Top 10 Pool Party Hotel Restaurants: Welcome to Summertime in L.A.
Jeff KirshbaumSmall plates from Gordon Ramsay's kitchen at The London WeHo's pool
Despite the June gloom, summer is officially here and that means Los Angeles hotels go a bit Vegas when hosting poolside parties. Although people don't always go into the pool (and there's no European-style sunbathing), they do lounge poolside in style, sipping fine cocktails and eating very well. Here's where you can join in for some summer fun. A bit of advice: Confirm with the hotel first as some events and the July 4th holiday weekend require a RSVP. As the weather heats up, these happenings will too.
10. Viceroy Santa Monica. Endless Summer Nights on Thursday June 30 features KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez and Chef Tony DiSalvo's take on street-inspired snacks grilled poolside. Small bites at happy hour Monday through Friday also are created by DiSalvo. Look for upcoming rum specials.
The Cobra SnakeGuests dive into the Mondrian's pool party on Wednesday nights.
9. Mondrian, West Hollywood. Mojitos are the drink of choice at Sunday's Dolce Vita Pool Party where it's chill to lay out poolside on the Skybar's sexy oversized daybeds. If you're ever in the mood for a late night swim, Wednesday nights (10 p.m.-2 a.m.) there's Absolut Swim and you guessed it, vodka-themed cocktails, pool toys and specialties--Lobster club!- from Asia de Cuba.
8. Hotel Shangri-La, Santa Monica. Endless Summer Sundays (sensing a theme?) spills out over the Art Deco hotel's vast teak decked courtyard. Expect DJs and hand-crafted cocktails like a Sunday Sipper (Makers Mark, muddled blueberries, lemon and tea). Several platters are meant to be shared; hangover cures include buckets of French fries and chips and salsa for the gang. There's a $25 cover charge for non-hotel guests to book a lounge and actually swim.
7. Thompson Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills. Striking views at ABH (Above Beverly Hills), the hotel's rooftop lounge, take in the city from Beverly Hills to downtown to the hills and are the trademark of Sunday afternoons' SPF Thompson pool party. Eye candy distracts too. Tuna tacos, sliders and Bloody Marys are recommended; there's a cover and guest list so definitely RSVP.
6. W-Los Angeles, Westwood. Recover from a wanton weekend at the W's Sunday afternoon Wet pool party from 12- 5 p.m. Both Saturday and Sunday you can order from Chef Dakota Weiss' menu of classic barbecue fare with a twist. Dive into her spicy mustard BBQ chicken sandwich; her brunch menu includes the all-in-one breakfast pizza: have your eggs, bacon and potatoes on a pizza pie.
5. Avia, Long Beach. With the Queen Mary in view, the Avia's Rooftop 360 (degrees) lounge hosts chillaxing scenes Friday and Saturday nights. Non-hotel guests can also hang out and swim on Sundays from 12 -7 pm. ($10/cover charge). Among the rooftop bar snack are taro root chips, halibut fish tacos with SoCal slaw and a selection of fresh fruit smoothies. Drink specials change monthly but there's always frozen chocolate milk to cool you down.
The Squid/Swimming with SharksSquirt guns, bikinis and draft beer are standard at The Standard Downtown's Saturday pool party.
4. The London, West Hollywood. Wednesday nights throughout the summer non-hotel guests are welcome to hang around The London's swank rooftop pool with jetliner views. Reserve a space, as drinks are free from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., after that there are specials like a refreshing Vino Frizzante Prosecco Bellini. The menu comes from executive chef Anthony Keene of Gordon Ramsay; look for his pretty (and tasty) tuna tartar and beets dotted with bright nasturtium flowers.
3. Drai's Hollywood, W Hollywood. There's a line, velvet rope, a list and hotties galore for Drai's Sunday afternoon pool party. HBO's "Entourage" shot here for a reason: brilliant red cushions add kick, rooftop palms and the Capitol Records building serve as backdrop. Curtained cabanas are cool but must be reserved. Omelets and salads are the lightest choice (no ballooning). Bottle service is the order of the day: although sky-high priced jeroboams and methuselahs of Dom Perignon and Cristal seem more St. Tropez than Hollywood & Vine.
2. Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood. DJs spin Saturdays and Sundays under the swaying palms poolside at the Roosevelt's resort-sized Tropicana Pool. Menu is by Chef Tim Goodell of Public Kitchen and Bar. Yes there are burgers but also fried chicken or grilled cheese and short rib sandwiches. Pimp your champagne with muddled raspberries and more at the champagne bar. Frozen drinks have Hollywoodesque titles such as the Marilyn Monroe Suite (vodka, St. Germain liqueur and passion fruit puree) and Miami Vice (a daiquiri/pina colada combo).
1. The Standard Downtown Los Angeles. The granddaddy of L.A.'s groovy hotel pool parties, weekends are jumping at the Standard's rooftop pool and astro-turfed lounge. If you haven't snogged in a poolside pod, you have all summer to make it right. Mayhem and dancing fueled by Jell-O shots. Swimming with Sharks' Saturday event promises your own squirt gun. Order up a black and tan (Guinness and Bass) or hotel owner Andre Balazs' own vintage of rose. Sliders here fill the bill.
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