Hollywood’s Madera Kitchen and Bar – Dining in Enchanting Surroundings
By Michael Vallens
Hollywood is known as the entertainment capital of the Western World and has its fair share of entertaining places to dine. The brain child of owner Milton Sznaider and Loyal Pennings, the enchanting Madera Kitchen and Bar should definitely be added to the list of restaurants/bars/lounges that are becoming a destination not only for their amazing food but the awe-inducing atmosphere.
“The 5,000 square foot space boasts both indoor and outdoor seating, a massive bar with a full list of cocktails, two communal tables which collectively seat 16, an outdoor fireplace with seating, and a festive colored banquette bench seating along two walls.”
“With fine detail including herringbone wood ceiling, a mosaic tiled bar, and custom light fixtures, Madera brings the rustic feel of your favorite restaurant, with a modern twist on New American cuisine.”
Upon arrival to Madera Kitchen and Bar, you walk into a space that is full of green plants and lit softly as to appeal to the diner immediately. I felt at ease and welcomed by the friendly and informative staff.
They offered cocktails and started with Peruvian cocktail, Pisco Sour. This cocktail was concocted with Capurro Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white and bitters. This Pisco Sour was elegant, frothy, rich and balanced.
Second out was the Penicillin, a cocktail made with Famous Grouse blended with scotch, lemon juice, honey, ginger and Laphroig Mist. This cocktail was bright, citrusy and warming with the touches of ginger and scotch. A real pleasure!
The first appetizer was the Endive Salad, a mix of baby arugula, candied walnuts, blood orange, and buttermilk blue cheese. The salad was light and invigorating with the blood orange cutting through the rich flavors of the buttermilk blue cheese and candied walnuts.
The Grilled Octopus was the next plate out. The octopus was grilled and charred remarkably, and paired with an aioli, charred spring onion, and topped with crispy lemon. The octopus was tender and melted in my mouth; A heavenly affair to say the least.
The first entrée was the Squid Ink Pasta made with freshly prepared Squid Ink Taglietelle pasta, shrimp, prosciutto all in a white wine sauce. This dish was a revelation, and what might make me come back sooner than later. It’s like someone’s grandmother made it. The squid ink pasta was so fresh and cooked al-dente. When combined with the other ingredients, I closed my eyes and immediately felt transported to someone’s home in Italy. It was savory and comforting the best way possible.
The second entrée was the Oxtail Flatbread, prepared with smoked mozzarella, braised oxtail, arugula, asparagus, and truffle oil. The flatbread had a crispy chewy crust and the truffle oil lent its exotic flavor profile to the rich oxtail and smoked mozzarella. This was not your average flatbread, but rather an experience in itself.
For dessert, the kind souls at Madera Kitchen and Bar recommended and brought out the Churro Ice Cream. Arranged like a normal ice cream sandwich, this one had two churros in the place of standard cookies with a single scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top of a grid of chocolate syrup and caramel. This dessert got my heart pounding upon arrival. I knew this was a treat of monumental proportions.
The churros were crisp with generously dipped in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. The ice cream was fragrant, creamy and combined with the churro to become a quite magical combination of flavors.
Overall, Hollywood’s Madera Kitchen and Bar has many things going for it; the location can’t be beat, the atmosphere is as intoxicating as its eclectic cocktail menu, and the food, especially the Squid Ink Pasta, are all reasons to frequent this quickly rising establishment as soon as possible. I know I will.
Madera Kitchen and Bar
1835 N. Cahuenga Bl
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Monday – Closed
Tues/Wed – 5:30 pm – 11 pm
Thurs/Fri – 5:30 pm – Midnight
Sat – 6 pm – Midnight
Sun – 11 am – 10 pm