A “neighborhood” crowd counts on this “buzzy” Hollywood joint featuring a “wide-ranging”, “healthy”, mostly organic Italian menu and “tasty” pizza sold by the slab; some say it’s “pricier than you might think”, but with an unpretentious bright-orange setting and affable service, it’s “always busy”; it also works well for takeout.
ZAGAT RATINGS & REVIEW
BBE chats with DailyCandy founder Dany Levy may 2014
Before Refinery29, before Thrillist, before all that, there was DailyCandy. The first mover in the daily e-mail newsletter space, DailyCandy’s genius was its simplicity. It was one email. One thing. One “you oughta know.” The woman behind this genius is Dany Levy, who, having sold the company to Comcast in 2008, has since been consulting for companies big (think publicly traded) to small (two 20-somethings sharing a laptop). Part of DailyCandy’s success was that Dany has always been that “go-to-girl”—she’s whip-smart and has an impeccable eye. She’s the one you always asked things like “where’s a good place to take my blind date to dinner?” “What should I get my boyfriend for his birthday?” “Where did you get those shoes?” Sadly, after 14 years, NBC Universal recently shuttered DailyCandy, so we wanted to honor Dany in the BBE way by celebrating her taste in all things—but especially food.
BBE: How often do you dine out?
More than I care to admit. I eat out four to five nights a week. I justify it because I never go out for lunch. But there’s just something I love about, after a long day, tucking into the corner of one of my favorite haunts and lingering over good food and good conversation. (I’m like some lab rat that loves the reward. So I keep hitting the feed bar.)
BBE: What are your favorite restaurants in the US?
In New York I love:
Il Cantinori (I live upstairs from it; I call it my “lobby.” I’ve been going there for 20 years, and it’s comforting and lovely to go to a restaurant and be treated like family.)
Blue Ribbon Bakery (or any of the Blue Ribbon franchise, for that matter) Just solid and delish.
In LA I love:
The Tower Bar at The Sunset Tower Hotel (for anyone who has been there, the Maitre’d, Dimitri is a love. And their bread basket—especially the pretzel—rocks. Profoundly so.)
BBE: And what are the stand-out dishes that you write home about?
Well, menus often change. But right now Il Cantinori has an artichoke stew that I am obsessed with. Blue Ribbon Bakery’s iceberg salad (though it might sound like a snooze) is the perfect mix of tomato, feta, and onion in a dressing that I wish I could recreate. Cheebo, though a bit hokey, has the best artichoke you’ll ever meet, and is super fun for kids too.
Dan Tana’s cioppino is outstanding and comes in a bowl about the size of my head. It’s rich and garlicky and basically unrivaled. And nothing compares to the yellowtail sashimi at Japonica. Not only is it wickedly fresh, but they don’t skimp on the portions. (I also joke that they lace their miso soup with crack, it is so good.)
Otherwise I am on the hunt for a place that serves lotus root like Matsuri used to. I won’t quit until I find the perfect bowl of tom yum, and I’m dying to find ratatouille like my mother used to make.
BBE: Do you have a favorite food personality?
Frankly, I’m a bit turned off by celebrity chefs. It would be nice if they spent a bit more time focusing on their craft and a little less time celebrating themselves. With that said, I am a huge fan of Amanda Hesser, founder of Food52.
BBE: Do you ever cook and, if so, what is your specialty dish—and what is the secret to its success?
I don’t cook as often as I used to, but I do have a few dishes that I am known for amongst my friends. A couple I’ve “made up” and a couple I’ve taken from the pages of dishes I’ve eaten along the way. They are listed here (in no particular order, but you will see a theme here and hint, it begins with the letter “c”):
Sautéed cabbage with caramelized onions and parmesan
Wilted spinach salad with “caramelized” onions (and when I say “caramelized,” I mean I burn the bejeezus out of them)
Spaghetti squash patties (think latkes, only made with spaghetti squash)
Caramelized corn and shallots
BBE: Do you have a biggest restaurant pet peeve?
