Silver Lake has a bit of a fine dining problem. The fact is, the spirit of the neighborhood is too cool to be formal and too alternative to appreciate anything traditional. You’ll find plenty of places with amazing food and fine dining prices, but they’ll inevitably try and find some way to distance themselves from the stuffiness and pretenses associated with say, a hot Beverly Hills spot. But there’s a very obvious problem with that thinking: like any Taylor Swift song ever, sometimes the tried-and-true things are tried-and-true because they were amazing the first time and are still f*cking awesome. And with this in mind, Cliff’s Edge has managed to carve out their niche: a true formal, fine dining experience in the heart of Silver Lake.
Yes, a part of us was drawn here because of the presence of a particular until-recently-banned food on the menu. Something you couldn’t find for years in California was sitting right there on the entrée menu: foie gras. We’ll admit, we kind of suspected we’d find a bunch of self-identified “foodies” in tweed jackets, screaming “Come at me, PETA” to no one in particular in this place. And we were right, at least about the part where there was no one to yell at. It seems the kerfuffle lasted nearly as long as any kerfuffle lasts in the age of social media (avg. 3 minutes). But the foie gras quickly became a side note to everything else this place had to offer.
Between the atmosphere, plating, and oh god, that cocktail menu, Cliff’s Edge hits on all cylinders when it comes to making your night feel like a NIGHT. The Surfer Blanca is the type of cocktail you immediately head home and try to replicate, partly in admiration and partly in anger. The ambiance is that of the most stylish treehouse in the world (maybe the kind Bill Gates kids had growing up, or Richie Rich if he wasn’t so boorishly garish… you don’t need a f*cking roller coaster). And to add an element that will make any meal feel like an event, the plating is somewhere between a Picasso and the crime scene from one of Dexter’s serial killers. The food itself ranges from solid to delicious, but it’s the accoutrements that truly elevate the experience. Take note, Silver Lake: the finer things in life aren’t always boring.
Parker House Rolls
If you don’t order these, we’re not friends. I don’t know how much that means to you all, but I’m very serious. Warm, fluffy, cast-iron-baked rolls topped with hand churned butter and some shaved cheese. I wish I could make a meal of these.
Fried potatoes? Not many ways to mess that up. Add in a little goat cheese and lemon aioli, not to mention a fairly light breading to keep it from going full Midwest, this is a solid starter.
Roasted Duck Breast with Foie Gras Pastilla
The pastilla was the star here, with a great, fluffy crust filled with a perfectly textured and spiced foie gras. The duck itself was a touch tough (we had to ask for a steak knife) but had solid flavor. Plenty of sauces, au jus, etc to mix and match.
The Surfer Blanca
I’m not sure there’s a agreed upon name for this style of drink, but I do know that if I see a mezcal drink on the menu with lots of citrus and spice, I’m going to order it. And this might take the cake of the best one I’ve had. An absolute explosion of flavor, with a ton of spice that doesn’t linger beyond your sip. Amazing.