The story of this space has already been told. A succession of restaurants with the right stuff gives it a go in a lovely corner spot in what seems to be a fitting neighborhood. Great things have been done here (i.e. Roxana's desserts). Still the revolving door awaits every one of these efforts. What gives?
Is BLD enough of a BFD to overcome the curse of the location at Vista and Beverly?
Signs during Friday lunch seems to point to yes. Charley and I get there at noon when the diffusely sun-soaked, retooled room is fairly empty. But by 12:30 it's in full swing. I recognize some other local business owners, and the rest of the crowd seems to be a mix of worker bees from local Industry-related offices, design firms, slackers like me with time on their hands, etc.
While I didn't love the one meal I had at Grace (everything was one or two steps overwrought), I had high hopes for BLD. At the very least, it promises an unfussy menu composed of the best the market has to offer. And in short, BLD delivers. So $13 isn't the cheapest butter lettuce salad I've had, but the total deliciousness of blue cheese, light buttermilk dressing, bacon and tomato make it worth the cost. The glistening and textured pink steak slabs that er, grace Charley's Caesar make for a satisfying meal. (Tangential point, but I'm pleased to see the Chilewich placemats in red that I get so much use out of at home.)
Like most restaurants, BLD needs to work on the espresso. And for the love of god, stop serving a lemon peel with it � always a tell tale sign that a restaurant doesn't know from espresso. What marketing campaign was it that made this become the default mode of serving Italian coffee in the USA? I have no idea how else to explain how it took hold. (If anyone does, please share.) And why does it still fucking persist?
This new restaurant isn't all that different from Red, the one that started it all. They're both upscale incarnations of that most hallowed of American institutions, the Coffee Shop � BLD better focused with classier food and a brand name behind it � but restaurants where for a few bucks more you can eat at a swankier place. Or for a just couple bucks less you can eat much shittier food. So that being said, I'll definitely be back during their nicely long business hours to try more than just salads. Especially since the fries look slammin', and the wide spaces between tables in some areas can accommodate strollers. Christ, I can't believe I'm already starting to think this way�
7450 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles 90036