1) far too much time was spent sitting here, perched above Sunset Blvd watching life go by
I spent all last week in Los Angeles for reasons which I shan’t bore you with here.
G flew down Friday night to join me as we were dining at Gordon Ramsay at The London restaurant Saturday evening. We crashed at the infamous “Riot Hyatt” on Sunset Blvd, which has since transformed itself into the – somewhat more – sedate Andaz West Hollywood. Andaz is the W brand of Hyatt. Back in its days, this was where the Rolling Stones, the Who and Led Zepplin crashed. Famously, it was here that Jim Morrison of The Doors was evicted after hanging outside of his hotel window by his fingertips and where Keith Richards tossed a TV out of the window. The hotel sits across the road from The House of Blues and is but a 10 minute walk west to Whiskey A Go-Go and the Viper Room, where River Phoenix sadly met his end.
ANYhow, the Andaz is lovely with service in keeping with the Hyatt brand and despite staff wandering about in civilian clothing (which is rather disconcerting, I found) the service here – unlike W – is spot-on, friendly and refined. W, sadly, only hires folks as far as G and I can tell for their looks, not their service skill or intelligence.
But I digress.
As G’s flight into LAX was late (gee thanks Air Canada), we dined very late Friday at Andaz’s RH restaurant. The place was quiet for a Friday night at 11pm but we were rewarded with what can only be described as the best damn burger ever – a gorgeous beast which is served with foie gras and morels. Saturday we simply wandered around Santa Monica – shopped, hung out at the beach and lunched at Zengo, one of Richard Sandoval’s restaurants. Lunch was pretty fine I must say – and, ahi tuna roll aside (avoid) – worth a visit.
2) entrance to the Andaz; 3) me reaching the end of the road … time for a swim
4) the perfect burger at RH; 5) watching Edward Scissor hands at RH during dinner, but of course
6) G heads out to explore; 7) a kind note from our hotel’s GM
8 & 9) we had a lovely suite
10 & 11) more of the suite
12) breakfast in RH; 13) there’s G swimming in the rooftop pool with a view to the Hollywood hills
14) arriving at the pier; 15) G explores underneath the pier
16) watching the sand castle makers; 17) see me swimming?!
18 & 19) where’s G?
20) the so-so ahi tuna roll; 21) the superb halibut ceviche
22) chef’s take on Thai wraps but with shrimp and sausage; 23) an outstanding chicken empanada
24) just okay lamb sliders – the poached egg overwhelmed – quail eggs would have worked better; 25) heading into dinner
26) have a seat; 27) Burrata Cheese and Artichoke, Arugula, Fried Capers, Olive Tapenade
28) Scallops-Quail Egg, Roasted Corn, Chanterelles, Cipollini Onion; 29) Foie Gras and Toasted Chocolate Cherry Brioche, Smoked Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
30)Butter Poached Halibut, White Beans, Braised Oxtail, Pickled Onions; 31) Duck Confit, Slow Poached Egg, Katafi, Petite Lettuces
32) Mango Souffle, Carmel Ice Cream; 33) Châteaubriand, Red Onion Marmalade, Mushrooms, Potato Purée
34) Strawberry Shortcake Redux
35) this was etched on the window of the enclosed balcony at the Andaz; it is a motto – it is fair to say – G and I subscribe to
Dinner for 2 with a bottle of champagne, tax and tip will run you about US$330 for a 5-course tasting menu. A very good deal for food of this quality. Run; don’t walk!
Next stop, Whistler.