1111 2nd St ( )
Santa Monica, CA 90403-5003
Neighborhoods: Wilshire Montana
February 25, 20091.0
THIS PLACE PULLS THE BAIT AND SWITCH!!! My brother and I took my mom there for her birthday last week, we went early so as to reserve a booth by the window. We decided to have wine with dinner, but many of the wines in the price range I was looking at, (50-80$) were unfamiliar to me as they were French and I am familiar with Italian wines, so I decided to consult with our server on what she thought would be a good choice. The bottle I asked her about was a French Pinot Noir, priced at $50, the first on the list under that category. I had the list open, I pointed it out to her and she responded by saying that she had never tasted the wine, but the Sommelier just added it to the list and he loves it. Sounds great I said, bring us a bottle. She brings the bottle, shows it to me, and proceeds to open it. She must have been quite new to the industry as she was NOT proficient in opening it. I almost offered to help her. She poured the wine, it tasted wonderful….we proceeded with dinner. The food was OK, nothing to write home about, we ordered dessert, also a bit disappointing considering they have a dedicated pastry chef. There was nothing on the dessert list I couldn’t have made at home. So we finally ask for the bill, and upon taking my initial glance I get quite a shock……almost $500 for 3 people!!! As I’m glancing down the itemized list of what we ordered I realize where the mistake lies. The bottle of wine is listed at 205$!!!!!! The wine list had been left at our table so I open it and realize that she had brought us a bottle by the same winery, but a different vintage. IT JUST SO HAPPENED TO BE THE BOTTLE DIRECTLY UNDER THE BOTTLE I HAD BEEN INQUIRING ABOUT……how strange……I am horrified at the mistake and approach our server, she says she’ll go to the manager and speak to him. This sorry excuse for restaurant management shuffles his way over to our table and with sweat already beading on his forehead explains that he’s sorry for the confusion and he would be more than happy to take off some of our food from the bill. I say that’s very nice of you however I prefer if he would take off the $205 wine I DID NOT ORDER. I would be more than happy to pay the $50 for the bottle I ordered. We go back and forth, the server BLATANTLY lies saying I pointed TWICE to the $205 bottle…. finally he says, SHOULD I CALL THE POLICE??? I say, go right on ahead. 20 minutes later FOUR Santa Monica Police officers show up, I explain what happened, and basically they say they feel sorry for me but that unless I pay the negotiated price for the bottle, they have to take me in.
My husband has been in the restaurant industry for 25 years….we have never had this happen before. This place is terribly run and the management is even more pathetic. When most of the wines on a list are over $150, you make sure your servers have been adequately trained and know what they are pouring, let alone, know how to open a wine bottle. Needless to say, I did not go to the clink that night, I paid the negotiated price, but it was an experience I will never forget. A happy birthday evening for my mom turned into a total nightmare thanks to the staff at The Penthouse Huntley Hotel. I know times are tough in this economy but pulling scams on the customers is not the answer.
October 28, 20125.0
With its awe-inspiring sweeping 360-degree views of the Santa Monica California shoreline, its lavishly-appointed ultra chic beachy motif, and fine contemporary American culinary treats crafted and meticulously presented by Executive Chef Seth Greenburg, The Penthouse Restaurant & Lounge has evolved into one of the city’s most loved destinations for charming and romancing locals and those from afar in a trendy and seductively inviting atmosphere.
Located on the eighteenth top floor of the sophisticated 240-room Huntley Hotel in beautiful Santa Monica, California, The Penthouse offers patrons expansive shoreline views from the venue’s innumerable windows providing views from the coast of Malibu to the shores of Palos Verdes on a clear day.
There’s no better way to get to The Penthouse than taking a ride in the glass-enclosed elevator, which showcases the waterfront and beaches of Santa Monica. Above are a few photos of the incredible view before reaching the top floor.
Innovative imagination and superior technique was provided in the conception of The Penthouse, (as well as the entire Huntley Hotel), by ingenious award-winning designer, Thomas Schoos. You may recall his contribution in design to such hot spot locales as TAO in New York, Koi in Los Angeles, O-Bar in West Hollywood, and the LAX Nightclub in Las Vegas…just to mention a few. His vision of simple luxury and creative insight in everything he touches allows others to appreciate his works of art. The restaurant and lounge features various inviting areas of luxurious comfort to appease just about anyone who enters this magnificent abode of heavenly adornment. From dining in one of the several semi-private intimate ‘cabanas’ to enjoying a classic cocktail in one of the plush leather chairs fireside to indulging in creative fare while sitting at the lavish ‘center-of-attention’ ultra bar, the outdoor elements are intertwined with modern touches inside in so many ways.
