I met Tommy Salvatore at the Beverly Hills Chamber Appreciation event at the Beverly Canon Gardens, but I was also a long-time customer at Craig’s. I asked him about his restaurant and he said for me to come in and give it a try. What he didn’t tell me was how elegant and delicious his food is. Perhaps the best tasting I have had in a very long time!
Tommy’s Beverly Hills opened on Feb. 15th, 2022. Tommy Salvatore was formerly the manager at Hollywood hot spot Craig’s in West Hollywood. Executive Chef Vartan Abgaryan oversees the kitchen. Tommy’s occupies the old two-story Bouchon space at Beverly Canon Gardens, which closed in 2017. On the ground floor, the Café at Tommy’s Beverly Hills offers a casual al fresco daytime dining experience, with tables throughout the portico. The upstairs includes a small lounge and a formal dining room with high ceilings, low lighting, and a semi-circular dark green bar. The California-inspired Italian-influenced menu is available in the evening. Tommy Salvadore has had a foothold in the Los Angeles restaurant scene for the last 13 years. Hailing from New York’s – Greenwich Village and the great Italian food that is in New York. He loves his Italian roots, and his immediate family is from Italy. He really captures the heart of Italian food but with a real gastronomic twist.
Opposite The Maybourne Beverly Hills, Tommy’s occupies a space owned by the City of Beverly Hills. While the Café at Tommy’s opened officially on Jan. 31, the formal dining room upstairs opened in Mid February. Tommy’s vision encompasses many crucial Beverly Hills time periods; you can feel the 50’s revival as well as a truly modern touch. The interiors are lush and vibrant, with a huge dining room, there is plenty of room for any special occasion. The night I was there they had a fabulous jazz singer – Lia Booth, and her band. She’s got a very Tierney Sutton type of vibe, who happened to be my client for her 9th Grammy Nomination. I really enjoyed the mood of the music, and it enhanced my meal.
Here’s What I tried:
Traditional Vodka Martini, just a lovely cocktail.
Upper East side, with Stoli Elit, cucumber, mint, lime. A very light cocktail with lots of fruit forward flavors.
Margarita Cazadores, agave, and lime. This margarita is just what the doctor ordered, strong yet very drinkable.
Each and every wine had its moments with the appropriate menu items; the one that really stood out was the Duckhorn Merlot with the rib eye, really a no-brainer. The caramelized onions and the rich steak nuances lend it so perfectly with the subtle berry type flavors. Tommy’s wine list is outstanding, coming from many countries; they really have all of their bases covered.
Squash Blossoms house made ricotta, yuzu kosho bagna cauda, lime, and parmesean. They are fried up with a very pungent dipping sauce, but these are very hearty blossoms.
Crudo, with Hamachi, passion fruit, jalapeno, radish, basil, and lime. The fish is so fresh and the accompaniments are truly perfect.
Poached Oysters, with champagne, béarnaise, uni, and caviar. I could eat these all night, you must try this.
Heirloom Tomato, with plum, creamy feta, pickled onions, plum gastrique, and mint. This is all about the ripeness and purity of these outstanding tomatoes.
Castelfranco, with Ceasar dressing, pomegranate, Lemmon pepper bread crumbs, and parmesan. I just loved this salad, it is simple and the presentation is so elegant.
Pappardelle, with summer squash, poblano, coconut, cilantro, and lime. The pasta is large and scrumptious and the sauce is so different and special, the coconut really takes it over the top.
Agnolotti, with corn, black truffle, pecorino, and lime. My favorite of the night, it is so delicate, and the corn just makes this dish fantastic.
Tagliatelle, with morel mushrooms, parmesan cheese, garlic, and shallots. This pasta has a clear pop of garlic in every bite and the morels are smoky and delightful.
Bolognese, with cavatelli, pork, veal, egg yolk, and parmesan. The egg yolk on top just trickles all over this glorious dish, really a winner.
Ribeye, 20 oz. Bone in, Dry aged, caramelized onion jus. This is the best of the best; the steak was cooked a little bit above rare, with the meat just melting in your mouth. The caramelized onions are otherworldly, just incredible.
Branzino with preserved lemon, dill, sweet garlic, and olive oil. The fish is so flavorful and fresh, a really amazing Italian staple.
