Exotic food and staycations go hand in hand in Los Angeles. Travel the globe without a passport or a plane ticket with a stay at one of these top LA hotels!
SLS Beverly Hills
Your first stop on your tour is Spain. At SLS Beverly Hills, you experience the award-winning innovative exotic food of José Andrés at the hotel’s The Bazaar by José Andrés. As soon as you step into the surreal Rojo room (designed by Philippe Starck), you know this will be an adventure. You’re seated at the chef’s counter, watching chefs dress plates of charcuterie meats and cheese against a backdrop of oversize photos of bullfighters when your mixologist/magician pours nitrogen from a thermos into a small bowl of concoctions that will become your LN2 Caipirinha. You’re surprised by the fog that emerges as the mixologist pours the now-slushy mixture into two small cups—a refreshing start as you prepare to indulge in small plates like spherified olives. The perfect spheres prepared from olive juice are an explosion of briny tastes. Your next touch with molecular gastronomy presents itself in the not-your-everyday caprésé. You carefully scoop the macerated cherry tomato, awash with liquid mozzarella and pesto, into your mouth.
Your next passport stamp will be from Morocco at The Redbury, where you’ll sample exotic food from Executive Chef Danny Elmaleh. Walk from the crimson-hued lobby past a mural of silent-film Cleopatra into Cleo, a hip tribute to Hollywood glamour with an alluring Mediterranean vibe. Seated at a long table, perfect for sharing the small plates with your posse, you contemplate the inspired cocktail menu before selecting the Old Hollywood: a smoky blend of whiskey complemented by house-made fig syrup and a dash of walnut bitters. It’s a smooth drink to set the stage for the mélange of tastes to come. You open the paper sack on the table to reveal steaming flatbread that serves as the perfect foil for carrot harissa with Turkish spices. You’ve heard not to miss the Brussels sprouts, deconstructed and crisped, complemented by sliced almonds and capers, and finished with a light splash of red wine vinaigrette.
On to Europe at this California classic set amidst the mansions of Bel Air—a property known for its exquisite Swan Lake and impeccable service, it’s been a sophisticated hideaway for staycations for the rich and famous since 1946. At Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel-Air, you experience the star chef’s signature California cuisine. For the ultimate LA experience, relax over brunch on the al fresco terrace, starting with The HBA original Nancy Reagan “chopped” salad, a favorite of the former First Lady: farmers’ market ingredients highlighted by the Meyer lemon vinaigrette. In keeping with the classic theme, you order the HBA Benedict, the brunch tradition updated with a white cheddar biscuit and maple Hollandaise.
Your staycation’s tour of the world wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Asia. The Line Hotel in Koreatown is home to Roy Choi’s multicultural cuisine with a nod to his Korean-American heritage, with a variety of casual and fine dining venues. For a unique afternoon snack, order an Asian cream bun filled with red bean, and Hawaiian pull-apart bread to enjoy with a habanero mocha at POT Cafe.
The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles
Complement this foodie staycation with the action at LA Live before you head to Nest, Wolfgang Puck’s modern lounge concept on the 24th floor of The Ritz-Carlton. Peruse the cocktail menu while appreciating sweeping city views before choosing a perfect pear martini, with its crisp notes of pear highlighted by the spiciness from the ginger liqueur. You order Puck’s version of prawn toast, plump with seafood and served with a sweet and spicy garlic chili sauce—before splitting Puck’s signature candied-cashew-decked Chinese chicken salad, and half of a Peking duck, prepared in the classic style and accompanied by duck fried rice. You top off your meal with hot Chinese donuts served with a chocolate dipping sauce. There are a lot of wonderful things to eat in the world, but there’s really no place like home.