The Bellwether: A Pictorial Essay

A relative newcomer to Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, The Bellwether has already attracted a sizable following. I would characterize Chef/Owner Ted Hopson’s cooking as ‘Seasonal New American’. The menu is organized into small format, large format, and ‘R&D’ dishes. The dining room and bar areas are both welcoming and, as with most gastropubs, the full menu is available at the bar. Service was very cordial and attentive.

White ginger pear iced tea…

Nancy’s hand-harvested scallops crudo, with green apple ponzu, celery, peanuts & shiso…

Tempura cauliflower, with Thai chili, mint, Thai basil, lime & nam pla…

Roasted Okinawa sweet potato, with crème fraiche, scalded cream, chive & Maldon sea salt…

Roasted half chicken, schmaltz roasted root vegetables, roasting jus & gremolata…

Dessert time!!!

Raven’s Dark Roast (single origin, Guatemala)…

Grand Marnier bread pudding, with candied pecans & Quenelle malted crème fraîche ice cream…

Overall, I thought the food was good, with a nice neighborhood vibe.

RECOMMENDED.

The Bellwether
13521 Ventura Bl., Suite A
Studio City, CA 91604
818.285.8184
thebellwetherla.com

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Wow this is beautiful looking food.

Sounds delicious.

An LA Times article about the closing of Il Grano/La Bottega stated that a group of entrepreneurs from the San Fernando Valley will be opening a gastropub in that location. Any idea if these people might be taking over? If so, it might just be a “decent” swap…

It is an excellent addition to the burgeoning Valley gastropub scene. In addition to J_L’s recommendations the patty melt is excellent, high quality beef and cheese with wonderful caramelized onions on good rye, also the grilled octopus, and the brussel sprouts. A must order are the French fries, thick cut steak fries that are truly light and crisp.
A caveat; we have been twice and the first time, a Saturday, was excellent. The second was a weeknight and things weren’t quite as good, i.e. the aforementioned fried had all the salt on the bottom layer, and the cauliflower wasn’t quite as crisp. Still a very good meal, and I second J_L’s recommendation.

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What do you call an Irishman on a hot day?

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Ouch

I’m going to have to contrast this with a pretty lukewarm experience last night. There was nothing special among the 8 dishes our table ordered. Certainly nothing worth returning for. The presentation was nice on many of them, but taste fell short.

They have a nice beer list, the cocktails were enjoyable, and service was great, so I’ll give them that.

Actually, note that I did not give this place my highest recommendation. But it’s a nice neighborhood option.

I’d agree that it’s good to see these places popping up over the hill. That being said, for this type of food, I’d much rather drive a mile or two east and hit Black Market. I also have some high hopes for the Hyperion Public that is about to open in the next week or two a few blocks down.

Though we went shortly after they opened and should probably give them another chance, we most likely won’t. My husband ordered the bass. The fish he received could not have been bass. It was dry and had the look and texture of swordfish. The waiter insisted it was bass but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. The rest of our meal wasn’t memorable either.

That’s funny. We had the bass last night too and I thought the texture was too dense for bass. It was also waaaay over-salted.

Took my step-dad out for Father’s Day last night. It was really good. Certainly leaps and bounds over most anything else in the neighborhood.

Butter lettuce salad

Tempura cauliflower

Grilled white shrimp

Patty melt


Even though the menu reads much like many other gastropup-y joints, the food here tasted very down to earth. Not aggressively seasoned, but really well balanced and fresh. The patty melt was the clear winner of the night: good quality beef cooked right, good cobtrast of textures and flavors. A great way to spend the holiday.

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Chef/Owner Ted Hopson announces the closure of The Bellwether. It was a great run. We had many a great meal here, and it will be missed.

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