looked like a cinnamon-swirl coffeecake, and at least 4 kinds of cookies ($2.95). I'm told oatmeal is also available, though I didn't see any sign of it today. (Maybe it's on the secret menu??) Full slate of coffee offerings. When you order, you're invited to take a seat at the bar or the high tables to enjoy your meal, so it's not full service.
I enjoyed lunch here today. Had the Rossa (cheese-less) pizza with the standard crust, and it was delicious, perfectly cooked, wonderfully chewy. Thin enough that I don't think I'd ever consider ordering the "thin sins." As an East Coast transplant, I'm always happy to find a great meatball, and these (available only as an appetizer, apparently) are outstanding. The to-go goodies at the door all looked tasty, and I was impressed by the size of the blueberry muffins for the $2.95 price. Look forward to trying some morning offerings.