Posts Tagged ‘W Hotel’

Black Friday hangover cures: happy hour at The Backyard, afternoon tea at BLVD 16

Sausage, sauerkraut and mustards at the W Los Angeles' The Backyard

Sausage, sauerkraut and mustards at the W Los Angeles’ The Backyard

After all that Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, consider kicking back with some brews and bites at W Los Angeles‘ new happy hour at The Backyard, or cocktails and afternoon tea at BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar.

Featuring beers from L.A.’s own Angel City Brewery and Bavarian-inspired comfort food from Executive Chef Dakota Weiss, The Backyard’s happy hour — offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. — is set poolside in a cozy, heated tent at the W hotel in Westwood, creating a winter beer garden for us Angelenos.

Waffle with short rib

Waffle with short rib

Here’s the menu:

*Beer nuts ($3)

*Potato pancakes with sour cream, chives and sweet mustard ($5)

–With Kobe hot dogs ($8)

*Waffle bites ‘n stout herbed gravy ($6)

–With duck confit ($7)

–With short rib ($8)

*Daily sausage with trio of mustards ($6)

*Housemade pickles ($3)

Everything is made in-house, including the mustards. Make sure to try the sausage special (the house made mustards are great), waffle with one of the tender meats, and potato pancakes with the Kobe beef hot dogs.

Potato pancakes with Kobe beef hot dogs

Potato pancakes with Kobe beef hot dogs

At BLVD 16, also in Westwood, take an afternoon break with some tea, mini sandwiches and sweets, available from 3 to 5 p.m. with 24 hour notice ($27 per person).

Afternoon tea at BLVD 16

Afternoon tea at BLVD 16

*Sweet & savory sandwiches

–Cucumber: cream cheese dill aioli, watercress salad, lemon vinaigrette

–Prosciutto: sliced red onion, avocado, fig aioli

–Peanut butter: house marmalade, banana

*Pastries and sweets

–House seasonal scones with clotted cream, fruit preserves

–Butter tea cookies with house marmalade

–Chocolate covered strawberries

*Selection of Mighty Leaf teas

*Choice of bubbly ($10)

The scones are nice with clotted cream, and the prosciutto sandwich offers a nice savory balance to the sweetness of the cookies and marmalade.

Afternoon tea snacks

Afternoon tea snacks

If you’re here on a Tuesday, check out the Trees on Tuesdays cocktail menu ($9 each) featuring Greenbar distillery spirits. For every drink sold off this menu, Greenbar will plant a tree.

*Sittin’ Pretty: Tru vodka, Fair goji berry liqueur, Marie Brizard triple sec, fresh lime juice

*Barbados Winter: Crusoe spiced rum, Velvet Falernum, Aperol, fresh lemon juice, pineapple juice, clove syrup

*Herbal Remedy: Tru gin, green Chartreuse, Bar Keep lavender bitters, lavender flowers, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup

Barbados Winter

Barbados Winter

Note: These tastings were hosted.


12 2013

Travelogue: Aloft Ontario-Rancho Cucamonga hotel


Room at the Aloft Ontario-Rancho Cucamonga

Find yourself in the Rancho Cucamonga/Ontario area? You could do worse than to stay at the Aloft, a less-expensive division of the W hotel brand. While the Aloft Ontario-Rancho Cucamonga isn’t the fanciest of places, it is comfortable and pretty hip, especially for Cucamonga, land of the chain restaurant.

I recently stayed at this particular Aloft, and while I had a fine stay, I wasn’t wowed by the experience. The room was pretty basic, though it was nice enough with a flat-screen TV, work desk with plug-ins for an iPod or laptop to connect to the TV, and Kohler faucet and sink. There were Bliss bath and body products, a hair dryer, complimentary bottled water and free WiFi, but no mini bar (just sayin’). Also, I didn’t really like the pillows, which were flat by the time I woke up.

Cute bedside clock

What you see when you first walk in, opposite the sink

Sink, separate from the toilet and shower

Aloft hotels are pet-friendly, which I appreciate as a pet owner, but the drawback is hearing someone’s dog barking late at night. There is also a wide range of fast-prep foods and snacks available 24 hours a day in the lobby, but the prices are a bit high (you pay for the convenience, of course).

I used the fitness area, which was small but clean. There were complimentary ear buds to use, but the machines didn’t offer music or TV (and I forgot my iPod), so I wasn’t sure what the point was. Oh, well.

All in all, the Aloft is a good choice for a stay in Cucamonga, especially if you need a place close to the Ontario airport. The service is friendly, which is always welcome and can make or break an experience.

Note: This stay was hosted.


04 2012

Tuesday Wing Nite at W Hollywood’s Delphine

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings at Delphine

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings at Delphine

When I think of the W Hotel Hollywood, the last thing I think of is a plate of chicken wings. But now, thanks to Delphine‘s Tuesday Wing Nite, chicken wings and a swanky hotel aren’t mutually exclusive.

