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The Wellesbourne brings old-English style to West L.A.

WellesbourneOne Monday night marked the private opening party for a new West L.A. bar -- from a group known as Medium Rare Entertainment -- called the Wellesbourne. The 3,000-square-foot space was designed by the hugely busy Kristofer Keith of Spacecraft to resemble a 19th-century English manor.

An abundance of varnished dark wood accents, elegant wallpaper, shelves stocked with weathered books, paintings of the English countryside and a 30-foot-long bar stand in weird contrast to a foosball table in the game room. I suppose modern drinkers wouldn't want to play tiddlywinks or blindman's buff, but a vintage billiard table would have been more appropriate. (I may just be saying that because I am a known pool shark. Seriously! I will beat you. Actually, when I talk like that I generally end up losing, so....)

Anyway, the drink list revives the old-fashioned vibe with its abundance of old man-friendly cocktails (all priced at a reasonable $9). You can suck down a creamy Brandy Alexander, enjoy the fruity tang of a Harvey Wallbanger or consume a more than reasonable amount of sugar by tossing back a milky-green Grasshopper garnished with fresh mint.

The last drink was definitely my favorite, until I looked up its calorie count online. (Yes, I do that now that a big part of my job involves drinking.) I'll do you a favor and not tell you what it is so that you can keep enjoying this mint-chocolate marvel guilt-free.

Wellesbourne It's tough to place judgment on what the Wellesbourne will become once its freshly painted patina gets worn down by drunken, late-night tears; spilled beers; dirty shoes and the general human messiness that weathers bars in all sorts of remarkable ways. But I suspect it will remain upscale in feel but not trendy; and it likely won't attract the mixology crowd since for now its bartenders seem to be sticking to the basics and are a bit unsure of themselves.

For example, when my friend asked for a tequila gimlet, our bartender told us that the bar didn't have tequila. He did this while standing directly in front of a shelf with three bottles of PatrĂ³n and a bottle of Cazadores. I thought that this was kind of cute and that it would make for a funny YouTube video, so I didn't point this fact out to him. Chalk it up to opening-night jitters.

Still, I enjoyed myself. I think the Wellesbourne is going to be a cozy place to shack up with a few friends for an old-school drink when I find myself on the Westside. And soon it will start serving small bites such as Welsh rabbit and everybody's favorite sausage-in-Yorkshire-pudding-pastry-treat, the wonderfully named toad-in-the-hole.

The Wellesbourne, 10929 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A.; (310) 474-0102.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photos: Top, the 30-foot-bar at the Wellesbourne; bottom, a Brandy Alexander and a Rob Roy. Credit: Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times.


Comments () | Archives (8)

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The term "Welsh Rabbit" is a well-accepted coloquialism (of the original term, "Welsh Rarebit"). Actually, Adrian, if you wish to publicly correct someone's grammar, you ought to use proper punctuation.

Thanks, Adrian... we didn't want to be the ones to say it. :)

We're intrigued to check out the Wellesbourne nevertheless. On the subject of Brit-meets-Angeleno flavor, we invite you to taste our new line of gourmet mashed potatoes at www.bangers-smashed.com. Cheers!

A very amateur review. Actually Jessica it's Welsh rarebit, not rabbit.

Amy, I think it must be why. The writer isn't writing about anything interesting or new and her articles sound like high school newspaper reviews. Its sad that the LA Times chooses to print what she writes. And, its not even a review because she isn't telling us if this place is good or bad-most of the references seem to be about the writer's own personal business. exactly, we don't care that she is a pool shark, etc!

Maybe she makes people mad because the writing is frustratingly sub-par?

No one really cares if you are a pool shark or that your job involves drinking.

lol. its kinda funny how this la times writer seems to usually make people mad.

Since when are sweet cream-based or fruity drinks man-friendly? And complaining about a foosball table instead of a pool table? Look, a good reviewer does not submit a review based on one night's excursion and that's what this appears to be: in once, dash off a review/blog and collect a check.
Earn your pay.


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