In this chapter of Dinner Diaries we slipped into our Louboutins to explore Ella in Beverly Hills.
Ella is located within (or without if you’d prefer) the Sixty Hotel in Beverly Hills on the iconic Wilshire Blvd. The beautiful restaurant was designed by the creatives behind Umbrella Group, with chef Brian Min heading up a menu that makes choosing “just one” utterly impossible. The chic yet stylish decor of Ella makes you feel like you could be in a photoshoot for The Lonny. It’s interiors are both inviting and photographic, making every spot the perfect spot for capturing a snap shot. Which brings us to such a fun quirk about Ella, they DO go around capturing snapshots. Much like the iconic movie stars splashed in candids across their walls, don’t be surprised if a staff member captures a candid black and white moment for you on polaroid to take home.
We kicked off our dining experience at Ella with their”For The Table” section, opting for their mussels. The menu list them as the “Prince Edward Island Mussels” and they come in a delectable calabrian chilibroth that adds the perfect amount of spice to the flavorful palette of this dish. The flavors also include, lime, thai basil and chives. A pro-tip for enjoying mussels, break off the musseless side of the shell and use the one holding the mussel to dip it in the broth to maximize the full taste experience.
Following the mussels we knew we wanted to get something green, especially if you’re a vegetarian and wondering if the restaurant can fit your dietary needs, yes…it certainly can. We dove into the “From The Garden” section next and truly agonized over the beets because they sounded delectable but ultimately decided to add green to our dinner with their “Garden of Farm Broccolini”. The broccolini were just the perfect amount of crisp, to chard, and very juicy. They’re served in garlic confit, fermented chili vinegar (yes another little kick for your taste buds), and chives.
Pairing our starters with cocktails we went for their Pompeii (which is truly a show stopper, be sure to check out our Dinner Diaries Insta stories tab for it) and the Cactus Prick.
Now came the hardest part of all. Deciding on dinner. Ultimately, we found it impossible to pick a main without trying a pasta so we opt’d to try one pasta and two mains. All in the need to serve you, our darling reader (obviously) the most thorough review possible. It was for research. Research. Yes,that… you’re welcome!
Pasta Al Limone – linguine served in a creamy lemon, pecorino romano sauce, topped with capers and dressed with toasted bread crumbs. It’s very light for a pasta, and the flavors pair beautifully. The first time we had this dish was actually in the south of France, and Ella transported us back to noisy cobble stone streets, with mid day glasses of wine with this pasta. Compliments to the chef with a pasta dish that tastes every ounce of it’s european namesake. They listed it in Italian for a reason. If you love pasta, this is for you.
Pairing our meal with wine was a must. We went for a chilled Sangiovese (L’ Arge D’oor) from Ella’s “The Bottle Shop” which is both incredibly well priced and fun! They carry a $30 corkage fee…OR… you can gift a glass from your bottle to a neighbor and be delighted to find out that not only is your corkage waived, but maybe just maybe you’ve made a pal at dinner as well. These small touches really set Ella apart and we can see it being a longtime fixture. You can also pop in anytime and just purchase a bottle from The Bottle Shop as well. With a diverse collection of wine, you never know your new favorite bottle might just be waiting for you.
As we wind our evening down to the final part of our tasting we landed on Ella’s “Ranch & Water Entree’s” section for our finale. For dinner we selected their Branzino, titled: “Dry Aged Grilled Branzino” it is served with a caper germolata and an herb salad. The fish is divine. Not only is the Branzino well cooked it is also incredibly fresh with both skin and meat that just melt in your mouth with soft delicate flavors that don’t overwhelm. This dish also carries a bit of a kick.
“The Marinated Hanger Steak,” was a treat. If you want meat that bursts with flavors and is tender yet firm all at once look no further than this steak right here. We ordered it rare (how else) and enjoying the high quality of the steak alongside it’s pairing of sweet soy, asian pear, ginger, scallion, and spicy soy cucumber. This American staple meets an Asian infusion of flavor that brings the staples of two cultures together in a melding of flavors that you won’t soon forget.
Finally dessert was a dream boat of breaded pudding, ice cream, and banana is the most incredible thing you can possibly have. The only thing that can make it better is pairing an espresso but we were ready to die of bliss the moment our mouth made contact with this confection. Honestly lost a bit of our composure. This dessert is very popular and can sell out, we won’t blame you if you sit down and reserve it from the moment you sit down. We get it.
Fun Fact: Ella has turned a classic piano into a DJ Booth and you can catch The World According to Di spinning weeknights, and even a weekend or two if you’re lucky enough to synch schedules. You can also pick up the perfect coffee table book “We All Want Something Beautiful” by Randall Slavin, from which many of the 90’s and early 2000’s imagery you see around the resturant, at The Bottle Shop. Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes, who knows where the night may lead.