Sunday, April 21, 2013

Beachwood Cafe: Charming Local Spot in Hollywood

If you've never been, check out Beachwood Canyon, a quaint, quiet neighborhood in Hollywood. Here you will find Beachwood Cafe. Unlike the typical Hollywood places you might think of (clubs, lounges, seedy diners?), Beachwood Cafe is cute, charming, with comforting food that offers a little something extra.

I love the bright colors and the fun wallpaper and tiles here. Do check the different dioramas around the restaurant, too, they're a lot of fun!

OK, food. I started with a plate of Red Hawk cheese with homemade blueberry jam, blue cheese, rye crackers
The rye crackers are quite unique and the blueberry jam complemented the red hawk nicely.

They don't have a full liquor license but do have a wine and beer license here. There are a couple of interesting wine cocktails and I just had to try the pickled pear champagne cocktail ($7). This was a really refreshing, lightly tart champagne cocktail, great for whetting your appetite.

For the appetizer, you have to try the Corn and orzo braised in cream. The vegetarian version is $9 or you can add bacon for $12 (do it!). This was like a very good yet healthier version of mac and cheese! So addictive, although it's best when still hot.
Orzo Corn

Beachwood Cafe is owned by a veteran chef Patti Peck but for the kitchen here, she taps Chef Minh Phan, whose Asian influences are apparent in many dishes. The PR told me to I had to try the eggplant dish. It wouldn't have been something I'd order but I'm so glad I tried it.
Mirin-braised eggplant, mint jasmine rice, homemade pickles with sesame crusted tofu ($16)
Tofu Eggplant
The jasmine rice was crisped and all the better for it. It was also very fragrant. All in all it was a great combination.

I also had the Ume sake braised pork, satsuma sweet potato, greens ($22)
Short Rib
Also a great, tender pork.

We also had to get the special of the day: Chicken pot pie
Chicken Pot Pie

For dessert there were only 2-3 choices. One is the "Salted Twix": chocolate pot de creme, salted caramel, shortbreads ($9)

Think of it as a deconstructed Twix bar. The pot de creme was very thick and chocolatey.

I loved the Cardamom cake with spiced cream and roasted pears ($9)
This was a surprising dessert for me, but I couldn't get enough of the moist, spicy cardamom cake.

This is not a spot you'd imagine having in Hollywood. Beachwood Cafe is truly a charming, quaint neighborhood spot. The food had interesting special touches of Chef Phan's yet they're all very comforting. They get some tourists because the restaurant is on the way to the Hollywood sign, but it is a wonderful spot for a casual meal when you're in Hollywood.

Beachwood Cafe
2695 N. Beachwood Drive
Hollywood, CA 90068
(323) 871-1717
Beachwood Cafe on Urbanspoon


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