THE BELVEDERE, THE PENINSULA BEVERLY HILLS
All dark wood bars, intimate shadowy corners and plush décor, The Peninsula is an after-dark institution. In contrast, the hotel’s airy, art-filled Belvedere room is the lunch crowd’s see-and-be-seen spot. The Mediterranean-meets-Californian menu features modern classics such as smoked salmon flatbread, lobster paella and charred octopus, and while it’s easy to sate your hunger with the mains – portion sizes are large – it would be criminal to miss out on the sweet stuff. Executive Pastry Chef Stephanie Boswell has created a short but faultless menu of dessert highlights, including bomboloni like you’ve never tasted before, courtesy of pineapple and black sea salt; a hand-painted, white chocolate ‘Fabergé egg’; and the flourless chocolate cake of your dreams. Ask for a table on the oasis-like terrace to soak up the Cali sunshine and spot the celebrity faces that flock here.
THE RESTAURANT AT MONTAGE BEVERLY HILLS
In the Beverly Hills ocean of luxury hotels, the 5-star Montage is undoubtedly the captain: its divine spa, endless Hollywood Hills views from the rooftop pool and proximity to the glamour of Rodeo Drive marks it out as one of LA’s finest stays. It also houses The Restaurant, which LA natives flock to for its contemporary American cuisine, created with locally sourced ingredients. But the Montage’s pièce de résistance is also its most secret: located behind a hidden door in the hotel is one of LA’s most exclusive bars, an intimate speakeasy named £10, which is only available to a chosen few guests at a time. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll enjoy a menu of ultra-rare aged Scottish whiskys and cocktails handmade by the city’s most magnetic barmen. If you know, you know…
With health-food shops on each street corner and every conceivable exercise class catered for, it’s easy to go green in Beverly Hills. But what about those times when you want to indulge a little? Thanks to this ultra-Instagrammable bar and restaurant, you can do both. On the entirely vegan menu, you’ll find delicious dishes including raw pesto kelp noodles, blackened tempeh Caesar wraps and sea-vegetable macrobiotic bowls. So far, so salubrious. Behind the bar, however, the sheer range of alcohol says otherwise: from biodynamic wines and cocktails made from aquafaba to organic spirits created from sustainable perennial grains, your drink will look good and taste great (while not being entirely bad for you).
Since opening in 2014, celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s Maude has fast become a favorite with LA foodie insiders, not least because of its exclusivity (it’s reservation-only, booked a month in advance). The 10-course menu is reinvented every three months, inspired by four major wine regions; during PORTER’s visit, Burgundy was the star of the show, equating to dishes such as escargots in warm herb butter, prawn bisque and a rabbit charcuterie board. But it’s not just Maude’s unique food proposition that appeals: velvet furnishings, elegant marble counters and sexy low lighting make this the best date-night spot in Beverly Hills. There are only 24 seats, so get cozy at the kitchen bar and watch the sous chefs put together the prettiest plates of food you’ll ever eat.
CUT BY WOLFGANG PUCK
Wolfgang Puck is somewhat of an LA legend, with the tally of his ultra-successful restaurants now running into double figures around 90210. If you want classic Californian cuisine, head to the flagship Spago; for Asian flavors fused with French cookery techniques, book Chinois. But for those looking for a meat feast, Cut is the buzzy, Michelin-starred jewel in the Austrian chef’s crown. Though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the extensive menu, the super-friendly staff are on hand and more than happy to talk through each of the weights, cuts and cooking techniques. Standout dishes include the incredible USDA prime tomahawk chop and the roasted bone marrow, which is melt-in-the-mouth tender. Be sure to have a peek into the open kitchen in case Chef Puck himself is overseeing service.
Preclear US Immigration before stepping on-board your transatlantic flight by flying to Los Angeles from the UK via Dublin with Aer Lingus, Ireland’s only 4-star airline. This means no queues upon arrival into the United States. lovebeverlyhills.com