Friday, August 4, 2017

A pair of superstar chefs bring Soul to Hollywood

Sleek and stylish Soul Restaurant & Bar wows the taste buds

Patti Pietschmann with photos by Richard Pietschmann

Chef Smith with the Diva

Diva flanked by Chef Jones on left and manager Jose

Soul in smack on Hollywood Blvd
Soul is the dream come true of two  highly skilled chefs Yealang Smith and  Giulian Jones.  The sleek restaurant was 10 years in  the making according to Chef Yealang--a gracious, lovely woman. It finally opened the first week of August 2017 and was  a welcome entry to Hollywood's culinary landscape. We were pretty much first nighters and loved everything about it from the hot Hollywood slick decor to the food and service.

Cool vibes fill the airy space which is almost too hip  and cool for the bustling Boulevard. And it was a busy summer night in tinsel town with tourists jamming everywhere.

But inside Soul we relaxed with a great bottle of Licco Chardonnay, selected by manager Jose, as we studied the tasty-sounding menu.  The two founders of Soul came over to the table. Celebrity Chef Jones runs the kitchen, Chef Smith conceptualized the place and did it right.

We loved every dish from the hot, freshly baked beignets that chef sent out first, through the outrageously tasty corn bread, BBQ small bites and halibut entree--all created with soul and tastes.

Here's  peek at the menu

Signature dishes from "Small Bites"-- Smoked Trout on toast with Fennel Slaw, Braised Meat Boulettes, and Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread with Charred Corn, among others. The "Garden" showcases a Jerk Chicken Cobb, Dino Kale, Little Gem and Wedge salads, while "Flatbreads" include House BBQ Chicken and Roasted Kombucha Squash with Spicy Turkey Sausage.  Main entrees include the House Ground Short Rib (brisket burger on toasted Brioche, Rhubarb Ketchup and Horseradish Butterchips, a vegetarian Beet Burger, Deep Dish Pot Pie, Choice Ribeye & Poached Lobster Tail, as well as, Fried Catfish and Salt & Pepper Potato Chips.  Sumptuous sides are Deep Dish Mac-n-Cheese, Burnt Sweet Potato, Slow Braised Greens, and Black-eyed Pea Succotash.  

You have to order the cornbread

 Desserts are simply divine and  include heavenly  beignets, bread pudding topped with house made whipped cream and caramel run sauce, and flight of cookies & milk (nine freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies with whole chocolate and almond milk); 
and seasonal creations such as this yummy savory we ate last night--

Soul is located in the heart of Hollywood steps from the TCL Chinese IMAX Theatre and other attractions.  It is open  for dinner Sunday - Thursday 4 p.m. - 11 p.m., Friday - Saturday 4 p.m. - 12 a.m. Bar is open until 2:00 am.  Valet parking is available from 5 p.m. for $8.00. Call for reservations: 323-962-7685.
Photo Gallery from opening week visit
Perfect wild halibut
Photo Gallery from opening week visit
Small bites smoked BBQ platter comes with tender pork ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket, in-house smoked chicken and wait for it--three tangy sauces.
Soul's food is fairly-priced at just $15 for the platter above, $24 for our fresh, wild halibut, salads for $12 and $13, cornbread is $7 and easily serves four, a choice rib eye with poached lobster tail however will set you back  a well-worth $38.

You must have wine to truly enjoy Soul's foodie delights and the menu offers perfect pairings beside each dish. We stuck with the Licco Chard but next visit will pair with courses for sure. They have lots of wines available.

Hurry and book your table as this restaurant could quickly become the heart and soul of Hollywood and hard to get into once the A-list hears about it.  After all Yealang once had a catering company that fed such famous faces as Toni Braxton, Snoop Dog, Master P, TLC and many others such as Eddie Murphy.