The Church Key

03 Mar 2017 The Church Key: Fun, Swanky Date Spot on the Sunset Strip.

The Church Key. Photo by The Church Key

Whether you are looking for an impressive place to take your date to dinner, or hold a business meeting over a clever cocktail, The Church Key in West Hollywood is the place to go. This Great Gatsby meets “modern shabby chic” Sunset Strip hot spot is the perfect balance between vintage yet modern, sophisticated yet playful, all done with a warm, welcoming elegance and a pinch of nostalgia.

Its very hard to ignore the element of sheer fun that is peppered into your Church Key experience and that is what makes this place a stand out. Executive Chef Ryan Ososky and Chef De Cuisine Christopher Fox are innovative, fun loving, and not afraid to take risks or try new things. Each time you come you may experience something new and exciting! Come on a specialty menu night –

Tuesdays: Fried Chicken Night!

Wednesdays:Wine and Dine night-26 oz New York Steak for two and bottle of wine for $99 (yes please!),

Thursdays: Tequila Night- shots start at $5 (told you these guys were fun loving!)

Sundays: Dinner and a movie (hello, incredible date idea!)

Come to their famous bottomless mimosa brunch, happy hour 5-7,  or during dinner service you can flag down a dim sum cart strolling by your table. If you are extra lucky, you may spot the elusive old Pam Am flight attendant cart carrying frozen liquid nitrogen alcoholic popsicles. Yes. Seriously…so fun!!

THE DRINKS:

Mixologist Rob Floyd is incredible and loves his unique, seasonal ingredients. I tried the Cranberry Mule   because I’m a huge mule fan and this was the best I’ve had so far! He used the usual Vodka and ginger beer but elevated it with cranberries and black cardamom. SO.GOOD.

Cranberry Mule cocktail. Photo by Sara Guarnieri

I also tried a drink called Fall Lips back in December when I attended Church Key’s 3rd birthday party and I still think about it. It was vodka, lemon, pumpkin spice, Espuma (fancy foam) and champagne. This drink was elegant, beautiful, and Im always a sucker for pumpkin spiced anything!

Next on the list of cocktails I’d like to try: Sunset 8730 which has gin, campari, pear, and the most intriguing ingredient: Heirloom tomato!

Sunset 8730 cocktail. Photo by The Church Key

THE FOOD: 

Chef Ryan’s eclectic menu has so much creativity that there is sure to be something for everyone. Their happy hour menu is great if you just want a few snacks/finger foods to enjoy with your drink and I absolutely loved the nostalgic kids food elevated to sophistication. Fried mac and cheese dipped in truffle aioli was definitely something to write home about and the Bacon jam and Gruyere Grilled Cheese and the Salt and Vinegar Popcorn things also a hit.

Salt and Vinegar popcorn. Photo by Sara Guarnieri

Fried Mac and Cheese. Photo by Sara Guarnieri

From their regular menu I particularly loved the Stuffed Avocado. This is an avocado stuffed with Tuna Tartare, japenese cucumber, tempura and ponzu aioli.

Stuffed Avocado. photo by The Church Key

If you love  Burrata cheese like I do, their Heirloom Beet and Burrata should definitely be your salad choice. Wild Arugula, Pistachio butter (yum) and Tangerine Vinaigrette.

Heirloom Beet and Burrata Salad. Photo by Sara Guarnieri

Since they are big on their Dim Sum, I just had to try “The Hit List” which is an appetizer compilation of their favorites. The fun part is the Dim Sum cart that comes around when you want to replenish your favorites!

“The Hit List” Dim Sum. Photo by Sara Guarnieri

Dim Sum cart! photo by Sara Guarnieri

Chef Ososky knocks it out of the park with his childhood favorite, Potato Pierogies. He gives this classic dish an upgrade with Heirloom apple butter and 5 year aged Gouda. I’ve ordered this dish twice now and have no plans of stopping.

Chef Ryan Ososky’s Potato Pierogies photo by Sara Guarnieri

THE DESSERTS: 

If you don’t come to The Church Key for any other reason, come for the donuts!! Not just any donuts, these are  warm brioche donuts from heaven with a brown butter glaze and cinnamon caramel. These are probably their most famous menu item and they even have an entire section of their website devoted to ordering said donuts. They deserve their own article as well. These are not to be missed!!

The Church Key’s famous donut. Photo by Sara Guarnieri

They offer other innovative and delicious desserts that will make your inner child very happy. I tried the Root beer flavored cotton candy (they always experiment with new flavors too) and I think this would make such a cute dessert to surprise your date with!

The Church Key is definitely the place you want to check out for your next date, meeting, celebratory dinner or when you just want to grab a drink. That perfect slice of vintage nostalgia mixed with modern swank.  I will definitely be back.

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Sara and The Somm

Sara Guarnieri is an actress by day, foodie by night. Originally an east coast girl from New York, she earned her BFA from Ohio University. Her love of food was inspired by her Italian upbringing which included love filled homemade meals and frequent (often unsolicited) cooking lessons. Nevin Kumar is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. He is a Military BRAT with a Fine Arts degree from The University of Maryland at College Park, and has a passion for history, food culture, and people. Together they started Sara and The Somm, an instagram devoted to highlighting the best of the culinary and beverage pairing world. They reside in Los Angeles, California.

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