Sorry Fred, Barney Is Better…

Fred at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills
Fred at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills

Many are resistant to change.

I like to think I am not although I still love reading an actual book and have not succumbed to purchasing a Nook yet. I still enjoy a real newspaper rather than the NY Times online.

Which brings me to Freds at Barneys New York Beverly Hills the newly converted Barney Greengrass Beverly Hills restaurant on the fifth-floor at Barneys department store…now that’s a mouthful.

The look and the menu are completely different and no more Ray to meet and greet.

It is attractive inside and the expanded outdoor patio affords fabulous views of the Hollywood Hills. The patio is still, in my estimation, the place to dine. No more umbrellas, There is permanency overhead now.

Freds is sterile, more expensive and not as friendly.

The space, designed by residential architects and designers Steven Harris and Lucien Rees Roberts feature custom ceiling sculptures, a sleek greige onyx bar with a faceted mirror wall and marble tables.

Living up to the machinations of a proper Beverly Hills department store restaurant, the staff is outfitted in exclusive Band of Outsiders uniforms by Scott Sternberg and shoes designed by Common Projects.

Freds identity crisis came to fruition in October after an extended renovation.

I met an old music industry friend for lunch in the swanky new power lunch environment. It is so Hollywood.

It took a while to find a captivating, enticing item to order.

Fresh Roasted Turkey Sandwich
Fresh Roasted Turkey Sandwich

Justin selected the turkey sandwich with thick slices of freshly roasted turkey with homemade cole slaw and Russian dressing on  sourdough bread ($20) which looked appealing and Justin declared delicious. After all, it was real roasted turkey.


The sandwich came with fries that were crispy, but tasted of old oil.

Asian Chicken Salad
Asian Chicken Salad

I ordered the Asian Chicken salad with fresh roasted shredded Mary’s chicken breast, julienned Napa cabbage, chopped romaine, toasted pine nuts, scallions, daikon radish, snow peas, sunflower sprouts, carrots, wonton and rice noodles with Freds Asian dressing. It was large and very tasty, but as my grandmother would say for $26 it should be.

There’s Mark’s Madison Avenue salad consisting of a dozen vegetables and imported Italian tuna ($27), a club salad (no carbs, thank the Lord for $25), Estelle’s Chicken Soup ($12), Artisan Pizzas ($19-25) and the Beverly Hills Club consisting of shrimp, crab, and avocado on 7-grain bread (how healthy and only $32).

Also, one may consider the Farmer’s Market flatbread laced with mushrooms, zucchini, leeks, and spring onions ($18). The hamburger with Belgian pommes frites weighs in at $22.50 , pan seared wild salmon ($30) and grilled tuna ($33) round out the main courses.

Chef Mark Strausman photo:Getty Images for Barneys New York
Chef Mark Strausman photo:Getty Images for Barneys New York

The seasonal new bites are courtesy of f chef Mark Strausman, who also set up Freds outlets in Barneys Chicago and New York.

I miss the Barney Greengrass deli aspect. They do serve this fare on the weekend’s so do not completely despair.


The restaurant still validates both your importance and parking. Dining at Fred’s affords you an excuse to browse through Barneys. I savored the shoes and bags more than the meal.

Fred, I wish you had left Barney as is. I yearn for the former menu, ambiance and prices.

Freds at Barneys New York Beverly Hills. 9570 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, California. Open Monday-Wednesday and Friday 11am-7pm, Thursday 11am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-7pm. Reservations on OpenTable. Validated parking in the Barney’s lot.

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