When new restaurants open around Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly heads in for a First Look, a short review based on a single visit. If you're hungry for more, see our starred restaurant reviews.

Located across the street from the Church Key, the Guild gets its name from the Screen Actors Guild, whose headquarters once occupied the same space. It also pays homage to Constance Bennett, the 1920s Hollywood starlet, with one of her quotes emblazoned across the dining room’s entryway.

But instead of reflecting the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood, the Guild's design leans toward homey and rustic. The white patio is framed by vibrant red and purple flowers. Step inside and you’ll find worn wooden planks and distressed white wainscoting. The ceiling is decorated with ornate tin tiles, and along a wall is a row of brown leather banquettes. Everything inside glows a warm, inviting yellow, from the sconces holding trendy filament bulbs to the tea light candles at each table.

On a recent visit to the 2-week-old restaurant, diners slowly trickled in. a playlist of upbeat, older indie hits from the likes of Passion Pit and Phoenix serving as soundtrack. The menu reflects the mood of the restaurant, rustic and slightly hip. Executive chef Charles Cho, who came from Huntington Beach's OPM Restaurant and New York's Flat Iron, doesn't stick to a specific culinary region, instead skipping from Mediterranean to Asian to French.

Wild mushroom bruschetta; Credit: Jean Trinh

Wild mushroom bruschetta; Credit: Jean Trinh

You might find a simple wild mushroom bruschetta, topped with a tiny, sunny-side-up quail egg. The consistency isn't totally there, though, as one of the yolks was completely cooked through.

The striped bass is coated in light and crispy panko crumbs flavored with ginger. Fresh corn and edamame succotash encircle the fish, which sits atop a creamy, peanut-miso sauce. Other stand-out entrees include the New Zealand lamb chops, which are perfectly medium rare. Pick up these little chops like chicken drumettes and dip them in the accompanying sticky-sweet pomegranate demi-glace. But while the lamb chops themselves are fun, the sides accompanying the dish — whipped potatoes and roasted mini-carrots, whole cherry tomatoes and zucchini — make the plate feel less exciting.

The Guild also offers a mix-and-match cheese and charcuterie board. Halfway through our meal, one of the waitresses walked around the restaurant carrying smaller samples of different cheeses on a wooden tray for guests to purchase.

The restaurant houses a wine bar as well as a shop where guests can purchase bottles of wine and cheese. With perks like those, it's evident that the Guild is aiming to be a useful addition to the neighborhood — and so far it's succeeding. 

The Guild, 8741 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (424) 279-9601, theguildla.com

LA Weekly