Dining

The Eat Sheet: Rising Star Chef Benjamin Bailly Makes Cult Eastside Date Den Cliff’s Edge Gastronomically Relevant

The Silver Lake restaurant, previously known mainly for its romantic atmosphere, receives a major culinary boost from the James Beard-nominated toque.
John Ales

Benjamin Bailly, the pedigreed 29-year-old chef with the James Beard nomination who’s fresh off buzz generating stints at caviar-based Petrossian in West Hollywood and French-fixated Fraîche in Culver City, is now in charge of the kitchen at Cliff’s Edge, the scenic Silver Lake spot long known for its top-tier vibe and forgettable food. With the move, he instantly becomes the most high profile chef cooking on the hipster Eastside.

“What I’m creating right now is really the perfect match for the neighborhood,” says Bailly, a veteran of the kitchens of Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse, regarding the Mediterranean menu, which veers from pickled cauliflower with castelvetrano olives to skate wing with sunchokes. “It goes with the atmosphere.”

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The global-bohemian atmosphere at Cliff’s Edge is what’s defined the secluded, patio-driven space on Sunset Blvd. since it opened more than seven years ago. Co-owner Dana Hollister is responsible for the beloved look, and is justly proud of it, but in time came to realize that she wanted more for the restaurant, which has drawn the likes of Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Aniston. “It had never been where you’d go for the food itself,” she admits. “You’d go for the atmosphere. So it was kismet when Benjamin joined us.”

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Bailly’s arrival follows last year’s ambitious revamp of the restaurant’s cocktail program, which now includes offerings like the Glasgow Mule (it subs the vodka from a Moscow Mule for scotch). “I had no idea that people would travel all the way across town like they are now,” says Hollister of the renewed interest in Cliff’s Edge as word-of-mouth continues to spread of Bailly’s hire. “It’s wonderful.”