You’re in a randy mood and want to eat Kettle corn and Sloppy Joe sliders and pretzel bites while doing karaoke and having game night all at the same time. Last night The Monster was invited to Vodvil’s soft opening. And at Vodvil you can nosh on all-American eats while fulfilling your singing/trivia-gaming/photo-booth-loving desires all in the same location. Since it is a preview and the staff is just getting its footing (and because the meal is comped) there will be no grade given but The Monster will give you the very first word in Los Angeles on what to expect.
Vodvil sports a menu of simple American fare served with Coney Island flair. There’s a pickle jar and pigs in a blanket and four types of sliders (Indian inspired lamb with onion relish, dill yogurt; turkey Sloppy Joe with pickles; Kobe beef with pickles, ketchup, American cheese; falafel with tahini, tomato chutney, lavash bread). Assorted meat is served on a stick (chicken satay with peanut sauce; marinated beef with pineapple; spicy pork with peaches) along with pot pies and shake and bake chicken. For the health conscious there is a selection of salads and vegetable sides and if you order them everyone you’re with should make fun of you mercilessly and then leave you without a ride home.
The way Vodvil works is every half an hour the hosts will introduce another game. You can choose to participate (or hide in the corner like The Monster did and use your cloak of invisibility). Four televisions relay the questions and as the first game starts two aspiring actors in LA get there very first gig. Mazel tov!
The inaugural game is “finish the lyrics”. If you win you receive tokens redeemable for prizes in their vending machine (like Candy Buttons, Fancy Schmancy Hand Sanitizer, and “Could You Be A Bigger Bitch Gum?”) or the value of each token will be given to a revolving charity of Vodvil’s choosing. That’s a nice sentiment that no one in Los Angeles will opt for unless they are on a first date and in need of serious karmic help. When the game ends the four televisions play music videos (George Michaels’ Faith; Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About by Bonnie Raitt; UB40’s Red, Red Wine…)
What we got:
The cheddar caramel kettle corn. Huge bowl. Nice to munch on. Can’t go wrong here.
The Pickle jar which tonight is cherries, green and white wax beans, cauliflower, carrots, sweet pickles, and green tomato. Pickle jars are this year’s “beets and goat cheese” on the LA dining scene and The Monster is decidedly happy about it. Pickle jars are delicious and this assortment is very nice.
Turkey Sloppy Joe sliders. Unfortunately restaurants recently love giving The Monster meat because we are served the Kobe beef sliders. When the correct sliders come they are good (but The Six serves a better version).
Shake and bake chicken. Huge bowl of chicken. Nicely breaded. In need of a sauce which does not come with it. Add a sauce and this will rock.
Spinach and mushroom pot pie (for Mrs. Monster). The Monster adores pot pie and hates mushrooms. Mrs. Monster loves this and The Monster is jealous.
Fries with aioli, thyme infused malt vinegar, ketchup. Fries are a bit salty, wish the ketchup is homemade.
While there are punchbowls that serve four, we opt for a few individual drinks including the Door #2 which is Absolut Vodka, raspberry puree, lime juice; Cookies and Cream with Don Q Rum, tres leches, cookies and cream; S’mores with Absolut Vodka, cocoa, agave, marshmallow and graham cracker. All delicious.
Game two is “television trivia.” Lots of Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island and Love Boat references. The Monster plays along in his head but doesn’t write down his answers. Good idea given he didn’t get many correct. There are quite a few intelligent people (or absolute cheaters) at the opening night.
The last course is a chocolate chip pretzel cookie served warm. Loved it. Want more. Perfect end to the night.
We cruise over to the photo booth to take a picture to commemorate the evening but alas, it isn’t working. Damn.
Why go? You are a trivia maven, you sing like a bird, you eat like a Carnie.
Monster rating: Incomplete
351 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036