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Perch opens high above Pershing Square

August 2, 2011 |  4:25 pm

PerchAbove Downtown got a doozy of a new rooftop restaurant and bar when former Must Wine Bar owners Coly Den Haan and Rachel Thomas opened Perch last week. Located on the 15th floor of the historic Pershing Square Building on Hill Street, Perch reflects downtown's sleek new leanings with a ritzy, Parisian-themed dining room and a patio with breathtaking city-sky views.

The menu, created by chef Benjamin Udave (former executive chef of the Jonathan Club), features French bistro fare made with an American twist. Frog legs, for example, are marinated in buttermilk and served fried golden and light as "shake and bake drumsticks" with lily root and garlic chips.

There is also a cold broccolini salad, which is cooked al dente and served with salty prosciutto, smoked hen eggs, a dollop of sturgeon caviar, olives and tangy Meyer lemon oil. It goes nicely with the pork confit cassoulet (also called "pork & beans"), which features braised maple-cured pork belly set atop a savory pile of haricot blanc beans mixed with duck confit, pork cracklins and sweet pepper confit.

Finish your meal with an order of airy beignets dipped in sweet wild strawberry jam and fresh espresso whipped cream. Seasonal cocktails, Champagne, wine and beer are also available.

The dining patio is ringed by ...

a waist-high, clear glass wall that affords uninterrupted views of the downtown skyline and Pershing Square below. When the sun sets white lights glow in the patio's trees, which can be seen from the hectic streets below. Occasionally, as on opening night, a jazz band might play in the corner of the patio.

There is also an indoor dining room and bar accented by dark wood and hand-painted tiles, as well as two additional floors for overflow dining and special events.

In the fall, Den Haan and Thomas have plans to reopen the Must on the building's ground floor. Now if only Pershing Square could return to its lush, concrete-less roots.

448 S. Hill St., Los Angeles. (213) 802-1770; www.perchla.com. Open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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Photo: Melissa Valladares

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