Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Catch Ya at Ketchup!

If you find yourself enjoying a "steak - frite" on the Champs Elysees and have a hankering for some of the good old tomato-based condiment we Americans can't live without, you'd likely be met by snarls and up-turned noses.

Luckily for Angelenos, our demand for Ketchup is more, shall we say, tres chic...

I finally got over to one of Sunset Blvd's most fun recent additions. Another seen-and-be-seen incarnation from the uber-Hollywood Dolce Group (half the cast of That 70's Show are investors), the vibe at Ketchup is young, hip and surprisingly unpretentious. Jack is a sweetheart of a bartender (don't drinks taste so much better with a cutie serving them?) and one of the owners was overheard asking a colleague, "Did you see me with Paris on TMZ?" (Perhaps there are some un-jaded scene-sters left in this town...)

Speaking of down-to-earth, Ketchup's Happy Hour menu features humble feel-good morsels such as cheesy mini sliders sitting upon fab mini rolls (with baked-in asiago, maybe...), and gussied up "three-way french fries" come: topped with parmesan, sweet potato fries coated with sugar and pumpkin spice and spicy shoestrings. (Trust me - these are dangerous. But worth it.)

As expected, the condiment tray features several variations of ketchup - spicy, mixed with ranch, and so on, tempting even a high-brow foodie into dunking their edibles.

Drinks are are simple and playful. Grape Crush features the grape-based Ciroc vodka and grape Kool Aid; the Honeymooners has strawberries and champagne; the VeeV Ginger Mint features that acai liqueur you've probably encountered by now; and Basic Instinct is made with Absolut Citron, Chambord and is served with a pretty sugar rim.

And, if you've been paying attention to the Ketchup coverage, you have surely heard about their Yoo Hoo cocktails. The American Psycho is a lip-smacking blend of Absolut Vanilla, Yoo Hoo and coffee liqueur and the Chocolate Hooville features Kettle One, Amaretto and Yoo Hoo. Any thought of dessert becomes almost obsolete when sipping one of these decadently delicious babies.

If you're looking for the masters of Mixology, this is may not be the number one stop on your Map of Stars. However, if you are looking for one of the hottest spots in town to have a great time, some good eats and refreshing libations, have your driver maneuver the Strip. And, if you're there during prime hours, wear something fabulous. You never know which gossip site may have their bloggers-with-cameras waiting outside...

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