It doesn’t get any better in Los Angeles than dining at the elegant and innovative restaurant of Barton G. LA. Tantalizing nitro-cocktails arrive on mirrored trays, while flaky lobster pop tarts poke out to be admired and eaten from inside bright yellow retro toasters. Drinks and dishes here are to be admired and appreciated — and demand attention in a fun and glamorous setting.
Decorating one of the interior walls is fashionable white textured felt. Another wall is filled with small, wood square paneling made from recycled wine barrels. Beyond are rows of single orchid flowers displayed in small clear vases. Taupe colored sheer drapes tie back, and fabric panels hang down from the ceiling.
At each handsomely decorated table are raised silver plate placemats with the signature “B” in the upper right corner. The “B” is for Barton G. Weiss, a talented entrepreneur who stages the most extravagant weddings, sporting events, entertainment and fashion shows with over-the-top elegance and a flair extravagance.
Weiss and Executive chef Jeffrey O’Neill at The Villa by Barton G, wow guests at the Versace’s former Ocean Drive mansion, and now they impress diners in Los Angeles on La Cienega Blvd in West Hollywood.
Cocktails made at the bar are named Diamonds are Forever, Sabrinatini and Buddhalicious. Many are served in large glasses with an alcohol popsicle to stir into the vaporous cocktail creating an even more potent libation.
The Buddhalicious is pear-infused vodka mixed with lychee and cranberry juice and served with a nitrogen pop of pear vodka and small golden Buddha, while the Sabrinatini has a solid chocolate monkey hanging down the side of the glass.
The Chef de Cuisine at Barton G. LA is Attila Bollok. His goal each night is to create an elegant dinner that thrills all the senses.
Take his caviar cannoli appetizer; it is presented in a giant silver Humpty Dumpty serving piece with a plate of small rolled cannoli shells filled with black caviar. Edible flowers give a dazzle of color. “It’s all about having fun and letting go,” Chef Attila said.
The fresh line-caught halibut ceviche is served inside a leopard-print stiletto heel with an avocado mousse, scoop of mango sorbet and small laughing bird shrimp. The shrimp and halibut marinate in leche de tigre for an hour, then the chef drains the liquid and pours it into a shot glass to drink back before reaching for a long plantain chip to scoop the clever ceviche mixture.
Other dishes parading through the dining room have a three-foot silver fork or enormous fishing lure standing upright while being presented to guests.
A large carnival-style popcorn machine is delivered to various tables with Old Bay spiced popcorn and crispy shrimp with a sriracha aioli dipping sauce. A chopped sunflower salad is served in a large wooden bowl with lettuce, sunflower petals, purple cherries and sun chokes before being topped with a sweet stone-fruit vinaigrette.
Since the three-year foie gras ban was lifted, the chef marinates and roasts foie gras before serving the tender liver with smoked seedless grapes and a cool honey gelato. Black-as-charcoal sourdough bread sticks accompany this delicacy.
Lobster lovers will adore the creamy lobster truffle-mac n cheese made with large chunks of a one pound lobster and mixed with a smooth and exquisite three-cheese lobster sauce.
Save room for a smoking treasure box with Valrhona 66% double chocolate bittersweet brownies and house-made Tahitian vanilla bean nitro ice cream or a Marie Antoinette silver head piled high with pink cotton candy that looks just like a wig.
I learned from Chef O’Neill, that at the Barton G in the Versace mansion, nude models adorned with jewels for a jewelry show wore pink cotton candy on their head. Guests were encouraged to swipe cotton candy off the models head while admiring the jewels.
The baked Alaskan Everglades dessert has a large croaking neon-eye frog next to a huge piece of seven-layer red velvet ice cream cake, wrapped in toasted meringue and topped with a full-size candy apple to represent the ‘cherry’ on top offers another jaw-dropping moment, producing a few oohs and aahs at your table.
Culinary entertainment at its finest is found at Barton G. LA.