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One Sunset

One Sunset was the next destination for the foodies that were invited by Abby. Owned by the same company (The One Group) but with a different flare, One Sunset is located on Sunset Blvd., adjacent to many other posh restaurants and lounges. I paid for valet because I didn't want to get another parking ticket and didn't want to be late for free drinks (duh).

As soon as I arrived in the Champagne Lounge, I was welcomed by a LUSHious Raspberry (Raspberries - Gloria Ferrer Champagne - Leblon) which was surprisingly crisp and delicious for such a sweet cocktail (I usually don't like sweet drinks) and after being in LA traffic for 1.5 freaking hours, this changed my mood instantly and got me ready to party (in my mouth).

We moved to a secluded spot in the restaurant called the Candle Lounge and divided into a few groups and sat in a giant circular booth. I got to dine with Abby, KevinEats, and the Gastronomy couple. Jason Ryczek, the young and hot executive chef at One Sunset, came out to introduce himself and explain what we'd have that night. We'd be trying the "One of Almost Everything" tasting menu with cocktail pairings (woo!). I later learned that you can come on Tuesdays and get the "One of Almost Everything" tasting menu for $45 and for $1 more you can share a bottle of wine between two people (that night they offered Beringer but not sure if this remains constant).

We started off with the "Master Cleanse" (Belvedere Vodka - Fresh Lemon Juice - Maple Syrup) which is an appropriate name for a drink before a tasting menu. As everyone knows, the Master Cleanse is a cleansing-toxins releasing-diarrhea inducing fasting ritual that a lot of actors and health nuts suffer through for the sake of beauty/health. Interestingly I never heard of the Master Cleanse before coming to LA so it was hilarious that a drink was named after that. Sort of tongue in cheek humor there. The first course was a mini pancake with bacon and maple syrup along with other ingredients (sorry, I missed the info on this one because it was off-menu). It was okay but I liked the tomato four ways from STK a lot better to whet my appetite.

Perhaps it's a personal thing that I don't like to start my meals with something too sweet, unless it's a cocktail, for which I will make many exceptions.

Next, we had the 'Adult Candy' which are bacon-wrapped, blue cheese-stuffed dates on skewers, sitting on a bed of arugula. I was a little confused at the name at first. I expected something more pornographic but it was not as raunchy as first imagined. In fact, I really liked the subtlety of the blue cheese in contrast to the sweetness of the dates and the fatty salty gooeyness of the bacon. You're sitting there eating this gooey soft melty thing and the tastes come alive slowly. It was more sensual than pornographic and I liked that it was on a stick (in case you want to eat like really sexy-like).

Next we had the Spicy Tuna Tartare that came with tempura eggplant and kecap manis, a delicious sweet and tangy sauce. I don't remember the tuna being that spicy but I was fascinated by the use of the tempura eggplant. This tuna tartare is far better in concept and execution than their sister version at STK which was tuna tartare with plantain chips on the side. I talk about this dish to a lot of people and will go back to One Sunset at least to have this dish with my cocktails.

Next, we had the Burrata and Strawberries with cinnamon bruschetta, pistachios, pink pepper, basil. I wasn't for it nor against it but it was definitely interesting. I didn't have more than one bite of it though, if that is a measure of anything.

Next we had the BBQ Sliders with crispy shallots, smoked cheddar and a side of crispy onion rings and horseradish dipping sauce. I am not a fan of sweet meat. This one tasted too much like baked beans (the taste, not the texture) and the bread was too sweet as well. As soon as my genius brain told my fast fingers to put some of the salty crispy onion rings inside the slider, it was gold. I still couldn't finish it though. Too heavy and compared to the delicious sliders at STK, I had to pass on this.

Next were the Korean Chicken Satay, barbecued, with kimchi, cashews, kejap manis. This was my least favorite dish. I honestly didn't taste anything Korean about this dish, not even the kimchi. To me it tasted more Japanese or Thai.

Next we had the Salade Ni coise with pistachio crusted albacore, caper aioli. The chef said that there weren't any anchovies in the dish and although I usually wouldn't miss anchovies, I did this time. Was it psychological? I don't know.

Next pranced in the Turkey Meatballs with marinara, parmesan, basil. I'm so glad this dish came when it did because I think I craved something hot by this point that hit the spot and this sure did! I was also glad I got to taste it because it's not that intuitive to order meatballs off a dining menu when you're cocktailing or how does it even really meld with any of the other food that had come thus far? It doesn't but I think it stands on its own. It was piping hot, juicy, tender, delicious, and awesome.

Next were the Roasted Clams on the Half Shell with chorizo, chowder sauce, crushed oyster crackers. I think the chorizo and the oyster were both too flavorful, competing for attention. I wasn't a fan of slurping the rest of the goo after eating the goods.

Desserts finally came and started with the Panna Cotta with blackberry sorbet, lavendar poppy seed crisp, Meyer lemon panna cotta drizzled with lavendar oil. This was delicious. I only wish it was less sweet but it's dessert and other people like it sweet. The panna cotta was more palatable to me than than the sweet blackberry sorbet. The crisp was a nice way to pick up all the elements in the dessert.

Then came the 'Velvet Rope' Cupcakes which is basically a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. There was really nothing special about this cupcake. Very innocent compared to...

The Vegan Godiva Chocolate Gelato with Disarona. After we took our respective pictures, we poured the Disarona into the cup of gelato and ate the gooey mess which completely woke me up from my food coma. Delicious and genius way to end the meal.

The last two drinks that accompanied our meal:

Long Island Lolita
Belvedere Vodka - Bacardi Run - Hendricks Gin
Ocho Tequila - Cherry Herring

Tropical Sidecar
Hennessy - Pineapple Chunks- Cointreau - Blueberries

They were both a bit too sweet and I couldn't drink all this alcohol in one sitting because I didn't want to get drunk but they were also not as pretty as the cocktails at STK.

If I were to go back to One Sunset again, I'd make sure to go on a Tuesday night to get the $1 bottle of wine per two people with the "One of Almost Everything" tasting menu. 10 plates for $45 plus $1 extra for a bottle of wine is a pretty good deal. This is a good place to go to have some fun and experience Sunset Blvd's glitz.

As for the food, if I were getting a la carte, I'd get the adult candy, tuna tartare, and the turkey meatball all over again. As compared to STK, this place is better if you want to taste a lot of different flavors without feeling weighed down and overall, the concept is more hollywood. But, I could argue that plate by plate, STK's was more craveworthy.

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