Studio City, CA 91604
Anne Fishbein Detail of the Bellwether's truffled potato salad
- Daily, 5-10 p.m.; brunch: Sat.-Sun., 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Vegetarian Friendly, Local Ingredients
- Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
- Full bar
The Bellwether is the brainchild of co-owners beverage director Ann-Marie Verdi and executive chef Ted Hopson, a journeyman L.A. chef who worked under Sang Yoon at Father's Office and Lukshon. The Studio City restaurant might seem to have the DNA of half the gastropubs in town, but it nails the small details most places overlook. Hopson is what you might call a chef's chef, and he weaves solid and inventive cooking techniques into even the most commonplace dishes. The french fries here are brined, steamed, frozen and fried, part of a three-day process that yields long, crispy batons as fluffy as a baked potato inside yet shatteringly crunchy outside. Popular "Share a Lot" plates include the patty melt, which comes with taleggio, caramelized onions and Calabrian aioli, and the Vietnamese braised pork short ribs, served with yu choy and coriander rice. It's not always useful to read too much into the meaning of a restaurant's name, but in the case of "bellwether" — "one that leads or indicates trends" — the definition seems an apt description of what Hopson has accomplished. The Bellwether takes what we've come to expect from a neighborhood restaurant and adds another layer of delicious polish. —Garrett Snyder
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