10740 Wilshire Blvd ( )
Los Angeles, CA 90024
10740 Wilshire Blvd ( )
Los Angeles, CA 90024
May 28, 20124.0
Hotel Palomar, part of the boutique hotel chain of Kimpton Hotels, is located in the heart of Westwood. After renovations on their restaurant area were completed, Blvd 16 opened in March 2012 with new Executive Chef Richard Hodge at the helm. Blvd 16 is now a comfortable neighborhood gathering spot. American California Cuisine includes fresh seasonal ingredients from the local farmer’s market. Sustainability, including following guidelines from the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, is at the core of their menu. This goes not just for the restaurant, but for the ingredients that go into its libations as well. For example, instead of using simple syrups for mixing, they use organic agave syrup. They even have a rooftop garden that supplies fresh herbs and more to their kitchen. The lounge & bar area is quite inviting, yet chic, featuring contemporary décor with large, comfy sofas to enjoy your favorite drink and taste some of Chef Richard’s dynamite appetizers. They also have options for your vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free friends and family members.
There were two Daily Flatbreads on this occasion. The first was sundried tomato, nettle pesto, and burrata cheese. It was an interesting blend of flavors. The pesto was da bomb – fresh green flavor with a sensual consistency. The second flatbread was smoked salmon, arugula, and asparagus. It was beautifully presented, but unfortunately, lacking in flavor. There was an initial smoked salmon flavor but it disappeared as quickly as it came and all you tasted was flatbread. The vegetables just didn’t seem to stand out and just faded to the background. This could be made a little simpler with a goat cheese spread under the salmon and maybe topped with fried, crispy capers and diced red onion.
Fish Taco is topped with pickled habañero, shredded cabbage, and crème fraiche. The fish was fried to a crispy perfection and initially seems like an ordinary fish taco, but wait there’s more. The pickled habaneros added a wonderful flavor and then a few moments later, hit you like a major fire ball. You’ll definitely need a glass of milk with this one! All in all, the flavors are really good, but the aftermath maybe too much for the non-chili eater. Warning: do not eat this with wine or straight liquor. It will make intensify the burn, making it even hotter. Thumbs up!
Meyer Lemon Crème Brulee is absolutely fabulous! It has all of the creamy, custardy goodness that you look for in a crème brulee. The consistency was silky smooth with a crunchy burnt sugar top. Thumbs up, way up!
The Lyder Side consists of Bols Genever, hibiscus liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of orange juice and agave nectar. It was refreshing, fruity, tropical, and floral. The agave syrup made it sweet and gave it a caramel like flavor. This is definitely a drink that you would have while sitting on a lounge chair on the beach or swinging in the warm night air on the porch. Wonderfully executed! Thumbs up, way up!
Pisco Sour consists of Kappa Pisco, fresh lemon juice, egg white, and Angostura’s Bitters. It had a margarita-type flavor. I loved the presentation with the frothy egg white. It reminded me of a cappuccino, but definitely did not taste like one.
The New Old Fashioned consists of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Luxardo Marischino Liqueur, and a dash of bitters served up or on the rocks. It was very strong from the whiskey, but had a slight fruit flavor from the blood orange and maraschino liqueurs. This was definitely a drink that will knock your socks off. I could see the fumes when I exhaled. Wow!
The Mini Burger is topped with bourbon onions, smoked tomato, black pepper aioli, and jack cheese. The Mini Burger’s (aka Slider) beefy patty was flavorful, but the star was the bourbon onions. They make this little burger (which is a mini replica of the full-size Bourbon Beer Burger) taste like no other. It was sweet, caramelized, yet not cooked down all of the way, leaving it still juicy. It just needed more jack cheese as it missed the creaminess and the aioli just didn’t do it justice. Thumbs up!
The Hummus is served with crispy pita chips. It was fluffy, light, and not-at-all heavy. It has the consistency of egg salad. What I liked about it was that it wasn’t overly lemony. The flavors were wonderfully blended and well-balanced. The pita chips were the perfect serving vehicle with a light, crispy texture and subtle flavor to let the hummus shine. Thumbs up, way up!
Crudo is tuna atop compressed watermelon, and mixed with pickled chilies and ginger aioli. The watermelon, unfortunately, completely overpowered the tuna. However, when sampling it without the watermelon, it tasted like a tuna tartar. I would forgo the watermelon and use a tropical fruit like mango or papaya. I would also make the tuna even simpler by tossing it in light sesame oil instead of the aioli. The aioli gave it too much of a mayonnaise taste.
May 22, 20125.0
A boulevard by definition is a street, often lined with trees. Wilshire Boulevard leading to the Westwood Palomar Hotel in Los Angeles may be lined with trees, but BLVD 16 Lounge is lined with good times, great appetizers and warm and inviting staff and management in a terrific upscale contemporary hot spot. This is definitely a place you do not want to overlook!
Making this establishment even better is that the hotel is pet-friendly. Of course, no animals are allowed inside the lounge or restaurant, but are welcome in the lobby area and guest rooms. When my husband asked one of the front desk associates if they allow felines into the hotel, she gave him a resounding ‘yes’ : “We accept all animals! In fact, we had penguins sitting in the lobby not too long ago!” (I’m not sure if she was referring to a group of gentlemen in tuxedos or the actual flightless birds, but hey…they love animals. What more could you ask for)? Either way, kudos to the Palomar in Westwood, CA for boasting the pet-friendly PR and the exceptional treatment of their guests and patrons alike. Kimpton hotels have long outdone themselves by impressing guests, caring for Fido and Sylvester (and Tweety Bird, too!), and for just an all around great sense of ease and style. We’ve not had the opportunity to personally stay at the Westwood Palomar as guests, but we have stayed in others across the country. This is due to the fact that we have a feline companion. (That’s an entirely different blog, but for you cat lovers out there, if you’d like to see a photo of Riesling, our traveling kitty, zip me an e-mail at [email protected])
BLVD 16 Lounge and Restaurant both offer FREE corkage Sunday night through Wednesday night. A point that makes us very happy. Despite our passing on the “Rush Hour” $3 glasses of wine at the bar, we thought we would just bring in a bottle from our storage locker and have a great time despite. (There are always martinis and brews available as well for those of you out there who aren’t wine connoisseurs)!
