Kid Hit Menu Items: Barney Greengrass at Barneys has a full range of deli foods, smoked fish specialties, and upscale deli/diner basics. Plenty of egg dishes. And my personal favorite, the fifty-cent egg cream.
Adult Perks: Sure, plenty of delis carry smoked fish, but none match the quality or selection of the Barney Greengrass west coast outpost at Barneys. The outdoor deck area has a terrific sweeping view of points northeast, and if it’s not too sunny, it’s a great place to take a load off during an afternoon of browsing or shopping. Barney Greengrass has a full bar and $5 happy hour specials. And the power lunch scene is amusing to most, and a combination of terrifying/ exciting/obnoxious to others. At least nobody gets a diet raspberry Fanta here, no matter how much industry juice you have.
Pros: The bargain egg cream is the best way to validate parking at Barneys for three hours. (After all, buying a wispy $2,500 Lanvin stunner only gets you two hours in the lot.) I’m a big fan of the matzo ball soup, with its bobbing dumpling beauties and cubed carrots floating in the clean broth that add the right amount of delicate flourish. I would not recommend the Cobb salad, which ill advisedly uses roast beef instead of bacon and bland bleu cheese on a bed of generic mesculin. I mean, come on. Staff is friendly and efficient; this crew must handle a fair share of demanding customers, so they seem to appreciate basic human kindness.
Cons: Lunch can get a little hectic. It’s certainly not the best quality or best priced salads or sandwiches in the city, save for the obvious specialties.
Changing Station: Yes, in the ADA compliant bathroom stall. There’s also a changing station in the lower level bathroom. Both are very nice and shiny, but are placed up above the toilets. A little tricky for us shorties.
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Barneys underground lot. The aforementioned three-hour validation, or $4 valet charge. Elevator access to the fifth floor.
Other Tidbits: Some dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers who are inexperienced in the ways of Los Angeles don’t quite know what to make of this place. It’s essentially the ultimate expression of transplanted New York culture into the business of Hollywood, tucked into the retail milieu of Beverly Hills. Plenty of agents and studio heads love taking meetings at Nate n’ Al, but Barney Greengrass smoothes out those rough accents from the old neighborhood while offering the same comforts. The Beverly Hills iteration of the beloved Barney Greengrass on 86th and Amsterdam is everything the original is not: deluxe, clean, designed, bright, relatively contemporary. A considerable portion of the menu is designed for ladies who lunch rather than for your Grandpa Irving. They both places are, however, pricey. When it comes to the smoked fish, quality counts, and many in L.A. are willing to pay for the privilege.
As for kids, I always notice quite a few people with children and babies at BGG. Come lunchtime that room is buzzing, but it doesn’t stop people from wedging their Bugaboos and Orbits wherever they see fit. Most recently I noticed a family at the next table over feeding their daughter an ENTIRE meal they packed and brought with them. Staff was fine with it. Maybe she has allergy issues or some other special circumstances, but I think that’s a bit nervy to pre-pack a meal for your kid to bring to a restaurant, instead of encouraging he/she to try a few things, no? Or maybe because Barney Greengrass is in a department store, they follow the old retail adage: the customer is always right.
9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
Hours: Monday – Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Thursday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.