Grandmaster Recorders

Grandmaster Recorders is a beautiful Italian & Australian restaurant - decked out with vintage music memorabilia - in Hollywood, California

When choosing a place to meet Sara and Ted for our dinner, I knew that I wanted to pick a unique place that had an outstanding story. I’d been curious about Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood for a while. After driving past it a few times, my curiosity was peaked.. Yes, it looked cool on the outside. But, was it just as awesome on the inside?

Oh yes. Oh yes it was.

After finding street parking at 7pm (Seriously, finding street parking for $1 compared to paid parking of $10+ on Hollywood Blvd is a big deal), I made my way over to the restaurant, housed in a building which in itself is a Hollywood legend steeped in history.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Grandmaster Recorders played a significant role in shaping the sound of popular music. Many iconic albums were recorded within its walls, spanning rock, pop, R&B, and hip-hop. From the Grandmaster Recorders website:

Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, the building was constructed in 1930 and has been many things over its lifetime including silent movie theatre, live venue and finally a recording studio.

In the 70’s legendary producer and musician Alan Dickinson took over the facility and created Grandmaster Recorders. Over the years the studio was home to legends. Foo Fighters, Beck and many, many more recorded here until it closed its doors in 2016 upon the death of Alan Dickson.

Purchased by the Botanical Hospitality group and reopened as a sprawling bar, Italian & Australian fusion restaurant and event space in 2021, it’s been on my list of place to try for a while.

Walking in, I immediately loved the design of the space. Classic records and 8 tracks were meticulously designed and curated within vibrant and interesting visual displays. Plus, the dining space smelled delicious.

After greetings and hellos, I ordered an off the menu, LAVENDER GIN LEMON DROP (Lavender Infused Bulldog Gin).

We then shared the PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA (Gnocco Fritto + Buffalo Mozzarella + Amaro Dates) and the SPICY BLUEFIN TUNA TARTARE (Calabrian Chili + Estratto Di Pomodoro + Mint + Orange + Forbidden Rice Cracker).

Simply put, the tuna tartare is some of the best I’ve had in Los Angeles. It was brilliant. The mint and orange played with the chili perfectly on the tongue. The forbidden rice cracker was thick and paired with the diced tuna flawlessly.

For our next course, I followed Sara and Ted’s lead and enjoyed a glass of the WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS (Stranahan’s Whiskey, Verjus, Black Sesame Syrup, Aromatic Bitters (Milk Punch)) cocktail. It was nice to have a whiskey from Colorado. It reminded me of the time I visited Stranahan’s distillery during a trip to Denver in 2014.

Next up was the FUNGHI PIZZA (Wood Roasted Oyster Mushrooms + Ricotta + Pecorino + Taleggio) with the MAFALDINE 2.0 (Dungeness Crab + Salt Cod XO + Chili + Fragrant Pangrattato).

It was during this time that I turned around and noticed the sommelier, opening a beautiful bottle of wine, swishing and tasting it for testing and then taking it to a table. I was so enthralled by the wine bottle that when he re appeared, I got his attention. Then, I inquired about the bottle.

He kindly came over and told me about the winery, Coquelicot Estate Vineyard in Los Olivos. He then poured me a taste of Coquelicot’s 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was delicious and robust.

He then gave me a full-bodied list of wineries to try the next time I’m in Los Olivos: Lo-Fi Wines, Holus Bolus & The Joy Fantastic, tercero wines, and Stolpman Vineyards.

He also recommended Bar Le Côte for dining.

Then, he graciously poured me a little bit more of the Cabernet Sauvignon with a smile. To which I appreciated.

The glass of red happened to go perfectly with the PEADS & BARNETT PORK CHOP (Puntarella alla Romana + Pistachio Miso Paste) and the POTATOES FRITTI (Creme Fraiche + Chives). Food wise, this duo was the perfect combination of flavors.

With the lively backdrop of Grandmaster Recorders, the three of us had a lovely time in conversation, great food and clicking glasses over a multi decades long friendship together.


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Grandmaster Recorders

1518 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90028
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