Just when you think you’ve got Delphine figured out, they do something to surprise you. The Innovative Dining Group’s sleek Mediterranean restaurant located in the W Hollywood hotel is the last place you’d expect to get your hands dirty. First of all, Executive Chef Sascha Lyon has quite the resume: opening staff at Daniel Boulud’s Daniel and Balthazar, then chef de cuisine at Pastis, followed by opening his own restaurant SASCHA in New York. Furthermore, with a menu consisting of $28 short ribs, a $16 burger, and $35 halibut, it’s not a place you’d normally think of casually dropping by after already feeling guilty for buying those “Come Fly Away with Me” nosebleed seats across the street at the Pantages.
Fortunately, now you know better. Delphine has already been providing savvy oyster lovers with $1 oysters and clams during Raw Bar Mondays. Chef Lyon has added another evening of affordable delights: Tuesday Wing Nite. There are 7 different wing options for $4.50 an order, plus 4 sides for an additional $3 each. Lyon explained that if Raw Bar Mondays conjures images of decadence and indulgence, he wanted Tuesday to be all about rolling up your sleeves, diving into a sticky plate of wings, and getting your hands dirty. Like many chefs, he likes to eat everything with his hands – even salads. His hope is to provide diners with something simple and delicious that he’d also like to eat.
When describing the dishes, Lyon was careful to avoid using buzzwords like “gourmet.” While local and organic ingredients are important to him, he stressed that it’s still just chicken wings. He knew he needed to add truffle cheese wings to the menu, since truffle oil still gets Angelinos way too excited, despite the onset of truffle oil fatigue among some writers, including this one. While the truffle cheese wings were actually pretty good, my favorites were the BBQ beer with green chili (I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of heat coming from the green chilis), and the Thai red curry.
Since there is a law against eating chicken wings without a cold drink to wash them down (I think Gov. Brown was concerned with a choking epidemic), Delphine has thrown a couple discounted cocktails on the menu specifically for wing nite. The “Honey Bee” includes watermelon lemonade, honey Jack Daniels, and a rim of fennel salt. The “Early Tea” contains raspberry tea and sweet tea vodka. Of course, you can still ask for the full cocktail and beer list.
My favorite of the basic sides was the potato salad. When I think potato salad, I usually picture the mushy mess that your friend always picks up at the grocery store on his way over to your BBQ. This version was traditional and used fresh ingredients, but I couldn’t help but think lustful thoughts about the warm potato salad I had at Fundamental LA earlier that week (review coming soon).
After ripping the flesh off of countless wings, it was time for some roughage. We tried the organic kale salad with crisp pita, jalapeno, soledad goat feta, and creamy citrus dressing (sorry Lyon, I couldn’t bring myself to eat the salad with my hands in front of civilized ladies).
Time to go back to trying all 7 wing flavors. When I read reviews of new restaurant menus, I pay particular attention to which dishes were favorites so I know what to order. When it comes to Delphine’s wing nite, you’re best bet is just ordering whatever sounds best to you at the time. This may sound like a cop out, but the truth is that the kitchen isn’t trying to break any new boundaries. The Thai red curry sauce is a straight-forward and tasty curry sauce, just as the spiced honey glaze is simple in the best possible sense. The brines and seasoning are well-thought out but it’s not going to make you rethink your conception of a chicken wing. Again, these are just chicken wings, but well-executed by a chef who knows what he’s doing.
The most popular dish at my table was the honey sriracha wings, and if you can’t wait until next Tuesday to try them, you’re in luck: the recipe is available at Los Angeles magazine.
Wing Nite Takes Place Every Tuesday Evening in the Bar
6250 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood
Disclosure: This meal was hosted