July 23, 2010
BEST BET RESTO: The Capital Grille Gets Geared for Grand Opening with Great Food, Stellar Service; Opens to Public July 26
By Don Rose
On July 22, I had the good fortune to attend a special event hosted by Los Angeles Magazine in honor of LACMA’s MUSE membership and the Grand Opening of The Capital Grille. This brand new resto, a welcome culinary addition to the Beverly Center, is located in the space once occupied by an old favorite of mine, The Hard Rock Cafe. While many may miss the classic Cafe and the car that once proudly protruded from the roof above, The Capital Grille should prove to be a worthy if not superior successor, making the corner of Beverly and San Vicente a happening hotspot for fans of fantastic food. (And, of course, don't forget the bars, both downstairs and up.)
My overall impression during this initial visit: I found the food fine -- dishes very tasty, a joy to eat -- and the service simply outstanding. At every turn, someone was giving a hearty greeting or asking if you needed anything, and there was an ever-present politeness with every interaction. Edible samplings at the soiree included a crab/lobster sandwich on a bulbous bun (fun! yum!), salmon on a hard cracker/wafer (a little too hard for my taste, but a minor concern -- I was too busy savoring the salmon), fried calamari, fries (seasoned just right), a cheese platter at the bar (a good place to mingle, it turned out), and more. I was especially impressed by a seemingly simple thing: the Orange Juice I ordered; instead of the usual bar OJ that tends to taste overly sugarized and almost not even OJ anymore, this was fresh squeezed from oranges, on the spot. Couldn't have been more delicious, or unexpected. Also unexpected was how much I would enjoy the vibe on the eatery's second level, where this private pre-opening party took place. The view, the breeze.... ahhhhh... relaxing.
Based on my initial visit and all the experiences cited above, I strongly recommend you try The Capital Grille. As for a review of a regular, sit down, menu-ordered meal, I hope to have that for you soon. The restaurant is doing private lunches and dinners this weekend, a prelude for the grand opening to the public on Monday July 26, when a ribbon-cutting will ensue -- as well as, I am sure, some wide smiles on highly delighted patrons.