BEDFORD & BURNS
AMERICAN BISTRO & BAR IN THE HEART OF BEVERLY HILLS
Tucked neatly in the heart of ritzy Beverly Hills’ prestigious Bedford Drive is the lovely, casual yet refined, family owned Bedford & Burns. Spectacularly unassuming, walk inside and you’ll find a tiny bar to your left that you’d swear is only worthy of a minute or two before you’re seated. Think again. It serves some of the finest drinks you’ll find anywhere in Beverly Hills and beyond. And the dining room, which looks like a really fancy living room, serves some of the tastiest American fare.
This charming American bistro and bar is known for serving fresh oysters, pizzas and meats, in addition to its classic fare, including the popular Bob Burns Caesar salad along with California wines, craft beers and classic cocktails to round out your dining experience. The Burns family likes to say they offer cuisine that is one part solid tradition and the other part fresh inspiration.
The Burns family has been a fixture in Beverly Hills since 1918 when patriarch Robert Burns opened his Robert Burns Pharmacy at Doheny and Burton Way. Soon after he opened a soda fountain, which was popular back then. Years later the family really got into the restaurant business with its first Bob Burns Coffee Shop in North Hollywood in the 1950’s. Soon after, they added the fine-dining Tartan Room next door and over the following years they added to the Bob Burns family of restaurants with locations in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, Woodland Hills and Anaheim. In 1990, they opened a casual gourmet take-away shop and catering company on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Marmalade Café was a hit and steadily grew over the next 15 years with locations all over Southern California before the family sold their majority stake in the company in 2007.
Most recently, with Bedford & Burns the family has created the ideal place for lunch, dinner and drinks in Beverly Hills. The tiny bar is charming, the outside patio comfy, and the swank dining room is just the perfect place to indulge in a first rate meal. During our recent visit for dinner, I had to start with a cocktail from the bar while I waited to be seated. And take it from me, The Griddle, made with Bulleit Rye Bourbon, maple syrup, egg white and bacon, is stellar. It easily is one of the best Old Fashioned cocktails you’ll find anywhere. The sweet stick of bacon is a real nice touch.
Seated in the lovely dining area, which looks like a posh living room, we started with half a dozen fresh and wondrous Oysters, along with the lovely Spicy Yellowfin Tuna Tartare served with seaweed and crispy wontons. This, along with the classic Bob Burns Caesar, paired wonderfully with a 2010 Smith Madrone Chardonnay from Saint Helena.
Looking over the impressive menu, it was really hard to narrow our choices down as there were just so many delicious items to choose from. We had to try one of their pizzas and really enjoyed the Broccolini-Zucchini pie, prepared with caramelized onions, goat cheese and burratta. This pizza was fresh and simple and so very savory, and also paired well with our remaining Chardonnay.
For our entrees, we went with the fantastic Channel Island White Sea Bass, a personal favorite, made with puttanesca and broccolini. Fresh, tasty and pretty guilt free, this dish really delights. Again, a nice glass of white wine really elevates the already delightful taste.
Looking for something a little heartier? The Main Lobster Ravioli prepared with cognac sauce is filling, flavorful and decadent in a good way. Now this American bistro fare at its finest. A glass of Belle Glos Pinot Noir made our meal even better.
Time spent in the warm and inviting dining room is really relaxing—as if time has stopped, the outside world is a million miles away, and all you want to do is enjoy the moment. And to keep that cool vibe going dessert seemed essential. We went with the over the top Chocolate Molten Cake (as deliciously decadent as it gets) along with the Lemon Hazelnut Meringue Cake. And because I’m a big fan of liquid dessert, we had to pair these bad boys with a glass of Dow’s 20-year-old Tawny Port, and Penfolds Grandfather’s Rare Tawny. Now that’s what a night out is all about!
At Bedford & Burns you can go for great bar bites and killer cocktails, or fine dining without any pretentiousness (even in Beverly Hills).
Bedford & Burns in located at 369 North Bedford Drive in Beverly Hills. Open Monday – Saturday 11am to 10:30pm. Call 310-273-8585.
By: Jose Martinez.
Some photography courtesy of: Bedford & Burns