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The Church Key

8730 Sunset Blvd. (Alta Loma Rd.) Send to Phone
A dining experience grounded in contrast makes chef Steven Fretz’s restaurant an exciting destination.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Dinner Mon.-Sat.
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Dining room at The Church Key, West Hollywood, CA

The Church Key Restaurant Review

: Chef Steven Fretz has found the key to success with this restaurant. After moving around the country from West to East and back to the West, and even going all the way to Australia, he has, over the years, amassed significant knowledge. Fretz’s extensive culinary ventures came to maturity and the result is The Church Key, where he is pushing the boundaries of modern American cuisine --- a very good thing, as it’s how and why gastronomy evolves. We feel that this place is more than a restaurant; rather, it’s a dining concept in itself. The “wahoo” effect starts as you enter the large, airy and vibrant space. Décor is eclectic, with some hints of industrial feel due to the height of the ceiling, its texture and the white brick walls. But comfort is rendered by the variety of the chairs and the tables, the fireplace dividing the lounge from the dining room, the wall of bottles at the bar, the china and silverware, cushions, frames and drapes. To start your evening, you cannot bypass one of mixologist Devon Espinoza’s creations. Then it’s on to the menu, and that’s where Fretz’s vision continues. Part one: There is a printed version with some twenty-five items that range from appetizers, entrées and desserts. We highly recommend the chicken liver parfait topped with a slight coat of huckleberry gelée, served with a delicious house-made brioche; ahi tartare with pomegranate adding crunch; tapioca-crusted tai snapper in white soy vinaigrette; or stuffed “Peking quail” on red rice, applesauce and parsnip purée in a sansho truffle jus. Part two: Rolling carts present small bites inspired by Fretz’s discoveries at the market, and his mood. You never know what to expect, except what has now become a classic, the Pig Ear “Cheetos,” a definite must-have. Over the course of our visits, we have tried, and liked, a Parker roll with bacon jam and chive butter, crudo hamachi, dehydrated scallops, falafels, and burrata on pesto. In the dessert category, pretty much everything is a winner. One evening will not be enough for you to indulge in the revisited “Banana Split,” brown donuts, milk chocolate semifreddo or sticky toffee pudding, so there’s no other choice than to return, which we’re sure you’ll enjoy. Fretz has teamed up with Joseph Sabato for the front of the house, who also oversees a very small wine list, Ryan Ososky as chef de cuisine and Ian Opina for pastry.

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