I love LA. The sunshine, the permanent feel of vacation, the air of production in every square inch of your view.
Over the years, Los Angeles has adopted the best culinary offerings from around the world with Japanese to French, Italian to Spanish. However, the one thing LA has never had… is the very best of British by a British chef.
I know what you’re thinking, “You are obviously biassed as a London obsessive Brit”, but the truth is old chaps, I am rarely fond of British cuisine unless it is absolutely the best produce, innovative recipes and creative presentation and frankly, Fish & Chips wrapped in “The Daily Sport” does not qualify.
I say to you without bias or patriotism…. This is maybe the best thing to happen to Hollywood since Harry Potter. I give you the utterly fantastic Birch by Brendan Collins.
Nothing says, “these cocktails are deliciously lethal” like giving them single digit numbers for you to remember instead of names.
My first was the #5 (aka. Mumbai mule). Turmeric, vodka, tikka masala, coconut & galangal. If you like Moscow Mules, then this is similar but with a far more refined ingredients list.
Also on the list is the #001: Panettone, brandy, madeira, whole egg, cream, nutmeg.
Finally, the #7 of bee pollen, scotch, yuzu, honey, chamomile. This is like a grown ups take on a “Bees Knees”. Having had a particularly bad experience with the BK cocktail(s) a few months ago, this got me back on the honey track.
Being partially greek, “sharing plates” are my favourite way of eating as it means that I can try everyones with the excuse that we are “sharing”
Now listen closely… Unless you are dining and sharing with a leopard then I would recommend under-ordering.
Why? Because, this is British food in American Portions.
Before we started we had an amuse bouche of Truffled arancini balls. These were like little spheres of fabulous and we could’ve eaten 100 of them… I mean, we’d be very unwell but very very happy.
We then had the Burrata, with parma ham, English peas, snap peas & hazelnuts. This was surprisingly light for what appears to be such a full and multifaceted dish.
I am telling you now. If you go to Birch and don’t get the Brussel sprouts (with creme fraiche, smoked pork belly, pecan, maple) You will live to regret it. It is pork crackling & belly, maple pecans and sprouts for god sake….Don’t moan about your jealousy when you see these arriving on other tables. You’ve been warned.
Then was the Coleman farms sun chokes (Jerusalem artichokes) with red curry, broccolini, lime, coconut milk & cashews. Considering how I usually feel about vegetarian dishes, these are outstanding and are definitely a dish that you need to order.
They do a very popular Charcuterie which is home made and imported, also a Cauliflower with romesco & feta cheese and super exciting Rabbit baklava with dates, white beans, pistachio & carrot which by the way, was voted one of LAs 50 best dishes.
Another popular dish is the Asparagus, grilled lobster, ricotta salata & oro blanco grapefruit
Finally… Stop everything you are doing and pay attention (…and get something to mop your brow). Their crowning glory (and the one that beat me into a delicious food narcolepsy) is the Pork shank with palm sugar, coleslaw & za’atar flatbread.
They call this a plate…It is in fact a gargantuan roasted challenge complete with trimmings, masquerading as a plate. It was really something extravagant and fantastic.
You should also know that every week, they do an actual traditional Sunday roast, that comes complete with Yorkshire puddings. (Londoners are pretty territorial over these considering they are from Yorkshire).
If you are British and living in LA, don’t be that guy that turns your back on your traditional weekly feast… If you are American, be that guy that starts the traditional weekly feast.
The point is, it’s great food and great cooking and is absolutely what LA and indeed California, has been looking for and I for one, am a huge fan… I’ll see you there.
Birch: 1634 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 – 323 960 3369