Restaurants in LA: Andaz West Hollwood is the first in a series of Andaz-branded properties owned and operated by the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, all located in various jet-set international locals. The concept behind the brand is to offer exceedingly warm, friendly and uncomplicated service amid a distinctive design aesthetic. For its part, Andaz West Hollywood is achieving these goals and more.
I can go on ad nauseam about the impressive hotel at large, which I've done to some degree in my story on it here. However, the property's on-site RH restaurant-incredibly high caliber and certainly not your typical hotel eatery-deserves editorial of its own.
While the moniker RH is a nod to the storied hotel's former 70s nickname "Riot House"-then a playground for Jim Morrison of The Doors, Axl Roe of Guns 'n Roses and other infamous rockers with a penchant for partying-there is nothing chaotic or unruly about the restaurant today. The creative cuisine will, however, keep you on the edge of your seat.
Executive Chef and Michelin star recipient Sebastien Archambault has developed a Southwestern French-inspired menu expertly executed with locally sourced, organic farm fresh seasonal ingredients straight from the market. Archambault, a classically-trained chef who has worked with the likes of Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasse, has earned RH multiple awards and honors for his contemporary take on French cuisine, including a spot on Angeleno Magazine's coveted Top 100 Restaurant List and earning three stars from The Los Angeles Times.
Located in a freestanding, breezy, open-air pavilion just off the hotel lobby, the focal point of this 100-seat restaurant and bar is its open, exhibition-style kitchen, which seamlessly intermingles with the dining room space. The low lying counter surround allows inquisitive diners to watch the culinary brigade in action. The restaurant also boasts a private dining section for up to 16 people located adjacent to the restaurant's expansive 400-bottle wine wall.
The ambiance at RH is upscale and elegant, though still unpretentious and casual enough to bring young children. In fact, there were family families dining at RH on the night of my visit. The dress code is dressy casual and by all means "L.A. chic." While jeans are acceptable attire, flip flops need not apply.
As the hotel's sole restaurant, RH is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner service, Prices range $3-$16 for breakfast, $12-$25 for lunch, $10-$18 for brunch. The dinner, prices are $8-$25 for appetizers, $18-$28 for entrees, and $8 for desserts.
Breakfast highlights include staples like Stuffed Croissants with scrambled eggs, Ham and cheese to less common breakfast fare like Diver Scallops Florentine with bacon, spinach, and hollandaise sauce. Forego your usual coffee and try the homemade Valrhona hot chocolate. Brunch consists of divine dishes like Duck Confit Salad, Boothbay Harbor Lobster Open Ravioli, Slow Braised Beef Cheek, and Gary's Artisan Pork Sausage. Standouts on the lunch menu include the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Ravioli; Crayfish Risotto Arborio with peas, Romaine leaves, tomato and crayfish sauce; and Seared Hanger Steak sandwich on a fresh baguette.
My recent visit was for dinner with 4 people in my party, so I was able to see — and sample — a nice cross-section of the restaurant's evening menu. We started with the Prince Edward Island Mussels in a Sauvignon Blanc sauce, parsley and garlic sauce, and also the restaurant's signature Escargotala Perigourdine appetizer served with prosciutto la quercia, baby heirloom potatoes, parsley, and spring garlic. With the snails lump, meaty, tender, and expertly cleaned and prepared, I also appreciated the ample portion of this well-balanced dish.
For dinner I opted for the Seared Diver Scallops with sweet corn gnocchi, red pepper, romaine leaves, and sage jus. These large sea scallops were perfectly cooked to a medium temperature, still glossy in the inside — just the way I like them! Hat's off to the Chef for opting to serve the more ecologically friendly "diver" scallop, which are hand harvested from the ocean floor by professional fishermen who are licensed scuba divers — a procurement method that causes less damage to undersea flora or fauna.
The others in my party ordered the tender, juicy and entirely soul-satisfying 12-Hour-Cooked Boneless Suckling Pig with golden Yukon potatoes in a shallot jus; the incredibly savory Homemade Crispy Hudson Valley Duck Confit with sautéed potatoes, green onion, garlic and parsley; and the robust Black Angus Burger with red onions, pickle, triple fried french fries.
Ordering dinner was a challenge for us all given the array of inspired selections. Other choices in close contention were the Roasted Niman Ranch Veal Chops (for two) with artichoke hearts, green beans, garlic confit; Boothbay Harbor Lobster Open Ravioli in a bisque sauce; Braised Niman Ranch Sweetbread and Morels with macaroni and tome d' aquitaine cheese; and the Field Mushroom Risotto Arborio in parmesan cheese sauce.
For sides we opted for the Sautéed Field Mushrooms and the decidedly hearty Organic Wild Rice. Cauliflower Gratin, Artichoke Hearts and a Mesclun Salad are among other available side dishes.
Dessert posed yet another challenge with each selection more enticing than then next. While the Araguani Chocolate Pie — a frozen praline bar with roasted hazelnuts, Warm Cherry Clafoutis, and the Dillon Rum Baba Jar were duly tantalizing, we finally settled on the Roasted Kingsburg Farm Apple Cinnamon Puff Pastry with vanilla ice cream with all of its syrupy goodness. It did not disappoint.
The wine list at RH is just as impressive as the fare. The restaurant's wine list is eclectic, featuring 70 varieties of California and French boutique-style wines, including my companion for the evening: a 2005 Russian River Valley Hollis Pinot Noir.
If cocktails are what you're after, RH's swanky light-infused bar, highlighted by black, polished stainless steel and pink onyx, is just the ticket. The full service bar and spacious lounge area, which overlooks and provides direct access to and from the Sunset Strip, has a unique cocktail list with fresh and seasonal ingredients mixed with quality artisan spirits. Try the Mr. Plant with No. 209 Gin, cucumber, tangerine, agave syrup and soda. Or maybe the Steelo with Hangar 1 vodka, St. Germain liqueur, grapefruit juice, and blueberries. RH bar does offer a wide variety of vodkas, bourbons, tequilas, and numerous other spirits. The RH bar is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to midnoght and Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
I must say my experience at RH ranks among the best in my perpetual culinary travels throughout Los Angeles. It's no wonder this restaurant attracts patrons well beyond the hotel guest roster, given the opportunity to experience Southwestern French cuisine interpreted by a masterful Chef utilizing California's best meats and agriculture. In a word: magnifique!
Learn more about RH online at www.westhollywood.andaz.hyatt.com.
Merilee Kern is JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Executive Review Editor. She scours the luxury marketplace for new and captivating product, service and travel "musts." Submissions are accepted via e-mail at Merilee@JustLuxe.com. View all of Merilee's Luxe List articles from here (scroll to page bottom) and follower her on Twitter here: twitter.com/LuxeListEditor.
Merilee A. Kern is a good life connoisseur who scours the luxury marketplace for new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points - the extreme high end to the affordable. The best of the best across all product, service and travel categories are detailed in her exclusive column 'The Luxe List' that reaches millions of affluent consumers each month through multiple print...(Read More)