Restaurant review: STK in 14 dishes

Yesterday, I joined a group of 19 food bloggers for a complimentary 14 plate meal and cocktails at the celebrity infested hotspot--STK in West Hollywood courtesy of The One Group. I've only been to STK once before for the DVD premier of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (post here).

I quickly learned three things:
1. I cannot eat that much.
2. I need a better camera or eye to photograph food.
3. I'm not a food critique.

Sure, I've written about food before, especially cupcakes, but I'm not critical enough or maybe I simply do not have a refined enough pallet to properly articulate what I like or do not like about my meal. For instance, one food blogger commented that the chicken was dry, but I really liked it and didn't even notice that. Another said truffle oil is so last year, but I was licking it up. I was reminded of that old Apple Jacks cereal commercial with the slogan "We eat what we like," and apparently I liked it all at STK. Granted, I'm sure we were being served the best of the best and were also being overly attended to, which could of course be impairing my judgment. Overall I enjoyed my meal, especially the presentation, drinks and atmosphere. My favorites on the food front were the sweet corn pudding, which I didn't think I'd like but yum, the macaroni and cheese, jumbo lump crab meat salad, red snapper and their lil'big macs. The only two items that I didn't like were the Tuna Tartar, which was too spicy for me and the roasted beets with yogurt but I'm not a beet lover in general.

I might not be able to ascertain food that well, but drinks, now that's another story. Made by the handsome mixologist Pablo Moix we sipped around seven of his powerful cocktails. The most creative and wowing to my taste buds was the "Green Intensity," a spicy martini made with gin, lime juice, with a floating Serrano chili slice and basil leaves. A food stylist named Adam who was in attendance accurately described it by saying "it tastes like Thailand in my mouth." We then tried the Capsicum Mojito, which easily won best presentation, with a bell pepper rung around the top and mint leaves springing out of it. I made the joke that this one tasted like Vietnam and surprisingly people agreed, lol. My favorite cocktail though was the STK's delicious, which had xo and raspberry puree to make it like an alcoholic smoothie. The expert on all this though would be Natalie at who was also there.

Other bloggers I talked with included: Pleasure Palate,, Gourmet Pigs, Matt Bites, mattatouille, Kung Food Panda, gastronomy and Adventures in Eating. Next week, we're all headed to The One Group's One Sunset.

My goodbye party in New York was held at One Little West 12th near my apartment, so I'm eager to try the West Coast edition.


  1. wow whata a spread, i'm starving looking at it.


  2. Tara,

    I love the way you tiled your photos. Kevineats does something similar and I am envious of your skills. Also, please don't let anyone, from the kid next door to Irene Virbila, invalidate your opinion on what you are putting in your mouth. A palate is very subjective. And anyone who calls truffles "so last year" forgets that humans have been using truffles to make their food taste good since Theophrastus in the 4th century BC. Then again, I am a total fungus whore.

    Nice post!!!

  3. Wow I am incredibly hungry all of a sudden. I love this post!

  4. Hey Tara,

    It was great to meet you last night at Sunset One. Did you liked it as much as the east coast edition?

    It's too bad I missed out on the food last week at STK. Glad you filled it up!

  5. AMEN to what Liz said! Double amen, actually! You eat what you like, pure and simple. As far as that last year comment, yawnnnnn! I may be a snob at times but even I wouldn't invalidate the truffly flavors I love so much.


  6. I don't know, you seem pretty critical of your food criticism ability, but I thought you could develop a coherent opinion on the dishes you had at One. Don't worry if you didn't think you could keep up with the food bloggers, most us talk just to talk without actually saying much.

    I'll email you sometime for some NYC suggestions. Good meeting you

  7. Holy cow that an amazing amount of food. I wish I could write reviews (food, spa & travel), but I just don't seem to have the 'way' - of course, that doesn't stop me from taking pictures before we eat ;-)

  8. Definitely amen on what Food, She Thought have said. Tara, don't worry about other people thinks. It only matters what you think of the food and that is the only thing that counts.

    I already got a few early read on last night. Can't wait to see your review on Sunset One. It could be an epic in the making.

  9. Great meeting you at One and STK. Hope to catch you at another event Tara :)