Oh, I have many: bad acoustics, bad service, long wait times, bad food.
BBE: What is the smartest move or moves that you have seen restaurants make that puts them in your good graces?
Apologizing or compensating for “mistakes,” meaning realizing that the customer is always right (even when—and I have seen some horrid treatment of restaurant staff—the customer is a tool).
BBE: These days ,it seems like jeans walk you from H & H to Le Cirque. Thoughts on this casual trend and forecasts for its future?
Perhaps we’ve realized that dinner at Grammy’s with lace doilies and being told to sit up straight multiple times is no fun at all.
BBE: What can’t we Google about Dany Levy?
That she’s a little old lady living in a much younger body and she eats sorbet for breakfast.
La Times Dining Guide
Forget the mass-market pizzas dripping with cheese. Cheebo in Hollywood has come up with a winning formula: a great billowy crust with the flavor built in, and a choice of inspired toppings (try the fresh sausage and fennel or the vegetarian with goat cheese, artichokes and olives).
This boho-Hollywood café is tremendously kid-friendly, with butcher paper-covered tables and crayons.
In addition to the pizzas, there is house-made ravioli, rustic soups, the Cheebo Chop salad and a terrific “porkwich” made from slow-roasted organic pork.
For dessert, it’s “Da bomb,” a soufflé that oozes chocolate like lava.
THE LIST : Best New Restaurants – Michelle Huneven
Funky, fun, and completely, unabashedly unpretentious, Cheebo in West Hollywood simply embodies the way I like to eat day-by-day: organic when possible, with big flavors, good products, and a level of skill in even the simplest preparations that makes the ordinary deeply satisfying.
Long-cooked organic pork, a range of skillfully composed salads, a pizza whose crust has an alluring internal crunch and well-wrought toppings (try the sausage and fennel), plank-roasted salmon – nothing’s fancy and virtually everything is stalwartly delicious.
Best Sandwiches —Michelle Huneven
Really: Is there any such thing as a bad pork sandwich? But the dazzling “Porkwich,” the creation of Cheebo, a casual, mostly organic café on Sunset, is a thing unto itself — slow-roasted, moist, seriously flavorful organic pork, layered with onion, melted manchego cheese, very thin slices of crunchy dill pickles and tarragon mayonnaise on a choice of five different breads. Atkins types can even have it “plated,” which is to say, with no bread at all. Stunning.
Where to eat right now in 30 American cities
The cibo (Italian for “food”) is surprisingly good at cartoonish Cheebo. One draw is puffy-crusted pizzas by the foot or slab. Others are the impeccable organic salads and the “Porkwich,” with slow-roasted organic pork, pickles, and Manchego cheese on ciabatta.
There’s much more than meets the eye, so come and bare your tattoos and bring the kids. They’ll love doodling on the paper-covered tables as you play one of the board games stacked on the counter.
Interior Dialogue by Ron Meyers
The first thing I noticed was … the absence of guards, goons or anybody with a list. I walked into a complex of rooms drenched in a vivid orange-creamsicle color that should have been sickeningly sweet but was in fact delicious and flattering. The walls were tall and covered in lots of L.A. art. The rooms were spacious and filled with lots of L.A. people, all of whom had left their attitude at the door. No flash, no decorator tricks, no lounges crammed with wannabes and no pink poodles.
The food was fantastic, the music hot, and the people cool. A very modern, very public moment. An ordinary night with friends turned out to be all about what makes this city extraordinary: honesty, clarity and personal vision. The world can have our old movie sets. We’ve internalized our glamour. Welcome to L.A.
OUR PICKS OF PIZZAS WITH PIZZAZ : By the yard
“I love this place,” S. Irene Virbila said in her review last month. Its unique selling point is pizza by the yard, but the novelty shape aside, the art is in the dough, which is given a pleasant tang by the incorporation of longer-fermented dough, or biga.
Recommended toppings include sausage and fennel, or a combination of mozzarella, goat cheese, fresh tomato and a scattering of slivered fresh artichokes and olives. For pizza dinners with wine, expect to pay $20 a head.
