Dinner Bedford & Burns

Oct. 18, 2013

This is a location that has seen lots of action – back in the days of Carroll O’Connor’s “Ginger Man”. This was a true hipster spot in the 80’s. It’s had some nice evolutions, but hopefully Bedford and Burns will once again find their niche.

The Burns family has a rich history in Beverly Hills. In 1918, Robert Burns Pharmacy in Beverly Hills was conceived at the corner of Doheny and Burton Way. His son convinced him to also open a soda fountain at that location, and a century later Bedford and Burns was born.

Elizabeth and Bob Burns opened their 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. The three Burns “kids,” Beth, Bonnie and Bobby all got involved in the business and helped their mother run the restaurants, after Bob Burns passed away. Elizabeth Burns was a formidable force in the restaurant world and rose to become the first female president of the California Restaurant Association, regularly lobbying on behalf of California restaurateurs in Sacramento.

In 1990, the Burns family branched out with a casual gourmet take-away shop and catering company on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Marmalade Café was a hit and grew the concept for the next 15 years with locations all over Southern California before selling the majority stake in the company in 2007.

From its inception Bedford and Burns is garnering lots of great reviews. As part of Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle, the Burns Family wants to engage you to taste their fresh take on the American bistro.
In a warm residential setting, punctuated by great contemporary art, and an inviting heated sidewalk patio, dinner guests are happily enjoying a casual dining experience. The interior is classic with a contemporary ambiance; monochromatic beige seating with green banquets. There is a library wall with Delftware Blue Dutch ceramics, a nice Liechtenstein type light fixture with mirrored columns.

Here’s what I tried:

El Cupacabra with Dobel, Agave, Lime Juice, Muddled Serena, Ginger, Cucumber. Kind of has that Margarita vibe but with more sensibility, really great.
Bedford Mule with Russian Standard Vodka, fresh lime, ginger beer, bitters. They serve this drink in a copper mug; it makes the drink stay really cold.

Puree of Market Greens, perfect for the vegan, with no cream, no animal products, a great healthy treat.
Wild Mushroom, fantastic woodsy mushroom flavor, very well blended, perfect for the mushroom lover.

Santa Barbara Smokehouse Salmon, the salmon is delectable, and the sauce is even better then the salmon.
Lisa’s Shrimp Louie, the shrimp are huge and the dressing is just fantastic.

Bobby’s Bouillabaisse, full of John Dory, clams, mussels, shrimp, and calamari, with a nice fish marinara sauce.
Ribeye Steak with Chimi Churri Sauce. Every time I taste a new steak at a new restaurant I say that it is the best ever. It is very hard to keep track of all of different steaks I have tasted. This one however is in another league. It had the right amount of grain, and fat. The Chimi Churri sauce is spread thinly on top and adds the right amount of fragrant herbs, what I winner.

Blackberry & Peach Crumble, vanilla ice cream, very fruity, with just a small amount of crumble.
Lemon Hazelnut Meringue Cake, crème anglaise, raspberries. I really loved this cake; it has such a great light consistency.

Here are the wines that I tried:

Sancerre, Pascal Jolivet, Sancere Controlee ’11, I loved this wine with its very subtle peach flavors, it went great with the smoked salmon.
Chardonnay, Smith Madrone, Saint Helena ’10, a nice mellow wine, great pair with the Shrimp Louie, and of course the Bouillabaisse.
Syrah, Semler Family, Malibu, ’07, how could you go wrong with such a perfect match for the Steak.
Zinfandel, Force of Nature, Mossfire Ranch, Paso Robles ’10, bold, ripe rich, wonderful fruit, this one went great with the steak as well.
Pinot Noir, Belle Glos, Meiomi, California Coast ’11, this wine with its very smooth strawberry, vanilla favors worked great with the mushroom soup.

My experience was highlighted by the delightful John Jewell. Handsome and fun, he delivered many fascinating quips about the food and drink. His blond locks were neatly tied back in a ponytail, but you could see that he was a surfer underneath it all. When I asked him my standard server question, Are you an actor, he said, “ No, I’m a happy person!” He went to both USB and SF State and graduated with a business degree. John worked at Pinot Bistro, Plan Check, Saddleback, and Josies. His description of every menu item was dead on, a very informative tasting.

This is the best American Bistro Beverly Hills has ever seen, and there have been lots. It truly is a winner; it has all the things you would expect from a classic Beverly Hills dining establishment. You can come for food or the namesake, but whatever you come for you will leave with a huge smile on your face!

Bedford and Burns
369 North Bedford Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210


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