8590 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90069
$$$$ American Special Offer

Ketchup Celebrates Childhood Favorites in Style

Review by

The Sunset Millennium complex was supposed to signal a 21st Century revival for the flagging Sunset Strip, but it soon began to claim casualties, high profile but underperforming restaurant tenants like Norman’s, Rika, and Central. The bloodletting didn’t stop until April 2007, when Lonnie Moore and Mike Malin of Dolce Group introduced Ketchup to the Sunset Strip, an American restaurant specializing in modernized childhood favorites.

On a warm night in late March, we walked along Sunset Boulevard before passing through a glass door, revealing a red and white lobby staffed by two fashionable hostesses. You can climb red stairs to the restaurant, but an elevator ride carried us to the second floor dining room, releasing us near a glass-fronted wine closet. The space is populated with white banquettes, chairs, and tables, each supporting a red candle and a plastic-encased tomato.

There are red carpets and drop-down globe lanterns, plus paintings of red and green tomatoes, and a pixilated Heinz ketchup bottle. Towering windows allow for views of the Hollywood Hills. On the east side of Ketchup is a similarly colored corner bar with more stunning views.

During the day, the restaurant hosts stylish people who work on the Sunset Strip, at magazines, stores, or fashion agencies. Since Ketchup has been featured on the popular MTV show, “The Hills,” a steady stream of tourists show up hoping to spot “Hills” star Lauren Conrad. At night, the restaurant attracts a mix of scenesters, celebrities, and wannabes.

In keeping with the childhood favorites theme, the Party Starter Martinis incorporate beverages like Yoo-Hoo, Kool-Aid and Sunny Delight. Several of the drinks are named for movies, including the “Basic Instinct,” “American Psycho,” and “25th Hour.” “Honeymooners” was a pink drink utilizing Imperia Vodka, a single sliced strawberry, sweet & sour, a “float” of champagne and Sprite for fizz. It wasn’t too sweet, and the alcohol was scarily unnoticeable.

To start, we received a skeletal metal cone lined with faux newspaper, cradling two house-baked breadsticks and warm, pull-apart rolls of pretzel bread. The sculpture also cradled two glass dishes, one filled with Dijon dipping mustard, the other holding a scoop of butter folded with chunks of flame-red sun-dried tomato.

Chef Chris Tunnell has written a compelling menu, which made it difficult to choose a childhood favorite. We started the meal with a 3 Some, a sampling of each of the restaurant’s three fries. Skinny Cajun fries were sprinkled with orange seasoning, but were too dry. Sweet potato fries were dusted with sugar, which accentuated the tuber’s natural sweetness. Thick-cut fries had crisp sheathes and were dusted with Parmesan and tiny scissor cuts of chive, leading to the trio’s most satisfying flavors.

The fries came with five white porcelain dishes, which each held a different house-made ketchup, arranged in an X pattern. There was mango, maple, ranch, chipotle, and classic in the middle. Ranch had almost a pinkish hue, and the others were red, burgundy, or brownish. The taste spectrum wasn’t as wide as I’d hoped, but the mango had a hint of sweetness and chipotle contained a subtle kick.

Kobe “Burger” BLT Sliders come on house-made buns. The dome of the fluffy grilled bun featured melted shreds of yellow cheddar. Inside the bun contained a stack of melted cheddar, lettuce, pickle, tomato, bacon, a luscious patty, and a smear of homemade ketchup. For a slider, the burger was still fairly formidable, over three inches tall. It wasn’t messy, but due to its verticality, still had to be held together with a white toothpick that featured the restaurant’s name in red cursive.

Barking Dogs, Ketchup’s deluxe take on a hot dog, was cradled in a fluffy bun. The cocktail-size Kobe beef frank was piled with Kobe beef chili, melted cheddar, and a squiggle of chipotle ketchup.

