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The Peninsula Beverly Hills has opened its outdoor courtyard for a new concept that combines a California style brasserie menu on the hotel’s garden terrace with pop art. Named after its currently shuttered lobby restaurant, Le Petit Belvedere is a casual feast for the eyes – currently featuring the iconic LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana as a focal point of the terrace.

Known for its art collection, the hotel features about 500 pieces including paintings, sculptures and other works. The restaurant features 11 of their collection: contemporary art pieces including works from acclaimed international artists Sean Scully and Yayoi Kusama. A Fabienne Verdier piece is also proudly displayed, commissioned specifically for the signature restaurant.  The Belvedere’s newest piece, “Bather and Cloud Reflections” (1914) is from American Impressionist artist Childe Hassam, who was a leading American Impressionist whose work was much influenced by Claude Monet’s  landscapes, street scenes, and interior scenes.

LOVE at Le Petit Belvedere (Michele Stueven)

Indiana’s LOVE print, first created for the Museum of Modern Art’s Christmas card in 1965, was the inspiration for the sculpture and became the famous LOVE U.S. Postal stamp in 1973. The sculpture now calls the courtyard it’s new home, making a statement at a time when the oversized notion of caring is most needed as a constant reminder. The sculpture is a traveling piece not owned by the hotel but is expected to remain well into 2021.

Speaking of love, the new menu is French, indulgently taking advantage of summer’s best offerings, including a peach and fennel salad with white balsamic dressing and apples topped with almonds. There are also brasserie standards like a tender steak au poivre filet and mussels with frites, as well as a decadent chicken crêpe with wild mushroom, fromage blanc and braised endive.

Passionfruit gateaux. (Michele Stueven)

The ultimate indulgence in the airy outdoor space is a lobster flatbread from the boulangerie section of the menu. The crust is paper thin, topped with  generous mounds of lobster, shaved fennel, crème fraîche and dotted with caviar. The charred Caesar is a sweet, caramelized mix of crispy Brussel sprouts, kale, garlic croutons and anchovy dressing.

The amour-inspired French desserts by a very animated executive chef David Codney are the pièce de résistance. Try the Grand Mariner soufflé with vanilla orange Anglaise or ask for the off-the-menu LOVE gateaux – a passion fruit mousse covered in chocolate garnished with a replica of LOVE stamped on the plate, similar to the original postage stamp. No lunch service as yet, but in appreciation of its guests, there’s a free champagne toast to the patio every evening at 8pm.

Lobster flatbread (Michele Stueven)

LA Weekly