Recently, Victor and I have found ourselves overjoyed by the elevating trend of hotels relinquishing dining duties, opting instead for third party restaurants to take the reins. Nothing against the factions of corporately run hotel eateries (after all consistency is often undervalued), but in Los Angeles, hotel restaurants are increasingly drawing in non-guests as well as guests looking to experience a unique gourmet escape. Caulfield’s Bar and Dining Room happens to be one of these places.
Spearheaded by Chef Stephen Kalt, Caulfield’s at Thompson Beverly Hills has been reinvented and reinvigorated, now rivaling some of the hottest restaurants in LA. Downright delicious dishes layering American grill with Mediterranean influence come out of Kalt’s kitchen. The classically cozy dining space with hardwood floors is presented as an open floor plan with lots of light. The breadth of the menu and quality of preparation and ingredients arrives as no surprise once you learn of Kalt’s 30 years of experience.
While Caulfield’s is his first foray into LA’s discerning dining scene, his resume speaks for itself, working under such greats as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Thomas Keller. Kalt is certainly no stranger to the hotel industry either, hailing as one of the acclaimed chefs to create dining programs at Wynn Las Vegas, Kalt continues to remain in the industry as a partner at Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel.
Despite his Vegas stripes, Caulfield’s new menu is refreshingly understated and surprisingly quite Californian, highlighting locally sourced ingredients and making seasonal adjustments to the menu. Mainstays on the menu include the selection of cheeses like the Cremont goat cheese, sourced from Vermont, which was divine. We couldn’t resist ordering the brined and fried chicken served alongside a heap of buttery whipped potatoes and drizzled with pan gravy. We’re happy to report the crispy-creamy balance didn’t disappoint.
And no dining experience at Caulfield’s is complete until the pork with medjool dates, brussels sprouts leaves and pomegranate is ordered. Raised Spanish-style off acorns, the pork retains a deep color and offers a decadent bite we’ve never quite experienced before. While the meat at Caulfield’s melts in your mouth, vegetarians will be pleased with the creative ways Chef Kalt is handling veggies. We were blown away by the cauliflower tempura dipped in tomatillo salsa.
Dinner, artisan cocktails and a dessert of Florentine style donuts at Caulfield’s will have you returning and may even be the catalyst for a stay at the Thompson Beverly Hills.