Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers' Day Brunch at Wolfgang Puck at the Bel Air Hotel, LA

This 60 year old hotel is owned by The Sultan of Brunei's luxury hotel firm, The Dorchester Collection.   I haven't been here for 30 years.  It has just been completely renovated and is still one of the prettiest hotels ever.
 The gardens are superb,
 the decor is really wonderful, and the Terrace where we had brunch was perfect.
Wolfgang Puck's food is very good, produced under Executive Chef Sonny Sweetman and Chef de Cuisine Ray Weber, the menu is described as European/Mediterranean.
We started with cocktails in the gorgeous bar.  They were really really good, but did take a long time to arrive - and the bar was not busy.  I had the Show Me Love (Ultimat Vodka, St-Germain Liqueur, Lychee Juice, Lime Juice), Rome the Forbidden Kiss (Hendrick's Gin, Fresh Rasperries, Rose Elixir, Lemon Juice, and Hal the Pins & Needles (Tanqueray "10" Gin, Rosemary, Cucumber, Lemon Juice).
We then moved to our table on the Terrace.  Couldn't help but notice Jessica Alba and family were also enjoying Mothers Day on the Terrace!

I started with the Maryland Blue Crab Cakes (Basil Pesto Aioli, Tomato Relish).  Light and flavourful.
Andy, Rome and Zoe had the Hand Cut Campania Artichoke Angolotti
(Mascarpone, Parmigiano Reggiano), while Hal had the Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus.  I must say, I had a taste of the Angolotti which was really lovely.
I then had the Pan Roasted Organic Jidori Chicken (Potato Puree, Caramelized Double Blanched Garlic, Thyme Natural Jus).  The chicken was moist and delicious, the vegetables perfectly cooked al dente.
Rome had the Mesquite Grilled Black Angus Beef Burger (Aged Vermont Cheddar, Shallot-Jalapeno Marmalade, Garlic Aioli).
Andy had the Corned Beef Hash Cake "Benedict" (Poached Organic Eggs, Crispy Leeks, Sauce Hollandaise).
Hal and Zoe shared the Warm Maine Lobster Club Sandwich
(Wild Rocket , Vine Ripe Tomatoes, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Herb Aoili, Rustic Bread)
and the Grilled Chicken ‘Santorini’ Salad (Baby Artichokes, Sweet Peppers, Cucumber, Black Olives, Feta-Yogurt Herb Dressing.  One criticism - not enough olives.
We then somehow managed to indulge in the Dessert Buffet.  Really over the top in a fabulous way, with baby cheesecakes, a 'mauve' Coconut Cake made in honour of the Chef's mother who loves purple Iris flower, sliced fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, tiny individual chocolate puddings, macaroons,  lollies (Jelly Bellies) - something for everyone - and they encouraged you to keep returning.  I just wish I'd taken a photo of it. 

Beautiful setting, good food, and even though it was very busy for Mothers Day, the service was friendly and efficient.  Recommended.

9/10 (Higher for the experience more than just the food!)

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