Charred Green Beans, with preserved lemon, almonds, Calabrian honey, and chives. The lemon and honey really add so much depth to this great side dish.
French Fries, house cut, with chipotle aioli. You just have to try these, they are that good.
Corn Risotto, with mascarpone, and parmesan. I loved this side dish, so sweet and luscious.
Soft Serve Cart, with caramel, cherry’s, pistachios, and whipped cream. They pull up a cart with many toppings, but this is what I choose.
Chocolate Budino, a nice pudding-type consistency with coconut on top.
Burnt Basque Cheesecake, the burnt flavor was just off the charts.
Aquilini, Sauvignon Blanc, Red Mountain, Washington State, 2020
Joseph Faiveley, Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy, France, 2020
Byron, Chardonnay, “Nelson Vineyard”, Santa Maria, CA. 2015
Chateau Climens, Barsac, Sauternes, 1 ER Cru, 2010
Siduri, Pinot Noir, Monterey, CA. 2018
Duckhorn, Merlot, Napa Valley, CA. 2019
Finca Mendel, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 2019
Heritage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colombia Valley, CA. 2020
My server, Winter Andrews, is from Tucson, Arizona, but was born in Hawaii. He was so accommodating, with his great demeanor and pleasant attitude, just the perfect server.
Chef Vartan knows his way around a kitchen, and this new restaurant endeavor is really as good as it gets. Tommy’s Beverly Hills is located in the heart of Beverly Hills, on Canon Drive. Chef Vartan Abgaryan curates a California-inspired menu with contemporary Italian influences.
About Chef Abgaryan:
Chef Abgaryan recognizes that food portrays emotion. When he starts to cook he leaves anything that is bothering him at the door. He believes that his food will suffer if his head and heart are burdened. For Chef Abgaryan, cooking came out of nowhere. He enrolled in culinary school Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas for two years. He decided to go to school there instead of in Los Angeles, because he felt Las Vegas would be the quickest route for him to acquire the skills necessary for success, due to the much larger restaurant industry. Chef Abgaryan worked for two restaurants in Las Vegas under the tutelage of a French chef before moving back to California: Andre’s Restaurant at the Monte Carlo and Lutece Restaurant inside the Venetian Hotel and Casino. Lutece Restaurant was his first opportunity to work as a Sous Chef. The experience he gained at these two restaurants allowed Chef Vartan to earn a Sous Chef position at the Red Pearl Kitchen in Los Angeles so he could move back to California to be closer to his ailing mother. After only two short months at the Red Pearl Kitchen, he was asked to take over the Executive Chef position. Vartan’s big opportunity came when the owners of the Red Pearl Kitchen approached him with the prospect of taking the lead in the refurbishment of another restaurant. Three months before another restaurant was to open, Chef Vartan agreed to take on the position of Executive Chef and the task of building a restaurant kitchen nearly from scratch. The restaurant had nothing in it when Vartan first stepped inside, although construction was well on its way. At that point, Chef admits he questioned his decision to take the position but after talking with Shelley Register, who ran a market next door, he picked up on her contagious enthusiasm and realized the direction the restaurant should take. Given permission to work things out on his own, Chef Vartan strove to help the restaurant improve upon itself and not to abandon the crux of what a restaurant should be; an American Bistro which takes classic dishes and creates them using modern standards with the freshest ingredients. He and a fellow chef competed on Iron Chef America against famed chef, Morimoto, in a curry battle. Unfortunately, he and his team did not win; he was disappointed but quickly moved on. His mom used to make a soup, which he said tasted different every time she would make it. The flavor of the soup, according to Chef Abgaryan, changed depending on her mood. It is his passion for inspiring emotion through food, leaving lasting memories. He loves being a chef and feels that it is something to be cherished. His food is simple, fresh, and flavorful. Being an overachiever, his average hours a week in the kitchen are 60. His first cooking memory is as a child watching his mom bake when he was 6 or 7, maybe younger. She loved to bake and it was always an event.
If you’re wanting a night out to have a culinary experience that will permeate your brain and taste buds, try Tommy’s, it’s a hidden secret in a very popular city that needs to be enjoyed time and time again.
235 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA.
* Note – Some Content was taken off of their website.