LOS ANGELES – The saying goes, “If the walls could talk.”
Well, if you listen, the walls of Grandmaster Recorders will sing. You might hear the sounds of David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and the Foo Fighters.
“The Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded here. It’s their gold record,” said Space Hollywood owner Grant Smillie.
This former recording studio became a favorite place for musicians to record their albums from the 1970s until 2016, when it closed. But now restaurateur Smillie has brought it back to life as a restaurant.
“There aren’t many of these legendary Hollywood institutions anymore. We normally come up with a name for a place and make up a story. This one actually has a story. So it became, ‘How can we contextualize what was and then insert it to what could it be?” “, Smillie said.
He explained that the space just spoke to him. He knew he had to honor his heritage by keeping the rock and roll vibe alive.
“Instead of mixing records, we mix drinks,” he said. “We do the same kind of stuff.”
There is the Studio 71 bar, which was the real recording studio. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters played drums there.
“It was Dave Grohl’s favorite drum room on the planet,” Smillie said.
The rooftop bar overlooks the Hollywood and Capitol Records sign, while the main restaurant has a cool, modern industrial style.
“Strangely, the Motley Crue used to have free concerts right there. Pretty amazing,” Smillie said.
The food is unique, fine Italian, Californian cuisine suited to the glamorous and sometimes grungy life of a rock musician. Culinary director Monty Koludrovic loves Italian food, but didn’t want to be traditional.
“We are not bound by any rulebook or tradition. We have a full open roster to have fun and challenge what people think is the right way to do things. I think that’s where the connection between the place and its history and the food we make is,” Koludrovic said.
He comes from Australia and much of the fresh produce, including the olive oil, comes straight from the luxuries of his home country. The restaurant uses luxurious ingredients, such as truffles, in an open-plan kitchen overlooking the dining room.
“Like many things that cost a little money, people are drawn to the lux factor,” laughed Koludrovic.
Could you think of anything more rock and roll than a cannoli with caviar? A soft and silky light cream is stuffed into a crispy shell and topped with salted caviar.
“Another one of those products that has a certain luxury and a certain special occasion element to it. We would like people to start their meal that way,” Koludrovic said.
Party or dine like a rock star at Grandmaster Recorders at 1518 N Cahuenga Blvd. in Los Angeles.