Dining: Birch Bites…

photo:lamag.com
photo:lamag.com

Birch was a bust.

Tree bark is probably tastier.

Lately, there appears to be a dearth of desirable new restaurants in the City of Angels.

This is the third unsavory review in a row.

They are all devilishly unappealing.

On a recent Saturday night we took three freeways to arrive at Cahuenga Boulevard in the rehabbing Hollywood district.

Destination: Birch Restaurant.

Parking is impossible so one needs to valet at the ridiculous rate of $10.

Birch Restaurant
Birch Restaurant
Birch Restaurant
Birch Restaurant

Birch is compact with a modern Scandinavian feel, a large garage door serves as the facade and the seating is in extraordinarily uncomfortable chairs.

Birch pays homage to Middle Eastern fare.

Cocktail #8
Cocktail #8

We started with cocktails which are numbered not named.

#8 is a bourbon drink with brown butter, caraway, marmalade and drunken cherries ($14). David said it was okay.

I opted for Cremant. It was light and not so bright ($12).

We prepared to order.

Burrata was not on our radar screen, but the server raved and we succumbed.

Burrata
Burrata

The burrata I buy weekly from a charming Italian at the Palisades Farmer’s Market is far superior in taste and texture and my preparation surpasses this drivel.

The outwardly attractive dish contained a minuscule lump of burrata with soggy peas, 2 slivers of radish and speck which turned out to be the tastiest item in the Peas & Burrata Bowl ($15).

Za'atar Flatbread & Persian Yogurt
Za’atar Flatbread & Persian Yogurt

We were starving so we ordered the homemade Za’atar flatbread with Persian yogurt to quell the hunger ($7). The bread was tasty, but the dip unexciting.

Cauliflower
Cauliflower

Next up was the cauliflower with Romesco sauce, feta cheese, tasteless croutons and pomegranate seeds which were the highlight ($15).

Squid Ink Capellini
Squid Ink Capellini

Our main course was a stingy portion of squid ink capellini with lobster and San Marzano tomatoes. The lobster was meager. The dish was not meant to be shared ($21).

Pork Shank
Pork Shank

Apparently, the pork shank is the house specialty and everyone seems to be ordering it. It is served with za’atar bread and lettuce cups. The pork is burnished with mellow palm sugar.

You are meant to tear off a length of the bread, shred some pork, add yogurt and slaw. Our neighbors seemed to enjoy it, but did not rave ($34).

British Chef Brendan Collins opened Birch after running the Culver City gastropub Waterloo & City. It was a visually unappealing restaurant with mediocre food. Collins also worked at Michelin-starred Melisse in Santa Monica.

Birch sucks. The sound level was louder than an AC/DC concert.

The service was absent, the hostess was a droid and the food uninspired.

The courses arrived on chipped plates. Take the money you make on the beyond small plate items and buy some new dishware.

The journey was 45 minutes each way and it wasn’t worth a 2 minute walk.

Birch was ridiculously disappointing, downright annoying and not even worth reviewing…kind of like the Republican candidates for President…totally unimpressive.

Birch Restaurant 1634 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood, California. Open Monday-Thursday 5-10pm, Friday & Saturday 5-11pm, Sunday 5-9pm. Sunday Roast Noon-5pm. Valet parking $10. Reservations on OpenTable.com.

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