Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Cliff's Edge: A menu makeover courtesy chef Ben Bailly

sea  bream en papillote

chickpea fritters
Cliff's Edge has always been one of those slightly disappointing Silver Lake restaurants -- great atmosphere, but if only the food were a few notches better. Locals were thrilled to hear recently that Ben Bailly would be taking over the kitchen, and I was invited last night to try a few items from the vastly improved and updated menu.
whipped ricotta/honey/lavender
When EatingLA last encountered young Ducasse and Robuchon-trained chef Bailly, he was constructing delicate fish-egg topped custards and such at Beverly Hills' Petrossian Caviar.  A few stops later, he's settled at Cliff's Edge, where it was a shame to waste such a killer patio on the former humdrum French bistro fare and gluey, overpriced pastas.
scallops with salsa verde
lemon brulee tart
The menu has been smartly retooled with a variety of small plates at reasonable prices -- a stack of chickpea fritters were a fun take on socca cakes, and whipped ricotta with lavender and honey also evoked the south of France. Hope you weren't too attached to the French fries with blue cheese sauce, the Caesar salad or the pumpkin ravioli, because they're all gone. In their place are rustic yet contemporary dishes like sea bream en papillote -- not often seen in L.A. -- lamb cheeks and skate wing. Desserts have also been upgraded from the former tired tiramisu -- pistachio creme brulee, lemon brulee tarte and Gianduja budino all showed more spark than the last bland cobbler I had there.
Cliff's Edge is one of the few places in the area for a boozy brunch with full bar, so I might have to return for dishes like Nutella French toast and a blood orange Margarita. And soon, chef Bailly will be cooking with fresh vegetables and herbs from just up the hill at owner Dana Hollister's Paramour garden, keeping things as local as possible.
The restaurant plans to keep diners focused on the food, as well as the patio, with upcoming events like winemaker dinners and guest stints featuring some well-known local chefs.
Now, if they could just take over the Edendale Grill...


Miles said...

love the patio, but the food has always been average. can't wait to try dinner, but i think the brunch menu has not changed. hope it does soon.

Anonymous said...

Have they finally stopped smoking on the patio?

Alissa said...

Brunch menu has very sadly not changed and has no sign of Ben's magic. He needs to retool the most important meal of the weekend.

Anonymous said...

I ate there last Saturday night and the food was delicious! We had the ricotta, the polenta, the scallops, and the flat iron steak (get it rare). Added bonus - the service was easy-going but not lazy, casual but not overly familiar. What a nice experience!

Fine Dining Restaurant said...

i use to get out once in a month for brunch and i love to shuffle my menu but "Frittata with Pancetta, Tomatoes, Potatoes & Ricotta Salata" is my favorite.
~Aansy Stone

Anonymous said...