Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Night at the Roosevelt: 25 Degrees and Library Bar

Hollywood: with the Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theater and numerous iconic streets, it's quintessentially LA. In other words, it's an overcrowded tourist trap that most Angelenos avoid at all costs. Last Friday, however, I celebrated the arrival of the weekend at the Roosevelt Hotel, home to both 25 Degrees and Library Bar. After all, after a long week at work, what more does one need than a good burger and a strong drink?

The Roosevelt Hotel

Located on the busy Hollywood Boulevard but in an historic landmark, 25 Degrees represents an intersection between the past and the present, which is reflected in its design. Although chandeliers, oversized quilted booths and luxurious crimson crushed velvet walls evoke images of old Hollywood, the two flatscreens above the service window firmly root you in 2010. Even these, however, nod to both the past and the present; when we arrived Beyonce was on one TV, and Casablanca was on the other. Surprising was the restaurant's relatively small size, with only seven to eight booths and counter space. With a waiting list for the tables, we sat ourselves at the counter.

25 Degrees

25 Degrees

J and I ordered the Number One with onion rings and the Number Two with french fries, respectively. Our side dishes arrived first, a practice I neither love nor understand. Fries should definitely go with my burger!
The fries were average, tasting store-bought with too much rosemary thrown on them.
French Fries @ 25 Degrees
The onion rings, on the other hand, were a sound choice--crunchy and not too greasy.
Onion Rings @ 25 Degrees
After hearing much praise for 25 Degrees' burgers, I, as a burger junkie, was thrilled when my whopping Number Two ($12.00) with pesto, prosciutto, burrata and a roasted tomato arrived. Despite my trepidations about burrata on a burger, this dish delievered on every level. The juicy patty and soft brioche provided a solid, quality foundation for the Italian accoutrements. To my delight, the combination of the salty prosciutto, tangy tomato and creamy burrata with the burger was not at all overwhelming-- just mind-blowingly tasty. The brioche also held up surprisingly well, becoming soggy only towards the end of my meal.
Number One @ 25 Degrees
J's Number One ($12.00) with prelibato gorgonzola crescenza, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula and Thousand Island was also quite enjoyable. With a generous serving of cheese and a hearty slice of extra-crispy bacon, what is not to love? Again, the thick, juicy patty set the foundation for this delicious burger.
Number Two @ 25 Degrees

We passed on ordering drinks at 25 Degrees in favor of saving ourselves for Library Bar. Despite its name, Library Bar is more like a lounge with seating in the form of leather couches and oversized chairs. In an impressive touch, Libary Bar does not have a set menu. Rather, you provide your desired ingredients or flavor profile for your drink, and the bartender does the rest.

Library Bar @ Roosevelt Hotel

For my first drink, I requested something with rum and fruit. The amiable Ryan responded with his take on a Lemon Maid-- Strawberry Maid with rum, agave, cucumber and strawberry. Sweet and refreshing, this drink was dangerously delicious.

Library Bar @ Roosevelt Hotel

For my second drink, I opted to stick with the sweet and fruity flavor profile but left the specifics in Ryan's more than capable hands. He handed me a cocktail with Laird's Applejack brandy, lemon juice, muddled pear and cinnamon and topped with fresh figs. When I asked him if the drink had a name, he said "No" but suggested George Washington's Pie because our nation's first President liked the brandy so much that he asked the Laird family for their recipe. This drink, which reminded me of a cider, begs to be drunk near a roaring fire.

Library Bar @ Roosevelt Hotel

J asked for a savory drink and received a Breeder's Cup, made of Hendrick's gin, beet horseradish, cucumber, lime juice and agave. I loved the color imbued by the horseradish, and the sharp kick it added to the otherwise mild drink.

Library Bar @ Roosevelt Hotel

J's second drink was also gin-based, this time with apricot, basil, lime juice and agave. The basil dominated, lending a lovely, light and refreshing flavor and scent.

Library Bar @ Roosevelt Hotel

All of our drinks were $16.00 each. Although they were slightly pricier than the average cocktail, they were all outstanding--some of my best and most memorable drinks to date! With its talented and affable bartenders and incredible drinks, Library Bar is my new favorite bar.

25 Degrees and Library Bar set a very high standard for my weekend. I can't wait to return to both.

25 Degrees
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 785-7244

25 Degrees on Urbanspoon


Library Bar
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

4 comments:

  1. just came across your blog recently (funny enough, i discovered it from that insane Burger Kitchen debacle on Yelp) and just wanted to say its great! especially the diversity of restaurants/eateries you review.

    please keep up the entertaining/interesting posts and terrific pictures! my new fav food blog, and thats saying a lot.

    mahalo

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  2. @weezermonkey: Yay!

    @asickboy: Hah! I love that that's how you found me. In any case, thanks for stopping by and for the lovely comment! I appreciate it :)

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  3. I cant wait to write about 25 degrees. I honestly think its the best burger in LA. Although I may have to go completely sober to back that comment up.

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