Caulfield’s, a new American brasserie that’s in a soft opening phase at the Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel (9360 Wilshire Blvd.), is going old school with a mural that depicts writers and other figures from the Hollywood blacklist era of the 40s and 50s.
The colorful 7-by-10 painting includes Hollywood Ten writers Dalton Trumbo (Kitty Foyle, Spartacus) and Ring Lardner, Jr. (who won an Oscar in 1942 for Woman of the Year) and director Edward Dmytryk (Oscar-nominated for the 1947 noir film Crossfire). Lillian Hellman, Charlie Chaplin, Arthur Miller and Dorothy Parker, who were either later blacklisted or put on the Red Channels list, are also shown in the mural, painted by artist David Higginbotham. J.D. Salinger, whose The Catcher in the Rye character Holden Caulfield inspired the restaurant’s name, is also pictured.
Caulfield’s is the latest spot from duo Laurie Mulstay and Ron Marino, owners of Magnolia and The Bar in Hollywood and Bar Chloe in Santa Monica.
Says Marino of the inspiration for the mural: “The book The Catcher in the Rye took place in the late 1940s which coincides with the last time I feel this country went through such transition as we are today when political and social topics are so polarized. We tried to think of people who might be sitting in a restaurant or at a bar during that time period. The mural is a nod to some of the people who not only suffered during those times but helped shape this town and even this country.”
Some characters in the mural, such as Rock Hudson, are people Mulstay and Marino image would have hung out in a restaurant like Caulfield’s at the time.
The 110-seat restaurant, which replaces the shuttered BondSt, has been renovated to include a new bar with mahogany paneling, a door to the street, added natural light and a dining area with booths. The menu, from exec chef Cody Diegel, will veer from steaks and grilled branzino to farmers’ market plates for sharing. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.