Thursday night marked the preview party for Adolfo Suaya's new restaurant and bar, BoHo, which is located in the ArcLight complex directly across the street from Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard. Before making its debut as BoHo, the space was called Charcoal and was also owned by Suaya. However, Charcoal's standard American grill fare never succeeded in turning heads, and toward the end of its run a mini controversy erupted over the fact that Charcoal didn't provide change, but instead rounded up or down to the nearest dollar.
For BoHo, Suaya hired a frequent collaborator, Kristofer Keith of Spacecraft Design, to create an original-looking space evocative of the so-called Bohemian lifestyle. Keith, who specializes in lush, detailed and often over-the-top restaurants and barscapes (Kitchen 24, Bar Delux, the former Goa), has crafted a cozy, rather oddball spot flush with kitschy knickknacks, mismatched thrift store lights and chairs, elaborate candelabras, indoor ficus trees, an extraordinarily wide and somewhat distressed simple wooden bar, a deer head wearing a tie and a bizarre overabundance of curio cabinets.
It's as if someone with (relatively) refined, modern taste decided it would be fun to play at being poor. There's a lot of that going on in Los Angeles these days (Cafe Wa s' Hobo Mondays, the Edison's Soup Kitchen), and for those of us who really do have to think twice before throwing down $10 on a martini, it's beginning to feel a bit gratuitous. Do we really need a Hollywood bar named BoHo winking at us through its carefully curated (and secretly expensive) rags?
However, in all fairness, BoHo is trying to keep prices at a reasonable level. Eater L.A. reports that nothing on chef Andre Guerrero's menu is more than $20. The proposed menu (BoHo is shooting for a March 20 opening) will be full of farmers market-driven small plates, fancy pizzas, meats, cheeses and ribs; and most things will be meant for sharing. There is also a list of 25 draft beers that our friend Pat Saperstein at Eating L.A. says is better than the good list at Barbarella Bar in Silver Lake.
The verdict is far from in on this one. It'll be interesting to see what kind of a crowd it claims and whether it'll be able to draw the mix of relaxed neighborhood denizens, ArcLight goers and Amoeba frequenting uber-hipsters that it seeks.
BoHo, 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.
-- Jessica Gelt
Photo by Jessica Gelt