Choose from a variety of flavors, including Thai Red Curry, Ranch Country and (the ultra rich, very L.A.) Truffle Cheese. Or go for my favorites, the Honey Sriracha and the Spiced Honey — both are delightfully sweet and a little spicy. The spiced honey itself — clover honey infused with cardamom, clove, cinnamon and other spices with a splash of vinegar — is to die for. I wanted to bathe in it, it was so good!

The wings cost $4.50 for two to four wings, depending on the flavor. There are also side dishes for $3, including a pretty potato salad and a tasty cole slaw. I wasn’t a big fan of the special cocktails, the Honey Bee and the Early Tea, but they’re available for wing-eating pairings.

Delphine Executive Chef Sascha Lyon, formerly of New York’s Balthazar and Pastis, is a cool guy, and if the other food on the regular menu is as good as some of these wings, then I’ll have to make a trip back.

Note: This meal was hosted.


10 2011

Gobble, gobble, snooze: Thanksgiving meals at L.A. hotels

The Bridge. Courtesy of The Bridge at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The Bridge at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: This Thanksgiving meal ($49 per person, $25 per child) includes chestnut agnolotti with crispy sage, ameritti cookies and shaved parmesan; squab-roasted root vegetables and foie gras remoulade with huckleberry jus; and chocolate cake with salted caramel.

Delphine at the W Hotel Hollywood: The brasserie-inspired prix fixe menu ($45 per person) includes the run of a raw bar with a selection of oysters, prawns and ceviche; butternut squash soup; a variety of hors d’oeuvres; an entree of roasted turkey with wild mushrooms, sweet potato puree, stuffing, and haricot vert and almonds; and dessert of pumpkin pie with brown sugar bourbon ice cream or chocolate pecan pie with nutmeg pear ice cream.

Cézanne at Le Merigot Hotel: A three-course dinner ($49 per person) with choices including lobster chowder; persimmon salad with arugula, burrata and speck; braised short ribs en cassoulet; roast turkey; black pepper crusted filet mignon, duck breast and confit duck leg; rum baba; banana cream pie; pumpkin pie; pecan pie; and chocolate ganache cake.

Whist at the Viceroy Hotel: The meal ($68 per person) features a buffet including butternut squash soup topped with sage and prosciutto; a turkey and poached char carving station; and a risotto station (!).

Oliverio at the Avalon Hotel: The menu ($40 per person) features a winter pepita salad with pumpkin seeds, goat cheese and walnut dressing; roasted turkey; and apple pie topped with cinnamon ice cream.


11 2010

Cool stuff I would actually wear: Alice in Wonderland

Clothing and accessories inspired by a Disney movie? I was skeptical, even though I loved “Alice in Wonderland” as a child and love that Tim Burton made an updated movie version, because you never know what rabbit hole designers will fall in to when creating pieces based on a film. But after seeing some of the Alice in Wonderland Disney Couture items at the W Hollywood hotel’s party last week, I was pleasantly surprised — impressed, even.

When I saw this statement necklace by Tom Binns, I wanted to rip it off the mannequin and wear it right then and there. Who could resist these red candy-like hearts, safety pins and crystal chains? It’s cute and edgy at the same time. I want, want, want! Too bad it costs more than $1,000…

Tom Binns All Heart necklace

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03 2010

W Hotel Westwood’s summer fun


Like other hotels, including the Viceroy Santa Monica, W Hotel in Westwood recently introduced a slew of summer programs, and not just for food, either.

The W’s pool, which the hotel calls WET (the fitness center is called SWEAT, get it?), features floating poker, blackjack and ping pong tables for your gaming entertainment. Or you can check out a movie poolside with the hotel’s Summer Cinema Series, whose menu features house-made BBQ potato chips with caramelized onion dip ($8) and bacon-cheddar sliders with hand-cut fries ($18). There’s also a cheese plate and two glasses of wine for $21 on the menu. You can get regular candy, too, but expect to fork over $4 for peanut M&Ms!

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06 2009

W Hotel opens in Middle East

Extreme Wow suite

Extreme Wow suite

A W Hotel has opened in Doha, Qatar, the first for the brand in the Middle East. The new hotel has 291 guest rooms, 31 suites and 154 residences. It also features two Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant concepts, including a Spice Market, which is also in W’s Atlanta and Istanbul locations. But the most intriguing part of the Doha location is the 15th floor Extreme Wow (i.e., presidential) suite, which apparently has its own massage and meeting rooms, and an elevated tub in the bathroom. Sounds pretty swanky. More photos after the jump.

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04 2009

Personal pick

Flower Power ring

"Flower Power" ring

I’m not really good at accessorizing. I’d like to be, but I’m just not. But if I were, I’d be rockin’ some of Andrew Hamilton Crawford’s rings and bracelets, which are beautiful and cute at the same time. The line, created by Southern-via-New York designers Andrew Tessier and Chad Crawford, features resin bangles (oval-shaped!) with either a sterling silver or 18-karat gold vermeil overlay and SUPER cute resin cocktail rings. AHC also has some nice necklaces, earrings and men’s items. In Los Angeles, the line is available at Intuition, Fred Segal, Surly Girl and W Hotel The Store. You can buy online, too.

"Leaf" ring

"Leaf" ring

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04 2009