West Hollywood steakhouse, Smoke, features grass-fed meats and grilled vegetables prepared on a wood-burning grill that gives food a delicious mesquite flavor.
The west end of Melrose, where Doheny Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard meet was awhirl with excitement on a recent October night as an attractive crowd of fashionably dressed guests gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Smoke, the first steakhouse from BRG (Brosephs Restaurant Group) partners, Travis Lester and Justin Safier.
Smoke is the third culinary venture from these two restaurateurs, who launched Brick + Mortar in Santa Monica earlier this year and Bar Esquina in Cabo San Lucas in 2010. Laurent Saussy, who signed on as executive chef for all BRG properties, commands the kitchen which features a California-inspired menu focused on prime cuts of meat, fish and poultry.
Before stepping foot into Smoke, party guests were given an opportunity to take photos on the “black carpet” for a small cluster of paparazzi, even though most preferred to observe rather than partake. Aside from the hubbub surrounding the entrance, a spotlight swept across the night sky, giving the event a vibe of classic Hollywood glamor.
Inside, Smoke’s décor is sleek black-on-black with granite tabletops and accents of gray — a far cry from the stuffy interior of a traditional steakhouse. In the front dining room, flames lick polished gray rocks enclosed in a glass fire pit next to the big window that looks out onto Melrose, not only complementing the grill-focused menu, but also creating a sexy ambiance for a romantic date.
The restaurant is divided into several rooms, some covered in gray and black, velvet-flocked wall-paper. The cozy bar includes a DJ booth, and lavish touches include a skylight and vaulted ceilings in the main dining area, wire chandeliers and a waterfall running down an interior wall..
Together, the elements create an intimate playground for carnivores who undoubtedly will appreciate the wood-burning grill that imparts a deliciously distinct mesquite flavor to Smoke’s array of appetizers, diverse selection of local, organic, and grass-fed meats, fresh fish and grilled vegetables.
On this particular night, Smoke was packed with a hungry, thirsty crowd that devoured passed hors d’oeuvres such as tomato, mozzarella and basil skewers, and fried risotto balls, as well as various signature cocktails like Vesper Rose, Smoke Manhattan and Ginger Elixer.
As the party blazed on, my plus one and I set out to find a hostess so we could sit down and sample something more substantial. We selected a petite filet 7oz. ($35) big eye tuna topped with smoked-eggplant and shrimp cracker ($18) and Yukon gold mashed potatos ($8). Every bite was finished with a zealous sigh. The steak was tender and flavorful. The tuna was just caught fresh with delicate, tasty accents and the mashed potatoes were better than grandma’s holiday recipe.
The party continued to roll into the early hours, as patrons moved from room to room socializing, sipping cocktails and even showing off some moves on the dance floor in the bar.
It’s the kind of venue you’ll want to put on your favorites list — the kind of restaurant and bar where the staff will know your name, remember your favorite drink and make sure your steak is cooked to perfection.
Copyright © Nadia Dulyn/2012 Singular Communications, LLC.
9010 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday: 5:00 pm – 12:00 am; Thursday – Saturday: 5:00 pm – 2:00 am
SingularCity Happy Hour at Smoke
Join us on Thursday, November 8 from 5-8 pm for happy hour at Smoke.
Smoke’s happy hour drink specials can’t be beat with $5 well drinks, $6 house wines, $7 dollar weekly rotating specialty cocktails and $2 off all draft beers.
Food specials like Mac and Cheese made with cavatappi pasta and topped with an herb crust for $6, Big Eye Tuna with grilled eggplant/chili oil for $10 and a Kobe Burger with tobacco onions, tomato jam, and blue cheese on a brioche for $16. (Happy Hour prices usually end at 7 pm, but for SingularCity guests, it will last until 8 pm.)
The first 10 SingularCity members who bring a single friend who is not yet a member will receive a free happy hour drink from Kim Calvert, editor of Singular magazine. So get there early and find us in Smoke’s cozy and comfortable bar where Smoke’s affable mixologists will be waiting to sooth your spirits with some refreshing spirits of their own.