INSIDER’S TIP: Enjoy a breathtaking view by arriving before sunset. The skyline will astonish you, while the fading day’s light will welcome a romantic and sexy vibe as candles are lit and the evening brings on a swanky, sexy vibe.
We regretted not having the opportunity to meet Resident Mixologist, Ryan Magarian, but we were thoroughly entertained and well taken care of by our bartender, Mike. The hand-shaken featured cocktail of the evening when we visited was the Veev Acai Spirit with Cucumber Honey Lemonade ($7). We each indulged in one of these flavorful concoctions at The Penthouse’s sizable luxurious circular bar and almost in unison, we ordered a second round once we were halfway finished with our first. Not over lemony, and just the perfect blend of spirit and cucumber flavor topped off with a light finish of honey. Refreshing and light-tasting, this libation was definitely worthy of a second round.
Since we didn’t have a lot of time to delight in the menu, (we were meeting friends in the area), we decided to try a couple of appetizers from the Sunset Hour menu. Executive Chef Seth Greenburg’s culinary expertise is evident throughout each taste of creative genius on the menu with unique options and detailed presentation. We only wished we had more time to try more of them while we were there!
Our second round of cocktails appeared before us, and we selected the Warm Goat’s Cheese Poppers and two versions of the Short Rib Tacos…
I must admit that anything with goat’s cheese usually fast becomes a favorite of mine. As a lover of this creamy, tangy-flavored cheese, I knew that these would be enjoyable. I expected a lot. And that was delivered to us. We were presented with a plate of excellently arranged deep-fried orbs of perfection. Crisp on the outside and warm and creamy on the inside with tiny pieces of jalapeno pepper mixed into the cheese. The light crunch of each popper delivered immediate satisfaction, while the smooth flavorful centers introduced a sensational essence to our taste buds for just $7 an order.
After sharing an order of the Warm Goat’s Cheese poppers, my husband and I each got an order of the Short Rib Tacos ($7). My husband’s had no relish on his, as he tries to avoid spicier foods and garnishes. I, on the other hand, love spicy cuisine, so I ordered mine with the apple-jalapeno relish that comes with them. Served two tacos to an order, these hearty mini hors d’ oeuvres arrived with tender and savory-to-the-last-bite saucy short rib meat encased in crunchy house made taco shells. Guacamole and spicy salsa added, these tasty gems were worth waiting for.
Though enjoyable while we were there, we really wished we could have stayed a bit longer to sample more of the menu items available. We plan to return to The Penthouse for drinks and dinner to experience the full display of Executive Chef Greenburg’s culinary excellence in the future.
ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: The beach-chic decor and upscale sophisticated flair of this establishment allows for a relaxed ambiance perfectly suited for enjoying a bite at the bar, cocktails or a full meal.
FOOD / DRINK: Fresh flavors and vibrant presentation are combined to craft memorable appetizers, while cocktails are hand shaken in front of you and and created with quality ingredients making for a winning combination between the two.
LOCATION: The Penthouse Restaurant & Lounge is located on the 18th floor at the top of the Huntley Hotel at 1111 Second Street in Santa Monica, CA 90403.
HOURS: The Penthouse is available for Breakfast from 7 AM – 11 AM daily, Lunch from 11 AM – 3 PM daily, Dinner from 6 PM – 10 PM Sunday through Thursday then again from 6 PM – 11 PM Friday and Saturday, a Late Night menu is available until 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, Brunch is served 11 AM – 2:30 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, and finally, Happy hour is offered from 4 PM – 7 PM Monday through Friday.
SERVICE / STAFF: We felt appreciated by our hostess, our bartender and other staff during our visit to The Penthouse.
PRICE / VALUE: We enjoyed the quality ingredients that were infused into the appetizers we ordered, as well as our cocktails and feel satisfied with the price for the value of what we received.
CORKAGE FEE: $25 per bottle
CONTACT INFO: Phone: (310) 393-8080, Website: www.thehuntleyhotel.com/penthouse
PARKING: Huntley House hotel offers valet service, however, there is also metered parking as well in front of the property and along nearby side streets.
TOTAL BILL: Just over $50 (including tax) for four featured cocktails, an order of Warm Goat’s Cheese Poppers, and two orders of the Short Rib Tacos was just perfect for us before leaving to meet friends!
February 3, 20102.0
Take the elevator up to the penthouse and walk into a cool ‘pad’ because it seems like a James Bond throwback. It’s recently been redone and still seems a bit used. The decor is white and bright so that’s hard to maintain, perhaps not the best choice. Had drinks and mediocre hors d’oeurves which I can’t remember so that should tell you something. I did however lust after the tables on the north side of the building that had tents…….not enough to go back though.
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