Wood & Vine


I have a thing for small plates.

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, food on a tiny plate just looks all the more appetizing.  Maybe it’s because there’s so little of it.  Maybe it’s the fork fight that ensues to get the Last Bite before it’s all gone.  Or maybe it’s just because they’re so damn cute. Regardless of why, I love me some tapas.

Know what else I love? Birthdays!  Especially when it isn’t my birthday but I can still go out and party like it is!  And if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m super-good at partying, guys!

So my lovely friend Cindy Busby was turning 23 (that’s in actress years), and we decided to go out on the town and live it up, starting at Hollywood’s latest outpost, Wood & Vine.  Located on, you guessed it, Hollywood and Vine, the restaurant is situated in The Taft Building, home to Charlie Chaplin’s old office.  Can’t get more Hollywood than that, right?  After valeting the car (and being told that after two hours, the normal $7 charge would go up to $15 if we hadn’t left yet… Um, m’kay.) we headed passed the very glamourous bar area to our table outside, situated in the expansive courtyard next to a modern sunken fire pit, which was lovely and warm if you were lucky enough to be seated right next to it.  I’m all for sitting outside on a nice night, but there’s something to be said for cosy patios that cater more to your comfort rather than just esthetics; if you’re going to seat me outside, make sure it’s a warm and inviting environment that makes me want to linger with a glass of wine and some dessert after dinner.  Not just high-tail it out of there and bury myself in the nearest duvet.

After a millisecond, our server came over to greet us and take our drink orders, which warmed me up considerably.  You know how I feel about good service, and I could tell right away she was going to be awesome.  Since it was a birthday, we started off with a bottle of bubbles, the Roederer Brut from Anderson Valley, which is crisp and clean and affordable (they were charging $40 a bottle).  We asked for some charcuterie and cheese to start as well, and our server compiled a tasty little plate of morsels for us to nibble on while the rest of the group arrived.  Little being the operative word here.  I get the concept of shared plates, and I know I’m not going to be presented with a boatload of food.  But this was like miniature, and miniature plus food doesn’t equal happy Jewel.  So we ordered some truffle potato chips as well, which were delicious and crispy and perfectly seasoned.  Yay, chips!

Next up, we had the beet salad with blue cheese and smoked hazelnuts, the mussels with fennel and sausage, and the grilled scallops with truffled grits.  The salad was nice, the mussels were fine, and the scallops were well-cooked if not a teensy bit sour.  Scallops are tough to do perfectly, and all depending on the scallop, sometimes they can have a bit of an off-putting taste to them, which these sort of did.  I loved the truffled grits though, because who wouldn’t?  Next came the crispy sweetbreads with collard greens and a mustard puree, the first generous portion of the night.  These were pretty delish, nicely cooked and well-seasoned, although I can’t help but wonder why the truffled grits weren’t served with these instead.  Maybe they were trying to cut the richness of the sweetbreads with the mustard and collard greens, but again there was a sour note there that was just a tad off-putting.  The next dish was the oxtail lasagna, served with ricotta and a horseradish cream.  I can honestly say I’ve never had a lasagna like this one, and I’m starting to really dig oxtail.  It’s like a less fatty version of beef shortrib, and it goes so well with pasta.  I could have done without the watery horseradish cream, which didn’t pack as much heat as I thought it would, and where was the cheese?  More cheese with my lasagna, please!

We wrapped things up with the two stars of the night: the duroc pork duo, house-made sausage and crispy pork belly over peas with bacon and parsnip puree, and the chicken and waffles.  The pork was great, as was the puree and those crazy addictive peas.  But the chicken and waffles knocked my socks off.  Crispy juicy chicken served over a fluffy waffle with maple roasted squash, this was the smartest most delicious way to end the meal, and holy toledo was it ever yummy.

We skipped dessert, because we didn’t feel like paying the valet an extra $8 to stay for another half an hour (please fix that?), and we had bars to frequent and birthday cocktails to guzzle.  But I will say the service was excellent: the friendly hostess at the door, our fabulous server, management patrolling the dining area to make sure everyone was taken care of, even the apologetic valet guy who was just doing his job, which unfortunately required raping our wallets.  Wood & Vine has only been around for a couple of months, and every place has kinks to work out in the beginning.  And something tells me they will.  Come summertime, that patio might end up being the perfect place to sit with a cocktail and have a plate of chicken and waffles.  Or four.




19 Comments Add yours

  1. slamaina says:

    Yummy, yummy. I can’t wait until I get back out to LA.

