Before seeing the musical Waitress at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, my husband and I enjoyed a pre-theatre dinner at Delphine Eatery and Bar. There is a new Executive Chef Charles Lacad, and we were intrigued to experience some of his new menu items.
Arriving early, the dining room was filling up with W Hotel guests, tourists exploring Hollywood and theatre patrons. As we were led to a corner booth near the bar area, our server Christian Lopez greeted us with a warm and friendly smile. He’s been working at Delphine for over three years, and excitedly shared some of his favorite dishes on the menu.
Gone are the seafood towers, instead the fresh seafood is presented on plates, such as the Hawaiian style ahi crudo and a Crab Louie lettuce wrap.
We learned Chef Charles dishes are inspired from his travels and cooking in kitchens all around the world. With over 20 years of culinary experience, he is a bit of an expert in hotel dining. Growing up in O’ahu, Hawaii, this chef learned how to create traditional Hawaiian dishes from his mother and grandmother. This love of food was a natural segue into becoming a full time chef. He’s prepared elegant dishes at the Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay and Koele Lodge, Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Waikiki and The Omni San Francisco before coming to Delphine.
Admiring the dining room, it seemed a little more casual than when it first opened eight years ago, yet still offers an air of sophistication. Strolling by our table, one of the managers Robert Zucchini checked in on us. He also shared his excitement about the new chef, and recommended we try the white bean hummus, papas bravas and ahi crudo. They all sounded good to me, however the Crab Louie lettuce wraps sounded intriguing, so we ordered one along with the white bean hummus when Christian came back for our drink order.
Sipping a fresh grapefruit cocktail and glass of rose’, a plate of hummus with a ladle of green arugula pesto on top arrived. Next to the hummus was a Greek salad made with chopped cucumber, a sprinkling of feta cheese, tomatoes and onions. It was also presented with a bowl of warm and soft pita triangles. We scooped the smooth hummus, and topped it with a spoonful of the salad on each pillowy triangle. This flavorful starter was fun to eat and a great first impression on the chef’s culinary skills.
The Crab Louie wraps arrived with three large Boston bibb lettuce leaves. These leaves were topped with large chunks of real crab meat. In the center was a small cup of the Louie aioli that we dipped and spooned on top. The slightly tangy bright orange dressing was made little mayonnaise and ketchup, relish, lemon juice, garlic, maybe a little Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, paprika and chili powder before seasoned with salt and pepper. This was another winning appetizer and paired nicely with my rose’.
Looking over the entrees, my husband ordered the seared Maine diver scallops and I ordered the braised short rib pappardelle. Chef Charles must have braised this beef short rib for hours to create such a deliciously tender, melt in your mouth sauce with fresh crushed tomatoes, red wine and herbs. It’s served over long and wide freshly made pasta. Cutting into the short rib it shredded easily into delicate beefy strands that stuck to the pappardelle pasta better than clumps of ground beef or turkey. Also accompanying the pasta were micro arugula leaves and sliced roasted purple carrots before topped with shaved Asiago cheese.
My husband’s Diver scallops were sensational. The Day Boat scallops were on a bed of truffled sweet corn nage, a French cooking style that translates to “while swimming.” It’s a broth made with white wine, vegetables, and herbs used to poach seafood. What also dazzled this dish were the little pieces of shredded pork belly, sliced cherry tomatoes, roasted corn off the cobb and grilled oyster mushroom slices.
Finishing the evening before walking across the street, we ordered a brownie sandwich. It was made with two warm and chocolatey brownie squares with a scoop of coconut ice cream in the middle with a large mint leaf and fresh raspberry. The coconut ice cream was topped with a drizzle of caramel and chocolate sauce. This is not an ice cream sandwich you eat with your hands, but with a fork or spoon. It was soft, gooey and delicious.
I applaud Chef Charles for creating a fun new menu at Delphine that offers a variety of flavor profiles that locals and those visiting our wonderful city will enjoy.
Delphine Eatery & Bar inside the W Hollywood is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as weekend brunch. $$ 6250 Hollywood Blvd. (323)798-1355.