This Is What It's Really Like To Eat At SUR — AKA "Sexy Unique Restaurant" — Ten Years After "Vanderpump Rules" Premiered

    A full decade after the show's premiere, the goat cheese balls are a must, Peter still works there, the bathroom is confusing as hell, and nothing costs less than $12. Not even bread and butter.

    Hello, and welcome. If you're reading this, you're either a diehard Vanderpump Rules fan like we are, you just learned about the show due to all the recent drama that's been blowing up the internet — also known as "Scandoval" — or, you clicked on this article because you're like, "what the heck is a SUR???" Regardless, you're here and we're thankful for that!!!

    To give you a quick rundown, there are multiple restaurants within the VPR universe — there's PUMP, TomTom, and Schwartz and Sandy's (which we visited and had MANY THOUGHTS about) in Los Angeles. There are also two more restaurants in Las Vegas, which we have not yet visited but hope to one day (Lisa, sponsor us!!!).

    But none of these dining establishments are quite as legendary as SUR, which stands for Sexy Unique Restaurant.

    Sometimes also referred to as "SUR Restaurant" which would mean "Sexy Unique Restaurant Restaurant." We love that.

    SUR first blessed our TV screens in 2013 as the home base for the show Vanderpump Rules and since then it's become a mainstay on the show for reality TV gold. It's the place where Jax Taylor and Laura-Leigh hooked up in the bathroom. It's the place where Kristen Doute brought Miami Girl and told manager Diana to "suck a d*ck" in front of multiple customers. And it's the place where James Kennedy told Jax to make some more PUMP-TINIS, giving us maybe one of the funniest lines in TV history.

    But the year is now 2023, and we wanted to know what the vibe at SUR is like a whole 10 years later. Seeing as how we both live in LA and make this show our entire personality, it only made sense to drive over to West Hollywood and experience it for ourselves again.

    An exterior shot of SUR

    So, without further ado, let's get into it! First things first, the exterior had changed a bit since the last time either of us were here. However, the sanctuary-like entrance still stands and is hard to miss.

    A photo of the entrance

    After we got checked in — we had a reservation for "outdoor seating" at 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday night — we surveyed the situation and noticed the iconic SUR Rules sign still hanging in one of the entryways.

    A photo of the entrance

    The hostess — who was NOT Lala, Charli, or anyone who has yet appeared on the show — took us to our table in the back garden area which we will now be referring to as "Vibey Garden Area."

    A shot of the garden area

    We were seated under a glass ceiling that gave us a cute view of some trees above us or whatever. Chic!

    A view of the ceiling

    Here's a look at the area around our table in the Vibey Garden Area.

    After we were seated and took a look around, we were handed menus that we immediately took arty photos of. And yes, the flowers at the table were real — we know how much LVP loves a flower — but slightly wilted.

    A shot of the menu at SUR

    Without even OPENING the menus — drink menu seen below — we knew we would be ordering at least two things: a Pump-tini (which is actually NOT on the menu, but you can still order it), and the goat cheese balls.

    A shot of the drink menu

    As you can see below, the "fried goat cheese balls" — which feature a mango chutney and crostini — cost a whopping $18.

    A shot of the regular menu

    As we said, we knew we had to order a Pumptini, and this is what it looked like! This drink was also a whopping $18.

    And here's Lara in our little corner seat with the Pumptini.

    Shot of author with pumptini drink

    Another drink that's mentioned all the time on the show is the Big Pinky, so we also knew we had to order that. Here's Shelby taking a lil' selfie with it:

    At long last, it was finally time to try the goat cheese balls — aka the stuff of legend. For $18, we got four balls, and one of them had fallen off of the crostini when it got to our table. We almost put it back to try and get a prettier picture but decided to leave it as is to show you the #real experience.

    A top down shot of the goat cheese balls

    And let's just get this out of the way now: despite being wildly overpriced, these goat cheese balls are freaking good. The fried outside was really crispy and when you bit down on them, it was like a bomb of goat cheese flavor. We're both fans of the goat cheese life so we thoroughly enjoyed this entire experience, but if you're not a goat cheese fan, you probably will NOT like these, so take that how you will.

    Interior shot of one goat cheese ball

    Because we were once again operating on a budget, we didn't end up ordering fries, but our table neighbors sure did, and they literally didn't eat a single bite and left them UNTOUCHED right next to us. We thought about asking them if we could have the fries as they were leaving, but decided that would be weird and just snapped this pic instead. They looked delicious, TBH. We think they might have been full or had bad taste. Unconfirmed!

    A photo of another table with french fries

    After we got started with our drinks and the goat cheese ball appetizer, we were ready for a bathroom break. And, as superfans of the show, we obviously knew we were going to take a bathroom break and see if we could find the bathroom where Jax and Laura-Leigh famously hooked up (IYKYK). We have zero idea if this is *the* bathroom, but we're going to tell you about our bathroom experience anyway. At first glance, it seemed like a pretty standard bathroom (with a mini chandelier in it because we know Lisa LOVES an over-the-top light fixture)!

