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8800 Sunset Blvd. (Palm Ave.) Send to Phone
With chef Mirko Paderno taking over from Dakota Weiss, expect changes for this restaurant in a bohemian setting on the Sunset Strip.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Breakfast Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-11 a.m., Lunch Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Dinner Sun.-Thurs. 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Brunch Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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Estrella, West Hollywood, CA

Estrella Restaurant Review

: EDITOR'S NOTE: CHEF MIRKO PADERNO WILL TAKE OVER CHEF DUTIES FROM DAKOTA WEISS. EXPECT SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE MENU CONSIDERING PADERNO HAS OVERSEEN SOME OF LA'S BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANTS --- Since Estrella is open from breakfast to dinner seven days a week, it’s easy to come to indulge in the bohemian ambience of the restaurant. Picture a 60s bungalow in Laurel Canyon and you will have an idea of where you are heading to. The contrast is even more obvious and enjoyable as Estrella is housed in a modern building off the middle of the Sunset Strip. There are three distinct areas: a patio along the boulevard, the “West” patio where a piano and fireplace create a cozy corner; and the inside, featuring the bar, decorated with eclectic elements to ensure that the mood stays in tune. We have been following chef Dakota Weiss for a while now. Here at the restaurant, which is named after the circus girl mentioned in the Joni Mitchell song "Ladies of the Canyon," she is able to freely express herself as she is the chef in her own kitchen. We don’t know if the décor was made for her or if she adapted her cuisine to the décor, but the result is very convincing as both complement each other. Weiss claims that many of her recipes come from her mother and the way she ate at home. Hey, she was lucky; and now we are lucky too as we get to eat these fun dishes. While sipping on a craft cocktail from the bar, use your fingers to grab popcorn. Weiss, who appeared on “Top Chef," is nicknamed the Queen of Popcorn. She likes to play with it and combine it with various spices and seasonings. If we liked the duck liver butter topped with huckleberry, the pickled eggs served with beet greens and lardons are a must-have. They are hard-boiled eggs turned pink after three days in a pickled beet jus. Spicy is the turkey chorizo accompanied with figs and pomegranates but so good. This dish mirrors the image of the restaurant: a mix of colors, textures and flavors. Continue with the roasted bone marrow topped with confit quail. The mussels are served in a thick harissa red ale broth, with hominy (dried maize kernels), that Weiss could well serve by itself as a soup as it is so tasty. Skip the hamachi crudo that is a déjà vu for the caramelized branzino and its wild mushrooms or the veal cutlet paired with Brussel sprouts, squash and black truffles. The sweet endings are in good continuity of Weiss’s style. The chocolate cake is made of a dark chocolate paste infused with basil. The coconut tres leches is enhanced by a homemade serrano pepper lime sorbet. You get it: Weiss likes to give a kick to her food. If the wine list is short, there is a reserve that wine director Dave Reid will be happy to walk you through. One more thing: there is a 55-seat screening room you can book for your next shindig, adjacent to a private dining room with an open patio and private entrance.

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