Thursday, August 02, 2007

Question #1: What do you get when you cross two cool New York chicks with a hot location on Sunset Boulevard, toss in a talented chef (who happens to be easy on the eyes) and a slick-n-sexy restaurant interior?

Answer: One Sunset.

This Hollywood newbie is not even a month old, and it is already hosting red carpet soirees, routinely packed (even on weeknights) and the latest sweet spot for stylish in-crowders to flaunt their fabulousness.

Co-owners Erica Cohen and Celeste Fierro boast a proven track record with their first endeavors, One Little West 12th and STK in NYC’s trendy Meatpacking District. Cohen, who left her job with Versace in Milan to become a restaurateur says, “Los Angeles was a natural progression. We wanted to come to the West Coast rather than open another location on the East Coast.”

Known to old timers (like me) as the former site of LA’s Barfly, the venue’s transition into the Zen-yet-vibrant One Sunset renders it practically unrecognizable. Thanks to Lionel Ohayon of New York’s ICRAVE Design Studio, masculine leather banquettes are balanced by feminine accents (such as the graceful, candle-lit metal “trees” at either end of the bar). At once powerful and sensual, the restaurant’s “look” contributes to the “feel” of the dining experience.

The restaurant’s concept has a decidedly delightful female touch. Cohen expresses that women, like men, enjoy interacting with new people in a non-threatening environment. One Sunset’s open layout and lack of partitions between tables encourages a communal environment, and social accessibility.

I particularly enjoy the way an evening at One Sunset transitions seamlessly from ‘before dinner bar scene’ to ‘a
main-course culinary event’ and, by dessert, it is transformed into a sensuous later-evening lounge. The lighting becomes slightly dimmer, the music becomes slightly louder, and dinner tables can even be adjusted lower to the ground for post-meal drinks and socializing. Groove to a DJ spinning Tuesday – Saturday, until close.

Cohen, who admits battling “order envy” when dining with friends, defines the menu as “New American Shared Plates” - ultimately a fancier way of saying “family style” – which I, for one, truly enjoy. As Erica points out, “People can try 10 dishes without being full.”

Chef Christopher Ennis, also a New Yorker, has been kicking (and cooking) around a number of popular LA eateries, such as the Mondrian Hotel’s Asia de Cuba, Fenix at the Argyle Hotel and The Lounge @Astra and Vibrato Grill. The 33-year old follows the modern “fresh, organic, seasonal” approach to cooking, and presents some mouth-watering dishes like: free-range chicken oysters Rockefeller ($15), seared John Dory ($22), coffee & molasses braised shortrib ‘sopes’ ($17) and some tantalizing desserts.

Celeste and Erica have also left their mark on the menu with Erica’s Bad Ass Cheeseburgers ($15) and the Celestial Sea Food Platter ($72 / $125).

(And, here's an Insider's Tip: Rumor has it that their second LA eatery is only months away...)

Now, you may have noticed that I have not mentioned their cocktails.

I am featuring One Sunset in The Liquid Muse Cocktail Club’s Cocktail of the Week on August 8. I promise you will get the scoop - and a special offer available only that week, and only if you mention The Liquid Muse. Which brings us to…

Question #2: Would you like to know which lip-smacking libation we’re drinking each week, in Los Angeles, and where to find it?

(I’d think the answer to that question is a No-Brainer.)

So, join LA’s Premier Cocktail Club. (It's free and your info won't be sold, etc.) I look forward to drinking with you, soon!

*Cocktail photo credit: Claire Barrett

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