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Cliff's Edge brings in chef Benjamin Bailly for a fresh direction

January 16, 2012 |  4:21 pm

BenBailey-web-1Cliff's Edge, the popular Silver Lake restaurant with one of the most attractive outdoor dining patios on the eastside, is switching gears. It has quietly brought in James Beard-nominated chef Benjamin Bailly to revamp the menu and give new direction to the kitchen.

Bailly, who was nominated as Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2010 after working as chef de partie for Joel Robuchon in Paris and assisting him in opening six restaurants worldwide, has most recently served as executive chef at both Fraiche and Petrossian in West Hollywood. He was pursuing a career as a private chef when Cliff's Edge plucked him up.

Since Jan. 3, Bailly, 29, has worked diligently toward creating a menu that Cliff's Edge owners Dana Hollister, Keith Greco and Pierre Casanova hope will make the restaurant a culinary destination for diners across the city.

In its more than seven years in operation, Cliff's Edge has cultivated a devoted neighborhood following, but its food has never been singled out as particularly noteworthy. A destination restaurant in Silver Lake would be a welcome -- and long overdue -- addition to the neighborhood.

Bailly has divided the new menu, which is still Mediterranean in flavor, into four parts: to share, to start, to follow and desserts. The first is a series of small plates meant to be shared with cocktails from the recently revamped bar. These include chickpea fritters with rosemary and lemon aioli; eggplant caviar with cumin, pine nuts and cilantro; salt cod brandade with lemon, parsley and garlic crostini; pickled cauliflower with Castelvetrano olives and Marcona almonds.

The "to start" section is geared around more traditional appetizers such as baby beets with goat cheese, lavendar, orange and pistachio; crispy polenta with sunny-side-up egg, sautéed mushrooms and shaved Pecorino Romano; and seared scallops with cauliflower, vadouvan, salsa verde and labne.

The entrees on the "to follow" portion of the menu include heartier fare such as skate wing with brown butter, sunchokes, pine nuts, lemon and capers; Berkshire pork belly with gigante beans, chorizo and piquillo soffrito; and Taleggio risotto with butternut squash and rosemary.

For the sweet tooth, you'll find chocolate torta, pistachio crème brûlée and gianduja budino.

The menu will change seasonally, and plans are in the works for Bailly to keep a chef's garden on the nearby property of the Paramour, the estate where Hollister lives and works.

Cliff's Edge, 3626 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323) 666-6116; www.cliffsedgecafe.com.

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Photo: Chef Benjamin Bailly. Credit: Nic-Ray

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