Restaurant: Avra Beverly Hills Estiatorio
Location: 233 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. (310) 734-0841
Date: November 18, 2019
Rating: Pricey, but the quality is excellent
New York City’s famed, authentic Greek restaurant Avra Madison Estiatorio has opened its first west coast outpost, appropriately named AVRA Beverly Hills. Located in the “Golden Triangle” of Beverly Hills, AVRA Beverly Hills is designed by award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group. The firm has created an atmosphere similar to that of an open-air villa in Greece, with fresh lemon trees, imported limestone, and stone washed walls. The new 11,000-square-foot eatery, with private spaces for all types of events, features traditional Greek cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood.
Now I have to admit, as much as I like Greek food (and I do), this is an odd, very Beverly Hills concept. It’s SO built out — millions I’m sure.
There is a huge Beverly Dr patio.
That blends indoor outdoor — perfect on a lovely LA day.
And the enormous white tablecloth interior.
Complete with booths.
Like in Greece they have fresh seafood in the ice case for the picking — although I’ve never seen it this fancy in Greece.
Look at those huge Santa Barbra prawns!
The lunch menu.
I’m not sure if we had to explicitly pay for this flatbread, olives, etc. The olives were great actually — too bad there were exactly 4 of them!
SALMON TARTAR. Faroe Islands salmon, fresno peppers, cilantro, shallots. Great potato chips too, super crispy.
SPANAKOPITA. oven baked filo, fresh spinach, feta, leeks. Some of the freshest, most elegant Spanakopita I have ever seen. Super flakey.
TUNA TARTARE. Hawaiian big eye tuna, shallot vinaigrette, serrano peppers. Colorful!
Grilled Mediterranean fish of the day, vegetables.
HALIBUT. Carcoal grilled fillet, spanakorizo (spinach rice).
Grilled Jumbo Shrimp. Savory eggplant potato moussaka. I ordered this because of the Moussaka. I love Moussaka and it wasn’t on the menu per se. Moussaka was very good, if small, hints of nutmeg. Grilled shrimp were excellent, although “basic” enough.
Side of Tzatziki. It was good. The size was laughable.
The dessert menu.
CHOCOLATE-YOGURT CHEESECAKE. Raspberry-Rosewater Sauce, Chocolate Bark. Very very rich.
BAKLAVA. Almonds, Honey Syrup. Maybe the best Baklava I’ve had? Super moist, sweet, with lots of nuts and a very crunchy pastry.
The build out is lovely. Service was excellent. Quality was excellent. The atmosphere amazing. Portion sizes tiny. The menu needs some more of the classics like a real moussaka, baby lamb kleftiko, etc. It’s got too much “Filet Mignon” and “lamb chops.” You don’t see that in Greece! That’s to please the Beverly Hills white hairs. Still, I’d like to come back for dinner — although perhaps on someone else’s dime!