Monday, October 18, 2010

Hollywood Bistro

We stumbled upon this place almost by accident, but I'm sure glad we did, the meal I had here was fantastic, and I'm sure I'll be back again--soon!

My friend Tommy and I attended the Winter Spring Festival of the Arts on a recent Sunday morning. After seeing all there was to see, we settled down at a table near the "food area" to have a drink and listen to the music. One of the tables there was for a place called Hollywood Bistro, right around the corner. So I pulled out my trusty iPhone (I love my iPhone), checked my UrbanSpoon app, and sure enough, it was very close and had good ratings. So we decided to check it out for lunch. Was that ever a good decision. 

They were not very busy when we entered, just after noon, but we were promptly greeted and give our choice of tables. We chose to sit right along the open-air courtyard, just inside. There are several large "garage-type doors" that can open and make you be inside and outside at the same time, and it was a perfect October day for that. Our server, Christian, was very attentive and answered all our questions.

For starters, we ordered the Shu-mei, a 4-piece pork dumpling appetizer served with a Thai "BBQ" sauce. It was amazing, simply outstanding. The pork "dumplings" were tender and tasty, with pork, and, surprisingly, some chopped water chestnuts that gave it a nice crunch. They were served on a bed of napa cabbage mixed with a Thai BBQ sauce--it has just a tiny bit of heat but a huge helping of flavor. Another sauce that I could not quite identify complimented this, and black and white sesame seeds topped it all of. It was absolutely wonderful. I detected a spice/flavor that I was not sure of, but later learned was indeed Chinese Five Spice. It was not overpowering, just gave the dish an interesting and appetizing aroma. I loved this dish.

For his meal Tommy had the A.B.C Omelet--an Avocado, Bacon, and Cheddar Cheese Omelet. It was very good, nice and fresh, and not overcooked. It was served with toast and breakfast potatoes.The real star of this dish, however, was the potatoes. Red creamers had been expertly cooked--the centers were warm and creamy and delicious, the outside crisply and well seasoned. They were really really very good.

For my lunch, I had the Dirty Harry's Pulled Pork Sandwich--slow roasted pulled pork was piled high on a nice, hearty roll and topped with Cheddar Cheese, fried onions, and a chipotle BBQ sauce. It came with fries but they gladly substituted a side salad with a strawberry viniagrette dressing for me. This was undoubtedly one of the best lunch sandwiches I've had in a long time, and one of the best pulled pork sandwiches ever. The pulled pork was very good, slow roasted and tender. But the real star, for me, was the BBQ sauce because it contained a unique flavor which made all the difference for me--more Chinese Five Spice! Yes, this really made the sandwich sing and set it apart from so many others. The BBQ sauce was put on with a light hand, so the flavor of the meat was still central to the dish. The hearty, somewhat crusty bun was perfect for this sandwich, soaking up extra juice while not becoming soggy at all. And the salad was good too, nice and fresh and crisp, all it should be.

We ate here at lunch time, but I notice the dinner menu and it looks wonderful. I want to return here sometime soon to experience lunch. A friend from work lives nearby and he confirmed that he has eaten here a number of times and alway found it to be very good. I will be back!Hollywood Bistro on Urbanspoon


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