While I should associate Michael Mina‘s XIV with fine dining and stylish design, I’ll forever remember it as the place where Heidi received the boot from SBE due to Spencer‘s shenanigans. Michael Mina is pretty famous as far as chefs go, but compared to Hills-dwellin’ famewhores, he is merely a civilian with a restaurant empire.
The Astronomer and I met up with some cool cats, namely Tony C., B-side, Aseem, Cousin Phil, and his squeeze Tannia, to scope out XIV’s happy hour specials. 6ix on Sunset, which features $6 cocktails, a $6 Terrace menu, and $6 valet, takes place on XIV’s Terrace 6 to 8 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.
We came to play on a Friday night.
As I made my way to the Terrace, I was greeted by a smiley B-side carrying a dish of XIV’s famous truffle butter popcorn ($6). Before I could reach in for a taste, he informed me that Brody Jenner was paces away watching the Laker game with his “bros” Frankie and Sleazy-T. I instantly forgot about the popcorn and made my way to the bar to gawk at reality television stars. I couldn’t believe my luck! The Hills—they’re really alive!
It was quite fitting that B-side alerted me to the D-listers in our presence because he’s the one who famously coined the moniker Speidi—no joke! He also writes hilarious Hills recaps each week on his blog. This scenario was so perfect on so many different levels.
By the time I rejoined my happy hour posse, the popcorn had grown stale. According to B-side, it was quite good when fresh.
After a few bites of cold popcorn, I moved onto the cocktail portion of happy hour. I started off with a mojito, then stole some gulps of The Astronomer’s Shelter (Krol Vodka, elderflower, white cranberry), and eventually finished off with a Bramble (gin, lemon juice, creme de mures, and muddled blackberries). In under two hours, I managed to get nice and blitzed. Our entire happy hour posse deemed the $6 cocktails a damn good deal.
My favorite small bites of the evening were the Tartare Poppers ($6), which consisted of Hamachi and Ahi perched upon a fried rice cake. The poppers were excellent au naturale and didn’t require any of the ponzu that was served alongside. At two bucks a pop(per), they weren’t exactly a steal, but hey, it’s happy hour in West Hollywood! I didn’t feel the least bit gypped.
I was really looking forward to trying the lobster corndogs because I love classic American fare given a glamorous makeover. I was hoping for hunks of actual lobster inside the corndog, but the filling had the same consistency as a regular hotdog. In keeping with the extra-fancy theme, the corndogs were served with a spicy whole grain mustard. Size-wise, each hot dog on a stick provided 2.5 bites of fun.
The duck fat fries ($6) arrived with three different seasonings and three different sauces. The seasonings included pepper, paprika, and rosemary, while the sauces consisted of barbecue, buttermilk ranch, and ketchup. I’m more of an onion ring kind of girl, so The Astronomer and the posse polished these off.
We also placed an order for Kobe beef sliders, but the only place they appeared was on our tab at the end of the night.
It must be noted that the Terrace was totally slammed the evening we visited. Friday night, plus Lakers playoffs, equals huge crowds. As a result, the service was terrible. It took a lot of ordering and reordering to receive our food and drinks, and even then, we failed to receive a handful of items. With that being said, I had a grand ‘ol time at XIV. After all, happy hour is about good company.
As Tony C., The Astronomer, and I waited for valet at the end of the evening, we spied yet another celebrity. This time it was Ian Ziering—Steve Sanders from original 90210. It turns out that XIV is the hangout of choice for teen heartthrobs past and present.
XIV by Michael Mina
8117 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046