Well, I arrived back in Vancouver late Saturday night from my trip to Los Angeles, California. The weather co-operated with us for the most part for the four nights and five days we spent down there. As promised, here is the first of several entries regarding my travels, and they will proceed in roughly chronological order.

Today, I will write about where we had dinner on the night of our arrival in Hollywood. While its name may not be the most attractive or mouth-watering out there, The Stinking Rose is one of those gems that is certainly worth a visit if you happen to be down in the Los Angeles area. Known as “the garlic restaurant” (garlic is sometimes known as the stinking rose, hence the restaurant’s namesake), you’ll find that just about everything on the menu involves the breath-stinking-ing (yes, I know that’s not a word) ingredient.

We started with the Bagna Calda appetizer, which is basically oven roasted garlic cloves soaked in extra virgin olive oil. Easily spreadable across their foccacia bread, this was a sign of how the
evening was going to go. Myself, I opted for the Garlic Prime Rib, which as you can guess, is your fairly standard (but large) cut of prime rib topped with roasted garlic cloves. Other options include Forty Clove Garlic Chicken, Garlic Meat Loaf, Niman Ranch Porterhouse Pork Chop with a sweet garlic relish, and Zuppa di Pesce – a bouillabaisse-like dish with mussels, crab, fish, calamari, and shrimp. For dessert, we shared some garlic ice cream.

All in all, the restaurant was a refreshing experience with a rather interesting menu. The ambiance was nice, with dimly lit booths and a charismatic server. Parking, however, seems to be strictly valet (for a nominal fee, of course), unless you feel like cruising around the block
looking for a spot. They also have a good selection of alcoholic beverages, including a variety of mojitos for your sipping pleasure. I indulged in the Baja Mojito featuring tequila instead of the regular rum.

The Stinking Rose is located at 55 North La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Their phone number is (310) 652-7673. There is also a location in San Francisco at 325 Columbus Avenue. That location can be reached at (415) 781-7673.