For many, Chef Nancy Silverton needs no introduction. Co-Owner & Founder of the Mozza Group (Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Chi Spacca), along with putting La Brea Bakery & their loaves of Bread on the map, Chef Silverton is a local, noteworthy, culinary figure. But it’s been many years since she’s opened any new restaurants, preferring to focus on her Mozza Group (which has expanded into Orange County and beyond). Yet, despite the pandemic, Chef Silverton has opened up a new endeavor at the famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in the form of The Barish, a California-Italian Steakhouse of sorts.
Walking into The Barish (on the ground floor of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the dining room is classy, evoking mid-century modern stylings, but also brought forward for the 21st century.
The Barish’s current Executive Chef (who’s still working the line) is Armen Avvazyan, formerly of Auburn fame (under Chef Eric Bost). Glancing over the menu and while it bills itself as a California-Italian Steakhouse, Steaks only populate a tiny portion of the menu. You can see influences of Chef Nancy Silverton’s ethos, as well as Chef Avvazyan’s time from Auburn throughout the menu. We began with…
Barish Farmhouse Roll (Rodolphe le Meunier Butter):
The Barish Farmhouse Rolls are baked in-house, and it shows. Fluffy, airy, pull-apart soft and pliant, they are wonderful with a smear of the always outstanding Rodolphe le Meunier Butter, whose depth of buttery goodness elevates every bite.
Steak Tartare (Buckwheat, Mustard Seeds, Kohlrabi, Egg):
Beautiful plating with each of the Steak Tartare elements deconstructed, ready for you to mix together. The Egg Yolk was downright stunning in its natural deep-orange hue (see above). The one hiccup was the amount of Mustard provided: It is potent! We added about 3/4 of the Mustard, but in hindsight, just a teaspoon of it was sufficient, that’s how powerful it was.
Besides the Mustard, the actual texture and flavors of the Steak Tartare were stellar. The use of Perilla Leaves (hearkening to eating at some local Korean restaurants) was a nice touch.
The Eyrie Vineyards 2017 Trousseau (Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon):
The GM recommended this 2017 Trousseau from Oregon as a good pairing for our dishes, and it was an excellent choice: This is my first time having a Trousseau and it while being a Trousseau Noir, and thinking it might be a heavy Red, it was actually very light, with Raspberries, fruity notes coming through along with a pleasant, light tartness. This turned out to be a Natural Wine as well, with No Sulfites Added, and the the bottle was gone before we knew it.
Tomatoes Insalate (White Gazpacho, Nectarine, Marcona Almonds, Anise Hyssop):
A reflection of Chef Nancy Silverton’s drive to reflect the local, seasonal produce (we’ve spotted her a few times at the local Hollywood Farmers Market), this Tomato Salad was a mirror into seasonal greatness. The Tomatoes were ripe and bursting with real Tomato flavor that you only get from in-season Farmers Market produce. The Roasted Marcona Almonds were truly aromatic and provided a real pleasing crunch and flavor spike every so often, but it was the Anise Hyssop and White Gazpacho Sauce that elevated this Salad even more. It tasted like something we’d have at Auburn, a reflection of Chef Avvazyan’s training. A wonderful highlight.
Rigatoni (Corn, Goat Cheese, Vadouvan):
With Chef Silverton’s trio of standout Italian restaurants, one would expect that any new restaurant of hers would have some Pasta on the menu, and while this is true at Barish, all of the Pastas are Al Forno (Oven Baked), which makes it standout from the usual Pastas one might expect.
The Rigatoni is a beautiful presentation, cut width-wise, and then stuffed and stood up in a cast-iron pan and then oven roasted until ready. The Pasta being oven-roasted is firm, sturdy and has a toasted quality, but the bottom half is softened to be more like a boiled Pasta texture.
The Corn and Goat Cheese Puree mixed with Vadouvan is unique, giving it a lightly, inherently sweet, pungent, creamy and aromatic quality.
