Smoke Fires Up on Melrose Avenue
September 11, 2012 | by —Alexandra Calamari | Homepage
Newly opened Smoke warms up its darker color palette with fired-up fare.
Smoke, dubbed so because of its wood-fired cuisine, serves grilled meats and hearty California-inspired dishes in a chic environment fashioned to fit its patrons—a series of rooms cloaked in black and white damask wallpaper, featuring plush gray banquets, granite tabletops, polished dark wood floors, and metallic chandeliers. The lighting is almost exclusively from candles (both exposed and within glass lanterns), but upbeat music keeps the atmosphere lively rather than overly romantic.
Executive chef Laurent Saussy’s menu features some classic steakhouse fare—a perfectly-marbled 18-ounce bone-in dry-aged rib eye prime for pairing with decadent lobster twice-baked potatoes—and more inventive options, including a roasted Hudson Valley duck with stone fruit confiture and confit parsnip batons. The menu is broad but sophisticated, so that you could return to Smoke several times and have a completely different culinary experience, ordering an heirloom tomato salad and squid ink capellini one time, and the big eye tuna tartar followed by a petit filet with chimichuri sauce, the next.
The cocktail menu also features an array of riffs on the expected, including a dirty martini garnished with a blue cheese olive and the Canard aux Cerise, a smoky duck-infused rum cocktail, both developed with the menu’s complex flavors in mind. For dessert, save room for the cherry bomb, an ooey gooey chocolate cherry lava cake served in a mason jar alongside gelato.
Whether you’re aiming for a fine-dining experience or simply an expertly crafted cocktail, Smoke delivers with attentive service that shines above the spot’s dark color palette. With this new edition to their repertoire, one thing is certain—BRG restaurant group is on fire. 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-385-2222
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.