Hollywood, Los Angeles
Off Vine is cuter than it is good. The restaurant is a small oasis in the middle of bustling Hollywood (I swear I wrote that before I read their website….that is actually how it feels) – set in a California-style converted house with a covered porch and a trellis overflowing with flowers. Walking inside feels like stepping into someone’s very comfortable living room, with picture windows, rich wooden cabinetry, an exposed brick fireplace, and wooden beams lining the ceiling. Outside, the heat lamps and sunshine make the porch and garden inviting even with a February chill in the air. The restaurant burned down a few years ago and the owners rebuilt it, which I find admirable and impressive, especially in the current environment.
In short – I was inclined to like the place and I really wanted to – sadly, the food just didn’t live up to the atmosphere. I started with the house made iced cinnamon buns, which were impossible to turn down. The five full size buns arrived (which is way too many for two people!) hot out of the oven, but where you wanted each bite to be a decadent mix of buttery bun, gooey cinnamon, and iced sweetness, the bun felt flat – it tasted more like bread with cinnamon sugar on top, making the extravagance of dessert for breakfast hard to justify.
In my attempt to have a somewhat healthy meal, I ordered the Chinese chicken salad for my entree, which turned out to be a giant pile of shredded lettuce with strips of tasteless chicken and a few mandarin oranges on top. Admittedly a pet peeve of mine, but the chicken was sliced to be bigger than one bite and any attempt to cut it resulted in lettuce flying off the over-full plate – the salad was literally domed there was so much lettuce. My husband had an omelet and was also pretty lukewarm on it. To be fair, I hadn’t really wanted a salad for brunch but nothing else on the menu called out to me – it is a relatively large but pretty uncreative brunch menu – with too many benedict options (I think there were four) and not enough non-egg options. On the plus side, I was a fan of the $15 bottomless mimosas.More information http://offvine.com/homepage.htm 6263 Leland Way Hollywood CA 90028 323 962 1900