The Roof on Wilshire is Eric Greenspan's new restaurant, sort of. It's a bar, but not really. It's both, but neither. “It's a hangout,” Greenspan says, which really is the best way to describe it.
Situated on top of the newly-opened Hotel Wilshire, The Roof is essentially an outdoor gathering space with a bar, a few hi-top tables and booths, lounge chairs and a fire pit, all surrounding a pool. It's the kind of place you might wander into on a hectic afternoon and, greeted by a smart cocktail and a dynamite view of the Hollywood Hills, find yourself suddenly relaxed.
Diners and drinkers are welcome all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, each of which offers a short but highly-curated menu. There's also a separate bar menu offering snacks like the Caramelized Onion and Frisee Tart, Nori Nachos, Fried Calamari, “Baked Potato” Fries and Sticky Spicy Wings, all of which are under $10. Lunch is dominated by salads and sandwiches, and for dinner, you could go with an entree, most of which are under $20, or could easily make a meal out of the appetizers and sides.
The cocktails, created by Mike Tipps, are no slouch either. Greenspan says they use simple, fresh ingredients, but don't overdo it. “There's an attention to detail as far as the craftsmanship goes, but just like the food here, it's about accessibility,” he says, “It's about giving people what they want, and then more.”
The design of the place is modern, but a combination of Greenspan's gussied-up comfort food menu along with an 1960's Italian pop soundtrack create a feel of retro relaxation. “I almost want it to feel like Sean Connery 007 movies,” he says. “The dress code is thin black ties, oversized glasses and polka dot bikinis. That's the vibe.”
The hotel has another food-service space on the second floor as well, which Greenspan will turn into…something. “I don't know yet,” he says. “And I'm not even trying to be coy.” He says it may become an upscale experience, or perhaps a fast-casual spot. He's still debating.
Follow Ali Trachta on Twitter @MySo_CalLife.