6 Oz Ribeye Cap:
In a bit of a curious presentation (for being a “Steakhouse”), the menu has a tiny 2 line section at the bottom of the menu for their Steaks. And there is no description about the quality of the meat, nor the provenance either (whereas you find most of the local big Steakhouses will advertise what farm the Beef is from, and what quality / grade it is (USDA Prime, or Australian Wagyu, or Japanese Wagyu, etc.).
Our server didn’t know either (not a good sign), and finally after asking the kitchen, they told us it was Snake River Farms Ribeye Cap. Taking a bite: Funky, beefy, this was clearly dry-aged and it was quite tender and juicy.
The biggest challenge to this dish was the precious nature of the serving given the price: The menu does say it is 6 Oz, but it’s truly tiny, serving more as an “Appetizer” portion than an actual full entree for most people. And at $80 (plus tax & tip) this costs far more than numerous outstanding (and much larger) Steaks at top tier local places like CUT.
Salt Baked Fries (Calabrian Chile Aioli):
On the other side of the value spectrum, the side of Salt Baked Fries were gargantuan: Huge slabs of Potatoes that are quartered and presumably baked in Salt, they arrive hulking, piping hot, crunchy with a pillowy-soft, potatoey center. They were outstanding on their own, but the Calabrian Chile Aioli added a fun, light heat to each bite. At a reasonable $10, this was enough to feed 4 of us.
Oxtail (Marinated Cucumber, Pickled Onion, Charmoula):
In a slightly shocking presentation, The Barish’s new Oxtail entree is presented rustic, in a huge, long strand of Oxtail (probably about 4 - 5 segments that are usually cut up). You are also expected to shred / pull the meat off the bone yourself, which can get a little messy, but thankfully it’s worth the effort:
Chef Avvazyan presents this beautiful Oxtail (which is fork tender (perhaps stewed, then roasted?)) and it is perfectly seasoned: It’s zesty, savory, flavorful from their Housemade Charmoula seasoning, fragrant from Cumin, Garlic, Lemon and other spices. This is the first time we’ve had Oxtail at an Italian restaurant, but the execution and flavors were very good.
The Marinated Cucumber and Pickled Onions provided just the right amount of acid and piquant to balance the succulent, luscious, fatty quality of the Oxtail meat.
The Housemade Pita was an interesting choice, evoking feelings of dining at a Middle Eastern or Greek eatery than a California-Italian restaurant. Still it was a nice complement. The Oxtail entree was another highlight of the evening!
Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream:
The Dessert menu looked quite basic, with a Bread Pudding and then a variety of Gelato and Sorbet. The Bread Pudding turned out to be a winner: It’s served hot, each bite warm and comforting, moist and fruity, and then contrasted with ice cold, quality Vanilla Ice Cream.
The Barish shows potential as Chef Nancy Silverton’s newest endeavor. This California-Italian Steakhouse is at times very safe and traditional with items like an Iceberg Wedge, Caesar Salad, Steak Tartare, and entrees that read like a list trying to appeal to all (there’s a Fish dish, Lobster, Pork Chop, Duck Breast, Lamb and Steaks).
But look a bit closer and you’ll see that the menu goes beyond simple basics with items like the outstanding Tomato Insalate (with a stunning, addictive Anise Hyssop Dressing). The Baked Rigatoni with Corn, Goat Cheese and Vadouvan is another unique flavor profile, and that Oxtail is something I’m still thinking about days later, slow-roasted, fall off the bone tender, and the Marinated Cucumbers, Pickled Onions and that Housemade Charmoula sauce are all standouts that pair so well with the moist, tender Oxtail meat.
We’re hopeful Barish continues to develop and expand its menu, pushing the boundaries of what a “Cal-Italian Steakhouse” might be, and delivering more standout dishes in the process.
(inside The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel)
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tel: (323) 856-1970