Setting the scene here. You’re driving west, just about to enter the throws of the Sunset Strip, when you notice mile-high shrubbery. You know SOMETHING is there, but you’re not quite sure what mysteries lie beyond the tall grass. Well let me tell you, I’m glad I investigated because the restaurant hidden so coquettishly behind those bushes might just be the finest this city has to offer.
There are so many things I loved about Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails. I started with the shrimp cocktail, which was served with horseradish sauce and presented on a bed of ice and garnish – a real visual treat. There was also a little dabber of hot sauce, which I found kitschy and useful, cause that sauce hit.
All food photos by Ronnie Clark
The crispy Brussel sprouts were divine, the toasted almonds a lovely touch that added texture to what was already a tactile delight. I had a third starter – which is my right as an American – the ever-beloved calamari fritti. It was delicious, no doubt, but the big draw here was the chili aioli. Lord above. It was potent, but not overpowering, memorable, but didn’t do battle with the savory calamari. Tangy isn’t the word – this isn’t Applebees – but it was lightly piquant.
Time for mains, angel. The spicy lobster spaghetti was delicious as it sounds; a sapid and sinewy offering served in creamy tomato sauce. It was at once lush and doughy, with noodles cooked to perfection and liberally applied spice. This dish above all I’d describe as ‘down-home.’ It tasted as familiar as a church basement dinner, and elite as a private jet to Milan. Can I borrow yours, by the way?
There are few things more divine than the Tomahawk, a 32oz steak that knocked me out of my seat and into nirvana. It’s slow-cooked at 450 degrees in a woodfire grill, which adds a smoky, nutty flavor that puts it…a cut above skillet-cooked steaks. It tasted like heaven, perfectly spiced and expertly cut tableside by a member of the ever-fantastic staff.
It was served with three sensational sauces; a truffle wasabi sauce that’s stronger on the truffle, a delectable smoked char scallion, and a house spicy chimichurri. On the platter itself was our old friend, horseradish aioli. Truly an embarrassment of riches.
I finished with a dessert that would make Caligula blush, an absolute cornucopia of doughnut holes – they taste like thicc churros – a nimbus cloud of cotton candy, Hershey’s kisses, gummy bears, cheesecake, and more. Literally, there was more than what I listed here. Can you believe that?
It was absolutely fantastic, a presentation that begs to be photographed, a swirl of sweetness I’ve thought about daily since I left.
I tried each cocktail on the menu, and was delighted by all, but found the most joy in The Picnic, a mezcal, and tequila-based, jalapeño-infused concoction that tasted expensive and smoky and mature, but still sweet enough to satisfy my very obvious sweet-tooth. My second favorite was the Camera-Ready, which is grapefruit vodka, amaro Montenegro, cinnamon, Frangelico, and lemon. It was such a satisfying combination of summer flavors, it bordered on a beach drink, but was also perfect for say, a romantic evening on the strip.
Not sure if this is clear, but I loved my time here and would recommend you give it a go. This place will be booked solid for months in no time, so get in while you can. Kisses.