by janet on December 30th, 2007



For my hatch day, James took me to Beechwood, a darling place that was right in his backyard this whole time! It’s very trendy-comfy, if that makes sense – modern stylings that incorporate a lot of wood and brown? I think that’s what I mean.



As one of my hatch day presents, James got me…a mini tripod! It is the cutest thing and the perfect gift for a food blogger. Really, I don’t know who else would need such a thing, unless you are, what? A bug collector?

The mini tripod is perfect because now I can take pictures in super low (read: all restaurants) lighting without inhaling, then exhaling and holding my breath and engaging my abs to make my core perfectly still, anchoring my elbows, forearms, and preferably, wrists against a glass or the table of the corner of the bread basket, holding still still perfectly still while the camera takes its time clicking the picture. NO more of that.



Beechwood hit me up first thing with an incredible bread basket. They may as well have called this “The Janet Basket” because it had all three of my most favorite breads – sourdough (the plump white rolls on the left), olive (middle), and cheesy (peeking out from underneath the butter). The sourdough was the best; then again, it could have been that I kept ruining the cheesy bread by putting additional (and unnecessary) butter on it – it is an urge that I cannot quell, and I always regret it in the end.

But then again, this bread wasn’t warm so actually I do not want my name associated with this bread basket.



The bar menu had many interesting things on it, such as toasted black edamame with white miso and garlic or the more entree-ey roasted black cod with shishito peppers, eggplant, and mirin or the grilled lamb meatballs with roasted red pepper pesto, aioli and grilled bread. These items were cheaper and seemed great; I must go back again and do drinks and bar menu.

This time, however, I ordered the sweet potato soup with porcini mushroom dust and chives. Ever since first encountering porcini dust at a dear friend’s wedding (in that instance, it was a tiny mug-full of cream of mushroom soup with a to-die-for puff nestled in the middle; the whole thing was dusted with the porcini dust – goddamn!) I crave dust like it’s coke.

I had such a complex relationship with this soup. First of all, I was happy, because the dust definitely delivered. M! ((I am going to start just using one “m” to mean “mmmm” but when it’s more of like a surprised, shout-ey, short little burst of MMM!)) But then, I was unhappy because the drizzle of olive oil was extraneous and, honestly, a little gross. Who wants to eat a spoonful of EVOO? I bet this wasn’t EV even, just OO. Then I was more unhappy because the soup was zero percent sweet, which was unexpected since it was a sweet potato soup. But once I got over that prejudice, I was a spoon-dipping demon, chillin’ out in heaven.



For our entree, we ordered the flat iron steak for two, with potato-bacon gratin, grilled escarole, and golden raisin vinaigrette. The picture, in retrospect, looks a little disgusting, doesn’t it? It wasn’t at all – it was glorious. My newfound love of rarer meat did me well here, but the real winner was the escarole. James kept asking me what it was, and I said it’s like lettuce, but crunchier, and cooked. And he said, “but what IS it?” and I kept saying, “well, it’s escarole, like cooked, crunchy lettuce” and he would keep saying “but what IS it?” and I would say “it’s just ESCAROLE! That’s what it is!” and he would still say, “but what IS it?” I’m still not sure what he was asking.

The gratin was delish, but it’s easy to make something delicious with cream, butter, and bacon, you know? The lesson I took from this is to put golden raisins in all my vinaigrettes.

I can’t end this post without giving a shoutout to our server chick. She was the epitome of good service – nice but not unctuous. She also put up with all my new tripod shenanigans, and didn’t push the wine or desserts too hard. She was also very nice to the Janet-James doppelgangers at the table next to us (Asian chick; White dude; cute in a different way from us) when they asked her a billion questions about what crostini was. “CROSTIIIINI? What’s crostini? I have never heard of this! How is it different from bread? How is it different from a cracker? I just haven’t ever heard of crostini! How fascinating!” RUFSM? I really think crostini is in everyone’s food vernacular by now, no?

Or maybe it’s just me, being a nerdy food blogger with her nerdy nerdy mini tripod…


822 Washington Blvd.
Venice, CA 90292


2 Responses to “Beechwood”

  1. Liz says:

    First of all, I am proud of myself for figuring out (I think) that RUFSM means something like “Are you fucking shitting me?” Or did i find a way to make something along those lines way too vulgar?

    Second, I have heard numerous times about this restaurant but have never been. But everyone mentions some dish like fig ravioli with some sort of blue cheese sauce. Does that sound at all familiar? Because that sounded amazing.

    Happy new year!

  2. janet says:


    I noticed you lost the quotation marks. I am pleased in the way I am pleased when people actually call my friend “Simon.”

    You are close. RUFSM is actually a CM original. I talked about it in my expose on Victoria’s, but it said:

    This phrase was coined by a pal at Cornell, who was ESL (he was from Hong Kong) and mistakenly combined the phrase “Are you fucking serious?” with the phrase “Are you fucking kidding me?” and made it into “Are you fucking serious me?” Isn’t that adorable? I use it every day.

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