Sunday, October 11, 2009

Magnolia Mac and Cheese - They can't all be winners.

By Hilary Havarti

The other night, when the Humboldt Fog and I tried to come up with a spot to grab a drink and a bite, I was struck by a frightening realization; I've almost exhausted all the mac and cheese offerings in the neighborhood. This means, if I want to continue contributing to this blog, I will have to travel west of La Brea. Blast! Some more east side joints better put mac and cheese on the menu stat.

THF suggested Magnolia, a bar/restaurant right on Sunset and Vine 
equidistant to our respective dwellings. The food at Magnolia is pretty good and the location convenient but the crowd can be a little too Hollywood for my tastes. Point in case: When we arrived around 7:30pm on a Tuesday night there were plenty of empty tables however, the hostess sat us practically in the laps of actor Paul Schneider and his dining companion. (He plays Mark on Parks and Recreation and was in Jesse James' gang in that Assassination of Jesse James movie.) With only 10 inches of space separating our tables, it required great restraint to not eavesdrop and/or reach over to steal a couple of his French fries. For a minute, we considered moving but I was worried he might be offended. You know, since we were sort of having dinner together and all.

We ordered the baked mac and cheese ($10) which I've had before and remembered being quite good. Either I was less discriminating on my previous visit or this mac has really gone down hill. It looked promising at first with a crispy golden brown crumb top but after the first bite, it was clear this mac suffered from runny sauce syndrome. A sharp cheese like Cheddar was needed to breathe some life into its sad existence and maybe a few shakes of salt. I did detect a smoky flavor which I think may have been smoked Gouda but beyond that, no other discernible cheeses. The crunchy top was nice and helped with the overall texture but it was just lackluster. The last time I ordered it, it was much creamier and more flavorful. Perhaps this was an off night but I'm not sure I'd rush back and give it another chance. If you've had a different experience, let us know.

As I was scribbling these thoughts and observations on pad of paper, Paul Schneider leaned over and asked to borrow my pen to sign his receipt. See, they're just like us! They use pens. I was only too happy to oblige and am now selling the pen on ebay for $50. Undesirable Hollywood types indeed.

Magnolia Hollywood is located at
6266 1/2 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028 T (323) 467.0660

Magnolia Downtown is located at
825 W. 9th Street
(James M Wood Blvd.),
Los Angeles, CA T (213) 362.0880


joe said...

every time I go to your site I get hungry, even if the review is unfavorable. I develop the need to get some vermont white cheddar, Unikaas Robusto Emmenthaller Swiss and smohed gouda and go for it...