New Hollywood Restaurant Grandmaster Records is big, bold, historic


In 2021, a handful of ambitious and awe-inspiring restaurants opened in the heart of Hollywood. From historic stretches of Sunset Boulevard to the Cahuenga Hallway, the dining rooms feel reinvented (and slightly less touristy) with new arrivals like the incredibly popular horses, the future My Friends of chef Lincoln Carson and the Cat & Fiddle / Hearth & Revamped Hound from Superba Food + Bread Space. Joining those ranks this Thursday is the three-story Grandmaster Recorders, the newest and grandest project from the team behind EP & LP and Strings Of Life, the Botanical Hospitality Group.

Grandmaster Recorders resides in a 15,000 square foot space, sitting directly behind the old Jack In The Box on Sunset, with entries on Ivar and Cahuenga. Inside is a rooftop restaurant, lounge, and bar with sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills and the Capitol Records Building. And, as the name suggests, the building holds an important history as a former recording studio. Everything is something to see, especially the Cahuenga side entrance, lined with glam and gold-filled tributes to the history behind the building, complemented by commemorative albums of artists who recorded there.

Those who are seated in the adjoining 71 Studio Bar can rejoice that the world’s greatest recording artists have created masterpieces in this space. David Bowie recorded here, Stevie Wonder rehearsed his classic album Songs in the Key of Life in the same room at 71 Studio Bar, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers secured their early work within these walls. Kanye West too, who created his second album in 2005 Late check-in on the same property.

Botany owners David Combes and Grant Smillie took over the space four years ago and came up with something huge. The Australian-born partners hoped to find a chef to match the building’s energy. The self-described “Italian and Australian inspired upscale coastal restaurant” is what for dinner. To understand this direction, you have to meet chef Monty Kulodrovic or at the very least taste his cuisine.

Kulodrovic is a fairly recent transplant in the United States. Smillie brought in Kulodrovic from Australia to become the Culinary Director of the Botanical Hospitality Group just before the pandemic started. Kulodrovic took his wife and pastry chef Jaci Kulodrovic and their two sons to Los Angeles, only to find himself in lockdown with the rest of the world in 2020. While taking his bearings in a new city, Kulodrovic took time and his vast experience to develop the Grandmaster Recorders Menu, as well as the West Hollywood EP and Strings Of Life.

Grandmaster Recorders’ menu is 100 percent rock and roll. Like the restaurant, the musical genre has its roots in the United States and has evolved into different and new techniques taking inspiration from everywhere and boldly producing its own flavors and style. Kulodrovic has a passion for crudo, with a raw sea bass menu that will turn fresh seafood like Baja tuna insalata with marinated persimmon, radishes, caviar, and crispy sourdough croutons topped with schmaltz. Also on deck, sea urchin with orange, chives, a Japanese flavor of kosho and seaweed crisps. For those feeling particularly indulgent, a caviar service is also available.

The second menu offers two cavatellis, one with artisanal sourdough and the other with squid ink pasta. Main courses include butterfly chicken piccata, Queensland-raised wagyu, and Maine lobster stew with fish, mussels, clams, seasonal vegetables, and lobster shank grits. A note on Jaci Kulodrovic’s desserts: The passion fruit sorbet is refreshing and a gorgeous presentation, but her mini-album shaped Weiss chocolate tiramisu is sure to be a hot seller, Instagrammed everywhere.

Passion fruit sorbet

Tiramisu at the Grandmaster Recorders restaurant in Hollywood, California.

Tiramisu

The cocktails are from Milosz Cieslak, who has a fondness for European-style gin and tonic. A martini paired with a caviar “bump” is best presented here, among the walls that have likely hosted a lot of rock and roll shenanigans. Maude and veteran sommelier of the Republic – most recently Deputy Wine Director at Bicyclette – Devon Darcangelo organized the wine list of nearly 2,000 bottles in the two temperature-controlled rooms.

Now beyond the restaurant. Grandmaster’s can and will satisfy any group of cocktail lovers at 71 Studio Bar while watching the massive disco ball. Then there’s the 4,000-square-foot rooftop terrace for drinks and appetizers like 48-hour fermented wood-fired pizzas that are evacuated to the roof in 30 seconds by a dumbwaiter.

GMR gin and tonic with lavender gin, butterfly pea and elderflower tonic at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

GMR G&T with lavender gin

Hard-to-manage cocktail with tequila blanco, homemade grapefruit / beet syrup, grapefruit bitters and lime at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, CA.

Hard to handle cocktail with tequila blanco, homemade grapefruit / beet syrup, grapefruit and lime bitters

Grandmaster Recorders is particularly personal to Grant Smillie. The restaurant owner is also an accomplished house music producer and Melbourne DJ who has personally overseen the detailed playlists and audio systems for each room. The Grandmaster Recorders restaurant is open daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., while the 71 Studio Bar is open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. From Monday to Friday, the rooftop welcomes drinkers from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 a.m. Your best bet is to make a reservation through Resy, but they will only accept appointments for the rooftop and 71 Studio Bar.

Dining room of the great recorder masters

Recorders

Grandmaster Recorders restaurant dining room in Hollywood, California.

Dining room

Grandmaster Recorders restaurant dining room in Hollywood, California.

Dining room

Grandmaster Recorders restaurant dining room in Hollywood, California.

Dining room

Bench seating at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Bench

The Grandmaster Recorders restaurant and bar in Hollywood, California.

The restaurant bar at Grandmaster Recorders

The Grandmaster Recorders restaurant and bar in Hollywood, California.

Bar

Grilled langoustines and hand roll basil at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Grilled scampis and hand roll basil

Caviar cannoli at the Grandmaster Recorders restaurant in Hollywood, California.

Caviar cannoli

Cavatelli in Cuttlefish Ink with Key Crab at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Cavatelli in squid ink and key crab

Insalata di pesce with Baja Tuna, Pickled Persimmon, Radish, Caviar, Schmaltz, and Sourdough Croutons at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, CA.

Insalata di pesce with Baja tuna, marinated persimmon, radish, caviar, schmaltz and sourdough croutons

Sea urchin appetizer at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Sea urchin appetizer

Maine lobster, fish, mussels, clams, seasonal vegetables, and lobster shank porridge stew at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Maine lobster stew, fish, mussels, clams, seasonal vegetables, with lobster shank grits

An assortment of appetizers, pastas and entrees at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

An assortment of starters, pasta and starters

Hallway entrance to the Grandmaster Recorders restaurant in Hollywood, California.

Entrance to the corridor

A hallway lined with records and recording equipment at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Hallway tribute to the history of the building

71 Studio & Bar Entrance at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

71 Studio & Bar Entrance

71 Studio & Bar at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

71 Studio & Bar at Grandmaster Recorders

Lounge area at 71 Studio & Bar at Grandmaster Recorders

Lounge area with disco ball

Rooftop entrance for Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Entrance on the roof

Grandmaster Recorders rooftop bar overlooking the Hollywood, California skyline.

Grandmaster Recorders Rooftop Bar

Bench seating on the roof of the Grand Master in Hollywood, California.

Long illuminated bench on the roof of the Grand Master

Night view of Grandmaster Recorders over the Hollywood skyline.

View of the Hollywood skyline from the grandmaster

View from the Grandmaster restaurant on the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard.

Grandmaster rooftop view overlooking the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard

Cahuenga entrance for Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Entrance to Cahuenga for the great masters of the recorder

1518 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, California 90028

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