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THE HOMETOWN GUIDE : Beverly Hills a la Carte: : Dining in the Neighborhood

December 08, 1985| Ruth Reichl | A selection of the better restaurants in Beverly Hills, by Ruth Reichl, The Times' restaurant editor.

A selection of the better restaurants in Beverly Hills, by Ruth Reichl, The Times' restaurant editor. Prices listed are for food only; tax, tips and beverages not included. The Bistro, 246 N. Canon Drive; (213) 273-5633. The Bistro Garden, 176 N. Canon Drive; (213) 550-3900. Le tout Beverly Hills turns up to kiss each other's cheeks and stare at one another and gossip madly. Both restaurants are quite beautiful. The Bistro, a perfect reproduction of a Parisian bistro, serves food that is more Continental than French, and the quality of everything is good. The Garden offers a surprisingly eclectic menu that includes hamburgers, seafood salads, sauteed brains and quesadillas in one of the prettiest outdoor settings in town. Bistro open Monday-Friday for lunch, Monday-Saturday for dinner. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, $60-$90. Bistro Garden open daily for dinner, Monday-Saturday for lunch. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, from $40.

Colette, 9360 Wilshire Blvd.; (213) 273-1151. Cozy, intimate and rather like a restaurant in a good small hotel in France. The menu offers the very personal French food of young chef E. Patrick Healy, including innovative dishes such as thin slices of rabbit, roasted with bacon and covered with a vinegar-and-mustard sauce. For a real taste of his artistry, order the degustation menu and see what sort of surprises he comes up with. Open daily for lunch and dinner. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, $50-$90.

La Famiglia, 453 N. Canon Drive; (213) 276-6208. La Famiglia Piccola, 455 N. Canon Drive, (213) 278-3395. The big one is an attractive restaurant that serves good Italian food in a comfortable atmosphere. In addition to pasta and fine veal and fish, La Famiglia offers a number of diet dishes cooked without butter, oil or salt. The little one has a wood-burning oven in the back where pizzas are baked; in the front sits a case filled with marinated vegetables and salads. This nice little neighborhood place also offers pasta dishes so reasonable that you almost forget what neighborhood you're in. La Famiglia open Monday-Friday for lunch, Monday-Saturday for dinner; La Famiglia Piccola open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, $30-$50.

Il Giardino, 9235 West 3rd St.; (213) 275-5444. The most truly Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, a place where the waiter recites the menu, making each dish sound so delicious that you're starving before he's through. Good antipasto, great pasta and such wonderfully simple entrees as whole grilled fish, perfectly cooked and boned at your table, or lobster with fava beans, or steak cooked with olive oil and fresh rosemary. The location and the decor are a little bit odd, but even that is refreshing. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, $80.

The Grill, 9560 Dayton Way; (213) 276-0615. A real man's restaurant plunked down in the perfumed ghetto of Beverly Hills. The food is as straightforward as the name: grilled chops and fish and fine salads in a no-nonsense atmosphere that looks an awful lot like San Francisco's Tadich Grill. Open Monday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. - midnight. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, $50 .

Jimmy's, 201 S. Moreno Drive; (213) 879-2394. A restaurant filled with People Who Count--and don't they know it. The lighting, the flowers and the maitre d' are all flattering. Everything, including the food, is very polite and very beautiful. No real surprises here--lobster, duckling, filet of sole, rack of lamb, gorgeous salads--except for the size of the portions, which are huge. How, you can't help wondering, do so many thin people manage to eat it all? Open Monday-Friday for lunch, Monday-Saturday for dinner. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, $70.

La Scala, 9455 Santa Monica Blvd.; 275-0579. A grown-up restaurant that is quiet, comfortable, extremely reassuring. The place is pretty, the booths are well padded, the service is almost invisible but always impeccable, and the food is, if not exciting, generally well done. The a la carte menu is large and expensive, but there is a $28 three-course prix-fixe meal that lets you choose almost anything you want. The European wines tend to be expensive, but there are a lot of well-priced American ones. Open Monday-Friday for lunch, Monday-Saturday for dinner. All major credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, $60-$80.

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