Looking for a place to mix, mingle, and munch with the movers and shakers in West Hollywood?
Delphine Eatery & Bar tops the list. Housed at the ultra-chic W Hollywood Hotel directly across the street from the Pantages Theatre, this remarkable restaurant dishes up Mediterranean cuisine in a warm, inviting and electric brasserie setting.
As part of the Innovative Dining Group (IDG), known for its trendy and stylish restaurants like Sushi Roku, Boa Steakhouse, and Katana, the Delphine extends the company’s commitment to excellent food, uncommon ambiance, and distinctive overall dining.
The restaurant has an open-air concept as part of a 6,000 foot indoor-outdoor space at the hotel that includes “The Living Room” indoor lounge and “Station”—an outdoor lounge space situated on a W Hotel terrace. The modern interior design at Delphine is lively, replete with vibrant colors, bold patterns and grand scale décor, juxtaposed with beach wood, muted fabrics and other understated accents that exemplify a laid-back Provençal lifestyle. Retro black and white artwork featuring seafront scenes sets the right tone for the seafood-laden menu. In all, the vibe at Delphine is extremely pleasant and the venue is as appropriate for lunch with clients as it is for dinner with family and friends.
From my recent visit I can tell you that service here is top-notch. A friendly, prompt, and highly professional wait staff remains at the ready to offer preference-based food and drink recommendations from a menu they know inside and out.
Speaking of the menu, Delphine offers a litany of fresh and flavorful Mediterranean morsels reflective of France’s Côte d’Azur, Spain’s Costa Brava and the Italian Riviera, courtesy of Executive Chef Sascha Lyon—a culinary master with many achievements to his credit. Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America at the age of 20, he went directly to work as one of Daniel Boulud’s opening staff for his New York restaurant, Daniel. From there, he worked at Balthazar and then Pastis, both in New York. Sascha then tried his hand at his own eatery with the critically-acclaimed SASCHA Restaurant. When the opportunity arose to command the helm at Delphine for IDG, Chef Sascha returned to his L.A. roots to the distinct pleasure of locals and tourists alike.
While the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and brunch (weekends only), I recently hit this eminent eatery for its dinner service. On this evening, I had the opportunity to sample a wide array of Chef Lyon’s offerings and the experience exceeded all expectation.
The evening started with the restaurant’s delicious and unique cocktails. I opted for the “Clemintini,” a refreshing Clementine martini. Other great options included the Espice Rouge with Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, lemon sour, blackberries, raspberries, jalapeno, Agave nectar, and splash of soda; as well as the Lavande, which is made from Delcon Diamante Tequila, blueberries, Agave nectar, lavender bitters, and soda. Of course, Delphine offers a great wine list, with many red, white, rose, and sparkling varietals offered by the glass. Premium beers are available on draft or by the bottle.
With drinks flowing, it was time to vet the victuals. From Delphine’s raw bar came a commanding platter teeming with shellfish served atop a crushed ice and seaweed bed. It included a copious combination of shrimp cocktail, briny east coast oysters, New Zealand Mussels, Kumamoto Oysters with spicy tomato granite, and Endive surrounding a bed of shrimp, mussel and squid Ceviche. This ocean extravaganza can be amped up with other available raw bar options, including west coast oysters, little neck clams, head-on prawns, live Maine lobster, and Bairdi snow crab.
In addition to its raw bar, Delphine has a variety of other starters. Prime Beef Carpaccio with fennel, arugula, preserved lemon, and grana padano; Garlic Shrimp and Spicy Sausage, Roasted Garlic Hummus with crispy flatbread, and Onion Soup Gratinée are among the notables.
Next I moved on to a salad course, sampling a classic Caesar salad with bacon (incredible as expected given the Boa Steakhouse connection); and the signature Delphine salad with escarole, red onions, walnuts, and Italian Grana Padano cheese tossed in a very bright lemon truffle vinaigrette. As delicious and inventive as these salads are, the Organic Kale Salad on special was by far the most spectacular salad I’ve ever had. Deep green julienned kale is tossed with jalapeno and crisp pita bits in a creamy citrus dressing, and topped with Soledad goat feta and bits of citrus fruit. The mélange of sweet and spicy flavors with creamy and crunchy textures was utter perfection.
The third course was nothing short of gastronomic genius—a smooth, creamy and beautifully seasoned Summer Squash Rissoto topped with a generous slice of seared foie gras and black truffle jus. The velvety texture of the slightly caramelized foie gras pate against the bite of the risotto, duly elevated with the rich and dense black truffle jus, is a veritable “perfect storm” of ingredients and preparations.
Although Delphine serves a great many dishes for land-lovers, like Braised Short Ribs, Dry Aged Pepper Steak, Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak, and Pan Roasted Garlic Chicken, my epicurean adventure went ocean-side for the entrée. And, as with the salads, I sampled a variety.