Sep 03

Laurie Visits Planet Hollywood

People go to Planet Hollywood for the theme, atmosphere, artifacts, and overall experience. The restaurant would not be the same without the television screens, guests walking through the restaurants, loud music, and overall high noise level. The zebra print carpet that continues up the wall, wood tables topped with tablecloths, booths, and decor remind me of 1940’s and 1950’s supper clubs. The walls are covered with memorabilia and the ceilings have vehicles, motorcycles, and spacecraft hanging overhead.

The major issues are noise and a lack of a special diets friendly menu. I was alright with the volume but some guests might be uncomfortable by it. The lights are dimmed but not too much. Some guests, like myself, might not like being surrounded by the videos. I wanted to turn off the images of gyrating women on a video. The seating was spaced enough but twice they parked couples in the middle of the room instead of along the wall. Those couples were in the main traffic path so they were constantly passed by guests and staff while there was an empty table that gave guests privacy. I would rather be along the wall than having food and guests going past me.

The second issue was the the lack of a special diets friendly menu. The only side dish I could have was baked steak fries. The gluten free buns have soy – everything seemed to have soy.  This is a major problem that should not be occurring. They use Cysco brand mass produced food. They need to work on their menu so they can offer guests with dietary limitations something. All fried foods are tossed in communal fryers. Planet Hollywood has no gluten free pasta.  They have a huge menu that can overwhelm guests.

Was I happy? I LOVED THE PLACE! Friendly staff, awesome food, and great atmosphere made for a great night. The first item was “potato skins” at $10.99 which was supposed to be “crispy skin filled with bacon, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack cheese”. I received a baked potato that was cut into wedges. I never had fries like that, not even the ones in Long Beach that reused old baked potatoes. Just “steak fries” topped with bacon and cheese. It was delicious but not worth the cost.

The menu has a few entrees but mostly salads, pasta, and sandwiches. I had the “celebrity BBQ bacon cheeseburger” without barbecue sauce and bun. It took two tries to get a burger cut in half and served on corn tortillas.  I assembled this huge 10 ounce burger on the corn tortillas and began a messy food feast. Fresh tomato, lettuce and onion with smoky bacon and melted cheese topped a very loose ground patty. The meat was as if someone placed meat on the grill without touching it. The meat broke apart into juicy and flavorful bites that melded.  This was the second best grind and burger I have had since Bodie’s closed.  The “steak fries” were baked potato wedges not true deep fried steak fries made from a raw potato.

Overall I was disappointed to sit there with a burger and fake fries while others pigged out on ribs, pasta, appetizers, and desserts. I paid about $35 for a perfect burger without bun, tons of baked potato fries, and iced tea. I spent that much at Raglan Road for three appetizers that I loved so much and I had my friendly staff and entertainment. I could have had three entrees at Pop Century. Would I go back? I have looked back at the menu and seem to be stuck with potatoes and plain meat or a huge burger that I barely finished.  Everything about Planet Hollywood is perfect including the burgers.

I would recommend Planet Hollywood to everyone except for a few people. Not recommended for those sensitive to strobes, loud noises, and crowds. Not recommended to anyone on a limited diet or who does not like rap music videos. If I was healthy I would love to pig out on lasagna, garlic shrimp, manicotti, barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes, and the Hollywood Bowl salad. I would sit there for over an hour as I dined with friends as we share appetizers. I would have so much fun there if I was not on a special diet. They have a full bar with many drinks dedicated to movies such as the Terminator, Dark Knight, Gorillas in the Mist, and Alabama Slammer. Us who avoid alcohol can have Pretty in Pink, Transformers, and Spiderman smoothies. The kid menu is not for little gourmets as it has spaghetti, turkey hot dogs, chicken fingers, and cheese pizza. I grew up on steak, pork, chicken, and full meals. They will give you a plate if you share with a friend or kid.