Reviewers on yelp.com and in the Zagat Survey often complain that The Ivy Restaurant in West LA (not to be confused with its more laid back sister restaurant, Ivy at the Shore in Santa Monica) is only good for its celebrity sightings and is totally not worth the price. Sure, we have all seen shots of A-listers dining on the outdoor patio in the pages of US Weekly, and that is certainly part of the appeal. But even if you check it out on a relatively dull afternoon when there aren’t any paparazzi camped out across the street, it is still possible to have an enjoyable meal. Set reasonable expectations. Understand that not every restaurant that is pricey and star-studded is necessarily going to serve you the best meal of your life. Check out the menu. Get over the fact that you are probably going to order a $25 hamburger. Then sit back and enjoy.
The atmosphere of The Ivy is different from other celeb hotspots. The decor is not funky or trendy; in fact, the restaurant has the feel of a quaint cottage behind its white picket fence. The outdoor patio is lovely and a prime spot for people watching. The service is not snobby at all, but friendly and helpful.
The drink menu was composed of classics– we ordered a round of mint juleps, which were pretty good. The iced tea, however, was exceptional (it was also $6). In general, the salads were really good. Basil was a main ingredient in all of them, and it provided a strong, fresh flavor. The Caprese had excellent mozzarella, the house salad appetizer was a generous portion of a wide variety of flavorful components, and the chopped vegetable salad was also a very strong lunch dish, especially with the added shrimp. I also tried the tomato mussels appetizer, which had a good broth but the mussels were a little too large and thus not sweet enough. The burger was a solid burger–large in size and cooked the right way. We also tried the chicken enchiladas, which did not disappoint. We finished the meal with the special pecan pie, which is not my favorite dessert, but it wasn’t bad either.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see any celebs, but we still got a good feel for the scene. Everyone was well-dressed and generally attractive. I would say The Ivy is definitely a place to check out for the LA experience.
113 Robertson Blvd.
Lost Angeles, CA 90048