I love interacting with people from cultures that aren't so dominant in Southern California. In particular their food. I think it brings a breath of fresh air to the table how to approach food. Chef Hugo is Guatemalan which is a cuisine that is sadly underrepresented in Los Angeles (Tikal in L.A. does a good job.) I was excited to see what Chef Hugo was going to bring to the table for me.
The Wolfgang Puck at The Hotel Bel Air is a beautiful restaurant. Most of the seating is outdoors but they do have a bar, lounge, and wine room inside. There are pictures but honestly....yeah its always going to be about the food. Chef Hugo has a playground worthy of the Puck name in his kitchen. It has 50 plus industrial burners alone. It is seriously one if not the biggest kitchen I have ever been in. It has to pump out food fr not only the restaurant but the entire hotel and catering events.
OK OK the food. Already you should suspect its going to be good. The starter a roasted pumpkin pumpkin with white truffle was amazing. Creamy smooth with a velvety richness. You got to love Fall and its abundance of nutty squashes. Next was a lamb flat bread. Delicious and I ate every bite...I did detect cucumber in the sauce...which I despise but wasn't bad in the dish as a whole. It was a fun play on a gyro. I didn't have it but the tuna tar tar dish my dinning companion had was so pretty I had to take a picture of it. Morimoto himself could have plated it. The beef pastrami was great with the Gruyere cheese, I am not a pastrami guy and have yet to try the legendary Langer's (soon people) but as of now its the best one I have ever had. The brown butter and pumpkin tortellini was delicious even though it was on the sweet side and I have a issue with sweet non dessert courses. If you like honey on your ham this may be the pasta dish for you. The desserts were all amazing. The peat stuffed with raspberry mousse and topped with gold was just over the top...(I ate the gold.) I would say you could easily just come here to just eat dessert! It was great meeting Chef Hugo and I think I will always remember him telling me how often he thinks of cooking one of the swans in the pond out front. Always keep dreaming.
|Chef Hugo Bolanos|
|Lemon sorbet on a shortbread cake with toasted meringue|
|Roasted pear with mascarpone cheese with walnuts on a gingerbread cake.|
|Fruit sorbets with meringue|
|Chef Hugo Bolanos|
|Roasted pumpkin tortellini with a brown butter sauce.|
|Angus beef pastrami and Gruyere cheese|
|The grounds Hotel Bel Air|
|Tuna tar tar|
|wine poached pears with burrata cheese|
|Pumpkin with white truffle soup|
|Focaccia with goat cheese and sundried tomato|
|The little things. The butter is served on a chilled stone|
|The bread basket|
|Its a kitchen Iron Chef would dream of|
|Kitchen in action|
|Looking into the wine room|
|Indoor dining area|
|Outside dining area|