Today is: Wednesday, March 29, 2023
The Kress Restaurant Review
After much anticipation, Hollywood’s newest Supper Club and Event Venue, The Kress, had its official opening last night! Council President, Eric Garcetti, was just
one of the many community members who came out to toast Michael Viscuso, The Kress CEO, at this spectacular ribbon cutting ceremony. Billie Greer, Director of
Los Angeles Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Leron Gubler, President
of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; Thaddeus H. Smith, Co-owner of the
Music Box at Fonda Theater, and Mark Panatier, Hollywood Chamber of
Commerce Chairman were also in attendance for this special
evening. The building is not only beautiful, but also an
important part of Hollywood’s history”.
A National historic site, The Kress was built in 1934 art-deco style as a S.H. Kress Department Store. In 1949 the building became the world headquarters for Frederick’s of Hollywood. After over 2 years of restoration, owner
Michael Viscuso unveiled The Kress as Hollywood’s newest and
most innovation Supper Club and entertainment venue.
The Kress dinner menu was absolutely fantastic. Executive Chef Troy Thomspon's return to LA and he brings Pan-Asian creations like Thai beef tamales, Chinese
orange chicken, kimchi Manila clams and tandoori spice lamb for the
"dine-a-tainment" crowd (to quote a commenter). It sounds very RockSugar,
but it's different enough from nearby Geisha House and Katsuya, except for
the expensive and overly concocted sushi (the Vis Cu So: deep-fried
pork katsu and cream cheese topped with tonkatsu sauce and
roasted goma in honor of owner Mike Viscuso).
"The cost of this project? A little bit south of $30 million ... Three years, $30 million. But, I'm here for the long-term," said Michael Viscuso, CEO, The Kress. "This is a remarkable investment from an individual who believes in Hollywood and is helping revitalize it," said Eric Garcetti, president of the Los Angeles City Council.
Viscuso is revitalizing in style. The basement of The Kress is a nightclub and the main floor houses a restaurant. "There's a mezzanine with a sushi bar, private dining
room. When you venture up to the third floor, it's a banquet facility
that also doubles as an entertainment venue," said Viscuso.
The Kress's five levels include this rooftop lounge, so you can relax outside
after dinner. Or, you can spend your evening on the inside looking out.
"You know, we've seen Hollywood, the industry and Hollywood ... the glamour return here. First it was the Kodak Theatre at Highland. Now it's going to be the W Hotel at Hollywood and Vine. But this is the grand dame of the mid-boulevard," said Garcetti.
The restaurant is open nightly (except for Mondays), and for those who plan to pretend to eat just to get access to the other floors: Everyone in the party needs to order an entree to get into the basement nightclub for free (usually something like $30 per person), and it's bottle service only for the second-floor or rooftop lounges.
Despite all the competition in Hollywood's nightlife scene, the anticipation surrounding the Kress made the five-story club a hit before it even opened to the public, thanks
in part to a masquerade ball hosted by Paris Hilton. And though owner Mike Viscuso is new to Hollywood, he’s not new to nightlife. He started in the restaurant biz at age 13, working at his uncle’s restaurant in Massachusetts. He’s owned several venues throughout the years, including V20 in Long Beach, but he’s most noted for
revitalizing San Diego’s Gaslamp District with venues like E Street Alley and
Belo. Hollywood, of course, needs no revitalizing. So Viscuso has another
plan: to take Hollywood nightlife to the next level. Make that five levels.
The door opens directly into the airy, hall-like space. The goal is ambiance, and the room has sort of an ethereal effect that gives the impression of fancy restaurant, which can also be interpreted as too much. The dining room main floor has 30-foot ceilings, custom chandeliers, high-back gold tufted booths, hand-painted wallpaper, enormous mirrors and hardwood floors. The restaurant has an Asian flare to the design, which complements the menu by chef Troy Thompson. They have hired Jason Lara, who
is a professional mixologist, to create the bar menu. The Kress Supper Club also
have the largest collection of large-format Champagne bottles that can cost
anywhere up to $60,000 per bottle. After all is said and done, I will
probably have the largest Champagne collection in L.A.