Good Is in the Details by Michelle Huneven
At noon one day, we slide into a banquette between a meeting of young filmmakers and a solo diner eating a semi-rectangular pizza with deep meditative relish. Light streams in through colored glass panes, and … right off the bat, the lunch menu proves difficult: So many things look tempting. Porkwich or Greek-o-Cheebo salad? Smoked-salmon pizza or “goat cheese N grape leaf” pressed sandwich? Our waitress is no help. “It’s all really good,” she says flatly. “Whatever you order.”
So we finally commit to a handful of items (thus eliminating so many others)…. Both of the chopped salads — the mesquite-grilled Vegorama (greens, zucchini, mushroom, carrot, leek, asparagus, fennel and garbanzo beans) and the Cheebo Chop (greens, chicken, salami, sopressata, olives and Italian cheeses) — are fresh and surprising and completely different. Each bite varies — you get tired of chewing long before you lose interest or concede you’re full.
The Living Salad takes me back to hippie garden days, with the starchy, raw crunch of sprouted beans and peas, the chewiness of wild rice, ripe cherry tomatoes. And an elegant, horizontal heap of romaine leaves and red endive spears, lushly dressed and crisscrossed with anchovies — Cheebo’s caesar — may be the city’s best version of the classic.
Sandwiches are made with one of five different breads — or “plated,” which means with no bread at all. I order the Porkwich plated, which is a heap of slow-roasted organic pork and onion with melted marciego cheese and very thin slices of crunchy dill pickles and tarragon mayonnaise — a marvel. The mesquite-grilled Chickwich is composed of white meat and Cheddar cheese encased in a hard, ultra-crisped shell of bacon. Individual pizzas, soft rectangles with puffy edges, actually have a thin, crisp, chewy crust under the topping, where it counts. Try the housemade sausage with fennel, though we also liked a basic pepperoni ordered for the child among us; fresh tomato sauce adds juice and depth.
The dinner menu will provoke another crisis of indecision — that is, if you look beyond the entrée portion of that incredible pork. There’s pizza, of course, and pasta. The spaghetti — a good, supple noodle with a meaty “pulled beef” bolognese sauce — is excellent. Of the entrées, I uncharacteristically loved the halibut, a moist, firm and tasty wedge of fish grilled with a light crust and served with smoky white beans spiked with roasted tomatoes and strands of bitter greens. A tri-tip steak is juicy and flavorful if not exactly the most tender cut. For tenderness, you’ll want the braised eye of round, a thick slice of beef so cooked that it has almost become another substance, a kind of soft beefy essence accompanied by thick, grilled, crusty bread drenched in horseradish cream.
Both beef dishes also come with buttery mashed potatoes, but you can order other sides: profoundly green kale sautéed with garlic, or the butter-drenched steamed yellow sweet potatoes. Baby back ribs — a popular dish with kids — are sweet with a hoisin-style sauce. For a plate of pure protein — another Atkins diet pick — there’s delicious, pleasurably firm house-smoked salmon and sea bass served with long, thin slices of cucumber so you can make your own roll-ups.
For dessert, try the cold, creamy mocha cheesecake — it has just the right balance of sweetness and bitterness with a smart dash of salt. There’s also a fresh apricot crisp, which is baked to order, its topping rich, crunchy and fragrant with ground hazelnuts. Wash it down with espresso or an Americano — the coffee here is excellent.
Cheebo is composed, like its salads, of countless small, intelligent details based on years of apprenticeships and experience… which explains, in part, the excellent pizza and pasta and the use of organic ingredients whenever possible.)
Cheebo may be a neighborhood restaurant, but I’d drive across town to eat there. In fact, on the way back to our car, we pass a house for sale: $795,000. It’s an ungodly sum, but the location suddenly seems highly desirable.
© 2016 CHEEBO email@example.com
7533 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046
TEL (323) 850-7070 FAX (323) 969-0800
FREE VALET: noon – 2pm and 6.30pm – close