The Conservatory, the Newest Occupant of the Old Irv’s Burgers Lot, Opens Next Week

The Conservatory (Photo by Ryan Tanaka 2018)

The lot on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer Avenue, perhaps best known as the location for 63 years of Irv’s Burgers, now is the official home to the Conservatory.

The Conservatory, a restaurant whose executive chef will be Adonis Witt (Local Kitchen and Wine Bar, La Brea Bakery, BLD) will have a menu focused on seasonal California food and also will be home to several small bars. Under construction for many months, it will open its “Café at Conservatory” on Tuesday at 7 a.m. followed by the opening of the main bar area for happy hour at 3 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. The Conservatory soon will offer lunch and will serve brunch beginning Nov. 3

The Conservatory is a project of Paul Kalt’s the Kalt Group. It replaces Beach Nation, an outdoor restaurant and coffee bar that was a project of Schoos Design. Beach Nation opened in May 2014 and closed early last year. It had replaced Irv’s Burgers, which the City of West Hollywood designated as a cultural resource in 2005 after a campaign dubbed the “Burger Brigade” that was sparked by the property owner’s plan to demolish it and use the area for parking for a Peet’s Coffee planned for the adjacent lot. Sonia Hong, who operated Irv’s with members of her family, was effectively forced out of the space when her landlord, Standard Oil Investment Management, doubled her rent. The Conservatory incorporates the burger stand from Irv’s on its east side.

An announcement of the opening describes a menu “with items including Fall Squash Bruschetta with apple, endive, burrata and pumpkin, Pei Mussels with calabrian chile butter, white wine, soft herbs and grilled bread, Braised Short Rib with fontina polenta, charred broccolini, gremolata and watercress, and a Bacon Cheeseburger with an 8 oz beef patty, swiss cheese, dijonaise, pickles, applewood smoked bacon and shredded Iceberg lettuce.

“Also featured is an international wine list, with all wines available by the glass, driven by General Manager, Alessandro Silvestri.”

Interior of the Conservatory (Photo by Ryan Tanaka)

The bar program, created by Soigné Group’s Josh Goldman holds three parts to the space:

“The Café at Conservatory will serve Verve Coffee offerings, pastries from Bakers Kneaded and will feature “’he Spritz Trail,’ with selections of amaris from Italy, Switzerland, France and the United States,” the announcement states.

“Conservatory’s Main Bar features a garden of fresh mint and other herbs displayed over the bartender’s heads to pull from and use in the guests cocktails. Cocktails from the main bar include “Fellini was like a Watermelon” with Campari, Dr. Zzyzx Rose Vodka, yellow Chartreuse, watermelon juice and grapefruit Radler , “Kevin Lee Light” with Comice Pear Absolut vodka, Sauvignon Blanc, grapefruit and lemon juice and honey and “Kangaroo in the Orchard” with Absolut vodka, vermouth de Chambrey blanc, apple schnapps and grapefruit oil.

There also is a “Society Room,” which “will offer a slightly more curated experience, including modern techniques, specialty service pieces and an artistic flair. Special cocktails offered in Society Room are ‘Miso-Wari’ with Red Miso and maple butter Coffey grain Nikka, lemon, amaretto, pear eau de vie and charged water, ‘Mayan Sharona’ with Cocoa Butter Altos Reposado, lemon and lime juice, Suze, orange flower water, and chocolate bitters, and ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Apples’ with Nigori Sake, strawberry Altos plata, honey, tamarind and Rekorderlig spiced apple cider.”

The Café at Conservatory will be open from 7 a.m. until closing daily.

Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The Society Room will be open from 6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Brunch will be served beginning Nov. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Conservatory has yet to announce lunch hours.

The Conservatory (Photo by Ryan Tanaka 2018)
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Wehoan
Wehoan
2 years ago

Sounds like a nice concept, but something as ‘modern’ as this I doubt will last at this corner. Restaurants in West Hollywood like this one need to be on Sunset or Melrose, not this intersection of SMB.

Andrew
Andrew
2 years ago

Right. Because trendy and expensive has never worked in West Hollywood.

TB
TB
2 years ago

I pass many “burger” and pizza restaurants/shops in Weho.
This looks like a beautiful addition in that area.
Best of luck.

RAY
RAY
2 years ago

This sounds like a really stupid concept and way over the top for a busy corner lot, all those speciality drinks sound ridiculous, this isn’t a hip destination, good luck, I doubt it’ll last long.

jeiu3
jeiu3
2 years ago

I like how the Cafe is a quick spot to get a drink/snack. They executed this great from what I can see from the pictures. And then if you want something more formal, you can go inside and eat a full meal. I’m not sure if the CAFE offers the full menu, but I’m assuming it does not. Great job on the decor.

Manny
Manny
2 years ago

Now we’re talkin!…..Looks great.

JJ
JJ
2 years ago

Looks beautiful. Great job with the space. Alison, why don’t you wait to pass judgement until you actual see the prices. lol.

Alison
Alison
2 years ago

Sounds very expensive. Very trendy. I doubt it will last long. We need restaurants that will serve all income groups.

jeiu3
jeiu3
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison

That’s not how economics works. There are plenty of restaurants that you can eat at within your price range. But keep in mind there’s nothing cheap about running a restaurant (especially one in a desirable area with beautiful interior and exterior) so if you can’t afford it, don’t eat out. I don’t. Sometimes people want a nicer, sophisticated decor and menu. (I’m very particular about the sourcing of ingredients so there’s no where I can eat; I’m a great cook so I eat at home). I hope it succeeds. It looks great. Upscaled but not pretentious. Very peaceful and relaxing… Read more »

JJ
JJ
2 years ago
Reply to  jeiu3

yes.

Jan Michael Foster
Jan Michael Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison

You said it!