    A photo of the inside of the bathroom

    But soon things took a turn: in the actual bathroom stalls (there were two with toilets) there seemed to be absolutely zero light, and we didn't see any switches to turn a light on in the stalls. In fact, when Lara first went inside, she met a fellow SUR goer who informed her that "she had just peed in the dark."

    A photo of the inside of the bathroom

    So, after looking around and failing to find a light switch in the actual bathroom stalls, we both LITERALLY PEED IN THE DARK. And we don't mean like, "moonlight dark." We mean like, COULD NOT SEE THE TOILET SEAT WITHOUT PHONE FLASHLIGHT ASSISTANCE dark. It was weird, to say the least.

    Here's a text Lara sent her Bravo group chat mere seconds after braving the dark stall to empty her bladder.

    A screencap of a text

    After we returned to our table, obviously a little shaken, we decided to order some entrees since we were still pretty hungry (two goat cheese balls each were not enough to satiate us). Shelby ordered the Rigatoni A La Norma (IT'S NOT ABOUT THE PASTA), which came with spicy tomato sauce, ricotta, and eggplant. It was a whopping $28!!!!

    A shot of the pasta dish

    And Lara went with a boring (but iconic, because who doesn't love a Caesar???) Caesar salad. It was $20!

    A shot of the Caesar Salad

    In the end, we finished our drinks and most of our food, but started to have serious doubts about whether SUR would still be open in 2023 if it weren't for the show. From the medicore-to-decent food that was wayyyy overpriced to every single diner (including us) being a fan, it didn't seem like a place the people of West Hollywood would go to on the regular. Like, is anyone ordering from SUR on DoorDash? Let us know.

    A shot of the Big Pinky

    HOWEVER, one thing we absolutely loved about the experience was our server Gabby. Not only did she take 19 pictures of us when we asked for a single photo, but she even brought us free tap water after we finished our bottled water because we mentioned we were ballin' on a budget, and she knew we'd get charged for more bottled water. A true queen! We referred to her as Queen Gabby for the rest of the night. So Lisa, if you're reading this, give that woman a raise!!!

    A shot of the bottled water on the table

    After finishing off our final bits of food and drink, we decided to brave the bathrooms once again, fully prepared with our phone flashlights in tow. However, this time, a kind woman showed Lara where the light switch was. It was by the sink (not near the stalls) and immediately turned on the light in the stall! A MIRACLE!

    A shot of the bathroom stall

    And here's a selfie Lara took in the stall once the light (outside of the stall) was actually turned on. Was it the Pumptini? Was it Lara not understanding how restaurant bathrooms work anymore after three years of life in a COVID world? Unclear! But in the end, she peed in the light, and for that she is grateful.

    A selfie Lara took in the bathroom

    After that, it was time to bid SUR adieu, but not before getting a picture with Peter, aka the manager and one of the few from the VPR cast members who actually still works at the restaurant. In our quest to find him, we passed many iconic spots, like the very bar where Scheana performed "Good As Gold" at her own engagement party wearing wedge sneakers...

    ...and the very DJ booth where James threw countless See You Next Tuesday's and LITERALLY told Jax to make more Pumptinis!!!! A full circle moment!!!

    An interior shot of SUR

    There was also this giant plant that doesn't really have anything to do with the show, but was very much a vibe.

    Interior shot of SUR

    When we finally caught up to Peter there was an actual line of fans waiting to take pictures with him (like we said, every single person there was a fan!) so we patiently waited our turn. When it was finally our moment, we were def a little starstruck!!! Peter also absolutely roasted Shelby for not knowing how to use the flash on her phone, and taught her how (helpful but embarrassing).

    A photo of author Lara and Peter

    After snapping our pics, we told Peter about this piece we would be writing to see if he'd answer some questions, and he said yes! When asked if things have been busier lately thanks to the Scandoval drama, he said that there's been about a "10% uptick" in business since the scandal broke. He also said he's #TeamAriana, "all day, every day, and twice on Sundays." We love to hear it!

    A selfie of the authors with Peter

    And that concluded our night out at SUR. Sadly, we did not have any access to the back alley where so many iconic fights took place, but there's always next time! Also, as we were leaving there was a line of people waiting to get in, and a bouncer let us out by unhooking a velvet rope like the place had become some kind of club. We were too stunned to take a picture, so you'll just have to trust us.

    Conclusion: this place is a must-dine if you're a fan of the show and we (fans of the show) had a night we'll never forget (especially the peeing in the dark portion). But make sure to go in with reasonable expectations — the food and drinks are perfectly fine, but MEGA overpriced. If you know that going in, you should be fine. And make sure to order the goat cheese balls (THAT'S A MUST)!!!! Ta-ta for now!!

    And be sure to stream Vanderpump Rules on Peacock now!