Super Swank

Social Hollywood first local effort from Manhattan/South Beach restaurant czar Jeffery Chodorow is pretty velvet-rope-intensive even for Hollywood, a clipboard guy passing you on to a proto-maitre d’, who clears your way to the guy with access to the actual reservation list. By the time you make it through the gauntlet, a host and a waitress later, you may have the definite sensation of having joined an exclusive club, even if you are sequestered in a soaringly empty seraglio of a room. This may be the point — the upstairs portion of the restaurant actually is an expensive private club, and the Moroccan-themed complex itself began life as the Hollywood Athletic Club. Service seems to revolve around a loving recitation of the special cocktail menu — Rob Roys and Rusty Nails reimagined for a generation that has probably never tasted Drambuie, and may be all the better for it. Cooking, while often accomplished, is usually beside the point at a Chodorow restaurant, even the ones involving superchef Alain Ducasse, and Social Hollywood is no exception. The appetizers tend toward well-executed American creative — sweetbreads with bacon and black-eyed peas, nicely seared scallops — and the main courses toward an overcreative interpretation of Moroccan cuisine: a tagine, Moroccan stew of short ribs and Puebla-style short ribs for example, or a fairly standard roast chicken breast with a tiny b’stilla, the flaky, sugar-dusted pastry of poultry, eggs and almonds that is the glory of the Moroccan table, tossed on the side like a plop of mashed potatoes. If you’ve had enough of the splendid white-peach Bellinis, you may not even notice. Social Hollywood, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 462-5222.

—Jonathan Gold

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