Thursday, October 27, 2011

L'Ermitage Beverly Hills Debuts New Small Bites Lounge Menu

Kumamoto Oysters with Ginger Summer Salsa

L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills is a stalwart bastion of Los Angeles. When I worked in Hollywood, I booked many drinks in their lounge.

Much about the hotel remains the same--the refined crowd, the framed Oscar-winning screenplays on the walls, the relaxed atmosphere. However, the lounge and cocktail menus have recently gotten a total revamping, thanks to Executive Chef Joseph Elevado (a jovial man who has trained with some of the greats, including Nobu himself) and award-winning mixologist Stephanie Brown (who has a penchant for growing wacky ingredients in her own garden and infusing them into her cocktails).

Octopus Salad Skewers

The new menu features small bites with subtle Asian and Mexican influences, such as the Kumamoto Oysters with a delicate ginger summer salsa (I must have eaten twenty of these); the Pork Belly sliders served on buttery brioche with tomato jam; and the Pickled Fries (yes, they are deep fried dill pickles--amazing!).

Wagyu Sliders on Brioche

The cocktails match the food in their complexity and flavor. My favorites included the Off the Vine, a heady combination of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, lemon juice, agave nectar, heirloom tomatoes (you read this right), and basil; the Root of All Evil, made with rum, citrus, ginger beer and candied ginger (they had me at ginger); and The Bitter Truth, a refreshing blend of elderflower Liqueur, grapefruit, and champagne.

The Chefs pushing Lemon Curd Zeppoli's

And I haven't even mentioned desserts yet. We enjoyed the Lemon Curb Zeppoli's. Frankly, anything fried, especially desserts, are delicious.

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