Nightclub Attitude at Oliver Café in Beverly Hills
"There's something very LA about this place", I hear the guy at the next table say to his buddy. Very LA indeed. If you are looking for a restaurant that screams Los Angeles (for better or worse) this is a good place, particularly from a sociological perspective. Let's take the owner, Mario Oliver. I find it humorous that this ex-nightclub guy now owns a "healthy" restaurant attached to a gym. This is no ordinary gym, Oliver Café and Lounge is attached to THE (not a typo) Sports Club LA located on Wilshire Blvd., in the center of Beverly Hills, with valet parking underground.
Oliver still has that annoying nightclub attitude that he should have left in the 90s. There were tons of tables available and he showed me to a tiny table near the door that looked like one of the worst ones in the place. I asked to be seated in another area instead. "No" he said. Perhaps I was not kewl enough. Instead he gave me another alternative, which was fine, not great. I snickered to myself.
The top of the menu in green reads "all (*) items are endorsed by our Registered Dietician and are between 400 and 650 calories". Curious, I ask the waitress how to determine which dishes have around 400 calories. she tells me "I don't even know if that's a sham or not". Really.
I order the Warm Shrimp Salad that has a green asterisk by it anyway. It turns out to be light and refreshing. The salad has hearts of romaine, a bit of Feta cheese, tomato, Parmesan, warm chardonnay lemon-garlic vinaigrette and 4 shrimp. Cousin Lori gets the BBQ Chicken Salad (over 650 calories) and less satisfying than mine. It has chicken, tomato, cilantro, cheddar cheese, corn tortilla chips, sweet corn, and red onion with mixed greens. She was disappointed with the blah tasting ingredients that were more like a taco filling than a salad. She leaves unsatisfied with the meal. I think to myself this is the restaurant to send people that want a taste of Los Angeles attitude, not the LA for foodies..
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9601 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210