The floors are rich, dark wood, it really lends an air of distinction. An interesting mix of Sade, dream-like chime music, and a burst of Amy Winehouse floated from the sound system. The main bar is amazing. Every time the front door is opened, you know it, not only because of the wave of cool air (which being that the entrance is right on a
car filled street, sounds more pleasant than it is), but the general “who is there”?
feeling when everyone in the room turns to look, it feels too exposed. With so
much to look at and such heavy styling the restaurant sort of feels like a film
set, perfect to impress the not yet jaded. I will say that the tables set under
this light, gleaming with glasses of all sizes certainly look beautiful, and
the seats are comfortable to stare at the hypnotizing ceiling.
The service was extremely attentive. The parade of dishes with each course was
telling of the attention paid to service and timing. The second floor of the Kress
has administration offices, and the other half is a full banquet kitchen. Event planners are able to book large events with their own chef. A regular customer, however, wouldn’t see the second floor unless they were booking a party. There are alligator skin tufted doors, Murano glass chandeliers (six large black ones). I designed that room so it can be set up for banquets, corporate events, dance club for corporate functions, receptions, bar/bat mitzvahs, new product releases, fashion shows.
Long Island Ice Tea
It’s going to be the most expensive piece of real estate in building. It’s the only
rooftop so far for Hollywood. There are 360-degree views, from the Hollywood
sign to Downtown L.A. to Beverly Hills to Westwood to Santa Monica. With elevated cabanas, three fire pits, two bars, a DJ booth, a slated runway area for seating surrounded by Astroturf, and potted plants with custom Asian palm trees.
It’s very bright and colorful. The sofas are lime green, lemon yellow and bright
orange. And a 16-foot high-definition electronic billboard [that] can show
full-length feature movies. I can also have live music on the roof and not
worry about noise problems due to the height of building.
The wine menu is international and well rounded; I started with a glass of fresh tasting Chantegrive Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, clean and fitting to the environment. For appetizers, we ordered the amazing Bento Box, the menu changes daily, we were
told. The Bento Box was fantastic, and enough to be shared for a group of a party
of 4. The Bento Box consisted of Five Unique Appetizers designed by the Chef.
The Dungeness Crab Cassolet, Lobster Fritter, French Beans, Goat Cheese Dumpling, Sizzling Strip Steak and Kurobuta Croquette Sandwich
with Chipotle Mayo and Blue Potato Chips.
Kobe Beef Carpaccio
Lobster Lettuce Wraps
Next we had to try items from each of their menu, these are from the Cold menu;
we had the Kobe Beef Carpaccio, Pickled Onions, Artisanal Parmesan Cheese,
one of the best Carpaccio’s in town. You must go to see for yourself.
Heirloom Tomato Salad
King Crab Roll
The Lobster Lettuce Wraps, and the Yukari Smoked Salmon, Crispy Pecan Crepe
on a Hoseradish Cream. They were simple, and nice to accompany the other
starters, but as you got closer to the bottom, they became soggier,
not to mention there were enough for a table of five.
Yukari Smoked Salmon
The Crispy Pecan Crepe is interesting, the contents are rolled into the lettuce and it is sort of heavy (for a salad), but delicious, served. Something that is getting a lot of attention is The Lobster Lettuce Wraps this is a tin filled with layer by layer of
lobster chunks. This dish is very good, and the presentation is truly elegant.
From the hot menu, we tasted the Sugarcane Shrimp, Crispy Spring Rolls, again, out of this world! And from the salad’s menu, our server suggested that we try the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Buratta Mozzarella, Balsamic Basil, another
great, delicious and fresh salad that it is hard not to love it!