This establishment is anything but dull. The beautifully-designed lounge beckons the soul, while the incredible service and welcome feel lures you in. Reuben was our waiter and bartender. If you’re lucky enough to be there when he’s working, you will not be the least bit disapointed. (Call ahead to make sure he’s working before you go!)! His kind smile and genuinely warm personality made us feel welcomed and as thought we were the most important people in the room. We were fortunate enough to have also met the BLVD 16 Lounge and Restaurant Manager as well. His name is Isaac, and his professionalism, courteousness and effort to put his patrons first were impeccable. We certainly look forward to seeing and speaking with him again the next time we’re there.
Now, on to the food and drink fun! BLVD 16 Lounge has what’s called “Rush Hour”. This is basically their version of Happy Hour which includes very inexpensive wines by the glass, brews and well drinks. As this photo of their menu shows, Rush Hour lasts from 4pm to 7pm Monday through Sunday. If you opt to avoid that menu, and if you are there Sunday through Wednesday, you can bring your own bottle of wine in WITH NO CORKAGE FEE! (There’s our favorite line again)! Just remember that there is a 2-bottle limit, so don’t cart in your entire collection of ’78 Chateau Margaux!.
The “Bar Bites” menu consists of BLVD 16’s appetizer selection. Interesting thing…it lasts from 4pm to 10pm! (Have you ever heard of such a thing)!?! How great is that! 4PM UNTIL 10 PM! And the options are amazing. Look at the below photos. We certainly couldn’t get them all in…there wasn’t anymore room left! The “Bar Bites” menu boasts various selections such as Mini Tasty Burgers for $3 each (crispy onions, smoked tomato, black pepper, Aioli and Jack cheese), Short Rib Sliders for $3 each (Robbiolo cheese and crispy onions), Crispy Calamari $7 (spicy tomato Aioli and lemon), Fish Tacos $4 each (corn tortilla, pickled Habanero, shredded cabbage and creme fraiche), BLVD 16 Hummus (served with crispy pita chips), Flatbread $7 (butternut squash, sweet apples, burrata, and truffle honey), Buffalo Chicken Wings $5 (with house-made blue cheese dip), Onion Rings $5 (with paprika Aioli), Herb Fries $3 (served in a mini handled fry basket with ketchup on the side), and the Mini Chop $4 (which is a mini version of a chopped salad complete with grape tomatoes, romaine lettuce, ranch dressing, bacon and heaping with chunks of fresh avocado on top!). We opted for the Mini Tasty Burger, the Short Rib Slider, the Fish Taco, the BLVD 16 Hummus, the Herb Fries and the Mini Chop. (Yes, we ate all of those! But believe me, between the two of us, we really weren’t hungry after. Even despite their smaller sizes)!
For the art lover in you, BLVD 16 hosts their “Art In Motion” series every Thursday. It’s a 3-Course Menu that varies every week and is complimentary with the art being shown and the artist presenting it. There you can not only indulge in incredible creations on your plate, but also in amazing creations from the artist, who will be in attendance! (For more details on the Art In Motion series at BLVD 16, give them a call at (310) 474-7765.
Don’t forget to have your valet ticket validated before you leave.The lounge is happy to do that for you. (We parked a block away and walked, which wasn’t bad considering that that’s what most do in the city. But next time, we’ll just valet our vehicle in front of the hotel). Just remember to throw a few dollars to the valet who brings your car back to youdespite there being no charge for the ticket. (They have to make a living too)!
We will definitely become regular visitors to the BLVD 16 Lounge at the Westwood Palomar Hotel. There is no doubt about that. It is definitely a winner in our book, and we see no reason why it won’t remain that way. Congratulations to Isaac for running and managing a seamless, exciting and unique establishment!
DECOR / ESTABLISHMENT: Upscale and contemporary. Cozy, yet not cramped. Private, yet not isolated. Color abounds everywhere you look, as well as featured artists’ creations strategically positioned around the dining establishment.
FOOD / DRINK: Other than our recommendation of bringing your own bottle of wine on a “free corkage” night, we saw no other suggestions on the drink front. The “Rush Hour” beverage menu from 4pm – 7pm also offers brews and well drinks if you don’t opt for the wine. On the food front, BLVD 16 blew us out of the water! Great choices, terrific prices, nice-sized portions.
LOCATION: Located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90024. Just look for the vertical PALOMAR sign in the front of the driveway.
SERVICE / STAFF: Reuben and Issac were incredible. We were treated like we were family by them as well as a couple of other employees we spoke to at the front desk and valet areas.
PRICE / VALUE: Everything we ate for under $22.00! If that’s not a value, I don’t know what is.
CORKAGE FEE: No corkage fee, (up to 2 bottles of wine), Sunday through Wednesday, either in the lounge or the restaurant.
CONTACT INFO: Phone – (310) 474-7765, Website -www.blvd16.com
TOTAL BILL: $21.58 (Including tax). Throw in a few dollars to tip the valet who brings your vehicle to you, and you have yourself a great evening out for just a few shillings! (If you’re a local, the lounge will throw in a local discount on top of it all)!
These dishes from the Boulevard 16 menu are contributed by Menuism users directly, as part of a restaurant review, or as part of an image upload.