When The Standard, Hollywood, first opened in 1999, the Sunset Strip hotel was a hotspot for the poolside scene, lobby-based DJ, and bikini-clad women lounging in a fish tank behind the reception desk. Nearly 20 years later, the bikini-clad women are long-gone, the scene is far less incendiary, and food now occupies a larger focus. The 24/7 restaurant still resembles a nouveau retro diner – complete with brown cushioned booths and stools, pastel blue tables, and potted succulents – but the food is anything but standard thanks to current occupant Croft Alley at The Standard.
Beloved Melrose Place mainstay Croft Alley recently replaced more avant-garde Alma at The Standard. Chef Phuong Tran partnered with Michael Della Femina and Madison Bright, who was involved with the Bloody Bill pop-up years back and teamed on the trio’s Indo pop-up at Local 1205 in Venice before they went brick and mortar. Croft Alley installed an interesting menu that ranges from American classics to dishes with Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, and Cajun touches.
No matter what you order, make room for Chef Tran’s stupendous Passion Fruit Panna Cotta ($9). Most panna cottas are gelatin-bombed rounds that don’t even warrant the effort required to lift a spoon one time. Croft Alley at The Standard serves an ultra creamy dome submerged in bright orange consommé that’s garnished with citrus segments and a single raspberry. This vivid dessert screams, “Summer!” and provides a sweet, slightly tangy cap to any meal.