I worked in The Taft Building for over 10 years off and on. When they were building The W and the surrounding structures I watched the beautiful view disappear from my 11th floor office. I worked for a PR Firm and loved both my job, and this very historic building. One of our clients was Aaliyah, at the time of her death we had not been doing her publicity for about a month, but some how I spoke with her manager Gina about business the day before she perished in the same plane with Aaliyah. It was August 25, 2001, when Aaliyah and eight others were killed in a plane crash in The Bahamas after filming the music video for the single “Rock the Boat”. It was a horrible time, we even got calls to comment on her death from Miami newspapers. What are the chances, the evening of my tasting my server ‘s name is Alia, but pronounced the same. It was more then a coincidence it was a message, a reminder of the past, and how you can’t get stuck there. Wood and Vine offers a fresh new experience for this area and the Taft Building. Finally a hip spot to imbibe, with great cocktails and fantastic food. Kind of a New York experience in the heart of Hollywood, with a server who reminded me of how important life is and not to waste time on the small stuff. If only Wood and Vine would have existed during my 10 year at The famous Taft building.
Chef Marc Johnson’s philosophy is to keep it simple and serve really good food that puts a smile on his customer’s faces. Mixologist Justin Stidman made amazingly exotic cocktails, each one with a different twist. You know what they say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, not true! Justin taught me a new word, “Butter Bomb”, referring to what I like in a good Chardonnay. The theme here is Gastropub meets wine bar, with a very young fashionable hipster crowd.
Here’s What I tried:
Magnolia – Rain vodka, cucumber, lime, and ginger honey. Nice and sweet but with a great refreshing cucumber flavor.
Thai Town – Aviation gin, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, vanilla, honey, mint leaf. It really makes you feel like your drinking a Thai meal, with their nice herb nuances, in an old fashioned gimlet glass.
Separator – Tapatio blanco tequila, Giffard Vanille, Ancho Reyes, watermelon, fresh lime, agave. It’s got s margarita vibe but with more lively ingredients. It is like a slushy but with a kick.
Street Spirit – Buffalo Trace bourbon, fresh lemon juice, strawberry balsamic shrub, sherry, ginger beer, lemon peel. This one is for the bourbon drinker, with a hint of sweet fruit.
French Fries: Truffle, with just the right amount of truffle flavor this dish will knock you out!
Watermelon Salad: beets, pistachio, balsamic, Humboldt fog. The very sweet watermelon compliments the sharp cheese, and the sweet balsamic with the crunchy nuts; really makes this an outstanding dish.
Burrata & Peaches: prosciutto crisp, basil. This is quite a different take on a popular dish. The peaches were not that sweet so it was a great balance.
Basil Capellini: charred cherry tomatoes prosciutto, preserved lemon, yolk, green pasta, small tomatoes, charred, spicy. They make their own pasta, and the lemon really adds a wonderful fresh twist, but with a lot of heat.
Scallops: nectarines, leeks, corn emulsion, popcorn shoots, tarragon. This scallop dish was so pretty, the popcorn shoots added a very artsy presentation, and the hint of corn flavor was truly wonderful as well.
Pork Chop: stone fruit, spaeztel. The pork chop is cooked to perfection and the sweet stone fruit adds to this well designed dish.
Butterscotch Pot De Créme, nice and salty, went great with Pinot Noir, I loved this dessert.
Chocolate Mousse: banana cream, almonds. The almonds are crisp and perfect; cream in the middle is so luscious.
Bokisch, Tempranillo; 2008, Jahant, Lodi, CA. This wine has a beautiful color, and is up there with the best Tempranillo’s. It was great with the pork chop.
Owen Roe, “Sharecroppers” Cabernet; 2011, Columbia Valley, WA. There were so many lovely red wines and all paired great with the pork chop.
Cole Bailey, Sesquipedalion Cabernet; 2006, Santa Rosa, CA. Hands down got to go with the pork chop again, it had a hint of tobacco and fresh maple in it’s bouquet.
Möbius, Zinfandel; 2010, Alexander Valley, CA. You could do this dish with the capellini or the or the pork chop, either way it will work brilliantly. Also I can’t forget to mention this wine with the desserts, the chocolate and the caramel in each one enhances this exciting Zinfandel.
Margerum “Klicktitat” Pinot Gris; 2011, Klicitat Valley, WA. I would go with the peach and burrata with this wine, its crisp and lends itself to the sweet and pungent flavors.
Quivira, Sauvignon Blanc; 2012, Dry Creek Valley, CA. This is a fruity, peachy wine; I would pair this with both the burrata peaches, and the watermelon salad.
La Follette, Chardonnay; 2011 North Coast, CA. You can enjoy this buttery wine with either the scallops or the capelinni.
Cordon, Chardonnay; 2012 Santa Barbara, CA. This wine is great with the salads and the scallops, with it’s hint of butterscotch and lemon rind.
A quick note about their wine list: I have never tasted many of these labels. It’s astonishing that in all of my food and wine travels that I have never tasted any of these wines on this list, wow!
The back patio is very industrial, but intimate. It had a lot of young spirited people, some having birthdays, some for a night out on the town. All with the same thing in mind, having a fun classy slice of life in Hollywood. There is nice instrumental jazz as a cool backdrop and they have movies every Wednesday night in the outside patio on the wall. Tuesdays are comedy night, and on Thursday they have live music. They serve brunch from 11-2 on Sundays.
I am now a huge fan and will make it a habit every time I come to Hollywood to stop in for some libation, a snack, or dinner. I can’t wait until this opportunity presents itself again soon.
Wood and Vine
6280 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028