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Jan 15, 2014 08:54 AM

The Ivy on Robertson

After a miserable and sad experience at the Ivy a few nights ago I'm curious if anyone knows if the ownership has changed?
I've been going to this LA icon for several decades off and on.
The restaurant was one of my favorites, even though most people I know quit going years ago, my loyalty remained. I love the beauty of the place…the roses, the overall feeling and especially the front open air room and porch.
The menu is completely different. The dark, dense molasses bread has been replaced with some sort of cheese toast. It's okay.
My favorite, Tandoori Chicken is gone. The huge floral chargers the food was placed on have been replaced by smaller dinner plates.
The service okay, the waiter's attitude was not and I mostly couldn't wait for the check to get out of there.
I'm saddened. When a restaurant like this exists for as long as it has I don't think it's unreasonable to assume everything about it remains the status quo. I can think of a dozen restaurants that I've been to over the years, that have been in business for half a century, that realize their customers come for consistency and want the food to be the same as when they remember.
Why, if the owner is still the same owner, would they change it so dramatically? I walked away feeling like this is just one more restaurant in LA where there's an emphasis on attracting the tourist whose sole purpose for coming is to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. From what I know/see that train has left the station.
The food just wasn't that great.

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  1. Interesting. I am in the minority on this board - I have always enjoyed The Ivy on Robertson. While it has never been very innovative, I have found it to be consistent and delicious. I had dinner there about a month ago with six people and everyone enjoyed their meal. I didn't see any changes. I am having lunch there next week so I will be curious to see the changes. In the past I never found the shore location to measure up but having been there several times in the last few months it's been very good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: flowergirl

      I'm not sure when the changes were made so I can't comment….it's been several months since I was there last.
      All I know is that there are changes and many unfamiliar faces.

      1. re: flowergirl

        Enjoyed my recent dinner very much. Cheese toast was served at the beginning of the meal. I absolutely love their version of the banana split for after dinner.

      2. That is so strange. I frequently go to Ivy at the Shore. Was there twice last week and nothing has changed. Same bread, same menu, flowers. Food was uniformly great. Not filled with tourists.

        3 Replies
        1. re: maudies5

          I'm trying to remember when I started going to the Ivy on Robertson…
          It's had to have been at least 25 years.
          What I love about the place (and it's still beautiful if not more so) is the ambience. I can't imagine anyone disagreeing with that. The roses are truly spectacular and from what I was told many years ago the owner picked them from her own garden. True or not, they're magnificent.
          However, the food and portions are different. I'm baffled.
          I don't find pleasure in writing this, trust me, because I'm such a huge fan and always have been. I was told the menu is now 'seasonal' so all the old dishes can be made on request for those who remember.
          That great menu on the flat board has been replaced with a limited selection compared to what it used to be.

          1. re: latindancer

            The on-line menu is unchanged. Ate there a month ago and it was very good. A friend ate at the Shore last night and commented that the fried chicken was very good. I hope it was just an off night and not a major change. Sorry you had a bad experience.

            1. re: latindancer

              i saw give it another shot in the next few weeks or a month or so since after all you have been going there close to 25 years and if its a joint that's dear to you you may as well give it another run.

          2. Supposedly others have stated that the food was not good back when Reagan was still in office.

            But anyhow, they have always had a captive audience.

            I did like the steak and french fries here, but afterwards it did give me a massive tummy ache.

            1. I had lunch at Ivy at the Shore today. I asked a long time server whether Lynn and Ricky still owned both restaurants. Absolutely "yes." He was unaware of any changes at Robertson location.
              I had the crab salad and, of course, it was accompanied by the warm little loaf of dark bread. Lunch was great.

              10 Replies
              1. re: maudies5

                How much was the crab salad ????

                I'll hit it up shortly.

                What else do you like there ?

                And is it decent for solo diners ? if I happen to find myself during lunch hours ?????????

                1. re: kevin

                  Some of my favorite dishes there

                  Tuna Tartare
                  Ivy Chop Salad
                  Lime Chicken with fries
                  Fried Chicken
                  The Ivy Gimlet to wash it down

                  1. re: kevin

                    Crab salad, which was loaded with crab, was $28.00. I was alone, having just come from S.M. Farmers Mkt. I walked in with two shopping bags and got table on patio. Perfect lunch on a beautiful day.

                    1. re: kevin

                      I can't really think of anyplace, these days, that isn't decent for solo diners. I eat by myself choice. And whether I'm at Plan Check or Providence....I find it totally comfortable.

                      1. re: perk

                        Providence alone? That would feel really weird for me.

                        1. re: TailbackU

                          I've always seen single diners at Providence. Not weird at all!

                      2. re: kevin

                        Kevin, I'm someone who eats out solo often. And as much as I love The Ivy on Robertson, it is not a restaurant I would feel comfortable dining solo during lunch, probably because I've never seen anyone eating solo there. Dinner might be another story--I've only been there for lunch.

                        I've been to Ivy at the Shore three times. All three times it wasn't as much of a 'scene' than the one on Robertson, so I might feel more comfortable as a solo diner. HOWEVER, I was disappointed with the food and cocktails all three times, so I would be hesitant to go back with or without others, considering the expense.

                        FWIW, my favorites are their crab cakes and their grilled vegetable salad. I'm dying to go back and try the fried chicken and their gimlet!

                      3. re: maudies5

                        I'm happy for you that your experience was great.

                        Mine wasn't. It was a special day for me, I've always been loyal to the place and it, in fact, has changed from what I remember. I chose the Ivy for emotional reasons and they simply fell short.
                        When the owner(s) of a restaurant make an executive decision to cut portions in half or close to…and increase the prices (which they have)…then I must reconsider.
                        They chose to remove a dish that was on their menu for many, many years. I had no idea and I chose, instead, their 'special' of the evening. It was mediocre, at best, and I left half of it on the plate because it, frankly, was unappealing. The flavors of that dish (black cod with curry, rice and chopped asparagus and squash) still resonate with me and it makes me nauseated to think about it.
                        The crab cakes still taste the same, the bread's different (no dark bread) and the tasteless burrata, roasted beet and arugula salad wasn't worth the effort.
                        I won't be returning…however I'm sure the tourists who read/know about the famous Ivy will spend their hard earned dollar in order to be able to say 'they were there'.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          I've never been, but I'm really sorry to hear that had a bad restaurant experience on a special day. =(

                          Sometimes you just want to cut your losses to move on as quickly as possible, but perhaps sending an e-mail to management might be helpful and hopefully prevent other long-term patrons from having the same bad experience?

                      4. I prefer Ivy at the Shore.