LOS ANGELES | Redbird Downtown was one of Los Angeles’ most anticipated restaurant openings of 2015. Housed in Vibiana, the former cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the restaurant’s architecture is a beautiful example of old blending with new. Various parts of the deconstructed cathedral are given upgrades that are respectful of the venue’s original architecture, such as the retractable roof that now covers the patio/main dining room. The cathedral’s original Spanish baroque details, meanwhile, contrast with freshly commissioned artwork.
Co-owner and head chef Neal Fraser has put together a menu which contains influences from across the world and trends both recent and long gone. The result is food that is interesting and new, yet familiar at the same time. It’s tuned down fine dining, but not exactly the casualisation of fine dining which is occurring ever more these days. The bread starter exemplifies this – it arrives in a little cloth sack, and is a gluten free, Brazilian cheesy affair. For lunch, a fried egg sandwich features pancetta, smoked harissa aioli, arugula, and gruyere, while for dinner items such as our favourite, the indulgently luscious bucatini with uni butter, lobster, abalone, scallion grace the menu.
The wine list is impressive, and contains something for all price ranges, while the cocktail list, which contains numerous twists on the classics, familiar and forgotten, is another highlight. Try the ‘Bird Of Paradise’ with gin, lime, raspberry, cream, egg whites, charged water, and orange blossom water.
The dining scene in downtown LA is rejuvenating, and it’s because of restaurants like Redbird that this is the case. Whether it’s a dressed up special occasion, or just a casual single dish at the bar and a drink, Redbird is well worth your time.
114 E 2nd Street
Telephone: 213 788 1191
E-mail: [email protected]
Mon – Thu: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri: 11:30am to 2:00pm; 5:00pm to 11:00pm
Sat: 10:00am to 2:00pm; 5:00pm to 11:00pm
Sun: 10:00am to 2:00pm; 5:00pm to 10:00pm