Petrossian Dining Room
No longer the domain of desultory doyennes and fancy-free first wives, this caviar boutique and café has rebranded itself as a destination for surprisingly affordable happy hours and fine dining that can accommodate recessionary spending habits (though you'll still find caviar on the menu that goes for nearly $800 an ounce-it comes from fish in the Caspian Sea once belonging to the Shah of Iran).

That's why you'll find a newly redesigned, hipper dining room at the Petrossian Boutique with windows overlooking Robertson, as well as a congenial communal table area near the display counters holding the boutique's extravagant treats, ranging from smoked salmon to chocolate truffles.

To wit, they have brought in 27-year-old phenom Chef Benjamin Bailly, a coy Frenchman who has trained with Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchion, to revive the kitchen with such playful gourmandises as foie gras crème brûlée with fig marmalade, thick-cut steak tartare napoleon layered with caviar, seared scallops with butternut squash puree in a bacon emulsion, an Asian-inspired shrimp papillote in rice paper with a passion fruit-sweet chili ginger sauce, and a plushly textured borscht that is drizzled with aged balsamic and could be the new standard for Technicolor fuchsia.

The best way to experience Petrossian's understated but unapologetic decadence is to stop in with a couple friends for a glass of champagne and a course of their popular Classic or Tsar Imperial Transmontanus caviar scooped with traditional translucent mother-of-pearl spoons onto spongy blini and garnished with dill crème fraîche and hard-boiled egg yolk.
Petrossian Tartare
Petrossian's tartare
It's sort of like a really fancy happy hour or the perfect end to a girls' day out. Either way, we're in.


Address: 321 N. Robertson Blvd.
Cross Street: Rosewood Ave.
Neighborhood: Beverly Center
Phone: (310) 271-0575
Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00am-10:00pm, Sun 10:00am-6:00pm
Type: French
Price: $$