Summer evenings in Southern California generally stir thoughts towards beachside sunsets. And while dozens of worthy spots dot the coastline, when spending time in LA this season, we say head downtown. The sleek Ritz Carlton, Los Angeles partners with Wolfgang Puck’s 24th floor lounge, WP 24. It redefines summer’s eve in a way we find quite refreshing. Calling their summer cocktail special, quite literally Garden-To-Glass, herbs, fruit and flowers harvested from their very own rooftop garden are infuse within a seasonal range of cocktails created by WP’s beverage director Klaus Puck.
Sharing the sun-drenched 26th floor rooftop with the BLUE pool deck, The Ritz-Carlton’s plentiful herb garden boasts unique strains of mint, basil, chervil, chives and fennel, to name a few. Along with lemons and limes, skinny trees bloom beautiful red flowers, continuing their growth towards plump pomegranates, plucked for cocktail hour, two levels down. Below in WP 24, equally sweeping views welcomed us into their bar and lounge. Separate from the restaurant’s intimate dining room and prix fixe menu, the lounge’s low slung tables and flat screen TVs provide ideal quarters for groups gathering before a game at LA Live or for post-meeting drinks.
From 5-7 pm, enjoy a Verbena Lemonade or Cucumber Basil Martini alongside four savory treats all for $24. Taken from Wolfgang’s signature Asian-fusion inspired menu, our chopsticks met Maine lobster and prawn spring rolls, spicy chicken “Dan Dan” Dumplings, Pork Belly “Bao Buns,” as well as bone beef ribs braised in a satisfyingly sweet black bean sauce. Sufficiently full, we still felt compelled to order the crunchy Tempura Green Beans (always a smart move). Served alongside a crave-worthy curry aioli, WP 24’s must-try-snack is a perfect salty complement to their summer sips.