Mourn no longer for the loss of Waterloo & City, Chef Brendan Collins' Culver City restaurant which closed after five years at the end of 2014. Collins' next venture, Birch, opens tonight in Hollywood.

Instead of launching a gastropub redux, the British-born chef found inspiration in L.A.'s diverse ethnic food scenes for his small menu of shareables at Birch. Highlights include rabbit baklava, monkfish tikka masala and whole fried snapper with a saffron rouille. The beverage program is headed by general manager Sal Roses, formerly head bartender at MB Post, and features barrel-aged cocktails like the No Mames Guey, an old fashioned made with house-aged tequila.

From the official announcement of tonight's opening:

The name Birch is a subtle homage to chef Brendan Collins’ hometown of Nottingham, England, where he grew up near a copse of birch trees. This restaurant is the culmination of his journey as a chef – from his ten years working in Michelin-starred fine dining establishments throughout Europe to his planting of roots in Los Angeles more than a decade ago. Known for his ability to present flavor-rich and composed food, he continues to offer that same sensibility with an easy approachability.

Birch takes over the old Fuku Burger location on Cahuenga and has a dining room that seats 28, plus another 15 at a full-service bar and even more on a patio build into the brick-lined alley out back. The restaurant will be open for dinner starting tonight, with lunch, brunch and happy hour service to follow.  

Birch, 1634 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 960-3369;; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 6 p.m.-midnight Friday & Saturday.

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