Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Brussels Sprouts and Claudette Colbert's Cleavage: A Night at The Redbury

The Redbury, which was opened in 2010 by sbe entertainment group, is a new kid on the block at Hollywood and Vine right in the heart of Hollywood, but it’s got a vibe that makes it seem like it’s been there as long as the starlets whose pics grace its walls. And we mean that in the best way possible, because it really captures the excitement and coolness and glamour of what we think of as Old Hollywood while being thoroughly modern and kinda bohemian.  

We knew we were in for something special the moment Cori and I (Lara) walked through the red front door and breathed in the scent of something exotic (coconut? jasmine? musk? ...lingering perfume?) that is pumped through the place, Vegas casino style. It was much nicer than the scent of peepee and booze (not us…we think) that we inhaled as we walked up Vine street to get there.

The hotel has such an awesome location, as it’s on a legendary corner that gazillions of dreams have centered around. It’s across the street from Capitol Records, and it’s within staggering distance of the Pantages Theatre, which is helpful if you have one too many Clementina cocktails before you go see a play. Plus, it’s freeway close to the 101, which is important to us local types who are forever moaning about traffic. Seriously, if we didn’t have traffic to bitch about, what would we talk about? Parking meters?

When you step into The Redbury, you will admire the black-and-white pattern on the floor that looks like something Fred and Ginger would have danced on in one of their deco-rific movies. You will also admire yourself in a mirror and wonder aloud if you can travel with this lighting always, at all times and in all places. Thank you, Brand Designer Matthew Rolston or whoever came up with the lighting scheme for making the lights give off the glow that usually comes from candles. 

Even if you botched your makeup (like me, who tried a new foundation two hours earlier that gave me clown-face and required being scrubbed off and then diluted with moisturizer for semi-clown face), you will look dewy and like you are in love. 

In the bathroom, which usually feels like a scene from a horror movie when you check yourself in that lighting halfway through the evening, you will look like you have the skin of Greta Garbo. Practice saying, “I vant to be alone.”

You will definitely want to make a reservation for dinner at Cleo, because the word is out that this restaurant kicks some serious, um, buttocks. The food is Mediterranean style and meant to be shared with everyone at your table, and the walls are graced with pics of actresses who have played Cleopatra over the years--from Vivien Leigh to Claudetter Colbert. 

As you walk in, you might be enticed to endure a staring contest with Theda Bara, who is glaring at you from a picture in the front. Theda, why are you so angry? Are you cold in that harness-looking thing you are wearing? Hungry? 

Well, come on in…and have some brussels sprouts ( pun intended). Say what? Cori and I kind of snickered when our sweet server, Shannon, told us that the B.S. is what the restaurant is known for. Really? Those things that our mom tried to make us eat and we secretly gave to the dog or stuffed in our shoes or hid under our chicken? Those things we avoided like the plague? Riiiight.

We had a great table right under Claudette’s generous cleavage. If the real Cleo looked like her, it’s no wonder that “she ruled the men who ruled the world,” as the California Science Center proclaims in its ads for their Cleo exhibit. 

But Shannon was really nice, and since Cori had opened her mouth and said, “I’m blogging about the restaurant!” we were told we must try them. 

Cori, thank you for opening your big, beautiful kisser, because these ain’t your mama’s brussels sprouts. After they have been deep-fried, and then tossed with almonds and capers and vinaigrette, they become a wonder that you will fight the people at your table for for the last bite. Mama, you would be so proud—we ate our veggies! And side note: The couple sitting next to us announced they ordered 42 entrees. No, seriously.

The Lotus Flower!
They said one of their most popular cocktails was the Lotus Flower, which includes stoli vodka, crushed blackberries, st. germain edlerflower liqueur, and fresh squeezed lemon.

We talked about everything from our upcoming book to breastfeeding, and then made friends with the nice couple at the table next to us--they were still skinny despite all the food they were consuming. 

They shared how they are in the building industry and are very involved with the L.A. Conservancy. “This place is very Deco!” proclaimed the wife. Validation.

We had to dash out after dinner to catch the premiere of Memphis at the Pantages, but we recommend that on your first visit to The Redbury (if you’re not staying the night there), you allow plenty of time just to enjoy the hotel and watch it come alive at night. After a meal, you can hit The Library and enjoy a specialty cocktail like the Honey Lemon Sidecar indoors or out. Yes, there are books on the walls, but there will be no librarian to shush you or kick you out for laughing loudly or making out with someone.

And if you are able to spend the night, you’ll snooze in style in a flat (what the rooms are called), which are designed to be what Matthew Rolston describes as like borrowing your cool friend’s apartment for the night while they are out of town. Matthew, you are so right. We would like to borrow your gorgeous hotel and live there forever.

Our life tip from this experience: Sometimes it's just better to try new things, even if they're outside your comfort zone. Like, Brussels Sprouts. And for you adventurous people...add in Cauliflower. 

The Redbury
1717 Vine Street  
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 962-1717 (where you can find fun events listed, guest blogs, and info on musical guests at The Library)

On Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @TheRedbury

No comments:

Post a Comment