Sadie Dinner – Jan. 31, 2012

Hollywood has always been very chic but of late, not so user friendly, with horrible parking and the bridge and tunnel crowd coming in for the weekends. The club scene has never been so happening in the heart of Hollywood, which leads to even more congestion. Just when you thought of staying home, here comes this gem of a restaurant, with marvelous food, and even better prices. Sadie has all of their best attributes covered. It has the prime location, just down the street from the world famous Grumman’s Chinese Theater, but its sneaky location is not directly on the beaten path. When you are inside you feel like you could be in some far away resort, even with the parking lot being right outside the door. But here lies a mystery, how can they serve up such farm to table goodness at such small prices, with a very upscale atmosphere. All the food tasted was complex, often surprising and always delicious.

Executive Chef David Schmit is soft-spoken and very insightful, offering up his fondness of farmers markets in the Southland. But underneath his quiet charm lies a bigger then life talent, pleasing any experienced palate. Chef Schmit feels privileged to share his passion for creating what he calls “honest, new American fare”; using the finest ingredients he can source. Since he can remember, he was drawn to the action in the kitchen, where he spent quality time with his mom, grandmother and aunts while learning how to prepare meals, using food grown on his family’s nearby farm. Spending time honing his culinary talents he landed at The Buffalo Club. It was during his tenure there that he was approached by Buffalo Club colleague, Patrick Doherty. Patrick is now Sadie’s general manager, and adds a familiar face to this new establishment. It was Patrick that asked David to come to work at a new concept that was being developed in Hollywood.

Sadie has some deep history, the name Sadie finds its root in the matriarch of the beloved Simon family. Coming from Calexico, California Sadie and her husband Faris Simon moved to Hollywood in the 1930’s and had a renowned Hollywood Business, Simon Candy & Nut Shop on Hollywood Boulevard in 1935. After the depression, and the attack on Pearl Harbor business declined, so Sadie closed her beloved jewel. But in 1946 they rebuilt their treasured business by opening Jeanie’s Candy & Nut shop, which was a Hollywood staple for many years to come. When Sadie’s sons returned home from the service they purchased the parking lot just south of where the restaurant sits today, and the Simon family began to build their empire.

The design is split up into 3 separate areas, the front bar, the dining room, and the outside patio. Each has elements that have been reworked since it’s past Le Deux Restaurant, especially the climate-controlled roof over the outside patio. A completely different vibe that is elegant yet unpretentious, and offers 3 different dining experiences, all designed by Ralph Gentile Architects.

The drinks are reminiscent of the early glamorous Hollywood era, all very precise, and mixed by Giovanni Martinez, director of spirits. This unique spirits menu is meant to celebrate Hollywood during Prohibition. In every part of modern day cuisine we are enjoying mixologists everywhere, but few have the blend of artistic vision and unbridled skill that drives Giovanni. Chris, working under Giovanni’s tutelage made me a proper vodka martini in a gimlet glass, nicely shaken and icy cold. All of the other fabulous drinks on the menu looked like a lot of thought and work went into each one.

Jason our server is like an encyclopedia, all knowing, and all saying, with a stellar attitude. He knows so much about all the products used in this culinary treasure, including the wines and pairing. His choices for my dining experience were impeccable.

Here is what I tried:

For The Table – American Charcuterie with chicken pâté, la quercia prosciutto, fra’mani sopressata, pickled vegetables, grain mustard, and grilled ciabatta. A great array of fine products, but the prize here to keep your eye on is the sherry filled chicken pate, with lots of sweet lavish flavors. Margherita Flatbread with mozzarella, crushed tomato, basil, like a margherita pizza but with more crunches. Duck Confit Flatbread with arugula pesto, caramelized onions, greens. Sweet and savory, the duck is smoky and tender, perfection on a flatbread. Whole Leaf Caesar Salad with baby romaine, shaved egg, parmesan croutons, simple, yet direct, one of my all time favorite caesar salads. Duck Confit Salad, with frisée, pistachios, and blackberry gastric. You will never need to order any kind of duck dish for a main entree. This salad fills the bill, with its crispy outside skin, and fragrant berry sauce, it will blow your hair back.

Plates – Fresh Spinach Pasta with mushroom ragout, tomato, parmesan. What they don’t tell you about this dish is the fantastic truffle overtones, a yummy take on an old favorite. Pan Roasted Idaho Trout with olive oil crushed potatoes, capers, kalamata, tomato, and lemon. Very fresh fish, with a nice buttery flavor, a must have at this fun hangout. Grilled Prime Pork Chop with kale, roasted apples, parsnip puree and sherry. Such great melt in your mouth goodness, this dish took my breath away. So tender and the apples add just the right amount of tangy sweetness, really terrific.

Sides – Kale, what a fun garlicky, citrus accompaniment to this amazing experience, and so healthy. Polenta, with parmesan, warm and inviting, comfort food to die for.

Desert – Apple Berry Cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream, and Orchard Lime Tart. Loved the Lime tart, nicely appointed, very creamy, and tantalizing.

These are the wines that Jason kindly suggested with my meal:
Sauvignon Blanc – Domain Laporte Loire, France 2010. This wine paired well with the American Charcuterie, it enhanced all the components in this dish, without overwhelming the flavors.
Pino Grigio Blend – Palmina, Santa Barbara, California 2010, went good with the flatbread margarita. Chardonnay – Patz & Hall, Sonoma Coast, California 2009. I basically drank this wine throughout my wonderful dining experience. For me it worked well with all the lighter fare. Syrah Trenza – “Tinto”, San Luis Obispo, California 2008, great with the Pork Chop, with all its heavy berry taste. Malbec – Urraca Agrelo Vineyard, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina 2009, I especially liked this wine with the desert, but it was also great with the duck dishes and the pork chop.

Having been to the grand opening a few weeks back, and getting the opportunity to taste a few more of the menu items, I can tell you that this new restaurant will makes its mark on Hollywood, and the dining scene in Los Angeles. It’s got all the right moves, great food, fun people, excellent service, hip atmosphere, great location, and surprisingly low prices. Sadie is a winner!

1638 North Las Palmas Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028


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