Chef Bryan Podgorski thinks a lot about hotel restaurants — about what makes them successful and in what ways they differ from other restaurants. As the chef of two new hotel restaurants, Double Take in the Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills and Jane Q in the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Hollywood, it's his job to be philosophical about the subtleties of the business.
“One of the key differences I’ve noticed between hotel restaurants and independent restaurants is that hotel restaurants are under less pressure to chase the latest gimmicky trend, especially here in Los Angeles,” Podgorski says.
Cooking for hotel guests and locals — and keeping up with private events — makes for a very different business model. With those things in mind, we asked Podgorski about his picks for the best hotel restaurants in L.A. Here are his seven favorites.
7. CUT at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire
“Wolfgang Puck’s twist on the American steakhouse is paradise for meat lovers like myself. Try not to fill up on the starters and save room for meaty entrees such as the Snake River Farms American Wagyu short ribs and double thick Kurobota pork chop.” 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 276-8500, fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire.
6. TART at the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel
“This spot is known for its boozy brunches, but it’s also an awesome spot for dinner, especially in the summer with the outdoor cabana seating. If you really want to go big, order the 28-day aged Piedmontese tomahawk steak. It’s grilled to a perfect medium rare with a trio of sauces for dipping. It's meant to serve three to four, but I won’t judge if you try to polish it off solo.” 115 S. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; (323) 556-2608, tartrestaurant.com.
5. Commissary at the LINE Hotel
“A favorite lunch spot of mine. Sitting in the greenhouse, you feel miles away from Koreatown. I’m a big fan of the vegetable-heavy menu that’s perfect for sharing.” 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown; (213) 368-3030, eatatpot.com/commissary-info.
4. Viviane at the Avalon Hotel
“This stylish hotel restaurant is one of my go-to places for brunch. Healthy, delicious smoothies such as the Green Goddess balance out indulgent entrees such as the breakfast croissant sandwich and pork belly Benedict.” 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 407-7791, vivianerestaurant.com.
3. SAAM at the SLS
“No list of L.A.’s best hotel restaurants would be complete without this gem from chef José Andrés — a 22-course memorable meal for special celebrations. Try to time your visit during the annual white and black truffle dinner series.” 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 906-4867, slshotels.com/beverlyhills/dining/saam.
2. WP24 at the Ritz Carlton
“Another great Wolfgang Puck spot. I love how he’s elevated modern Chinese cooking, and you can’t beat that skyline view of DTLA.” 900 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; (213) 743-8824, ritzcarlton.com.
1. Georgie at the Montage Beverly Hills
“I love the restaurant’s garden ambiance. In terms of food, don’t skip chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s pastas. The cocktail program is quite impressive as well.” 225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 860-7970, georgierestaurant.com