5.13.2010

XIV

8117 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 656-1414
www.sbe.com/xiv/
twitter.com/xiv_restaurant

Parking: $5 valet (or walk from JB’s office –haha!)

Monday – Saturday, 5 – 8 pm, ½ off specialty cocktails and select appetizers (complimentary naan & yogurt), $5 wines by the glass & well drinks

We get it, XIV, you’re cool. We don’t need 10 reserved tables, 6 dapper-suited security guards, 5 hipster VIP’s, and 4 very nice cars parked out front to tell us that. Mind you, dear readers… This was at 5 pm as XIV opened on a Saturday night. You see, the bar had a nice crowd by the time we left an hour later, but didn’t seem to necessitate the reserved seating or the excess security. And the cars? We have no idea, they were there when we arrived, but there were only three other customers inside. We started to think the XIV lot might double as a luxury car rental center.

Four nice cars for three nice people?

For me, XIV doesn’t need to try so hard – I like a good deal, good drinks, nice setting. But I guess for other customers, maybe they’re looking for more glitz and glamour. So I guess it’s cool that we can meet halfway for XIV’s happy hour from 5-8 pm Monday – Saturday, served on the terrace.

The prices are still a little high (oh,
Sugar Daddy!), but the food and drinks are good. After placing our drink orders, our helpful waitress delivered complimentary, hip individual servings of naan bread & yogurt dip. Then, our specialty cocktails arrived – JG had the Cali Fizz (Ciroc Vodka, kumquat syrup, lemon, and orange tarragon) and I the Cucumber Pom Deluxe (Kroi Vodka, cucumber, mint, lime, pomegranate). Half-off during happy hour (so $7/a piece), both our specialty cocktails were quite tasty and refreshing for a summer day – not too sweet with a nice zing!
Appetizers are also half-price, but still range from $6 to $9.50. The prices don’t differ much from other happy hours, but others give more bang for your buck. At first I was discouraged that almost every appetizer included meat, but our waitress said that they could be made to order without. Fancy indeed! Still, I wanted to save my calories for an upcoming Betty White SNL party, so opted for a glass of $5 chardonnay. JG had the Big Eye Tuna served with orange and shiso on jade rice cakes. As a sushi lover, she’s tried many sushi places but none ever featured such delicious rice. Usually, she would snack on some and push the rest aside, but this plate got cleaned.

The ambience was cool besides the whole “trying too hard” vibe. By the time we left at 5:45, there was a healthy crowd enjoying some delicious looking bites and the Lakers game broadcast over several TV’s. Not to be too grandma, but the game was pretty loud, especially the commercials – which I believe may be a pet peeve of 85% of the population. Also, since it was such a nice summer day, it’s a shame that terrace is enclosed with plastic. Perhaps, to protect the high-end clientele who may drive the luxury cars out front from that bougie riff-raff outside!



So, if you’re looking for a nice, albeit status-obsessed, place to hit up for a fancy 5-8 happy hour in the East Sunset Strip, XIV is a fine bet. And if you brought Sugar Daddy, stay for dinner!

PS – Does anyone know about the
6ix on Sunset menu? It’s mentioned on the XIV website and looks like an alternate happy hour with pricier drinks, but $6 deals on appetizers.

--JB

Rating: 3.25 Martinis

XIV on Urbanspoon

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