About a week ago, a newbie friend from the Barry Group in Venice invited us to Checkers to try their new Rush Hour menu. We love their Thursday happy hour, so how the hell could we say no. We met up with Edward on Wednesday and were in love. First we fell in love with Edward and then the food love followed. We met Edward at the bar and he took us into the dining room. We’re commoners and always sit at the bar – these girls can spend $4 on Thursday but anything at the classy Checkers dining room has always been out of the question. But things have changed at Checkers and now their $39 three course menu has made (hottie tottie) Chef Todd’s menu accessible to all. Let me not leave out the other hottie tottie running the beverage service, Tyler. That boy makes my teeth sweat. They really need their own magazine cover. Anyone? Anyone?
However, let’s not detract from Edward, as he was the most entertainment of the night. I thought Carina was going to fall into to a love-induced coma when Edward was speaking because he loved Rosie, Hillary Clinton, worked in politics, and lives in WeHo. She had finally met her Prince Charming. I loved him, too. He was so adorable. In fact, we loved him so much that we even secured the next few dates with him in the coming weeks. Why can’t I book this many dates in advance?
So what is the Checkers Rush Hour Dinner Menu? Here is how it was described to us:
Checkers’ Rush Hour prix fixe menu, priced at $39 per person, is served daily from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Professionals leaving the office can now avoid the worst of Los Angeles’ infamous traffic while enjoying a fine dining experience at unbeatable prices.
Below is a look into some of the dishes we devoured from the Rush Hour menu:
For the first course, Carina ordered the Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna. I was coveting her food even though I could not try it. It looked amazing and she agreed that the flavors were right on. Edward opted for the Grilled Local Calamari and I opted for the Saffron Risotto without the rock shrimp, damn seafood allergy. I loved the risotto because it had large chunks of chorizo and it was heavy in cream (but in that good kind of way, that is). Tyler recommended I cut the heaviness of the risotto with some white wine, but I declined this Wednesday night and Carina and Edward had some instead. They thought the wine was lovely and that it went well with their food selections.
For dinner Carina order the Harissa-Rubbed Alaskan Halibut while Edward and I opted for the Grilled Colorado Lamb Loin. Carina’s halibut looked colorful and absolutely beautiful. She enjoyed it very much and was grateful that it wasn’t overcooked. She was also grateful that Edward laughed when she said, “I’ll have the halibut just for the hell-i-but.” It’s a good thing that Edward loved the puns because, let me just say, Carina throws them out all of the time. I had the lamb, which was beautifully cooked and the bean medley and broth that it lay above was heavenly. Even though the beans were a bit too al dente for my taste, the broth resembled a light and salty godliness. It reminded me of my grandma’s frijoles de la olla. Perfection.
And lastly for dessert Carina ordered the Gourmet Ice Cream and Sorbet, while Edward ordered the Flourless Chocolate Cake and I opted for the Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee. I think you should know that if you order the ice cream, you can only choose sorbet or ice cream. Our uncouthie, Carina, is dairy sensitive and went with the sorbet. When they asked her if she wanted mango or raspberry, she replied, “Both.” She has that way of asking by giving the waitstaff approval and more then often she gets her wish. We were at the classy Checkers dining room and did in fact feel at home. Together with the awkward conversation, Carina ordering two desserts, and me dropping my napkin and fork on the floor… well, let’s just say I could hear the song in my head…. “Pretty woman, walking down the street. Pretty woman.”
Edward ordered coffee with his dessert and it came with the usual cream and sugar. I had to take a picture of the sugars because as Carina once said, “Josie equates detail to love” and well, I do. It shows me that you care. So when I see such attention to detail, I notice, commend, and appreciate it. P.S: I also liked the silverware and the glassware as Checkers. It’s always the first thing I notice at a restaurant and yet I am so rarely impressed. If you want high-end dining attention to detail and good quality food at a reasonable price head to Checkers for the Rush Hour menu. You may not have the same great company, leave it to Carina to meet her soul mate at a media dinner, but we can guarantee you a great meal! Also for some foodie trivia: Thomas Keller was the executive chef at Checkers Hotel in the early 90s and our favorite Pasadena chef, Claud Beltran of Noir Food & Wine was the assistant chef under Thomas. Don’t say we never teach you anything!