Event impresario Barton G. brings his food as entertainment brand to L.A. with the opening of Barton G. on L.A.’s La Cienega.
Master event concept designer/restaurateur/author Barton G. Weiss is like the Timothy Burton of the food and libation as entertainment set. Weiss has garnered quite a reputation as the event planner of choice for Fortune 100 companies and celebrities alike, creating over 20,000 fantastical events for two decades.
The Miami Barton G. has been on South Beach A-listers’ radar since opening in 2002. Weiss transformed Gianni Versace’s former Ocean Drive manse into “The Villa by Barton G.,” a hotel/restaurant/event space.
The mastermind brings his brand of whimsy to La Cienega Corridor with the debut of Barton G. – L.A. Think nitrogen-fueled cocktails like you’ve never seen; Lobster Pop-Tarts served in retro toasters; sustainable Popcorn Shrimp nesting on a bed of herbed popcorn, brought to the table in a mini vintage-inspired popcorn machine. Churros branch from Mexican pottery like cactuses, accompanied by demitasses of Mexican chocolate.
This is just the beginning.
Weiss and co. have designed a multi-sensory experience, from the exhibition pastry kitchen above the dining room to the cascading drapes, walls of fresh orchids, and ivory wool wall tiles to diffuse the ambient sounds of partiers’ “oohhs and aahs” over those theatrical cocktails!
At the pink onyx bar, mixologists concoct potions like the Sabrinatini, nitrogen-fueled smoke wafting from a martini glass, poised on a glam picture frame tray. The bartender advises patrons to wait till the smoke disappears before taking the first sip of the orange vodka, watermelon liqueur cocktail with a nitro-champagne swizzle stick and a chocolate monkey. The bar menu includes several nitro-cocktails with names like Diamonds Are Forever and Zen-Tini, and Buddhalicious. Liquid nitrogen drops the drink to negative 320 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing for the accompanying frozen alcohol popsicles to stir through your drink for a boosted buzz. The bar selections also include more classic cocktails, some prepared with house-made shrubs, as well as a wine and champagne list.
Of course, Uber-worthy cocktails are best accompanied by the backup of nostalgia-inspired food, Barton G. style. We couldn’t get enough of the Lobster Pop-Tarts, a blend of lobster and Gruyere in a flaky crust, served with a trio of sauces, Hollandaise, Cajun Lime Aioli, and a Tarragon Remoulade that knocked my stilettos off. The Bucket of Bones was an imaginative display of just about every meat you could imagine, from Korean-style short ribs, lamb lollipops, 12-hour baby backs, and chicken drumettes, served with house made pickles, BBQ kettle chips, and a Honey-Gorgonzola dipping sauce.
We will be back for the “G” Fries Quartet, Cottage, Shoestring, Sweet Potato, and Tater Tots with Malt Vinegar, Maple Mustard, Smoked Ketchup, and Cheesy Fondue. As you can probably tell, this is a GNO, share with a group of your best friends kinda place.
This is L.A. so Barton G. puts a new spin on classic salad such as a Caesar a la “B” with Torn Romaine, Asiago, Mezzano, Beldi Olive, and a Lemon Pepper Dressing. The Barton G. Chopped Salad features seasonal greens and herbs, chopped egg, broccolini, cauliflower, avocado, sugar snaps, Jubilee tomatoes, chickpeas, Gruyere, Maytag Blue, roasted sunflower seeds, crisp brioche and a Honey Pommerey Dressing & Shallot Vinaigrette. I am officially starving!
Entrees include over the top, delicious pastas, meats, and seafood. The Mouse Trap Mac & Cheese and its even more decadent cousin, Mousetrap Lobster Mac & Cheese, are served in, yes, an oversized wooden mousetrap!
Just like a Broadway show wouldn’t be complete without the strong finale, the Barton G. experience needs a strong finish. The spectacular Marie Antoinette-inspired bust with a towering pink cotton candy wig, atop strawberry short cakes is that strong finish. The dessert menu features a variety of dramatic options, created in the exhibition pastry kitchen.
Weiss says, “Everything at the restaurant is calculated to inspire, tickling one’s intellect, and appeal to all the senses.”