The trio of Mini Chicken Tacos were housed in crispy blue corn shells, filled with juicy “fire grilled” chicken, melted cheddar, dabs of lime aioli and chipotle ketchup. The trio was set on finely chopped romaine. To accompany the tacos, we received a dish of silky but chunky guacamole. We spooned away, finding that the cool avocado helped to balance the dish, texturally and flavor-wise.

Drunken Scallops arrived on a red plate, four massive sea scallops that had been seared until the natural sugars were slightly caramelized on top, then sautéed in a light cream sauce flavored with “wicked ale” and cured bacon. They were sprinkled with cut chives. In the center of the plate was a heaping pile of lobster mashed potatoes, a bizarre combination of delicate crustacean and hearty potatoes that somehow worked pretty well, especially when run through the bacon- and ale-tinged cream sauce. The plate was completed with a small pile of tender baby vegetables: zucchini, carrots, and yellow squashes.

The oddly named Deliverance featured a double cut Jack Daniel’s-glazed pork chop, which was plated on its side so the bone saluted the sky like an elephant’s tusk. The chop was plated in creamy pool of grits, with a dollop of homemade applesauce on one side. On the opposite side were two thin slices of pork, topped with a simple pea shoot salad. The glaze really locked in the flavor of the luscious pork, and added a nice sweetness.

Ketchup doesn’t have a dedicated sommelier, but our waitress suggested a bottle of 2005 pinot noir from Hitching Post, a Santa Barbara County winery made even more famous from its inclusion in the movie “Sideways.” The “laid-back red” was smooth, not tannic in the least, and held up well to the big flavors of the pork chop and scallops.

S’mores came in a porcelain chalice, hot chocolate sauce capped with a gooey marshmallow and speared with a graham cracker. The marshmallow was plumed with a micro mint leaf. The cup was served on a porcelain plate, which held more crackers, for more dipping.

The ice cream sandwich was absolutely decadent, two gooey chocolate chip cookies, sandwiching a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Since the cookies arrived hot, the ice cream began to melt instantly, which led to a delicious mess.

Dolce Group restaurants have become known for their style and celebrity clientele, but based on our experience at Ketchup, it’s clear that food is hardly an afterthought. While not every dish was a winner, Chef Chris Tunnell left a lasting impression with his big, bold flavors.

Copyright ©


Business Info

  • Address: 8590 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90069
  • Location: Central / Downtown LA | West Hollywood
  • Cuisine: American | Steak |
  • Cost: | Expensive
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Unknown
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Meals Served: Dinner |
  • Parking: Street | Public Lot | Private Lot | Valet Parking |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard |
  • Corkage Fee: N/A
  • Staff: Christopher Tunnell | Executive Chef
  • Phone: (310) 289-8590
  • Features: Full Bar, Late Dining, Catering Services, Takeout Available, Wheelchair Access, Valet Parking,
  • Occasion: Romantic Dining, Business Dining, Meet for a Drink, People Watching, Trendy / Hip,


Ketchup - Dining Room Ketchup - Dining Room Booth Seating Ketchup - Bar and Lounge Area Ketchup - Bar Ketchup - Bar and Lounge Area

Business Hours

Reservations Available
Dinner - Main Dining Room 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 6 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5:30 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5:30 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.


Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Ketchup is open for lunch Monday- Friday from 12:00pm-3:00pm.
Yes, 5 different types of Ketchup sauces are made in-house.
The restaurant's cuisine is American. The menu has lots of variety such as salads, beef and pork, chicken, seafood and more.
The restaurant has regular tables and banquettes, which are half-booths.
Yes, in Washington D.C.
<QuerySet [{'id': 679, 'name': 'Dinner Menu', 'description': 'No substitutions please. $5.00 sharing charge per entrée. 18% gratuity added to tables of 6 or more. Limit 3 credit cards per table. ', 'fixprice': False, 'menuprice': Decimal('0.00'), 'displayorder': 1}]>


Customer Reviews & Ratings

4.5 out of 5 stars based on 1 votes