The Bellwether

13251 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
818-285-8184
Best Of
The Bellwether +

Anne Fishbein Beef tartare with house-made ssamjang and crudité

Details

  • 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 Ted Hopson, a journeyman L.A. chef who most recently 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 and sous chef John Cho weave 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. Ruby-red squares of bigeye tuna sashimi arrive crowned with a raw caper-and-olive relish and confit fennel with Calabrian chilies, a small meditation on puttanesca. Humble potato salad is glitzed up with fat coins of Yukon potato, smoked salmon roe and truffle vinaigrette. 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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