The Recessionista Restaurant Review: Todd English’s Beso Hollywood

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Pictured: Eva Longoria & Todd English’s Beso Restaurant in Hollywood, CA. Value in an unusual place.

If any of you saw my appearance on ABC-TV Los Angeles yesterday, then you know that it has become my raison d’etre (reason for being) to find the best for less. I get alot of notes from blog readers all over the world, asking how can that be done? Well, it basically comes down to doing some research, talking to people in the know and testing out new places. You have to be a bit adventurous and remember to try places that are not necessarily known to be on the frugal living rooster. One of these is Beso Hollywood.  Beso is one of the new hot places in town. It’s Eva Longoria’s restaurant with Chef extraordinaire Todd English. Typically, when you think of the celebrity chef partnering with the desperate housewife, your first thought might be “pricey.” I know mine was. But Beso has surprised me.

Pictured: Beso’s Chef Todd English and owner Eva Longoria

Last weekend our recessionista posse checked it out and enjoyed some fine fair. Using special Recessionista interrogation techniques, honed with the help of my desire to say within a low budget, I called the Manager of Beso and asked a few questions. After all, local phone calls are cheap. Beso General Manager Paul Pierce graciously answered my questions and helped to uncover a couple of great entertainment specials in the Hollywood area that are worth giving a shout out about as Father’s Day approaches. (Remember, this is a technique you can use in any city, in any country. Simply, call the restaurant manager, and let him be your guide to the best values. The manager wants your business, so he or she will be happy to talk to you and tell you what the specials are.)

First up, let’s start with a discussion of the Beso Menu. Prices range from the cheap and cheerful to the more pricey. Obviously, the dinners are twice as much as the starters, and this is true about any restaurant.

Pictured: The reasonable price of appetizers and salads at Beso.

However, what we found so gratifying and recessionista-friendly about the menu, were how delicious and filling the starters were. The flatbreads, guacomole, Taqueria, and salads can easily make a meal with prices ranging from under $10.00 to $14.00. These small plates are delicious and for a reasonable price, you get to enjoy mixing with celebrities while dining on affordable food in a beautiful atmosphere. I’m not a big celebrity “gawker”, but every now and then I do like the feeling of rubbing shoulders with the stars without paying the full price 🙂

Another way to enjoy Beso for less is to go on Monday night. Every Monday night, you can enjoy half price bottles of wine & champagne (if the bottle is priced at over $60) along with the purchase of food. If you are a wine lover, this is a great way to sample some good wines from around the world for less. I would recommend ordering a nice bottle of Pinot Noir along with the “Margarita” flatbread.

The last cool thing recessionistas need to know about Beso, is it’s located right next store to the Pantages Theatre. This provides a great opportunity for entertainment + great food. Did you know that the Pantages does a lottery for $25.00 for front row tickets 2 1/2 hours prior to each show? So for the 8 pm show, the lottery will be at 5:30pm. Here’s the deal. Each day, 2 hours prior to show time, people who present themselves at the Pantages box office have their names placed in a lottery drum and then thirty minutes later, names are drawn for a limited number of front orchestra seats at $25 each, cash only. This lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of two tickets per person. ID is required to purchase the tickets. Check the Pantages website for additional details. If you get their early to enter the lottery and you win, you will have 2 hours of time to kill before the show starts. What to do? Swing over to Beso for some cheap and cheerful appetizers and a little people watching. If you haven’t already made plans for Father’s Day, dinner and a show on the cheap would be a great way to treat Dad on his special day.

Remember, you can check for theatre deals in your city by using website Theatermania, or just checking your local theatre’s website. Usually, all specials are listed on their website.

PS: To enjoy some cheap & cheerful recipes from Beso, click here. Todd and Eva recently featured several great recipes that can be made for under $10.00 in People Magazine. This way you can enjoy a taste of Beso from where ever you are.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.

1 Comment

  1. S

    June 21, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    My friend and I visited Beso a couple of times on a trip to LA last November. We were so pleasantly surprised by the prices on the menu. Plus, the quality of the food is amazing! We found that the portions were big enough that we could just order a couple of appetizers then share an entree and be completely satisfied. We're hopefully heading back in July for more of the delicious paella.