Walking into the elegant Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, you never know who you might see. This restaurant is known for attracting an A-list crowd visiting or living in Los Angeles.
Stories have been told that Elvis lived here back in the late 1950’s, while making movies in Hollywood. Beatles sensation John Lennon stayed here, as have multiple Presidents. A slew of movies have been filmed at the hotel, including Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
I marveled at the wood paneling and art-deco theme inside THE Blvd Restauant and Lounge. Sitting at a table with five friends, my seat looked out to Wilshire Blvd and across from Mehdi Eftekari, the General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel New York. He was in Beverly Hills to talk to a group of journalists about the new $120 million dollar transformation of the most opulent New York hotel along billionaire row. What makes this Four Seasons unique, is visionary hotelier Ty Warner’s Penthouse Suite for $50,000 a night.
Eftekari shared with the table that the iconic modern-deco design by I.M Pei, is unique in New York City, “There is literally no other property to compare with it and guests should expect a truly exceptional experience the moment they enter the door.”
While looking over the menu, the Regional Vice President and GM of THE Blvd., Ben Trodd introduced himself. Proudly looking into the full dining room he told us, “Three quarters of our guests are from outside the hotel and many dine here often.”
We learned that the restaurant was closed for a few weeks for renovations. The bar was divided and high banquettes were installed. The “face-lift” happened in stages and most were built offsite before being installed. “We were closed for two and a half weeks,” said Trodd, “and had a huge team of people to make this happen so quickly, so our guests weren’t too inconvenienced.”
The furniture matches the atmosphere, instead of just being somewhere to sit. The lounge tables are lower now, with sofas and chairs inviting a more conversational feel. “We created space to appeal to our guests mind set,” said Trodd. “We’ve made it a more emotional space.”
Lounge chairs are upholstered in a crescent shape, and dining chairs are semicircular. The colors throughout the room are in elegant hues of ash, cream and charcoal.
Lighting includes a large, sparkling crystal chandelier in the center of the room and art-deco style sconces attached to beautiful warm wood colored paneled columns. The lighting changes in each area, especially in the evening. It’s a tad darker to set a mood in the 18-foot illuminated onyx bar area. There is a large backlit wine display containing over 1,000 bottles of wine from around the world. Lights are slightly brighter from the lounge into the dining room.
My favorite new item in the grand dining room with a high ceiling, are the drapes, reminiscent of a ball gown one would wear to the Academy Awards, adding to the Hollywood glamour ambiance.
“We wanted to be a little edgy with this restaurant,” said Trodd, “We created a fun and whimsical menu.” The front of a menu is a drawing of a lady with pieces of fruit strategically placed on her head and body.
Chef de Cuisine Jeffrey Cristelli and Executive Chef Thomas Bellec’s lunch menu includes THE Blvd Burger, Tuna Nicoise salad and roasted Chilean Sea Bass. We ordered one of each and a few other dishes.
Sipping Arnold Palmers (ice tea with lemonade), we nibbled on a bread assortment of lavash sprinkled with sesame seeds falling into my napkin on my lap and thick sourdough bread slices served with a lovely red pepper spread.
My Tuna Nicoise salad was served as a deconstructed salad, with four slightly seared square pieces of ahi tuna in the center of the plate. At the top were beautifully cooked sliced purple and white pee wee potatoes, halved rainbow colored heirloom tomatoes, a slightly runny warm poached egg and chopped cured olives that gave the salad a balance of saltiness to the sweetness from the tomatoes. A citrus dressing glazed this dish.
Next to me, my friend ordered the grilled salmon salad on a bed of Italian farro, served with half a scored avocado, sliced kalamata olives, diced tomatoes and a sprinkle of arugula leaves. The fig and balsamic reduction offered a sweet and savory profile. On the side was half of a lemon covered with a bright yellow Regency stretch wrap to catch the seeds and prevent overspray and squirting.
THE Blvd. burger is made with a combination of short rib and chuck steak with a garlic and Provencal herb butter. In between the brioche bun was truffle tremor cheese, a powerhouse goat cheese that is opulent, dense, and champagne colored. It offered an earthy, black summer truffle flavor with a slightly tangy zing. Yellow tomatoes and microgreens of red mustard frills complete this burger. The frills are deeply serrated and oak leaf-shaped violet leaves with a thin wasabi green stem. They are crunchy, yet tender with a peppery essence. It’s known as one of the spiciest in the mustard green family, and a much more exciting garnish on a burger than iceberg lettuce.
Pasta dishes include a black squid ink spaghetti with two caramelized scallops, mussels, and large shrimp. They also make a heavenly porcini mushroom ravioli with caramelized cippolini onions, baby sorrel and smoked tomato relish.
When the roasted Chilean Sea Bass arrived, I wished I had ordered this dish complimented with baby squash ratatouille, cut tomatoes, marinated artichokes and a pesto relish.
We finished with four desserts to share around the table that included a large, two shades of pink macaron sandwich filled with a pink lemonade ganache, and an elegant banana and vanilla mousse on an elongated pie crust with a squiggle line of cream. The circular peanut butter mousse was framed with chopped nuts and topped with a swirly brain-looking crown of peanut butter goodness. My favorite was the fresh raspberry dessert with a unique brightly red fruit gelee on top.
Next time you are seeking a new dining venue for an elegant breakfast, lunch or dinner, THE Blvd. will please all of your senses. This review was also featured in The Beverly Press http://beverlypress.com/2017/03/40187/-
Breakfast service begins at 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch is served until 5 p.m. Dinner is nightly from 5 to 11 p.m. The bar is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., on Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Weekend brunch is served 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. $$$ 950 Wilshire Blvd. (310)385-3901.