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The Goldster Lays the Word Down on Hollywood's Shiny New Paley

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He's amused more than inspired by Greg Bernhardt's cuisine

Paley space in Hollywood with midcentury modern appointments, dining room, chairs, and tables with hanging lights.
Paley, Hollywood
Wonho Frank Lee
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Paley gets the Jonathan Gold treatment this week in the Los Angeles Times, with a more or less positive take on the new ode to glorious mid-century modern design. And of course, Gold starts off with a few massive paragraphs on the experience, starting with the parking situation, all the way to the room:

The restaurant is fairly majestic in scale - high ceilings, lots of glass - with the finishes and elegant curves borrowed from the Hollywood Moderne style, but modernist glass light fixtures and a vibe that is more 1963

The Times critic jumps right into the snackier bites from chef Greg Bernhardt's globally inspired menu:

And in certain ways, Paley is perfect for those occasions when you find yourself having a meal without really having a meal, nibbling on paleo-friendly snacks of charred carrots or coal-singed Wagyu beef with your glass of Grenache; picking at a mound of steak tartare dyed scarlet with the Korean chile paste gochujang; or pushing slivers of slightly overcooked amberjack around your plate because they're not quite up to the version at Animal

While Bernhardt has a way with cooking with live fire, something hits Gold immediately after tasting some of those dishes:

Bernhardt is good with fire - half the menu is wood-roasted, coal-roasted, or smoked, including a really nice dish of grilled asparagus striped with creamy chopped hardboiled egg. But something about Paley doesn't lend itself to the idea of fine dining - the ingredients may be well-chosen and carefully cooked, but the basic unit of consumption here seems to be a bite or two - Bernhardt's cooking is designed to be amusing, not profound.

And these two lines tend to best sum up Gold's feeling with a lot of the dishes:

Roast chicken with escarole was fine - who's going to ruin roast chicken? - but dull. The conceit behind "martini mussels'' flavored with gin, vermouth and pickled onions is clever, but begins to feel tired after a mussel or two.

Gold walks away suggesting diners come for the Pimm's Cup and a bite of braised bacon on the patio.


6115 Sunset Boulevard, , CA 90028 (323) 544-9430 Visit Website