Dominick's is the Kingdom of Cool
By Eunice Kim
FROM LEFT: Britney Spears, Sammy Davis Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra
RICH IN HISTORY
Dominick’s debuted in 1948 as an exclusive Rat Pack hangout whose doors were harder to get past than the hottest club’s velvet ropes. After having gone through a few owners over the years, current proprietors Warner Ebbink and Brandon Boudet (who also own 101 Coffee Shop and Little Dom’s) purchased Dominick’s in 2004. Boudet, who also serves as executive chef, and Ebbink brought back the vintage black and white tiled floor and deep red leather booths of days past and lined the walls with framed photos of enough famous fans to rival the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The candlelit back patio is a romantic brick-walled space with an herb garden, olive and fruit trees and a fireplace. From the sparkling lights out back to the marble bar inside, Dominick’s has long maintained the glamour of Old Hollywood right in the heart of Los Angeles.
The one-page menu offers straightforward, unpretentious Italian-American comfort food at its freshest. Familiar dishes such as fettuccine carbonara, arugula and Parmesan salad and Italian wedding soup have been perfected by Boudet. The baked-ricotta appetizer is divine and served with a generous helping of sliced prosciutto, roasted red peppers and crostini. The spaghetti and meatballs or veal Parmesan are hearty classics, and desserts such as the chocolate sorbet with a caramel-cream topping are decadent but irresistible. The $15 Sunday Supper is a steal for a three-course meal of seasonal specialties. But perhaps the best thing about Sunday evenings is that the house wines, Dago White and Dago Red—collaborations with the Palmina winery in Lompoc, California—are offered for a mere $10 a bottle. The rest of the extensive wine list features selections from both Italy and California.
STARRY, STARRY NIGHTS
In the ’50s and ’60s Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack were able to drink and dine in this exclusive Hollywood hideout. During the ’70s, Kiefer Sutherland and Sean Penn were rumored to have been regulars in the restaurant’s back room, which—according to lore—was a secret gambling den. Now, thanks to Ebbink and Boudet, everyone gets the star treatment, which must be why celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Lauren Conrad and Britney Spears often dine here with close friends and family.
Dominick’s, located at 8715 Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood, is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 6 PM to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 6 PM to 1 AM. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 310-652-2335.
ILLUSTRATION BY KAGAN MCCLEOD