Monday, February 1, 2010

Eat Out. Musso & Frank Grill.

Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard is Hollywood's oldest restaurant. Since 1919, it's been a popular eatery for movie stars, writers, directors and producers. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino were all customers. It's still a favorite of Hollywood's current A-List, Sofia Coppola was there on Saturday night.

They are known for their martinis and their steaks, but have a wide menu selection and it's the kind of place that you can't go wrong no matter what you order. They make a tasty sidecar, a refreshing margarita, serve white wine in a big chilled glass, and iced tea on a little saucer with lemon wedges. The martini-style drinks come in small (for today's American standards) glasses, with an additional amount served alongside in a mini carafe--perfect for a top-up when your drink is getting low.

The crab cocktail is delicious (large chunks of crab with classic cocktail sauce served in a little cold metal cocktail bowl with lemons on the side and two cocktail forks on either side), the shrimp cocktail is similar, with de-tailed shrimps which I much prefer to tail-on. We all shared an iceberg lettuce wedge salad that came with thick-sliced juicy red tomatoes. The only complaint was, the blue cheese dressing was on the mild side, it could have had more flavor. The bread is sourdough, made exclusively for Musso's. It's fresh, soft and delicious.

I had the baked halibut, Italienne style, and it was really good. It was flavorful, remarkably hot and a nice size portion. The filet mignon, grilled salmon, roast half chicken and New York steak all looked great too.

We were celebrating a birthday, and two moist rectangles of cake (carrot and chocolate) were brought out with candles for the birthday boy. The waiter was very nice ... it's the kind of place you can sit around for a while in the booth and talk when you're done with your meal. At 10:30, the music went up, retro jazzy music of course. That, and the beautiful warm lighting made it a perfect choice for a special dinner.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

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