Andre’s of Beverly Hills

Andre’s of Beverly Hills was a chic and popular (but perhaps a bit overpriced) restaurant located on Wilshire Boulevard. It was for a time successful enough that it led to a smaller, cheaper version — an Italian cafeteria in the Town and Country mall across from Farmers Market. My family and I went several times to the Wilshire Andre’s but I was more impressed with the little one.

I have two theories as to what closed the big Andre’s. One was its location, situated far from any other place you might want to go and with not-great parking. Since that Andre’s closed, several other restaurants (including the Porterhouse Bistro, discussed elsewhere on this site) have opened in that building and not lasted long.

The other factor I think was the proximity of the cafeteria version about two miles away — and as of this writing, still there at the corner of Fairfax and 3rd Street. The latter does a fabulous business selling very good pasta and pizza at rock bottom prices. If you want a cheap meal in not-plush surroundings, hurry thine backside over to the Town and Country mall across from Farmers Market. Andre’s is located in a little courtyard a few doors to the left of the Whole Foods Market. It’s one of those places where there’s almost always a line.

That Andre’s was popular back when the Andre’s on Wilshire was up and operating, and local restaurant critics couldn’t resist comparing them. Every year or so, some writer in the L.A. Times felt compelled to ask you’d go to the Wilshire location and pay four times as much for the same food? That kind of buzz must have harmed the one on Wilshire to some extent. (There was also an Andre’s in Westchester for a time.)

The only real memory I have of the Beverly Hills Andre’s was one time my family was there, dining with some wealthy friends who were paying. We were waiting for the valet to bring us our car for a fee roughly equal to the cost of a complete lasagna dinner at the other Andre’s. Suddenly, about six limousines converged on the place, and official-looking men jumped out and began clearing the way for the passenger from one. It was Robert Kennedy. I waved to him and he waved back, and I regretted that I didn’t have the opportunity to warn him that he was going to the wrong Andre’s.

Andre’s declined in popularity throughout the eighties. Around 1995, it was sold to new owners who rebranded it as Andre’s La Trattoria di Beverly Hills. A few years later, it was something else and then something else and so on. The cafeteria is at the moment still open across from Farmers Market and serving great, inexpensive cuisine. Expansion plans for the mall it’s in have been announced and if and when they happen, that Andre’s will go away, at least for a while and maybe forever. The plans though have been postponed and maybe they’ll be postponed again. We will update this page as the situation evolves.

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