By Jill Weinlein, 7/12/2012
Driving up to the entrance of The Peninsula Beverly Hills, I noticed a white McLaren Mercedes parked in a prime spot. Next to this $450,000 car was a gorgeous black Aston Martin. When the valet took my Honda, I said with a grin, “I bet you’ll park my car next to those beauties.” He replied, “I’ll park it downstairs next to the Bugatti.”
The Peninsula is one of the best service-oriented hotels in the world. Whether you arrive in a Ferrari or VW bug, you are treated as a VIP.
I rode the elevator up to the spa and pool level. Walking through the lavender scented spa, I opened the door to the roof garden and took a seat near the blazing fire pit.
Creative cocktails, like the Sunset on the Roof martini, Speckled Jalapeno Margarita and Frozen Lemonade, rested on a silver tray luring guests to take one, sip and unwind.
Dinner began with a bowl of chilled cucumber soup with white hearts of palm, sprigs of cilantro and citrus tapioca. In the center was a slightly spicy cucumber-melon sorbet. It was refreshing and full of delightful flavors, an ideal summer appetizer.
The basket of crispy brown pita chips with a red pepper hummus complemented the flavors in our cocktails, as did the stunning Ahi tuna chop chop with sliced avocado, crisp pineapple and herbs. It was a work of art and tasted even better than it looked.
The Roof Garden opened in June for the summer season. I was excited to meet Executive Chef James Overbaugh and taste some of his summertime specialties.
Overbaugh has been at The Peninsula Beverly Hills for four years and has an exquisite team of eight sous chefs. He allows each one to shine in their specialty.
Nibbling on a lovely basket of lavash and zucchini breads, Chef Overbaugh and Chef de Cuisine Brandon Weaver flipped surf and turf nearby at the roof top grill. Weaver is an expert in grilling. His 16 oz. bone-in Prime dry-aged rib eye steak is the best of the best. The meat is from local butcher, Harvey’s Guss Meat Co. in Culver City. Weaver rubs the marbled meat with 40 different herbs and spices, grills it to perfection and serves it sliced next to brilliant purple Okinawa sweet potatoes. Some of the tasty side dishes on the menu include a crunchy fresh mint and macadamia nut cole slaw and red pepper orzo with roasted corn, cilantro and blue cheese. Weaver makes a delectable pickled salad with turnips, fennel, beets and cucumber that rests in a homemade brine for two weeks. It’s mild and not too salty.
The local tiger shrimp is marinated with soy sauce, chile oil, rice vinegar, ginger and scallions, the shrimp is charred to create the brilliant strawberry red color.
For those who love fish, the swordfish filet is thick and juicy with a citrus orange chipotle sauce. Rib lovers must order the Ribs on the Roof with a slightly sweet barbecue sauce. There is plenty of meat on these ribs.
For dessert the French pastry chef, Romain Lenoir made the most ideal summer dessert for us. Six tiny waffle cones appeared with various flavors of sorbet and ice cream stacked on top. The coconut and green apple gelato tasted as if I was licking the actual fruit.
As I left, I noticed more beauties gracing the driveway. A bright red Ferrari caught my eye. I leaned over to the valet and whispered that I have never seen such eye-candy in one place other than the Concourse de Elegance in Pebble Beach. He winked and said, “We have the richest clientele staying and dining at The Peninsula.”
Treat yourself to a meal at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. You will walk away feeling like a million bucks. $$$ 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd. (310)975-2855.