Critic’s Notebook: The Hall at Palihouse

The charming outdoor dining room at The Hall.  

Chef Gary Menes (Palate, Marché) has taken over the kitchen at The Hall (8465 Holloway Dr., West Hollywood, 323.327.9702), the courtyard mini brasserie inside the Palihouse Hotel. He’s completely revamped the menu but stays true to the casual French concept. The appetizers are fantastic, especially the addictive pig candy (sugared bacon), pork rillettes, foie gras terrine with brioche and cherries, hand-cut steak tartare and frisée salad topped with a 60-degree poached egg—so that the yolk is deliciously gooey and gelatinous rather than thin and runny. But the entrées are still works in progress, I suppose. The steak frites is a mixed bag; the fries are fantastic but my supposed “prime beef” was underseasoned, limp and completely unsatisfying. Poached chicken tastes too much like diet food.

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