From Hell's Kitchen to Nirvana: Viewing Party at Tanzore

— by Caroline on Crack

Hell's Kitchen Series Finale Viewing Party

Yesterday in the AM, I got an invite from Lesley of Eater L.A. about a viewing party she was throwing for would-be chef and reality star Bonnie from Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen at Tanzore. It’s the series finale with two chefs left. Only one would win the title of head chef at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa in Las Vegas.

Since I’ve never watched the show, I honestly wasn’t all that interested in the outcome. But Lesley mentioned the chance to meet other bloggers, sample free cocktails and food, and check out this newish contemporary Indian restaurant. Umm, OK!

My friend Mei-Mei and I got there just as the show started at 9. The lounge area of this former Gaylord Indian restaurant was packed. I glimpsed some food plates on the tables by the ottomans and low sofas along the back wall but couldn’t get to them because of the thick, unmoving wall of glamorous people and some camera crew from Fox.

So I naturally made my way toward the bar where I ran into fellow blogger Food Marathon, followed by The Knife. I was so distracted by the spectacle of the scene that I don’t think I was a very good conversationalist, babbling something about why I was taking pictures of my cocktail or having to get a cocktail. I dunno. I’m sure I wasn’t entertaining. Still, it’s always cool to meet other bloggers.

Eventually I did get a freebie cocktail. This one a Green Teani made from Charbray Green Tea Vodka, as the event was also sponsored by the Charbray family winery. I kinda braced myself to taste something none too pleasant. Green tea cocktail? The bartender swore that it was some good stuff and since it was free I figured I had nothing to lose. And it was awright.

There was a subtle hint of green tea but I wasn’t all that crazy about the after taste. I wondered what else you can make with a green tea vodka since the Teani wasn’t doing it for me. The Charbray Web site offered some recipes and I think the Mochi one sounds the most intriguing with orange bitters and skim milk. I wonder if it really does taste like green tea mochi.

Curious about Tanzore, I snagged a bar menu. Ooh! $11 specialty cocktails. And the green tea vodka is used there, too, to make a very exotic-sounding concoction: Bollywood Hangama, which also consists of Voyant Chai Cream and a dollop of cardamom heavy cream. Spicy!

The other cocktails were just as unusual and Eastern inspired what with the use of saffron, cloves, mango puree and basil syrup. All that for $11? Sounded promising. I’ll definitely have to pull together a girls’ night out for a more thorough investigation.

The tapas menu offered everything from $5 crispy naan chips to the $12 smokey tandoori quail. The chicken skewers ($7) with champagne mangos and grilled chicken breast glazed with coconut teriyaki sauce sounded the best to me. And I’ll definitely have to come back to try the cardamom chocolate cake ($10) — extra bittersweet chocolate, cardamom cake, blood orange reduction and balsamic reduction sauce and fromage blanc ice cream. Intriguing.

Lesley had said the restaurant itself was pretty good but I think I’m more inclined to give the lounge a try. “It’s the hot, new place,” I heard revelers say. On restaurant row with Lodge and Tokyo Table nearby, that’s quite a statement. It seems like a cool enough place to chill with some friends and even a date, and the prices don’t seem too outrageous considering the location.

50 North La Cienega Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
(310) 652-3894
Bar Hours: 4:30pm-1:30am