    If I go to Wood & Vine do I get Meaghan Rath and Pat Kiely to party with me too? (Being Human fan here. Don’t worry Jewel, Stargate and Firefly come first.)


  2. jfcfanatic says:

    Do you know if they have a happy hour menu?

    It’s so nice to know of other places to go near the Pantages Theatre that aren’t shady and have really good food. I’m so afraid of trying something expensive in LA and hating it that we always end up at Delphine’s (btw, awesome happy hour ceviche!), which I love, but I’m totally ready to branch out.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Maryann says:

    Just started following your blog 🙂 From Ottawa Canada and a huge Firefly/Serenity fan. I’m a picky eater, but love reading about food and the food network is my obsession;) Looking forward to reading more, and get caught up on all your other posts. The chicken & waffle sounds Yummy!!

    Thanks for sharing

  4. Eridani says:

    I always wonder why some restaurants insist on serving wimpy horseradish. If you’re going to put it out there, go for the gold, people!

  5. fojoy says:

    That seems crazy that they would increase the valet after 2 hours. I get that the point is to turn the tables but, like in your case, it just caused you to leave with no dessert and a bit of a bad taste…
    Its a good thing the menu sounded so good…chicken and waffles? Truffle potato chips?? Pork duo???

  6. Shannon says:

    Wow, Jewel, you really make things that I would have never dreamed of eating, like oxtail, sound delish! I really gotta expand my pallet.

  7. slamaina says:


    I made a Google Map of all of the restaurants that you have reviewed so far. I had made it for myself originally but I thought others might find it of use.



  8. MaryC says:

    Scallops are tough to do perfectly

    As anyone who has religiously watched “Top Chef”, can attest to (I feel like that’s grammatically incorrect, and as a first grade teacher, it’s driving me to distraction, yet not enough to actually go…you know…look it up or anything).

    I have recommendations for bar hopping for anyone in the Hollywood neighborhood:

    Library Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel: Best. Bartender. In Los Angeles.

    The Parlor Room (6423 Yucca-next to Ed Wood’s beloved Pla-Y-Boy Liquors)-great bartender, awesome drinks, neat bar.

    Boardners (1652 N Cherokee Ave off of Hollywood Blvd) They have a great happy hour and serve a HELL of an Absinthe (the REAL thing) cocktail.

  9. MaryC says:

    As anyone who has religiously watched “Top Chef”, can attest to

    Oh, dear God. That was TOTALLY grammatically incorrect. Shame on me. SHAME!

    Sorry other blog commenters and lurkers!

  10. Thogar says:

    As a lifelong Southerner I just have to chuckle a little bit every time grits are on the menu of an upscale restaurant. I remember going to DC back in 1977 as part of the program A Presidential Classroom For Young Americans. Carter was president and at breakfast one of the dishes was grits. They were very watery and none of the other students knew what they were or what to do with them!

    Now grits have made the A-list and come in all manner of incarnations. Down here in Baton Rouge one of the most popular dishes is Shrimp and Grits. A small, slightly upscale chain of restaurants called Zea Rotisserie makes Roasted Corn Grits that you’d die for. I’m pretty sure the secret is a stick of butter per serving, but who cares when they taste like heaven on your tongue?

  11. Thank you for article. I think that a article is interesting . I like your post this site. I need to know how can I subscribe to your blog?. I will be follow you blog each 6 days.

  12. Amy says:

    Are the Canadian actors the only ones brave enough to actually eat in L.A.?

    And yum… tapas.

  13. Sharron says:

    Added, I love your blog! 🙂

  14. AllieMcNally says:

    Was the Chicken and Waffles a sweet dish? Like breakfast waffles or potato waffles? And I totally agree, the more cheese with lasagna the better! I loved the photos, it looks and sounds like you had a great time celebrating your friend’s birthday! :o)

  15. philrossi says:

    It is not advisable to read this blog on an empty stomach. I’m going to go hide behind the treadmill.

  16. Chris says:

    I’m with you – tapas style dining rocks. There’s a great little place in Toronto I visit everytime I’m there called “wine bar” – small portions to share with lots of folks, and a boatload of interesting wines by the glass. Heaven. Keep the American-sized portions down there, I’ll take a tapas style peck-and-sip any day.

  17. It excites me to see chicken and waffles at such a ritzy establishment, as it was a standard use of our waffle iron in college. Although, we also waffle-fried the chicken.

  18. SJ says:

    I loved your review! I enjoy the way you write too. I just went to Wood and Vine for the first time last week and put up my review today!…I agree about the scallops. They were good, but not great. See my post if you’re interested http://www.thefussyone.com/wood-vine

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