By: Julia Harris
A.O.C., owned by restaurateurs Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne, is taking over the old Orso space -- and the famous power-lunch-patio located at 8700 W. 3rd ST., two blocks east of Robertson.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the new location, and was pleasantly surprised at the light, airy vibe that has taken over the previously moody feel of the space. Black and brown oak wood decorate the room that used to divide the bar and dining room. The space has been opened up and a long communal bar top table sits directly in the middle of the inside area. The openness of the restaurant gives off a much more collective, comfortable feeling, as do the hostesses, waiters, and waitresses. You won’t find snooty, stuck up employees here. Everyone is greeted with a smile and kind attitude upon being seated, and throughout service.
Two trees were planted in the large patio, and a fireplace sits directly in the middle. The entire outside patio has a rustic, trendy vibe, without the arrogance of most Hollywood go-to spots. Space heaters line the outer perimeter of the patio, so you’re never cold, and the bay leaf trees, potted herbs, vegetables and fruit trees remind you that you’re outside, while still giving off a homey vibe.
Cocktail hour is from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, where you can enjoy wine by the glass for $6, beer for $4, and speciality cocktails $10, as well as discounts on some food. The Fire and Smoke is a hot pink cocktail made with mezcal, tequila, and blood orange – delicious! You’ll definitely want another. The arugula and blood orange salad is small but tasty. Arroz negro, squid & saffron aioli – perfection. We wanted to try the 5 cheese plate, so we simply told our waiter what kinds of cheeses we liked, and he brought us a wonderful assortment of goat, sheep, and cow. Yum! Finally, we had the blood orange vacherin for dessert. Amazing doesn’t really describe it, but it comes pretty close. The vacherin was made with a frozen meringue/whipped cream, frozen blood orange, and pistachios. Blood orange rings were stacked on the meringue and in the middle of two layers of meringue /whipped cream so that the result was a fruity ice cream layer cake.
We were super excited to get to try this new Hollywood hot spot before more catch on. It’s got the trendy-upper-statusphere feel, without the supercilious attitude, and we love that! They are also open for lunch, and it’s a perfect after-work-cocktail location if you’re in the area.
Julia works in the legal department of a major studio. She enjoys eating, drinking, and eating and drinking at the same time. Due to her love of all things food she is constantly looking for amazing new restaurants and bars in the greater Los Angeles area so that she can force her friends to go out with her and pretend that we’re all big shots.
She is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Los Angeles Bar Association, and the Love Justine fan club.