Driving down Robertson Blvd., the former Newsroom is now The Henry restaurant. Outside, the classic black and white color scheme has a large gold “H” displayed on greenery boxes. Inside the warm and inviting dining room offers blues and golds with a cozy lounge area near the bar. Chairs and couches surround flower petal tables. High communal tables are set with high back bar stools near a built-in wall unit filled with magazines, plants and tchotchkes. Booths with thick wood tables are set for six guests.
The owner is James Beard nominee Sam Fox. He knows a lot about restaurants creating 16 concepts and 55 restaurants nationwide. I met Fox at the opening of The Henry last month and discussed his newest Los Angeles restaurant. “My vision of The Henry is for locals to grab a coffee, some lunch, after-work cocktails or dinner in the classic open-dining space,” said Fox. “I love the energy of this West Hollywood location and Southern California. We have nine other restaurants here (North Italia and Flower Child) and it’s a second home to my family. When the opportunity came to build a second The Henry location (first one is in Phoenix, AZ) at Robertson Plaza, we knew it was a perfect fit.”
Besides a full service dining room, there is a coffee bar making speciality hot and cold drinks, and a large indoor cocktail bar with trendy, white globe lighting hanging down and comfortable bar stools to sit around. The mixologists make a good Gin & Tonic, Drunken Panda and Strawberry Sidecar. The bar also offers California red and white wines, beers on draught and 9 different bottles and cans of beer. The outside patio bar is a fun people watching spot as locals, designers and tourists walk up and down Robertson Blvd.
The night we dined, we ordered Almost Naked Margaritas made with Casamigos Blanco, lime juice, Contreau and honey. Looking over the menu, we notice the creative fare appeals to just about everyone including omnivores, vegetarians, those who are gluten-free and vegans.
To start we ordered the spring vegetable crudités with whipped tahini, orange and a peppery vinaigrette.The avocado hummus was served with pickled carrot, radish, harissa, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Grilled pita bread accompanied this dish to dip and spread on top.
Next we had some of the most popular shareable plates including the short rib potstickers dusted with toasted sesame seeds. They arrived floating in a mizuna (Japanese mustard green) and ponzu broth. Another favorite was the pan fried potato hash browns (similar to latkes), topped with dollops of creamy white creme fraiche and ribbon slices of pink smoked Norwegian salmon with tiny sliced chives and an arugula leaf.
There is a rotisserie section on the menu offering Creekstone Prime Rib, a French Dip plate and Jidori half chicken. We skipped those and ordered three entrees to share, including the Ora King salmon, Wagyu diner-style burger with a special Henry sauce and black truffle risotto.
As our server Angela delivered the dishes, she touted to us, “The Henry as the greatest neighborhood restaurant, because it’s homey, yet elegant.” The salmon was served with Chioggia beets, also known as candy cane beets. Chefs like these beets because, they are especially sweet in flavor and don’t ‘bleed’ as much as regular beets, so that bright red beet juice doesn’t stain fingers and clothing as much. What made this dish extra special were the toasted grains and Marcona almond pesto.
The risotto has a poached egg on top. When broken open, the savoriness of the yolk bathed the baby asparagus and fried sunchokes. The thick and juicy burger was served with thick and crispy fries.
Saving room for dessert, the warm croissant bread pudding looked appealing. As server Kaitlin brought it to our table, she told us, “I could sit alone and eat this entire dessert all by myself. It’s that good.” There were toasted chopped pecans, whiskey soaked plump raisins and a scoop of caramel ice cream. We also splurged and ordered a second dessert that arrived on a round dish with two blueberry hand pies, perfectly pinched around the edges and topped with lemon mascarpone and a scoop of cornbread ice cream. Another winner.
Before leaving, we learned that during brunch, the “craveable menu” includes a quinoa breakfast burrito, Little Gem and asparagus Caesar salad, Korean style skirt steak, and salted caramel rolls.
The Henry is kid-friendly and offer a special menu for little ones that is under $10. The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. daily. $$ 120 N. Robertson Blvd. (424)204-1595.
Another review of The Henry is featured in Beverly Press.