Relish in delicious farm-fresh produce and lush greenery at Farmhouse in the newly renovated Beverly Center.
Located in the former Grand Luxe space, the 7,000-square-foot restaurant has been transformed into – as the name hints – an upscale yet homey farmhouse with wood flooring, three dining areas with high wood ceilings and lots of green plants. In one room, ferns hang above the tables, creating a greenhouse-like dining experience.
The restaurant also features a lively bar, as well as a darker and cozier dining area around a beautiful fireplace. Comfortable booths and tables in muted grays and browns, along with built-in shelves displaying books, art, photos and tchotchkes, all add to the restaurant’s coziness.
Farmhouse truly lives up to its name with its seed-to-table dining experience led by head farmer Nathan Peitso, of Kenter Canyon Farms. This towering bearded chef is a second-generation farmer who works directly with his family farm located just north of Los Angeles, as well as with other local farmers, to create a uniquely fresh menu. All the grain, for instance, used for the pasta, pizza and bread on the menu comes from Peitso’s farm.
Each month, the chef also showcases a handful of seasonal vegetables at their peak. When my husband and I first decided to check out the restaurant, Pietso greeted us in his white chef’s jacket, and told us that peas, carrots, broccolini and cauliflower were the stars of the month.
Pietso then introduced us to bar master Fred, who offers field-to-glass cocktails. I tried out his creative sage whiskey cocktail made with whiskey, kumquats, lemon, chamomile and white foam made from egg on top. A spoonful of local honey gave the drink the perfect touch of sweetness.
My husband ordered the fresh Thai basil cocktail made with mezcal, poblano chili, passion fruit, bell pepper and Thai basil. The first sip evolved into a slightly robust and sweet aromatic flavor that lingered with an essence of licorice. It paired nicely with our first starter, delicious grilled bread with a thin goat cheese smear and pickled and grilled vegetables.
To follow-up, I ordered the roasted cauliflower soup with a swirl of carrot purée, toasted pepitas for texture and a little romanesco (also known as Roman cauliflower). It was velvety smooth with a pleasant smack of earthy flavors.
I also tried the whole roasted cauliflower. The large, mild floral vegetable was cooked in a wood-fired oven and caramelized, and then plated with yogurt, capers, dill, sesame and sweet currants. It was delectable.
Next, we ordered the giant grilled oysters, which hail from a farm in Washington state. The shellfish arrived three per plate and were prepared two different ways – grilled with a Fresno chili-lime sauce for a kick and with savory bacon and chive butter.
Another dish I really enjoyed was the smoked blue cheese with shaved fennel and arugula salad topped with a light citrus-tarragon vinaigrette.
However, the one dish that wasn’t as satisfying to me was the cacio e pepe spaghetti with pea shoots and peas. I did like the large peas, but I felt this dish lacked exciting flavors.
Beyond that dish however, my husband and I enjoyed the seared black cod with herb potatoes and a soft-boiled egg, and then finished the evening with a warm cherry clafoutis with vanilla Chantilly and almonds.
Hoping to experience a different batch of in-season vegetables, I recently returned to Farmhouse for a business lunch.
To kick off this meal, I ordered the asparagus and kohlrabi soup enhanced with ginger and chive blossoms. Kohlrabi is similar to a turnip and tastes a little bit like a broccoli stem or heart of a cabbage. The soup, bright, green and thick, was balanced with sunflower seeds for a bit of crunchy texture.
One of my friends enjoyed Grandma Ruth’s chicken soup mixed with kale, with flavors intensified by herb pesto. Another friend ordered the grilled Caesar salad, which arrived with a sprinkling of sliced radish spheres, Parmesan cheese and crunchy polenta croutons.
I also ordered the heirloom grain salad entrée, which arrived looking like a bird’s nest. The dish featured crunchy and chewy grains with arugula leaves on the bottom with alfalfa sprouts. On top were sliced sections of oranges and grapefruit, short asparagus spheres, sliced avocado, tiny cauliflower florets, chopped herbs, and a handful of white and black sesame seeds. I would immediately order this colorful and nutritious salad again, it was that good.
Other entrées brought to the table were the Farmhouse chicken salad; Farmhouse dry-aged burger on a house-made brioche bun; a grilled chicken and avocado sandwich served a choice of smashed fingerling potatoes or a green salad, and a petite tri-tip steak with salsa verde.
To wrap up this meal, I tried a trio of gelato – seasonal tangerine, mango and grapefruit with fresh fruit.
On weekends they offer a brunch buffet. Guests can choose one main dish from options like eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, avocado toast and cheeseburger. Make a trip to the dessert buffet for bread pudding, assorted cookies and a seasonal fruit salad. Coffee is included. Brunch is $28 per person. The restaurant opens Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. $$ 8500 Beverly Blvd., Ste. 113, Los Angeles, (310)818-4925.
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