Brentwood is now home to a culinary fusion of both indulgence and freshness: Baltaire, which debuted March 9 as a restaurant that combines flavors of a quintessential Chicago steakhouse as well as fresh Southern Californian ingredients.
With a spacious venue and a seasoned chef in the kitchen, Baltaire is eager to offer a quality experience to locals.
Executive chef Travis Strickland, who previously served as corporate executive chef at steakhouses in Chicago, said he ventured to Los Angeles for the new Baltaire restaurant after a friend introduced him to the project.
“I flew out here last year to start to conceptualize, and I really grew excited about the whole prospect,” Strickland said. “Given my history in Chicago steakhouses, I wanted to think in terms of a SoCal setting when it came to conceptualizing the menu.”
Strickland explained that he added “light, vibrant feels” throughout his menu and took advantage of the abundance of fresh local produce.
“For example, our shaved veggie salad – with beets, carrots, blue cheese, and citrus vinaigrette – is a stunning showcase of SoCal produce,” Strickland said. “These menu items aren’t necessarily as heavy or dense or laden as some Chicago staples can be.”
When it comes to the quality of meat, Strickland and the rest of the Baltaire team share the same values and strive to collaborate with “top-tier providers,” particularly the “premier SoCal purveyor” Newport Meat Company.
“I really appreciated that the Baltaire team had the same dedication to this craft,” the chef said. “We only use 100 percent USDA prime beef, which we’re very proud of. Since the beginning we seemed to speak the same language.”
From the A5 Japanese Wagyu to the Kansas City Strip and 35-day, dry-aged cut, Strickland has created a number of steak dishes to cater to a variety of palettes.
Also on the menu are decadent seafood options, such as the Shellfish Plateau, which includes Maine lobster, shrimp, market-fresh oysters, and king crab.
“The menu is refined, but approachable so it strikes a balance,” Strickland said.
As for the chef himself, asking Strickland to decide on a favorite menu item “is like forcing a parent to choose a child” – but he is “super proud of some of the show pieces” that the staff has “really worked hard and practiced to achieve,” particularly the Greek salad that is completely prepared tableside.
Strickland said that the bar menu and beverage program offers a New and Old World wine list, craft cocktails, and California and imported craft beers.
Baltaire boasts not only an expansive dining room, but also an outdoor terrace and accompanying fireplaces that aim to embody the “open-air, SoCal vibe.”
Alongside the retractable roof that guests can enjoy while dining indoors, Baltaire offers a “multi-faceted experience” with “two different settings” to dine in.
“We’re most excited about really connecting with the Brentwood neighborhood,” Strickland said. “From the outset, we wanted the core of the restaurant to serve as a neighborhood restaurant, where residents can come and share a fantastic meal within a beautiful setting without having to drive far.”
Baltaire is located at 11947 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood.
For more information, call 424.273.1660 or visit baltaire.com.