16 Apr Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood
Prior to the lockdown, I was eating out more days that I ate at home and I was regularly checking out new restaurants. Now that we are back out and about, I have felt out of touch with the numerous restaurants in Los Angeles that have opened. When my friend convinced me to stay for dinner after an event, I hesitated knowing the work awaiting me at home. But, not only was it a chance to enjoy time with friends, it was also an opportunity to try Grandmaster Recorders, a restaurant in the heart of Hollywood that opened at the end of 2021, and the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Located in a 15,000 square-foot space, Grandmaster Recorders is located in the heart of Hollywood, across the street from the former Amoeba Music. The space itself was once a former recording studio, which is what inspired the name. Grandmaster Recorders is owned by David Combes and Grant Smillie of the Botanical Hospitality Group who also own E.P. & L.P. and Strings of Life.
From the outside, the space is a nondescript building located on Cahuenga. But inside the doors is a gold-filled entrance lined with commemorative albums and other tributes. Across from the hostess stand is the 71 Studio Bar which was once the recording studio, where people like Stevie Wonder and David Bowie recorded. On the rooftop is an open-air bar. And, the restaurant is a massive open space that is a mix of industrial and modern with live greenery that adds color. A bar with brightly lit bottles sits on one side and the open kitchen sits on the other side.
It was fantastic to see Wine Director Devon D’Arcangelo. I first met Devon when she moved to Los Angeles and was working at Maude, where I was dining regularly. Today she is responsible for the wine program for the Botanical Hospitality Group, which includes all of their properties. Her smiling face and her spirited personality can be found working the floor of Grandmaster Recorders.
We sat at our table and started with a glass of Billecart Salmon Champagne, followed by a cocktail called O Live You, made with Ninino Amaro, Aperol, Prosecco, and a touch of olive brine.
We paired this cocktail with the Fried Olive served with Marinara. The olive juice in the cocktail really popped in this pairing.
Botanical owners David Combes and Grant Smillie are both from Australia and they brought Chef Monty Kulodrovic and his wife Pastry Chef Jaci Kulodrovic over from Australia just before the pandemic. Award-winning chefs, they were working at Bondi Beach’s celebrated Icebergs Dining Room where they created a modern Italian menu, before moving to the U.S. Grandmaster Recorders is described as “elevated coastal Italian and Australian-inspired restaurant”.
The menu offers so many delicious sounding dishes it was hard to choose. The top of the menu offers Spuntini and Bruschetta. The Spuntini are little snacks, such as the Fried Olives and Marinara. The Bruschetta range from the classic tomato to unique flavors such as mussels and tomatoes.
There are daily selections of oysters, crudo and caviar and we had the Salmon Crudo topped with olive tapenade, olives, tomatoes and a pungent olive oil from Australia.
From the Antipasti, we enjoyed a Salad of Pickled Beets with witlof, purslane, and puffed buckwheat, as well as a beautiful sphere of Buffalo Burrata with a sauce of burnt honey, truffle, crunchy chili and rosemary.
For the Primi, we had trouble choosing from the selection of handmade pastas. Ultimately we had the pasta with prawns and the Ricotta Gnocchi with a creamy sauce of mushrooms.
And from the Secondi, we enjoyed the Chicken Piccata with celery root cream, spigarello, citrus brown butter, and capers and the Porchetta, which was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and topped with chicharrones.
When it was time for dessert, it was the fresh Ricotta Gelato that caught my eye. Delicious on its own, it also paired well with the Rum Baba, a tender cake that was strongly infused with Rum.
And it was all washed down with a glass of Bigaro, a blend of Moscato and Brachetto.
The inviting atmosphere, laid back vibe, professional service, and delicious flavors made this a memorable meal and a restaurant I cannot wait to return to!