** note: If the video player does not show above, go ahead and watch it directly from lxtv’s site, but only if you really really want to, have nothing better to do, and um, really, having absolutely nothing else to do **
“Who…?” you may start wondering after you’ve hit “Play.”
“Who is that deliciously fabulous fem-bot of a thing speaking so intelligently about Charcoal, the new American steakhouse at the ArcLight Theater in Hollywood?” you may ask yourself out loud.
“Who is that gorgeous girl in the video?!?! Stunning! Someone, please, tell me who she is!”
She’s the hostess of 1stLook LA on lx.tv. Isn’t she pretty?
Oh, and that other girl? The miserable mess of a thing who tried to cover up her food blogger’s physique with “black is slimming” and who looks suspiciously like she needs to take a shower? The girl whose voice is about as pleasant as a multi-line trainwreck, which is the reason she hides behind the Internet and writes rather than hosts a talkshow like an annoying evoo-spewing food person we might possibly yum-o know?
Um, yeah. *looks away* I don’t know who the hell that girl is, either.
Oh, fine. It’s…
Me. *gag* I hate myself.
I cannot believe I am doing this. First, I out-ed myself with a few photos in a magazine. Shameful, to say the least. (Oh, please. It wasn’t Hustler. You know I have more class than that. If ever I were to do a naughty centerfold, I’d go more along the lines of…Rachael Ray in FHM!) Did I mention that I hate myself?
As far as what my experience at Charcoal was really like, let’s just say that every word that came out of my mouth in the video was 100% true, with the realization that I only revealed how much I love comfort food in general and explained that Charcoal’s proximity to the ArcLight makes it a decent candidate for a dinner/movie night. In other words, I said nothing of substance. I didn’t actually say that I didn’t love Charcoal at all and wouldn’t go back for dinner, even though I could swear that the video makes it sound like I loved it. The funny thing is, when the video producers asked me what I thought of Charcoal before I even went to their office to do the video, I told them I didn’t like it. They asked me to talk about the things I did like, which I did. Like I said, I didn’t lie. Is that some good editing or what?
Charcoal’s dark, sexy vibe reminds me of Citizen Smith, but less mansion/museum-like. The decor uses a lot of natural elements like stone and wood, both in the furniture and as decorative pieces. Leather seating is big and heavy. We slipped past the bar in the front and sat down in a comfortable booth toward the back.
The menu is very straightforward. Charcoal, though fashionably a full, trendy new American supper club, is functionally a stripped-down steakhouse. It was actually quite refreshing to be faced with simple, limited choices – a few starters, typical steakhouse sides, and steak-heavy main dishes.
My first instinct in any steakhouse is to start with The Wedge, but I don’t even recall looking for it on Charcoal’s menu. We went with a burrata “caprese” that seemed to fit in neither with the menu conceptually (who eats a Caprese salad in a steakhouse? really?) nor with the restaurant visually. The presentation of too many tomatoes and too much cheese was haphazard, but appearance was the lesser of two evils. The salad was drowning in olive oil and vinegar, and if there’s anything we’ve learned about Hollywood, it’s the embarrassment of showing up overdressed.
Recently, I’ve developed a mild obsession with macaroni and cheese, at least, slightly more obsessive than I already had been. Like with some certain things, e.g. pizza, there is no such thing as “bad” macar
oni and cheese. Unless the macaroni is uncooked, the cheese is moldy, the milk is spoiled, or the entire thing is left in the oven for seventeen hours and burnt to a crisp, macaroni and cheese is always macaroni and cheese, even Le Blue Box. However, that does not mean that all macaroni and cheese is, by default, good. Charcoal’s macaroni and cheese falls into that limbo between “good” and “it’s still macaroni and cheese.” When it came to the table, the toasted spots on the surface held promise. However, the cheese sauce inside had a grainy texture and the overall flavor was lacking not only salt, but something else on which I can’t quite place my finger. Pepper, maybe? It was just bland.
A burger was tempting for the main event, but also messy for a post fashion show meal. The steak wasn’t horrible, but I am always more critical of a piece of meat that has to come with a lot of accessories. What is it trying to hide? I prefer steaks to be seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled, and served with…nothing. When it comes to most food, I have no problem sending the chef into a tailspin by dousing my food with any number of sauces and condiments, but I eat steaks naked. At the very most, maybe a pat of Bleu cheese butter.
On the steak, not on me, though that probably wouldn’t be bad.
Now imagine that on video.
Ooo. Never mind.
6360 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028