Friday

KETCHUP
8590 West Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, Ca. 90069
310 289 8590


Cuisine: 50’s malt shop updated
Must Try: Chicken Tacos
Star Rating: 1.50 (out of 4 stars)
Average Cost: Entrees $13 to $38

Ketchup is the latest addition to the Dolce group’s restaurants (dolcegroup.com) and the décor is entertaining, if not amazing. After wandering up a flight of stairs to be told that we should go back down the same stairs for a host to take us back up the very same stairs, we were overtaken by the ingenuity of this eatery. Unfortunately, that is the best part. The painting of a gigantic ketchup bottle anchors the restaurant and sets the tone for fun. The hosts are glamorous, the servers are hot and so who cares about food, right? The executive chef, Christopher Tunnell may stop by your table and greet you (he was so nice, we didn’t have the heart to tell him the food was just above awful) and the handsome, young and enterprising owner Sylvain Bitton (hailing from restaurant lineage) is on the scene.

Once your eyes adjust to the ketchupy-red glow of the red ball lights above each table, you can’t help but focus on one major problem, and that is the food; too bad, really, because the set up is exhilarating. Keep in mind, Ketchup has only been opened for a few months and The Dining Duo is hopeful it will get better but at present there are only two items on the menu worth devouring and they are both appetizers. The mini Chicken Tacos at $12 are sensational; they consist of fire grilled chicken and everything one would expect in a taco but little in size and better than we’ve tasted almost anywhere. The Baby Skins at $11 are very good and well stacked with two cheeses and smoky bacon and, needles to say, a variety of ketchup choices; five different kinds in fact. All Ketchup’s ketchups are good but not memorable and that is disappointing in a restaurant that bears that name. Stay away from the Kobe Burger Sliders at $17 as they were almost devoid of flavor. We didn’t get to try the Chicken Pot (creamy chicken soup) at $15 but it sounded hopeful.

Just before appetizers, a young hot woman came strolling by with a portable bar, offering up tastes of drinks available. The idea was magnificent; if only the libations we tasted didn’t remind us of liquid bubble-gum mixed with some other vile canned drink reminiscent of our childhoods in the sixties when no one cared if they loaded up your carbonation with cancer-colored concoctions.

The only main course that we found reasonably edible was the Beer Can Chicken at $19 which is a beer braised (Samuel Adams) whole chicken and while we considered it somewhat tasty, it would not be worth mentioning anywhere else; but we bring it up at Ketchup because there a few other entrees that we could write about. We did enjoy the old style Sweet Potato Tater Tots with their ketchup at $9, which was perfectly served. Michael, who is a huge Mac n’ cheese fan tried theirs at $14 and while he thought it was acceptable, he decided Scott’s home made Mac with gruyere, aged cheddar, smokey bacon and several spices was much better. Good answer, Michael….and that explains why The Dining Duo has been sharing food for over 21 years!

Oh, and don’t valet park your car on Sunset. After they charge you a ridiculous $10 bucks to re-adjust your seats and smell up your car, they then have you wandering behind the restaurant and down an escalator into the building’s parking lot so that you can further wander the structure for another ten minutes looking for a valet to bring you back your car. Don’t forget the additional $1 tip for this so-called service and stop for some Tums for the ride home.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 10:50 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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