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 The huge floral chargers the food was placed on have been replaced by smaller dinner plates.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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'.
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?