Weekend Getaways

Los Angeles Tour: Beverly Hills

1 Spago, Beverly Hills

Chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck opened his flagship California Cuisine restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in 1982, later moving it to this location in Beverly Hill’s Golden Triangle. Executive chef Lee Hefter, a James Beard Award winner, has helped craft a daily-changing menu along with signature dishes, such as smoked salmon and caviar pizza, handmade agnolotti, and tuna cones. For dessert, there is Wolfgang Puck’s favorite childhood confection, kaiserschmarrn (traditional Austrian caramelized pancakes). The open kitchen is situated behind a colorful etched-glass divider. Outdoor seating is also available on the Tuscan-style terrace, surrounded by plants, flowers, and stone statues.

Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows Credit : Courtesy of The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows

2 Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows

Also known as the “Pink Palace,â€

3 The Bazaar by José Andrés

The restaurant—a $12 million collaboration at the SLS Hotel between the madcap Spanish chef José Andrés, designer Philippe Starck, and hotelier Sam Nazarian—is a restaurant in the way that Avatar is a movie: every element is engineered to dazzle and disorient, for better or for worse, starting with the wacky, 12,500-square-foot interior (which combines a patisserie, a bar, two dining rooms, a Moss design shop, and an itinerant palm reader). Then there’s the menu itself—half devoted to traditional tapas, the other to metaphysical riffs on same. Sure, some of it reads like molecular gastronomy’s greatest hits: the foie gras cotton candy, the dainty ice cream cones of caviar, the requisite spherified olives (which taste like salty tears). Yet only the jaded could deny the joy here. Behold the seared arctic char, delivered under a silver dome, which the server lifts to unleash a swirl of applewood-scented “smoke.â€

4 Virginia Robinson Gardens

This six-acre estate, renowned as the first luxury home in Beverly Hills, was constructed in 1911 and has been preserved in order to allow visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the likes of Fred Astaire, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and many other aristocrats of the day. The camellia- and azalea-filled Italian terrace, king palm forest with orchids and clivias, and the bucolic rose garden surround the immaculate mansion and Great Lawn. Red brick paths carve their way through the grounds among the statues of cherubs and fountains. Property tours are available by reservation only.

5 The Paley Center for Media

The Paley Center is a repository of nearly 100 years of television and radio history that aims to examine the relationship between these art forms, as well as emerging media platforms, and society. Shows from the 150,000-program collection are regularly screened in the on-site theater (check the website for daily schedules), and there are also worthwhile rotating exhibits and panel discussions with industry professionals. The annual PaleyFest connects fans with the casts and creative teams of their favorite television series.


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