Los Angeles boasts some of the most infamous restaurants to be found in the US, in large part due to the Hollywood star power that frequents them. As soon as an establishment catches on with celebrity clientele lunching or supping in the dining area or on the patio, an icon is born. The tourists then follow, hopeful to catch a glimpse of their favorite celeb. But of all the Hollywood hot spots, none are more established and well known than the Polo Lounge, located inside the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.
Opened in 1941, this upscale and popular eatery is known for its Old Hollywood ambiance and extremely attentive wait staff. They know how to pamper no matter who you are. The dining area and bar, decorated in hunter green and touting plenty of dark wood is the extreme opposite of the light and airy patio which is adorned with flowers, ferns and white bistro tables and chairs set against a pink and teal color scheme. The scene is directly out of an 80’s novel by the late Jackie Collins.
With the star factor in mind, we visited the restaurant midday on a weekday in order to witness the power lunch crowd. Our time selection did not disappoint – sure enough, we spotted several celebrities dining with colleagues and discussing business.
The menu of California Cuisine boasts specialty dishes like the McCarthy Salad, Tortilla Soup, Carlsbad Mussels and Fries, and Spice Crusted Wild Salmon, along with some seasonal selections and a series of appetizers and entrees that one would expect to find in such a restaurant, including salads, pasta, steaks and seafood and a Kobe Burger. To top it off, the dessert menu includes Honey Goat Yogurt and an Artisanal cheese plate (so very California), bread pudding, and homemade sorbets among pastry and ice cream selections. And, as one would expect, it’s pricey. With soups and salads in the $15-$20 range, entrees between $35-$60 and desserts averaging $12-$20, one can expect a bloated bill at the end of a meal.
But is it worth the money – YES! Definitely, yes. The Polo Lounge isn’t just a place to eat, it’s an experience, a place to see and be seen, and as much of an attraction and a nostalgic piece of LA as the Hollywood sign on the hill. Not to mention that the food is delicious and the service is among the best you will find.