Minimalism is not on the menu at Barton G, a new restaurant scheduled to open on La Cienega Boulevard on June 18. Seared tuna is served with a samurai sword, shrimp cocktail swirls in an eery fog over a martini glass, and mac ‘n’ cheese might be plated as a giant mouse trap. There isn’t a white plate in sight, nor any conventional fine dining standards.
This culinary circus is the brainchild of Barton G. Weiss, event coordinator and restaurateur of South Beach fame.
“Each plate is a set piece, an act of sorts,” Weiss said of his eclectic menu. “A meal at Barton G is an event itself.”
Weiss has a theatrical background, and is attracted to the idea of making a restaurant as much of a production as a play on Broadway. He calls his space eclectic and industrial, but warm and reassuring. He claims each seat in the restaurant offers a completely different experience for each diner.
“The experience is equal to the food. It’s meant to be laughed at,” Weiss said. “I think it will be a new age and new way of dining in L.A.”
Weiss was inspired by his successful Miami restaurant, also called Barton G, and the wide access to incredible produce here in California. After 11 years of testing his Miami recipes, he plans to take the hits of Barton G Miami and “re-recipe” them for the Los Angeles audience. His gourmet grandeur, however, will stay very much intact.
Weiss published a cookbook in February titled “The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America’s Most Spectacular Restaurant.” It’s full of his crazy “classics,” many of which will be on the menu as of next week. The book will be available at the restaurant, so diners can attempt to recreate their Barton G meal. Whether that’s possible remains to be seen. Average kitchens lack PVC pipe and liquid nitrogen.
In a change of pace for Weiss, he hasn’t planned a grand soiree for his opening night.
“I think L.A. is dramatic enough,” Weiss said. “We’ll keep it low-key.”
Low-key by Barton G standards is likely to be a cabaret compared with most restaurants, but that’s the way Weiss likes it. Opening night at Barton G will probably be difficult to ignore.
Open Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.
861 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 388-1888, www.bartongtherestaurantla.com.
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