Nancy Silverton hasn’t opened a new restaurant since 2013 when she debuted Chi Spacca in the former pizza school space on the corner of Melrose and Highland in Mid-Wilshire. Now she’s ready to open the Barish, coming from her maternal grandmother’s name and taking inspiration from the family’s farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Opening this Wednesday inside the former Public Kitchen space, the Barish will serve a truncated menu on the hotel’s outdoor areas until indoor dining is allowed again.
The menu starts with Parker House rolls, spiedini Romana, and lamb riblets, while salads include an iceberg wedge with hazelnuts and a take on a classic Caesar. At the moment, the bill of fare only includes a few mains like lamb chops, grilled Japanese snapper, a 30-day dry-aged ribeye, and a smothered heritage pork chop. A well-aged wine list features vintage Barolos and other Italian bottles that should fare nicely with the expense account crowd (if that even exists right now during the pandemic).
Silverton has had a rough year, enduring a bout with COVID-19 on a personal level, closing her restaurants but turning them into relief centers for restaurant workers, and then dealing with property damage at her restaurants from the George Floyd protests in June. She responded to the latter by writing a controversial op-ed in the LA Times (with partner Michael Krikorian) that drew backlash when she likened looters to roaches and reiterated the pandemic’s connection to Wuhan, China and bats. Several Times staffers (and other food media) objected to elements of the op-ed on Twitter, including then-food editor Peter Meehan, who was unaware of the piece before publication. Silverton eventually deleted her Twitter account after blocking accounts that criticized the op-ed.
On the upside, Silverton released her Chi Spacca cookbook with current executive chef Ryan Denicola last week, giving some momentum to this upcoming steakhouse inside the Hollywood Roosevelt. Chef Armen Avvazyan will handle the Italian-inspired dishes with Jerald Armstrong leading the front of house.
Reservations are available on OpenTable.