Perfect For: Date Night Eating At The Bar First/Early in the Game Dates Pre-Theater Eats
PHOTOS: Philip Guerette

As an actor, there’s nothing more terrifying than the proverbial “it” factor. Because after years of rigorous training, misguided salt water flushes, and thousands of dollars spent on touched-up photos of you leaning against walls, your career still boils down to something you can’t really control. This is hardly a struggle limited to the acting world - restaurants also deal with lacking "it" all the time. Restaurants like Birch.

On paper, Birch has done everything right. The bright, open space on Cahuenga in Hollywood is slightly fancy but very welcoming, the American-ish menu is full of things you’re probably going to like, and it’s a restaurant you’ll feel comfortable eating in most nights of the week. For these things, we reward Birch all the points. But the reality is there are a lot of restaurants in this town that fit that kind of bill - and that’s exactly where Birch runs into trouble. For as much as Birch checks off the boxes of a likable restaurant, it struggles with actually standing out.

Philip GueretteGuerette

As mentioned, the food at Birch is good. The chicken liver & foie gras mousse, the Indian-esque butter chicken crispy rice balls, and the massive pork shank are some of the better things you’ll find to eat in the area. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced date spot in Hollywood that also doesn’t feel like you’re in Hollywood, Birch is your spot. But like any actor who makes a solid facial expression at a Clorox audition, being good is only part of it. Being actually memorable is what gets you the job. We're usually happy when we leave Birch, but we never wake up thinking about it the next day.

Birch is well-trained, looks great, and fits the part as well as anybody. But that’s not going to make you a star in this town.

Food Rundown

Butter Chicken Crispy Rice Balls

These taste like chicken marsala wrapped inside warm rice and deep fried. So yes, you want them.

Philip Guerette
Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Mousse

If you’re looking for another good appetizer, this is your move. Foie gras comes on top of the chicken liver mousse - so there’s nothing light about this dish. But that shouldn't be a problem.

Philip Guerette
Beet Salad

Every menu in town has a beet salad on the menu and this is just like the rest of them.

Philip Guerette
Avocado and Burrata Salad

Thank you for calling this a salad to justify eating an entire mound of burrata and feeling great about it.

Philip Guerette
Pork Shank

You could honestly come in with another person and just order this and walk away full, so keep that in mind if you’re here for a full dinner. The meat itself (and all the fixings it comes with) are pretty excellent.

Philip Guerette
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