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THE STINKING ROSE - HEAVEN FOR GARLIC LOVERS  

By Michael Hepworth

Eleven years on, The Stinking Rose on Restaurant Row in Beverly Hills is still packing them in with its Italian-American food, especially all kinds of people who are crazy about the ubiquitous garlic. Situated on the same site where the old Lowry’s used to be, The Stinking Rose menu is all about garlic, and the meal of course starts with the delicious house ciabatta garlic bread which is rather irresistible.

The original restaurant started out in San Francisco and is still going strong, and each restaurant serves over 3,000 pounds of the herb each month. There is no way here to limit the strength of the herb as it is always served strong here with every dish, and since every clove is laced with such vital minerals as calcium, phosphorous and potassium, who can complain. Ancient and not so Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, believed strongly in garlic to cure heart diseases, colds, blood clots, cholesterol amongst many ailments, and doctors today still adhere to much of that thinking.

Black shirted waiters constantly buzzing around means that the service here is super quick, which is partly due to the fact  suspect that turnover of tables even in such a high profile location is imperative, based on the reasonable prices, high rent and considerable overheads. The restaurant is large enough to host a maximum of 400 diners in six different theme rooms, each creating a different mood, and maybe one to try next visit is Dracula’s Grotto, nestled in the back and a fitting tribute to Vlad the Impaler.

Soup lovers will love the Zuppa di Pesce ($19.95 per bowl), mussels, crab, fresh fish, calamari and shrimp in a lovely spicy tomato brodetto. Full of energy and flavor, the soup also comes in a medium and large bowl for group noshes, and is highly rated by this writer and will be ordered on my return visit.

Equally impressive was the sizzling Iron Skillet of a mussels, shrimp and crab combo, and the skillet comes piping hot to the table accompanied by all the garlic trimmings you will need like the Bagna Calda signature plate of garlic cloves, oven roasted in extra virgin olive-oil and butter with a dash of anchovy.

The Prime Rib($29.95) here is allegedly one of the best in town and a signature dish of the restaurant, probably because it is 100% USDA certified prime (i.e. Midwestern corn fed), and garlic roasted. Served with garlic mashed potatoes, as are most of all of the other entrees, the Prime Rib is a winner here. The Forty Clove Garlic Chicken ($17.95) is roasted on the bone and like most dishes here, it is impossible to avoid the strong garlic flavor. One of the other strong sellers is the Dungeness Killer Crab ($34.95) that is served in a secret garlic sauce

For dessert we were mildly steered into trying the Garlic Ice Cream which is served with a caramel mole sauce, and have to say that just trying it once is not enough to form any kind of measured opinion.  Have since spoke to several other people familiar with the restaurant and discovered a 50/50 vote, and is definitely an acquired taste, even though the amount of garlic in the recipe is no more than ¼ tsp.  A full bar is available along with a fair selection of wines that sell for about $9 a glass on average, and the Mojito bar features seven different varieties at $8.50 a pop.

Fact Sheet

Address: 55 N.La Cienega, Beverly Hills .

 

Phone: 310.652.7673

Valet parking $4.50(evenings)

Hours 11.30 am to 11 pm

Open 365 days a year

Reservations not required but recommended on weekends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
© Rich Journey  Inc.
287 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, California, 90211