I finally made it across the 405 freeway to Birch on the Cahuenga Corridor in Hollywood. Brendan Collins is one of Los Angeles’ most respected chefs and is doing a smashing job at creating farm-to-table cuisine at Birch. Chef Collins has some definite cooking chops, having been the Chef d’ Cuisine at Melisse and executive chef/owner of Annisette and Waterloo & City, most recently. Birch has been open over a year now and has a Scandinavian design with modern touches throughout and a glass windowed kitchen, giving diners a birds eye view of cooking at its best.
The menu is small plates in nature with a few larger plates to share with the entire table. The cocktail list includes some Old Classics, but they also have a Birch Cocktail List with some fun creations. While we were waiting for our table and talking with friends, we sipped on Birch’s version of The Side Car, which was browned butter, caraway infused bourbon and a cherry. I thought the drink had outstanding flavor and the bartender mentioned they infuse the bourbon using a sous vide technique – pretty impressive.
As for our plates, we started with the Port Jellied Chicken Liver & Toast and the Burrata, Peach, Speck and Corn Salsa Salad. The mousse was perfectly creamy on my palate, but to be expected coming from the charcuterie king himself (if you didn’t taste the charcuterie at Waterloo & City, you definitely missed out), Chef Brendan Collins. The salad had a refreshingly nice bite and the corn added a unique flair that you don’t see in most stone fruit salads.
Our next few plates were the Roasted Cauliflower with Feta & Romesco and the Sweet Corn and Truffle Tortellini with Parmesan Foam. Even though I have had many versions of roasted cauliflower, I would definitely say, this cauliflower dish was one of the best. The feta melted so nicely over the cauliflower and the crunchy edged vegetable made it taste, oh so satisfying. The tortellini was nicely prepared and cooked al dente with a shaving of fresh truffles over the top. The sweet corn filling and freshly roasted corn along side, enhanced the decadent pasta experience.
We devoured the Pork Shank with Pickled Cucumbers & Carrots, Lettuce, Hoisin Black Bean Sauce and Za’atar Flat Bread. The shank had been cooked for 12 hours and the flavors, well….delightful. The meat just fell gently from the bone as you poked with your fork and you could wrap it with lettuce or bread or both.
Birch is definitely one of Los Angeles’ hot spots and the cooking, exceptional. Birch has happy hour M-F from 5-7 p.m. and on Sundays too. The wine list is extensive and corkage is $20.00 per bottle. Brunch on weekends.