Spending Christmas time in a big city like Los Angeles as a visitor can be a lonely venture.
There is a contemporary American restaurant that's downright homey and inviting, priced $30 and under for dinner in the Beverly Hills neighborhood adjacent to the Beverly Center and Cedars Sinai.Originally an early 1900s residential duplex—hence the restaurant’s name—this home-like aesthetic shines through from its 2 million dollar incarnation.
The two-story space was designed by celebrated visionary Thomas Schoos. Duplex on Third works for an intimate dinner for two, a couples' foursome or a large boisterous meet-up.
Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway would have equally loved this place, as masculine touches and practical comforts (fireplaces, wood wainscoting, a mounted water buffalo head, crystal chandeliers and lovely books on shelves) create a less trendy respite for the hungry who love to linger over fine cuisine with good conversation.
It's not too sophisticated, sexy without being crass, and cozy enough for a family to eat and feel like they're out of town in their quaint neighborhood spot.
There's no place like it on the Westside of Los Angeles, and for the money, it's a total steal for the experience especially this glowing holiday time of year.
The massive two-story timber and stone house has been renovated and features lots of wood, a rustic fireplace both upstairs and downstairs, and a feeling of immediate warmth. The staff are all consummate professionals who make you feel you made the right decision to come there to dine.
The owner and Chefs de cuisine take great pains to source all the food locally, featuring hormone-free meats and poultry, and fine organic produce. They feature all day dining with a full bar and extensive wine list.
Duplex excels at taking comfort food to exciting yet unpretentious places. In short, the Short Ribs, a meal I have fond memories of as a child, was hands down my favorite dish of the night of outstanding dishes, and they are braised to perfection and served on a bed of wild mushroom risotto. Best risotto I've ever had... and I had them from fine dining rooms from here to Montreal, Miami, Maine, San Francisco and Seattle.
A bellwether dish for me is trying the "Moules Frites", the classic street food I grew up with back East that takes the humble mollusk and serves it up over a bed of fries with a nice brothy sauce. Duplex's Mussels and Frites come in a bath of chorizo, chilies, tomato-saffron broth and was an exemplary appetizer (or small plate), too.
Fans of lamb will swoon at the fall-off-the-bone slow cooking and flavors of fennel and root vegetables in the reduction sauce. Even the hamburger - meat ground on the premise- is revelatory and an event to itself. And I never order hamburger in fancy restaurants, but insisted on trying it to see "what the what" actually was. Glad I did.
There is a lovely limited pasta menu that goes from handmade ravioli, decadent and comforting, to Orecchiette bathed in Parmesan, pancetta and truffle cream. Make sure to order the Pappardelle with lamb ragu, light and yet deeply satisfying an incredible dish.
Oenophiles will love their extensive wine list that goes from Oregon reds to California proseccos and everything in-between. Drink fans need to order the Moscow Mule, a copper mug of citrus lime-infused ginger beer that is both clarifying and refreshing.
Dessert will tempt you to try the Beignets filled with chocolate, touted as the favorite dessert to order, but I preferred the creamy Panna cotta with a crushed pistachio base, insanely delicious and not too sweet, which is why I prefer Italian desserts.
For noshes and small meal appetites, their assortment of flatbreads fills the bill. Try the prosciutto, mascarpone, caramelized onion, fig, arugula flatbread. Happy hour sees these generous flatbreads priced at just $7 a pop, in the heart of Los Angeles' Westside. You must go!
Duplex on Third is best described as a neighborhood gem with a vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, outdoor dining and late-night canoodling with a notable wine list. In short, it will be impossible to get a seat once the word is really out there.
But for those in LA, now away from home, please book for Christmas dinner, you will be so happy you did.
Executive Chef Larry Greenwood (formerly of BOA, Boho, STK) serves up a quintessential California aesthetic menu offering seasonal, New American cuisine inspired by Southern California produce and celebrated artisanal purveyors, along with Chef Jeffrey Williams - the Chef de Cuisine.
Chef Williams received his degree in Culinary Arts and Management from the prestigious Baltimore International College. From Washington DC, London, San Diego, and Los Angeles gaining knowledge in celebrated restaurants like The Willard Room, The Atrium, Rice, and STK. Having planned menus, created specials, and worked all areas of the kitchen, Jeffrey has flourished into an amazing chef with extensive experience in the culinary world and expansive knowledge of food and wine. His taste and passion for excellence and flair for combining bold flavors is seen in every single dish he creates. Jeffrey creates personal touches with a little southern flair he puts into every recipe, turning each into a masterpiece of taste.
He even talks football with you (the bar area has a TV with a game on usually) and makes you feel he was waiting all day to make you a fantastic meal.
Duplex is located at 8722 W. 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90048.
CHRISTMAS EVE/CHRISTMAS DAY:
Christmas Eve: Open serving lunch, mid day, and evening.
Christmas Day: Serving from 4PM-9PM.
Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Dinner:
Selections from our ala carte menu + a 3 Course Prix Fixe Menu @ $45/p
$45/p Prix Fixe (Choice of 1 per course)
CRAB CHOWDER maryland jumbo lump crab, corn, bacon, and new potatoes
TRUFFLE RISOTTO porcini and truffle scented risotto, shaved truffle, shaved parmesan
MACHE + FRISEE + ENDIVE grapes, candied walnuts, celery, bayley hazen blue cheese, shallot vinaigrette
RACK OF LAMB goat cheese brioche, wild aspiration, black berry reduction
OVEN ROASTED TURBOT forest mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, buerre blanc sauce
ROASTED MARY'S WHOLE DUCK quinoa, parsnip, pistachio, baby kale salad, vanilla bean jus
PUMPKIN MAPLE CHEESECAKE graham cracker crust
OLD FASHIONED APPLE WALNUT CRISP madagascar vanilla ice cream
NEW YEAR'S EVE
FIRST SEATING – 5:30-7:30 –$50/p - $70/p (menu also available a la carte)
SECOND SEATING – 8:30-10:30 - $80/p - $100/p (prix fixe only) includes amuse bouche, festive party favors, champagne toast, DJ, dancing
NEW YEARS EVE PARTY ONLY – Starting at 10PM $40 pre-sales, $50 at the door (includes signature cocktails, champagne toast, tray passed Hors d'oeuvre, DJ, dancing)
Butternut Squash Soup truffle-walnut relish
Heirloom Beets young spinach, blood orange, pistachios, white balsamic vinaigrette
Drunken Figs di setfano buratta cheese, apple smoked bacon, bourbon honey
Maryland Blue Crab Cake jumbo lump crab, preserved lemon aioli, baby kale
Japanese Yellow Tail Carpaccio arugula apple salad, yuzu sorbet, roasted pecans
Braised Niman Ranch Pork Belly savoy kimchi, kumquat compote
Branzino ratatouille provencale, rosemary-fried new potatoes, green chickpeas, preserved lemon sauce
Roasted Mary's Whole Duck quinoa, parsnip, pistachio, baby kale salad, vanilla bean jus
Rack Of Australian Lamb Goat cheese brioche, wild aspiration, black berry reduction
Slow Braised Short Rib parmesan risotto, balsamic & pineapple braised pearl onion
Dry Aged 20 OZ New York baked fingerlings-white truffles-maui onions (+$20)
Maine Lobster Tails roasted fennel-heirloom potatoes-0range peel (+$20)
Champagne Poached Pear star anise, chocolate ganache, vanilla sabayon
Dark Chocolate Layer Cake brandied cherries, pistachio gelato
Caramel Pot du Crème himalyan pink salt