I’d only been to Desert Rose once before, and just for drinks, so I was excited when I got an invitation to try it out for lunch. I’d heard good things about their Mediterranean menu and remembered their big patio, a nice refuge from the bustling Hillhurst Ave., feeling very vacation-y.
We started with the Blue Crab Cakes. Crisply fried and super crabby (down with bready filler!), they were served with an addictive citrusy dressing and had a delicious hint of curry. The grapefruit chunks were a nice touch. We paired the appetizer with the Lucid Whiskey Sour, a Maker’s Mark/Cointreau cocktail served in an absinthe-rinsed glass.
I have a major burger compulsion, so I was extra happy when I heard they were serving a Lamb Burger. The patty was very juicy and perfectly pink inside with a healthy slab of feta cheese. I love a brioche bun, and this one had a flaky texture that put the focus on the meat and cheese, which is how I like it.
Chef Justo Vicent, new to Desert Rose and formerly of Spain’s famous El Bulli and LA’s Tinto, helped us end the meal right with a seemingly endless array of luscious (and very photogenic) desserts. There was a chocolate lava cake, creamy flan , and my favorite, the simple toasts spread thick with dark chocolate and sprinkled with coarse sea salt. I think I’m going to copy that recipe for my next party.
Desert Rose has some great happy hour specials, a separate vegan menu, and a brunch with organic omelets and a benedict menu.
1700 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, Ca 90027