In the rush to catch up with the flood of restaurants that have opened this year, it’s easy to overlook classics that paved the way for the newcomers.
One of them is Beverly Hills Grill, going strong since it was unveiled by proprietor Bill Roberts in 1988 and serving on a daunting schedule of breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
The longevity is especially impressive because the Grill does not just go through the motions, but provides a quality experience with high standards in food and service. And unlike some restaurants that have been around for decades, the Grill is anything but stodgy. It has managed to stay up-to-date and nostalgia is not part of its appeal.
The setting is a single room that was recently spruced up by its original designers, Ron & Roman, with fresh paint and carpeting, a new, but still tiny, bar with just eight seats, and changes to the underpinnings that are not visible, but are equally, if not more, important. It’s the right kind of facelift, one that refreshes while preserving the original look and comfortable feel of the place.
Chef Ryan Zagor heads the busy kitchen visible under the chalkboard where daily specials are listed. The mainstream American fare includes such dishes as Hollandaise-sauced crab cake Benedict, one of the dishes that carries over from breakfast to lunch, as do corned beef hash with poached eggs and each day’s omelet.
Breakfast at noon is becoming a mini-trend, and while the Grill thankfully doesn’t jump on every trend, this one is compatible with its dawn-to-dark schedule. More traditional lunchtime dishes include the best salmon burger I’ve ever had, not surprisingly made with sustainable salmon from Skuna Bay, Vancouver Island. It, and the other sandwiches on the list, come with a choice of fresh fruit or French fries.
In the evening, the notable Canadian salmon is prepared with a sweet/spicy glaze and served with sweet potatoes, grapefruit and avocado. Entrees at lunch and dinner are all nicely garnished, making each a complete meal without having to add extras. Kobe beef meatloaf, for instance, is teamed with mashed potatoes, mushrooms and fresh vegetables and it, too, is available at dinner.
Those who prefer to put together their own combinations from such a-la-carte options as black bean chili, Caesar and spinach salads, and a very good burger can do so. The menu is very diner-friendly.
The Grill has always been noisy when its 80 seats are filled, and though the sound level has been improved, it’s still high. The price of popularity.
Bill Roberts didn’t stop with the Grill. His restaurant group includes Streetside Seafood, Town Tavern, Café ML, Roadside B & G and Bill’s, and each has its own personality. No clones in this group. But Beverly Hills Grill is the granddaddy of them all.
Beverly Hills Grill
31471 Southfield, Beverly Hills
Call: (248) 642-2355
Hours: 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 7 a.m.-midnight Fri., 8 a.m.-midnight Sat., 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.
Prices: Breakfast entrees $10-$18, sides $3-$5, fruits and grains $7-$8; lunch appetizers $5-$13, side salads $7-$8, entrée salads $14-$17, sandwiches $11-$20, entrees $15-$18; dinner appetizers $5-$13, side salads $7-$8, entrée salads $17-$25, main dishes $17-$32, desserts $6-$8.
Credit cards: All major
Liquor: Full bar
Noise level: High
Parking: Attached lot
Wheelchair access: No barriers
What the ratings mean
★— routine ★★ — good ★★1/2 — very good ★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding