It took a year and a half to redesign the Bel Air Bar + Grill, and the 18-month closure was worth the wait.
The newly-renovated Westside restaurant across the freeway from the Getty Center has doubled in size and added a new second-floor private dining area and patio and a new, bigger lounge area.
The artistic, 22-foot red and magenta bougainvillea blossom grand glass entrance designed by artist Amanda Well and owner Susan Disney Lord leads diners to the main downstairs restaurant or up the glass stairway to the private dining area.
Beautiful artwork is also showcased inside the main dining room, with paintings from local California Institute of the Arts students lining the walls. The large fireplace, cozy booths, and wood ceiling offer an intimate romantic ambiance.
The menu has also undergone a renovation, now offering more health-conscious items. Appetizers still include old standards such as the rich truffled mac and cheese, as well as new items where the sauces are standouts. The grilled artichoke features a rich white wine, lemon, and butter sauce and the serrano pesto broth under the steamed New Zealand green-lipped mussels is perfect for dipping with its accompanying large grilled baguette.
Fish entrées include roasted branzino with sautéed kale, leeks, and a sweet carrot faro; grilled Scottish salmon with sweet potato, butternut squash, and broccolini; and jumbo pan-seared sea scallops with a pearl barley vegetable risotto. The airline chicken breast with roasted potato, sweet corn, and carrots rounds out the lighter entrées. Heavier items include the BBQ Neiman Ranch pork ribs, New York steak, and filet mignon.
The dessert menu includes local favorites like the red velvet ding dong, caramel apple Napoleon, and the warm and gooey chocolate chunk cookie with vanilla bean ice cream.
The Bel Air Bar + Grill is a perfect place to enjoy a quiet dinner after a day of art at the Getty or to choose a white or red from their large wine list and unwind with a drink in the lounge. -Shaena Engle