Sizzling Wasabi Shrimp
From the Hot Rocks menu, our choice was the Sizzling Wasabi Shrimp and the Japanese A-5 Wagyu Beef, can’t tell you how delicious this was, words will
not make justice, you may check our photos, but you must go there to taste it!
Curry Nooodle Hot Pot
Braised Tai Snapper
From the Veggies, we ordered the Black Sesame Curry Nooodle Hot Pot. A
great dish for a winter night, very hot, and deliciously prepared and presented.
The fish, a Braised Tai Snapper, Sake, Plum Shiitakes and Yellow Finn Potato
was delicious and clean, with a crispy skin, yummo! Also at the table was the
Tasmanian Salmon, with Sweet Corn and Pea Sprouts. The corn was a
great combination that added sweetness to the delicate Salmon.
Peking Duck with Plum Compote
The Peking Duck with Plum Compote, Scallions, Savory Crepe was moist and flavorful. If you have not had Duck in a while, this is a nice reminder, without the freezer burnt side effect. The Grilled Beef Tenderon, with Shiitake Mushroom
Duxell and Nira Flower was another dish you should not miss.
Black Angus Bone-In New York Strip Steak
The Chef graciously sent yet another dish to surprise us; The Black Angus
Bone-In New York Strip Steak, with Smoked Gouda Croquettes.
From the Partners (side dishes), we got 2 amazing ones; the Wok’d Rice
and the Wok’s Shiitake Mushrooms. Basically, I would say that this
was one of the most extraordinary dinners were had in Hollywood!
Lobster and Champagne Roll
And another unexpected surprise, our server wanted us to try their sushi, yes, the have the most spectacular sushi in town. The Sushi at The Kress by Travis Kamiyama, Executive Sushi Chef. Among many choices of Nigiri, Edo Style Maki, and
Specialty Maki, our choice was the Lobster and Champagne roll with Champagne Lobster and Garlic Sprouts with Kinpaku and Red Blossom wrapped in Soy
Paper, and the King Crab roll with Alaskan King Crab and Avocado. The
presentation was superb, I even spotted gold sparkles in my sushi.
Not only delicious but amazingly prepared and fresh!
Salmon Kiwi Roll
The Kress Supper Club I believe is an important establishment in Los Angeles, as the city is struggling to be recognized as having some sort of culinary sophistication. This isn’t a restaurant that practices the approach of disconnecting itself and creating the illusion you are elsewhere, the setting is very Hollywood, but that’s okay, it is in fact,
in Hollywood. There are only a few notable restaurants in Los Angeles that manage
to create such a lush environment. I did spot some newly famous celebrity
offspring in the dining room, and if you would rather spend money
on quality food and a night of getting dressed up and going
out, this is a nice alternative to the rest of L.A.’s scene.
Manchiran Warm Banana Split
Fruits for the Chocolate Fountain
Martin “The Guy” Duron, is the Pastry Chef, he is famous for his desserts, he started his career as a pastry chef, and the staff is happy to remind you that the desserts are the restaurants crowning glory. The options are all over the place, from Tapioca Puddin, to Oragnic Starwberry Tart, to the most amazing Kress Chocolate Fountain, something that I never experienced anywhere! Not only for the glorious presentation, but for the fun and the amazing way to enjoy desserts with your friends. This is a mini-chocolate fountain that is served along with all kinds of fruits, cookies, brownies, simply astonishing! We also opted for the Pineapple Feuillette with Coconout
Sorbert Poached Pineapple and the Manchiran Warm Banana Split. I
found the simplicity and appearance of this dish is inspiring and
the interpretation of this Banana Split does it great justice.
Kress Chocolate Fountain
Our Fantastic Servers
The Asian influenced menu captivates those yearning for delicacies that satisfy
your comfort zone. For the wine and sake enthusiast, the conversant team
encourages pairings that round out the unforgettable dining experience.
I truly and highly recommend this place, because it will
be an experience that you will never forget!
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at http://www.thekress.net
Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx
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