The Henry in West Hollywood is bringing a damn-near down-home approach to upscale eating. I expected good food and fresh ingredients, but this was beyond – an elevated yet entirely intimate experience.
The decor is a playful, stylish country home. Rich but not showy. Dark paneling and luxe chandeliers make the place feel ornate and inviting.
I started the evening with a drink, because. My wonderful server recommended Wake the Angels, a fresh cocktail made with Hendrick’s, grapefruit, yuzu, sparkling wine and rose petal.
Gin is my favorite of the devil’s spirits, and this drink was a perfectly mixed blend of tasty gin and refreshing as hell fruit and wine. I sipped it slow, the night was young.
The apps. Damn, those apps.
I knew I wanted salmon the second I looked at the menu. It was served on a potato hash brown, with crème fraîche and arugula. I think I groaned when I bit it – it was so good. I groan when I like things. I apologize.
The soft salmon contrasted with the crunchy hash brown was divine. I can’t stress enough how perfectly the flavors worked on this dish. At times it tasted like…soul food? Warm and welcoming.
Short rib potstickers hit the spot, a filling counter to the lighter salmon. The spring vegetable crudités was full of fresh vegetables and dipping tahini. It was also a feast for the eyes, like eating a kaleidoscope.
My favorite entrée was the black truffle risotto, made with crispy poached egg, baby asparagus and fried sunchoke. This was another dish that gave me mom-in-the-kitchen vibes. It was as thoughtful as it was bold. Not quite decadent, but definitely a rush of compacted flavors. Not sure I’ve ever had a dish this elegant yet approachable, artful yet thick.
The jidori half chicken was perfectly cooked and a nice, simple dish to ground the meal. I love chicken and eat it more than I should. Coming from a connoisseur, this was very good chicken.
The vegan coconut and pineapple trifle brought my palate back to that first delicious drink, the aforementioned Wake the Angels. It was bright and tart yet restrained enough that I could eat bite after bite. This was another very pretty offering, each ingredient stacked in an elegant glass. Spooned it till it disappeared.
I finished the night with a Southern City Mischief, a drink I chose solely based on the name. Well-done, marketing. It lived up to its name. It’s made with brown-butter washed Bulleit bourbon, house marmalade and pressed orange – do you have any idea what that sequence of words does to me? I’m already fiending for another.
It was like drinking a hug. This is a strong drink, but it’s draped in flavors that make the booze feel like an embrace rather than an attack. As with most things at The Henry, this was beautiful, a radiant orange joy.
I wanna go back, I will go back. The Henry West Hollywood opens soon. You should make eating there a priority.