A stylish, if quiet, newcomer has rolled its way into the heart of Hollywood as of last month, with Shirley Brasserie taking up residence in the back of the famed Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. The storied property has seen plenty over the decades (including the first Academy Awards) and was up until this summer the home of Nancy Silverton’s three-year-old steakhouse the Barish. That closure led to a change in direction and culinary focus, with Shirley Brasserie now in as a French California option sporting steaks, a raw bar, and a full suite of cocktails.
While the new Shirley Brasserie has been flying somewhat under the radar since opening in July, the restaurant’s pedigree certainly deserves attention. Chef Craig Hopson is the opening chef de cuisine, and with time spent at places like Guy Savoy, Lucas Carton in Paris, and Le Cirque in New York City he’s more than suited to the task. Hopson’s menu is rich with French staples like a Lyonnaise salad with frisee and a soft poached egg, or long charcuterie boards with spreads and meats from across France. Seafood towers will continue to hit the high-dollar tables, while wood-fired entrees center around roasted chickens, steaks and chops, or touches of seafood like halibut and king crab legs. There are standalone entrees like duck leg confit, big bottles of notable French wine, and riffs on classic cocktails including a French milk punch and Negroni blanc. The opening menu is below.
The space itself hasn’t been touched much from the Barish days, with a mix of marble, leather, and dark wood. The kitchen is open for all to see, and light streams in from behind gauzy curtains along a primary wall. Dim dinners are likely the move here, with date night crowds and pre-theater diners merging together under low lights and mellow music. Sylvain Royer, the managing partner of R&B Lab, is behind the restaurant’s rebranding.
The new Shirley Brasserie lands at an interesting moment for Hollywood. While many other areas just to the south and east have exploded with popularity as of late — think Sightglass’s Media District and the Vinyl District, home to powerhouse Mother Wolf — not everything is smooth sailing in the neighborhood. Both Horses and Mother Wolf have faced litigation issues recently, while other spots like Gunsmoke have quietly closed their doors. Still, the Hollywood Roosevelt deserves an anchor tenant for its downstairs restaurant, and so far it’s found a promising option with this understated new French dinner spot.
Shirley Brasserie is open daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends) at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard; reservations can be made via OpenTable.