A sign of nightlife has appeared along the once-desolate stretch of Melrose Avenue between Wilton and Western avenues. Within the brick walls of the 1927-built Hollywood Historic Hotel comes the Edmon, a new bar and restaurant that aims to evoke 1920s Hollywood with live music and classic cocktails.
Despite its location, the Edmon is not under the same management as the hotel. Anyone who has peered into that lobby recently might say that's a good thing. Despite a recent renovation, the hotel (which is on the National Register of Historic Places) looks tired.
But enter the Edmon, and you’re suddenly in a tall-ceilinged, art deco–inspired space. The towering bar is the most eye-catching part of the room. Behind it, bartenders mix drinks such as the Old Cuban (aged rum, mint, lime, bitters and sparkling wine) or the Tea’s Knees, a play on the Bee’s Knees, where Earl Grey tea makes its way gracefully into the mix. General manager Shaun Cole’s previous experience at Harvard & Stone and the Parish is apparent in the care that goes into each drink.
Even on a Monday night, the bar seems to attract a crowd. Maybe it's the after-work crowd from Paramount or Raleigh Studios down the street, or residents from the newly built apartment complex next door. In any case, the Edmon appears to be a welcome and much-needed addition to yet another burgeoning L.A. neighborhood.
The dining room, with basic black tables and chairs, feels like an afterthought to such a lavish-looking bar. Like the concept, the service leans toward old-school, with bread service and waitstaff who are more friendly than cool.
The waitress recommends the short rib, which comes with a squash “pupusita” (a small pupusa), roasted hearts of palm and tomatillos, a dollop of avocado and chili sauce. The kitchen is helmed by Gabriel Cappelli, who worked at Koreatown hot spot Saint Martha and more recently Re Creo supper club. The menu is full of little intrigues, such as an entree of potato and black garlic pierogies with collard greens, fried quail egg, brewer’s yeast and broth. Scallops come out beautifully nestled with lobster rillette cakes and asparagus in a pool of sunchoke velouté.
The menu's traditional format of appetizers, sides and main courses, along with a few larger plates for two, is easy to navigate. The shareable braised pork shank with persimmon au jus and the tomahawk rib-eye could make for a fun date-night dinner at the bar.
For dessert, an apple pie and a cheese plate are the only offerings. But seeing as the Edmon opened only a few weeks ago, this could change. And considering that word has yet to get out about this vintage Hollywood haunt, the relatively empty dining room is likely to fill up very soon, too.
5168 Melrose Ave., Hollywood. (323) 645-5225, theedmon.com.