TLK recently looked at Palermo Soho's choice eats, but on the other side of the tracks for many Palermo-ites whose center is the boutique stores and trendy sidewalks of Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood seems the nicer younger brother, a little quieter and more subdued. But Hollywood, so named for the number of production companies and studios located on its streets, has a not so secret, bacchanalian side. It has a huge range of superb eating options and, at night, it casts aside its semi-residential airs and serves up a swinging late night scene. A particularly rewarding neighborhood for explorers, Hollywood treats those who stroll away from the main strip of Gorriti and nose about. Stumble on some amazing graffiti or visit the famous Mercado de las Pulgas, a huge indoor flea market selling antiques of all shades. It’s not cheap, but it is a treat. Here, some of the best food stops along the way.
Oui Oui (Nicaragua 6068, Palermo Hollywood. +54 11 4778 9614)
Owner Rocio Garcia Orza started something beautiful with Oui Oui. Opened in 2005, Oui Oui was at the forefront of a local wave of homey and purposefully casual spaces to fill your belly with hearty breakfasts. Great for coffee and pastries and the morning paper, Oui Oui really shines when it comes to brunch. They have a delicious homemade granola and fruit, but the stand-outs are a smoked salmon sandwich and a grilled camembert salad. They also serve a five star lemonade and my favorite roast potato wedges in town. (A second branch, Almazen Oui Oui opened across the road to help feed the hordes demanding more shabby-chic French breakfasting – don’t miss their Eggs Benedict.)
Local Restaurant (Arévalo 2061, Palermo Hollywood. +54 11 4163 9555)
Relatively new on the Hollywood scene, Local Restaurant is the second project from chef master-couple, Estefanía Di Benedetto and Matías Kyriazis. (See Paraje Arevalo, next.) Bright and minimally decorated, cool and calm, it makes a great escape and has a lunch menu hard to equal in the area. The dishes are well thought out and tend towards the simplicity of typical home cooked foods with a distinctly modern touch. The service is impeccable and the shortest route to complete satisfaction is to chat with your server for recommendations. Great for sharing, dishes served up in cast iron pots – check out the Patagonian lamb – and don’t miss out on the simply spectacular and perfectly executed chocolate mousse cake. On weekends they have extra options from a grill and a clay oven going in the back.
Paraje Arevalo (Arevalo 1502, Palermo Hollywood. +54 11 4775 7759)
Paraje Arevalo is the where chefs Estefanía Di Benedetto and Matías Kyriazis created and cemented their fame as Buenos Aires’ gourmet couple. The decor is perfect and the ambiance soothing; a black and white checkered floor, perfectly starched tablecloths, chalkboards and wooden counters make for a personalized European bistro ambience. Add to that the great staff, a superb wine list that always manages to surprise with delicious, little known wines and an inspired tasting menu and it is easy to see why praise for Paraje Arevlo is unanimous. The tasting menu changes regularly, though with plenty of modernist touches, remains substantial. All the dishes share a respect for their carefully chosen local ingredients, brought to life by creativity and techniques forged in Europe’s top kitchens. A must for anyone looking for a great dining experience.
Caramelos Artesanos (Honduras 5874, Palermo Hollywood. +54 11 2057 5328)
Have a sweet tooth? Then it is worth stopping into Caramelos Artesanos, if only to breathe in the aromas of a real candy store. A former architect, Valeria Hoffman has turned her creativity to candy, and to the dying art of artisanal confectionary. Valeria, between personal study and travels abroad, has created a store full of shapes and colors bright enough to make a rainbow blush. Striped candy-canes and giant swirling lollipops dominate, but the real jewels are the tiny sweets, each crafted with a miniature design inside, offered in a dazzling array of flavors. This is the place to come and live out the childhood fantasies of a happier, brighter era.
Bar du Marché (Nicaragua 5946, Palermo Hollywood. +54 4778 1050)
For those preferring the savory, this spot will be your shrine. Bar du Marché’s stylish yet casual décor gives a nod to the little sidewalk cafes of Paris and then focuses on its protagonists, great wine and cheese. Regularly offering some fifty wines by the glass, the selection of Argentine wines is inspired, with some great, lesser-known wineries on show, but they also showcase some interesting international wines as well. Best in the evenings, sit down at the bar and let sommelier Juan Pablo Villar show you around his wonderful world. Don’t miss the wine and cheese tasting, which complements the solid French styled menu. For those who are tempted toward Asian fare, an omakase sushi bar upstairs is led by a sushi chef from their sister establishment, M, one of the top Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurants in town.
Frank's (Arévalo 1445, Palermo Hollywood.)
It wouldn’t be a day in Hollywood if you didn’t end it in a bar. And this is no ordinary bar; Frank's is a prohibition era speakeasy transported to Buenos Aires with glittering chandeliers and floral printed walls, impeccably styled bartenders and a password needed to gain entry at the door. Recently nominated one of the 50 best bars in the world, this is certainly not all style. The skilled bar staff is led by one of the city’s best, Sebastian Garcia, who charms and pleases with an encyclopedic knowledge, a deft mixing hand and the warm manner of a 1920s gentleman. At Frank's, it is all about the smooth, jazzy ambience that wraps around you from the minute you walk in, and of course, the cocktails. The classics are perfectly mixed and the house specialties are a treat; don’t leave without trying the Hanky Panky and the Cynar Julep. Thank me later.