The Henry opened wide its trendy, millenial arms at the corner of Cedar Springs Road and Akard Street in February. It was the latest expansion of Fox Restaurant Concepts’ small empire, following locations of the modern and wistful all-day brasserie in West Hollywood and Phoenix. (The company also owns health-forward Flower Child and North Italia, The Henry’s neighbor at The Union development.)
And the area has returned its embrace. On any given day, it seems that the entire Uptown business district has shown up for lunch. They have come to nosh on fluffy salads, sweet potatoes smeared with Marcona almond pesto, and bowls swiped with harissa cashew spread.
The whole place throbs at night, when bartenders shake up mezcal concoctions masquerading as pisco sours. The upstairs patio turns into a buzzy scene, awash in vintage magazines, fire pits, and mirrors. There is umami sauce slathering your chicken and tahini in your quinoa and the vibe is very cool.
And the food? Sophisticated touches, like grace notes, send zings of flavor. There is the subtle zip of lemon in a lush, brick-red harissa-cashew spread around a harvest bowl of vegetables and grains (though, oddly, the bowl was a mix-and-match of cool and warm). And a flurry of fresh dill and pomegranate molasses vinaigrette give a toasted grain risotto punch and depth—it’s the dynamic complement needed for a generous pavé of salmon and sous vide beets that have earthy flavor. The grilled cheese brings broccoli into a marriage with caramelized onions and smoked mozzarella.
Some plates are more attractive than anything else, though. A kale salad with pink lady apple looks dainty but is deluged with bacon-y dressing. A grilled halloumi salad bursting with shaved cauliflower, extraneous sundried tomatoes, and crunchy chickpeas is nothing but a pretty, salty confetti. On occasions like these, the color adds up to not much. Nor is the service anywhere near even. My strategy: console myself with the house-made pastries at the coffee and juice bar. The Nutella rugelach hides dark cacao nibs, and someone is making the laminated doughs and strawberry-smeared kolaches more dialed-in than I expected when I breezed by for a cortado.