Butchers & Barbers…

Cocktails At Butchers & Barbers
Cocktails At Butchers & Barbers

Looks can be deceiving.

Everyone who has ever been fixed up knows this.

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Butchers and Barbers is not outwardly conventional.

But don’t let the Hollywood funk deter you. The cocktails are creative and delicious, the food is very good and it is really a fun spot.

I must admit to initially being surprised. Hollywood Boulevard has not been a final destination in a very long time.

Patricia Heaton's Star
Patricia Heaton’s Star

We valeted at Butchers & Barbers (an action I rarely take) as parking is nonexistent. I stepped out of the car and immediately smushed Patricia Heaton’s star with my Manolo Blahnik.

An effusive doorman met us with a dramatic Hollywood greeting…let the games begin.

The dynamic, trendsetting nightclub duo, the Houston brothers, who have opened such hot spots as La Descarga, Pour Vous, Harvard & Stone, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, have dived into the full on restaurant pool.

Butchers & Barbers which opened 3 months ago, is serving American bistro fare whipped up by chef Luke Reyes, formerly of Gorbals, Tasting Kitchen and Corner Door.

Our next interaction was with the hostess and Blondie offered us solo seating in Pacoima…was this ageism? Did she think we were too aged to mingle with the young diners?!

Butchers & Barbers Bar  photo: butchersandbarbers.com
Butchers & Barbers Bar photo: butchersandbarbers.com

We rejected our desolate choices and headed for the bar and took a seat on the barber stools. The bar space is a former barber shop, circa 1927. There is a barber chair at the entrance and meat hooks repurposed as light fixtures.

The bartender was styling’ in a wide brimmed hat and enlightened us about the creative cocktail list. Joe Swifka (ink.) and Nate Oliver (The Vagrancy Project) are the creators of the unique cocktail fare.

I ordered the Greta Garbo because I thought I may need to be alone. It is made with hazelnut-infused Belle Meade bourbon, benedictine, honey, Angostura bitters and citrus oils ($12). It was fabulous.

My husband went with the crowd favorite, The Sailors Beware. It went down very, very smoothly. It’s a potent mix of fig-infused Park cognac, Earl Grey-infused Gosling’s rum, Peychaud’s bitters, lemon and Demerara ($12).

Butchers & Barbers Dining Room
Butchers & Barbers Dining Room

A table in the small, eclectic dining room instantly became available and we struck a pose next to a young, lovely couple who are in the entertainment biz working at Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan’s, production company.

Things were looking up.

Since it was Valentine’s Day, it was a set menu, but we did have choices.

Peter, our sweetheart of a waiter, was accommodating and vivacious.

Malbeque Oysters
Malbeque Oysters

We started with Malbeque oysters with Serrano mignonette, horseradish and lemon along with the market vegetable crudite  accompanied by a spiced yogurt tahini, harissa and greens.

Crudite
Crudite

The oysters were sweet. The crudite tasty, but boring.

Smoked Trout
Smoked Trout

This was followed by smoked trout with celery root hummus, trout roe, 5 minute egg and radishes…exceedingly delicious.

Pear Salad
Pear Salad

My husband selected a lovely salad with pear, rocket arugula, homemade ricotta and sesame vinaigrette.

Roasted Foie Gras
Roasted Foie Gras

The roasted foie gras on a house-made brioche, smoked peanuts and fabulous blood orange was outstanding.

Gnocchi
Gnocchi

David chose the tantalizing gnocchi embellished with black truffle butter, pecorino and snap peas.

Short Rib
Short Rib

My main course was the roasted short rib, a dreamy potato puree, sweet Cippollini onions accented by pickled mustard seed. The portion was large and delectable.

Vegetable Tartine
Vegetable Tartine

David’s winter vegetable tartine with fontina béchamel, glazed rutabaga and lady apple was nice…like a decent fix up, but uninspired. The other entree offered was braised rabbit which appears on many menus of late and not a selection I am hopping to try.

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake

Dessert was tempting as it should be. A chocolate cake with salted chocolate ganache and malted ice cream.

All this can be yours for the Valentine’s Day massacre price of $95. It was very good, but in my opinion a tad overpriced, but other than New Year’s Eve, they have you by the short and curlies. Romance doesn’t come cheap.

The regular menu is quite different. The portions are purportedly huge. There is also a late night dining menu consisting of popcorn with roasted garlic, rosemary and thyme oil ($4), house-made pickles ($5) pork rillettes with grilled bread ($10), cheeseburger ($15), herbed fresh fries ($7), grilled cheese ($12) and market crudite ($6).

There is a similar bar menu with the addition of oysters (1/2 dozen for $16) and a charcuterie board with pate, rillettes, cured meats, house made pickles and stone fruit jam ($18).

Butchers & Barbers has a very cool, laid-back speak easy vibe. You definitely need to pop in for a tantalizing cocktail and a bite.

It’s worth it to valet park just to wait for your car to arrive and have the opportunity to take in the passing parade of people. Not one pair of shorts, dress or skirt were more than an inch below that bass (shout out to Meghan Trainor), everyone was pierced and tattooed and not one woman could walk in 5 inch heels.

Butchers & Barbers 6531 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, California. Open Tuesday-Sunday 6pm-2am. Reservations on OpenTable. Valet parking. butchersandbarbers.com

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