Speakeasy to Me: The BoardRoom in DTLA


Kendall’s Brasserie (Patina Restaurant Group) has been serving up traditional French cuisine to DTLA eaters inside The Music Center for 14 years now. This past month, they opened a speakeasy in the back called The BoardRoom, and I can assure you, the meetings held there will be nothing like the meetings at your 9-to-5. Think of The BoardRoom as Kendall’s artsy, Francophile little sister.

The BoardRoom at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The BoardRoom has the speakeasy essentials- a slightly tricky to find front door, dim lighting, live performances (Thursday – Saturday nights), cushy seating in booths (intended for large groups) and a menu offering updated classic cocktails and sharable foods. From the moment I walked in through what seemed like Kendall’s back office, I could hear singer Melissa Morgan crooning to a standard jazz tune with her band.

Front: Tennessee Williams (yes, it comes with a macaron), which is their take on the Ramos Gin Fizz. Back: Gertrude Stein, similar to a Pimm’s Cup

Our blogger Christina Russo, is currently the bar manager of The BoardRoom and has created a cocktail menu inspired by the arts. I always love seeing punches on a menu (they serve 4-6 drinks), not only are they trending, they’re perfect for larger groups. But what separates her menu out from others in LA is the Tripple Tipple, her 3-course cocktail tasting menu. This menu is looking like it’ll be changing bi-weekly to weekly and consistently inspired by the arts. It truly is the crème de la crème of the cocktail menu.

From left: The Engineer, Kim and Chris

Tonight’s Tripple Tipple was inspired by Miss Saigon and the drinks were named after the show’s main characters Kim (Soju, ginger liquor, grapefruit liquor and orange bitters), Chris (green tea vodka, Domaine de Canton, lemon and soda), and the Engineer (an Old Fashioned-style cocktail with ginger syrup and orange bitters). I think Christina may be starting a trend that could be huge in LA. 

If mixing different liquors isn’t really your thing, try Christina’s cocktail, the William Faulkner, coconut washed Four Roses Bourbon, demerara sugar, orange peel and toasted pecan bitters. As far as the cocktails on the menu, this was my favorite. Her favorite is the Frida Kahlo, Ilegal Joven Mezcal, Aperol, lime and Giffard vanilla.

Uni Deviled Eggs

The BoardRoom’s “sexy little tastes” are French takes on American bar foods. Like the concept of a speakeasy, this runs along the theory “everything old becomes new again”, which I am A-OK with. I recommend the Uni Deviled Eggs. These 4 deviled eggs are topped with Santa Barbara sea urchin, nori and a crunchy seasoning underneath. Perfect finger food for sharing with friends.

Black Market Burger

Crudite Chop Salad

If you’re watching your figure, I recommend the Crudite Chop Salad, fresh vegetables with crunchy kale and a green goddess dressing. If you’re living it up, I recommend the Black Market Burger, which comes with a thick burger patty, Comté cheese, foie gras, red wine caramelized onions, truffle aioli, arugula on top a butter brioche. It’s a packed burger that somehow manages to not drip all over the place. Well done.

Other favorites are the Escargot Shooter (À la carte) and the Oxtail Poutine.

French Macarons

It wouldn’t be a proper joie de vivre kind of night without French Macarons! One order comes with 5 macarons, selections change daily. The flavors I got were Espresso, Earl Grey, Salted Caramel, Mandarin and Raspberry, which were a fantastic mix of flavors. These are intended to be a shared item, but if you’re feeling a little like a petite bête, these are a pretty sweet way to end the night.

Reservations are recommended and can be made through their website. Parking is $5 in The Music Center garage, adjacent to The BoardRoom. Also, one thing I love about restaurant groups are the rise of online memberships! The BoardRoom is owned by Patina Restaurant Group and if you sign up for their email list you’ll receive $30 off on your birthday!


Actress and Founder of Girls on Food: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. I grew up a typical “McDonald’s kid”. I was very picky about what I ate and refused to try new foods. No fun, I know. My Mom started taking me on trips to Europe when I was a teenager and that’s when my palate for finer foods began to develop. Some of my most memorable favorite meals include Veal Bolognese in Rome, Gyros in Athens, Paella in Lisbon and Duck L’Orange in Paris. While this helped me grow out of a fast food phase, I still eat out quite a bit. I know I should be at home cooking, but I love dining out. I started working in restaurants in various front of the house positions at age 15. Since my start, I’ve worked in every casual restaurant setting you can think of: a teriyaki stand, brewery, sushi nightclub, trendy Mexican, family-style Italian, American diner, pizza parlor and even a BLT themed food truck. I can't help but notice that many of the LA food bloggers don't have any sort of background working in a restaurant. A lot of my perspective on food and dining out comes from my years of experience in the biz. Since starting this blog, I have shot appearances on a couple of cooking competition shows as a taster (including MasterChef Junior and another upcoming show). We have also started producing a Youtube Channel. IMDb page here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2023647/ For this site I contribute content from all over Los Angeles (and the world) to showcase my favorite fine-dining spots, steakhouses, exclusive supper clubs, Hollywood nightlife and our very own #GOFx events, which I plan and coordinate.