8264 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA | Directions 9006934.096776 -118.369393
Neighborhoods: Central LA, West Hollywood
Great Atmosphere and Food! – I read the reviews and was hesitant but I went for Happy Hour and I love Empress! They changed management and it's really much better than before. The food was delish and the ambience is killer! We went during the 2 for 1 and they passed out free appetizers and free drinks. The service was great...everyone was friendly, fun and whenever we needed anything they got it for us right away. We stayed for dinner and the whole experience was fantastic. 3 out of the 4 people had entrees and they were all very good!This is my new favorite place! It's great to have a new place to go on Sunset!
Definitely not trendy, but worth a second chance! – Ate here on Friday night with my sister and, like one reviewer, I was disappointed to find it comepletely empty--we were the only diners at 9:30 pm. That said, we had a very pleasant meal and some very tasty dishes that certainly didn't send us running for the door! The "special" edamame were finger-licking tasty, and mussels in green curry were divine and left us wishing for a bowl of rice or some fried to soak up the remaining curry broth. We also had the tuna tartare bites (on little fried rice puffs) and agreed that the fried rice was a little heavy, but the tuna was delicious! Our favorite of the night was the kobe beef skewers with chili-lime marinade dipping sauce-- a wonderful kick! The crab hand roll had too much mayo/sauce and the frying did make it too heavy for the end of our meal, but it wasn't terrible--just not worth $13. The service was not overly attentive given that we were the only customers to handle, but it was very friendly and the waitress gave us a free melon martini shooter as we finished the meal. We left satisfied, but I don't think I'd go back unless the atmosphere improves.
Worst Meal in LA....Ever – In reading the previous reviews, I should have known better than to come here, but we had to check it out for ourselves. We love sushi and thought it would be at least worth at try...WRONG. We had a reservation for 8:30 on a Saturday night and walked in to a completely empty restaurant, which was the next bad sign. Upon sitting down, it took the waitress forever to come over and greet us and offer drinks, and when she did she rudely interrupted our conversation. She had no class whatsoever. Everything on the menu seemed to be deep fried to my dismay. The worst tuna/crispy rice concoction I have ever tasted...and I have tried a few. It was hard to find the rice under the thick shell of fried batter around it. The shrimp toast was equally as disappointing, as again, all you could taste was the grease from the fryer. We also ordered the sea bass as an entree thinking that could at least be decent enough to digest since it wouldn't be covered in grease. Wrong again. It wasn't covered in grease, but it was the toughest piece of fish I have ever tried to digest. I cant even imagine it was actually bass. The horrible food was accompanied by absolutely horrific service the entire evening. I have tried many new restaurants in LA and am always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but listen to the reviews on this one. This place is awful!!!! I had to walk over to Trucadero and grab some appetizers for dinner afterwards.... I would recommend Burger King over this place!
So wrong in everyway! – Unfortunately I couldnt get a reservation at Katsuya or MR. Chows so I decided to check out what they did with the old sushi on sunset! Wow were we ever disappointe I read a few reviews here and saw everyone raving about the food and ambiance and thought maybe we should go. Then I read an awful review but I decided to give the place the benefit of the doubt. First off the restaurant is trying way too hard. The decor is almost scarywe felt we were in the bat cave and the waitress to this supposedly five star dinning establishment started off by letting us know that we could just order a bunch of appetizers and just PIG OUT ON THAT! yeah thats what she said! We were shocked and of course the bell boys were coming up to us at least every ten minutes trying to take the food away the food suckedWe ordered a $29 dollar see bass that tasted soo fishy and gross and bland! I really could have bought a better cut at wholefoods and cooked it better myselfand then the salad which took my date a good five minutes to cut the whole lettuce head that was literally plopped down on a plate with dressing dropped on top with extremely dry pieces of chicken to accompany - it all tasted the same .the gentleman who wrote that the food was bland was sooo rightLuckily we had a view of the city or I would have really been upsetThe desert which was supposed to be a no brainer per the waitress was positively horrible..it was cheros with pudding expect the pudding was just chocolate sauce you know the heresys kind you make chocolate milk with. Basically they spent waaay to much money building a Halloween scary house and had to hire the cheapest chef in town. good thing they kept the alcohol flowing In general this was a lesson learned there is a reason why it was so easy to get a table at 9pm on a Saturday night
Amazing Food!!! – I went on the recommendation from this site with guests from out of town and it was the best meal of their trip. Everything we had was delicious. Have you ever heard anyone rave about edamame? Their's is amazing with a sesame/ginger sauce. And it only gets better. You will not go wrong ordering anything on the menu. Just make sure you save room for dessert because you don't want to leave without trying their 'doughnuts' or chocolate creme brulee. They also offer rare delicious teas. Ambiance is first rate. Go while you can still get a reservation. After their grand opening I'm sure it will be packed during the week too. We saw lots of couples but I believe it would be better with a group of 4+ so you can taste more dishes. Expect to pay $50-$100 or more per person depending on how much you drink
food is deeeelish – Chef Rodelio Aglebot has moved on to consult on the menu at this pan-pacific gem. If you were a big fan of Yi you will love the menu here. The food is fantastic the people friendly and the decor AMAZING.
All Sorts of Delectable – The view from the upstairs section is fantasic and the food is delicious. A group of four of us tried many varied types of dishes from the menu and all was excellent. The Caesar salad was really the only thing that fell flat - the concept of romaine hearts as hand-held dipping instruments was interesting, but in execution was just weird. I will definitely be back!
Could have skipped this one. – I eat out quite a bit, often with a friend of mine who was a restauranteur. This week we decided to try Empress, based on the great reviews it received from patrons on this site.
We ordered a bottle of wine. Our server was very friendly and polite, however they brought the bottle to the table already opened, which is unusual...but like I said friendly and polite.
One reviewer claimed that the serving size of one dish was huge. After sampling several appetizers and entrees, I had to guess that the kitchen wasn't feeling very generous the night I was there...none of the dishes resembled anything that would warrant a "HUGE" labeling. The scallop appetizer was maybe one and a half scallops sliced quite thin...not to mention that my friend said he could tell from the taste that the dish was made using frozen scallops instead of fresh. At $12, these frozen scallops cost $8 each (assuming I am right with my 1.5 scallop serving estimate).
We also tried the tuna sashimi appetizer which comes over little cakes of fried rice. Our server informed us that patrons find them to be so delicious they usually end up asking for another order....I'm guessing they re-ordered because of the micro-serving of tuna on this plate. I know it's an appetizer, but based on the price, I would expect the quality to be higher.
None of the dishes we tried were "full of flavor" as one reviewer stated. Rather most of the food was pretty bland. I don't mind throwing down for a really great meal, but for the same money I could have eaten at Katana where the dishes are innovative and amazing, and the fish is fresh. All of the staff was pleasant and attentive, and the decor was great. As for the food, the churros and chocolate dessert was the only thing I would reccommend. I most likely won't go back.
Cool Vibe! – Definetly Worth checking out... The staff is very friendly and the food is great! I especially enjoyed sitting outside on the patio!
Worth Every Penny! – Empress really impressed my husband and I on every level! The Black Cod Fritters were to die for (me and my husband fought over the last bite), then the Striped Bass with seafood paella was so flavorful and the serving size was huge! For dessert we had the Tres Leches cake which really made a sweet ending to our evening. The staff was friendly and attentive and the ambience was hip yet serene. Definately worth every penny. We will go back again and again!
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