Millard Kaufman's 100th birthday would've been Sunday #inmemoriam #Hollywood #BlackList #Freedom @JohnsHopkins http:/
Eden on Brand, right next to the Alex Theater, has taken a dramatic step up from its prior location further North (which is now closed, by the way).
The atmosphere is stunning and very chic and borders on Hollywood night club with staff dressed to match, and apparently two more floors set to open soon according to employees. The darker theme with wood, stone, metal, and leather highlighted brilliantly with subtle lighting was fantastic. The restaurant is large and spacious and I can only imagine how fantastic the kitchen must be to work in. The space was actually so large, I almost wondered why they didn't try to sneak in a few more 2 tops on the first floor to give things a bit more bustle amid the hip music vibe being piped in.
The food, while a tad on the high side for standard burger fare, is generally great and exceptionally tasty. I loved the Royal Blue burger which had just enough blue cheese to be spectacular without going overboard. Similarly their signature Black Label Burger was fantastically beefy and even juicier than the Royal Blue. Both burgers were cooked perfectly. Given their burger creativity, I'm surprised that they didn't have a Kobe beef burger on the menu.
The shoestring fries, while cooked wonderfully and garnished with just the right amount of parsley were lacking a bit in flavor and could have used some more salt. Perhaps frying them in flavored oil or adding a light sprinkling of garlic could have lifted them to the level of the rest of the fare and the surrounding ambiance? The spicy ketchup was a nice attempt, but was far too overpowering given the flatter fries and didn't fit in with the flavor profile of the burgers. Larger ketchup vessels might make it easier to dip a burger if desired.
The appetizers were passable, but not nearly as creative as the burger options. I tried their carrot appetizer which sadly, while interesting, didn't put the carrots front and center and left them a bit overcooked. The chefs might consider updating the appetizer menu with some more creativity or possibly swiping a few ideas from the Smith Brothers in Pasadena or Crossings in South Pasadena as this seems to be what they're chasing after, but still keep things in the mold of the high-end burger joint.
Their beer selections were nice as was the list of harder alcohols, but I'm surprised they didn't have a signature drink menu which could go a long way towards highlighting their bar for increased revenue.
The staff, while warm and welcoming still needs to up their game a tad, though hopefully this will come with time as they settle into the new space which is only about a month old. Refinements could include: tipping customers off to the fact that the ketchup is spiced; not being so clumsy as to ask diners if they want to keep their silverware, but just bringing out new sets automatically with changes in courses (especially given the higher bar of dining that's being portrayed); pronouncing duck confit properly (it's French); and possibly suggesting beer pairings with particular burgers (if they're not going to be suggested on the menu). Check averages would also be a higher if they checked on refills or alternates during the meal as well.
I can certainly see where they're going with the ambiance and the food, and would certainly come back again. It would be a complete five star experience if they can up their game just a tad to have everything match their fine location and decor.
Also posted on Yelp.