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While sitting inside the home of one of the “most beautiful girl’s in the world,” I imagined the 30s and 40s star Beryl Wallace reclining on a chaise on her veranda, reading the script of one of Earl Carroll’s productions.
Wallace was one of the most glamorous women in America and became a Hollywood sweetheart while appearing at the Earl Carroll theatre (now home to Nickelodeon on Hollywood Blvd.). In the front of the theatre was a neon sign of Wallace’s face. Carroll adored Wallace and once said, “she had something that made her beauty stand-out…intelligence.”
As their personal relationship developed, Carroll bought Wallace and her family a home off Vine St. Unfortunately in 1948, Carroll and Wallace died in a plane crash. Wallace was only 39 years old.
When the theatre closed, her neon image was removed. It now hangs at the City Walk for all to admire.
Today her home is the Off Vine restaurant. Just a block from Vine St. on Leland Way, it’s a charming craftsman style home serving delicious California style comfort cuisine.
One of the partners at Off Vine, Greg Fedderly, a trained opera singer, shared with us that two of Wallace’s sisters (in their 80s and 90’s) come back to their old home often for lunch and Sunday brunch.
The restaurant reopened one year ago after being closed for almost two years due to a fire.
“When ‘Wicked’ was playing at the Pantages Theatre,” said Fedderly, “the restaurant was filled with patrons and we heard a ticking noise. Within minutes there was a wall of flames.” Everyone evacuated while the fire department put out an electrical fire that almost burned down the 1908 home.
Fortunately, the bottom floor was spared, but the upstairs and kitchen were destroyed. “It took 18 months to rebuild the house and bring it all up to code,” Fedderly said.
Today the restaurant offers a state of the art kitchen and party room upstairs. “Almost every Saturday and Sunday we are having a baby or wedding shower,” Fedderly said. “People like the homey feel and Hollywood views.”
There is seating on the popular front patio with twinkle lights and lush gardens, and inside, where the atmosphere is romantic with the soft votive lights flickering and candles glowing on the fireplace mantle.
Our first course was a grilled eggplant with marinated yellow and red peppers with two goat cheese fritters and splashed with a refreshing tomato vinaigrette. Next, arrived a hot bowl of fresh asparagus soup, prepared without cream, giving it a very healthy taste.
The fresh salmon was cooked perfectly and served with the most colorful and delicious mashed carrots. It was also topped with sautéed mushrooms, spinach and roasted bell pepper with chopped garlic.
My husband ordered the Maple leaf farm duck with a Bing cherry Grand Marnier sauce. The duck breast was sliced in big pieces and the portion was plentiful.
We noticed that diners surrounding our table were enjoying a soufflé to finish their evening. Off Vine offers chocolate, raspberry and Grand Marnier. Be sure to order it earlier in the evening, because each one is made to order.
Off Vine is offering specials on Monday night with everything half-priced on the menu. Tuesdays and Sundays they offer a special prix fixe menu and Friday’s they offer a happy hour between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with 50% off bottled wine.
Before leaving, we gazed at the photos of Wallace on the wall and took a peek at the party room upstairs.
She may have died young, yet her image will forever be make an impression on those who visit her home for a enjoyable meal at Off Vine. $$ Open for lunch Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. and Saturday brunch at 10:30 a.m. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday brunch begins at 10:30 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m. 6263 Leland Way. (323)962-1900.
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