The movers and shakers filled the tables at the handsome, Tadich Grill-style room at the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills last night just as they’ve done for three decades now. They were turning people away as we arrived for our reservation. We were invited to dinner to sample the Grill’s new menu and help celebrate its 30th year feeding show people plus the rest of us.
Known for its power lunches, the mood is a little more sedate at night, but still you feel that tinsel town vibe with many of the conversations centering on scripts, TV and movies. The place also caters to easy to spot locals who have lived in Beverly Hills for a long time. But you’ll also catch a glimpse of young BoHo’s in casual togs trying to fit in with the rather retro crowd.
While it’s hard to brush over the show biz vibe, the food does take center stage at the Grill which was founded in 1984 by movers and shakers Bob Spivak, Mike Weinstock and Richard Shapiro on one fine day while the entrepreneurs were looking for a place to open a restaurant and discovered just the place in an alley off Dayton Way.
I went to The Grill with all intentions lusting to sink my teeth into one of the Grill’s signature steaks, the new Tomahawk veal chop ($49.75) caught my eye and appetite (see photo and you’ll understand). Richard did go for the beef ordering a large $48.75 New York steak (which he swooned over). Steaks come with new preparations such as Bordelaise, Béarnaise, green peppercorn or other sauce.
I started with a perfect Caesar salad that cost $10 (hard to find one as good in this town except at the Palm in WeHo). Richard opted for recently added Ahi tuna tartare which was outstanding served with avocado, mango, cucumber, Sriracha Aioli and crispy wontons ($17.75). While all that was plenty to fill our bellies which our eyes were bigger than, we ordered sides (well, we were reviewing the place).
It wasn’t easy picking out a few from the new menu but we settled on Braised Brussels Sprouts – Roasted Brussels sprouts with carrot, onion and bacon hash drizzled with balsamic vinegar and tossed with roasted pecans which was delicious and filling and grilled asparagus.
Of course we ordered a bottle of wine from the very interesting list that includes a selection that is 50% off, half-bottles and by the glass. And while we really wanted to push away from the table, we were tempted to order dessert and glad we did. The New York cheesecake was perfect and so was Richards hot fudge sundae was a throw-back to the days of CC Browns in Hollywood, which also catered to a show biz clientele.
All in all it was a five star evening with great service, food and ambiance. It is expensive but worth the splurge. We wish we’d requested a booth which were all taken so if you like that type of seating arrangement be sure to ask for it when you make your reservation which is mandatory if you want to get in at all.
The Grill on the Alley is as it sounds in an alley just off 9500 Dayton Way, call 310-276-0615 for reservations.