If you're the type of person who plans trips around food (guilty) or you're just looking to give yourself a dose of that good vacation vibe, a hotel with a solid restaurant might be just what you need. Luckily for tourists and locals alike, L.A. has no shortage of phenomenal hotels in which to unwind and taste the city's unparalleled food scene. From Roy Choi's homage to hot pot at the Line in Koreatown to Michael Hung's delightful riff on American cuisine at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, these spots are bona fide culinary destinations as much as they are great places to stay the night. If you're planning a trip around a Sunday brunch or just looking for a romantic date night on the town, here are 10 places to check out — and maybe even check into for the weekend.
Wolfgang Puck's meat-centric restaurant within the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire is a steak lover's paradise. Featuring prime dry- and wet-aged beef ranging from American Snake River Farms wagyu to prime Illinois corn-fed beef, USDA Prime Creekstone Farms and Japanese Pure wagyu beef from the Miyazaki prefecture, nearly every kind of splurge-worthy beef you might desire is on the menu. Pair your choice with the delicious array of signature sauces like house-made steak sauce, red wine bordelaise or yuzu koshu butter and you're ready to settle into a happy meat coma. But the steaks, whole roasted fish and game aren't the only winners here. Starters such as a rich bone marrow flan, Maryland blue crab & Louisiana shrimp “Louis” cocktail, or warm asparagus with poached organic egg, brioche and warm bacon vinaigrette also are worth digging into. 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 276-8500, wolfgangpuck.com/restaurants.
Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian's latest restaurant, housed within the Montage Beverly Hills, serves up Middle Eastern– and Mediterranean-infused modern American dishes, such as Parker House rolls with za'atar and Vermont butter, a Dungeness crab and English pea risotto, and a gorgeous braised short rib with charred red cabbage, Serrano chilies and toasted peanuts. Cocktails at both the restaurant and the adjacent Garden Bar also stand out here. After all, where else can you get a cocktail made with peach baby food that actually tastes good? 225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 860-7970, georgierestaurant.com.
Koreatown's buzzing Line hotel restaurant scene is essentially an exercise in Roy Choi. Upstairs, Commissary, housed in a plant-covered greenhouse, focuses on expertly prepared, veggie-focused dishes; downstairs, POT turns out Choi's unique take on Korean favorites. Come for dishes like the Boot Knocker, a bubbling hot pot of instant ramen, tofu, pork and seafood; BBQ beef kalbi; or the uni-laden fried rice, and stay for the perpetually bustling vibe. 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 368-3030, eatatpot.com.
Housed inside Beverly Hills' Avalon Hotel, Viviane by chef Michael Hung, Bombet Hospitality and Proper Hospitality is a midcentury modern paradise worthy of a Mad Men episode. The cuisine, which is as impressive as the decor, focuses on modern interpretations of classic American and European dishes; examples include an albacore tuna tartare with bone marrow aioli and a crispy pork belly with smoked bacon–and-snail ragout with sultana raisin pepperonata. Enjoy breakfast, brunch or dinner inside or by the retro, bean-shaped pool — just remember to indulge in some 1950s-inspired seasonal cocktails, such as the cosmopolitan or the stellar Manhattan flight. 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 407-7791, vivianerestaurant.com.
Chef José Andres' wild and playful restaurant within the SLS is definitely not for dining traditionalists, but we mean that in a good way. The space, which sprawls across the bottom floor of the hotel, serves Spanish-inspired tapas that play with form, taste and texture in the molecular gastronomy style we've come to expect from the El Bulli alum. While dishes vary in their level of experimentalism, must-order dishes include Andres' olives Ferran Adria, the “Philly Cheesteak” and cotton candy foie gras. For those looking to take it up a notch, there's also an exclusive fine-dining restaurant within the restaurant itself. Named Saam, it features rotating tasting menus throughout the year in an intimate space, and it's definitely worth a trip for that special occasion. 1111 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; (310) 246-5555, sbe.com.
Koreatown's Normandie Hotel is home to not only the rebirth of one of L.A.'s original great burger spots, Cassell's Hamburger's, but also one of L.A.'s best vegetable-forward dining experiences with Le Comptoir. Each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Chef Gary Menes composes a unique tasting menu showcasing seasonal ingredients from his farm in Long Beach, at an intimate 10-seat counter, for a truly unforgettable dining experience of Cali-French cuisine. 605 Normandie Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 388-8138, hotelnormandiela.com.
Alma at the Standard
While the original Alma location downtown sadly shuttered last year due to issues with partners, Ari Taymor's award-winning restaurant has found a new, albeit semipermanent, home with a residency at the Standard Hotel in West Hollywood. While the original residency was supposed to be for three months, Alma at the Standard is still going strong 10 months later. Perhaps Taymor's delicious offerings of burrata– and uni-topped English muffin, roasted carrots and maitake mushroom or New York steak with sunchokes and pickled chanterelles will become a permanent fixture. 8300 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 650-9090, standardhotels.com.
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
Wolfgang Puck's elegant restaurant within the Hotel Bel-Air is as stylish and sophisticated as they come. With more than 2,000 bottles of wine to choose from to pair with your prime steak tartare, house-made tagliatelle with fresh truffles or Puck's signature Wiener schnitzel, there's something for everyone. Beyond dinner, there's also a great brunch — try Puck's take on the Benedict that comes on white cheddar biscuits with maple Hollandaise, or the H.B.A. original chopped salad composed specially for Nancy Reagan. 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles; (310) 472-1211, hotelbelair.com.
In partnership with Brooklyn's beloved Five Leaves restaurant by Judd Mongell and Ken Addington, the über-trendy Ace Hotel's culinary offering takes shape in the form of L.A. Chapter. With Ricardo Valdes calling the shots on the menu, you can find dishes like fresh sea urchin chitarra with cauliflower, tuna butter, fried garlic and chili; sweet and spicy Brussels sprouts with garam, pecans and garlic confit; or a Duroc pork chop with buckwheat spaetzle, pear mostarda, fennel kraut and bacon jus. Plus you can get yourself a taste of the Five Leaves signature burger on the lunch menu without the trip to New York.
929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles; (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com.
With sweeping 360-degree views of the city skyline, there's no better place to have dinner with a view than WP24. Enjoy Wolfgang Puck's ode to Asian fusion in downtown's Ritz Carlton with dishes such as the crystal chive dumplings with Alaskan king crab, shrimp and Kurobuta pork; crispy General Tso's–style quail; or one of the large-format dishes for the table, perhaps a whole roasted duck with chow fun noodles or the “angry” whole Maine lobster with Szechuan chilies, garlic, scallions and black beans. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 743-8824, wp24.com.
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