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Restaurants & Bars 6

The Bel-Air Hotel Report

Heather | Jun 9, 200512:24 PM

Dinner at the Be-Air Hotel was fantastic. Thanks, Chowhounds, for the wonderful reccomendation. It was a special night, one I'll never forget. (And not too bad price wise)

I made the reservation for Tuesday, 7:30pm, via the Hotel Bel-Air website, informing them we'd be celebrating our second wedding anniversary. At 7 we arrived - a little early - to enjoy the property, which was beautiful. It reminded me of Carmel, the way it smelled, the way it looked, the way it felt - very woodsy and peaceful. Immediately we wished we had booked the night at the Bel-Air, instead of the Beverly Hills Hotel (The Bel-Air was only $40 more). When we told the hostess our name, she wished us a happy anniversary and asked us where we'd like to sit. We told her it was our first time at the restaurant and we weren't sure, but we wanted a romantic table, so she walked us around the dining room, and then showed us the garden patio with outdoor fireplace, both beautiful. We decided to sit inside, by the window, overlooking the patio. Since they weren't busy, we went to the bar for a drink before our meal.

Our waiter for the evening was Jaime. He's been working at the hotel for 35 years. What a wonderful man. Next time we go back, and we'll definately go back, we'll ask for Jaime's table where the service is impeccable by a very nice person. He made the experience wonderful. My husband and I started with the tortilla soup, a chowhound recommendation. It was different - a tomato base - but wonderful. Rolling Stones interview about the hotelI could have eaten two bowls! For the entree, I ordered the filet mignon and my husband ordered the rack of lamb - which Jaime and a chowhound had suggested. The steak was very good. Not the best. But still good. (The steak at Mastros is by far the best steak I've ever had) My husband was in absolute heaven with the lamb. Seriously, I'm sure if I had left the table, he would have gnawed the bones like a dog! Both dishes came with two sides, even so, we ordered the Parmesan fries, which were also very good. After dinner, Jaime presented us with a complimentary dessert cake with a candle glittering away. Written around the plate in chocolate was happy second anniversary. It was a very sweet touch. But we went ahead and ordered the Chocolate soufflee with the pistachio cream sauce anyway, and oh...my...god...I was in heaven. I've never tasted anything so good in my life.

I've never had such great service, paired with good food and a romantic setting. I'm so glad we decided to experience it. I'll never forget it.

So how much did all this cost...$160 That's it! (But I only had one glass of wine)


Earlier in the evening I had asked Jaime about table one during dinner, so when we were finished, he gave us a tour of the kitchen (spotless!), introduced us to the chef (so nice), and showed us the famous table (not as impressed as I thought I'd be. It has that country kitchen look.) It's in the kitchen surrounded by glass walls. I'm sure it's an amazing experience, a very expensive amazing experience. I THINK it's $1,000 minimum to book it. I was told if you're interested in the table, the best bet is to go to the hotel and talk to the person in charge at the restaurant who may be willing to make a deal for less if it's a slow night. Instead of 7 courses, do 5 courses - that kind of thing.

BTW, Brett Buttler was having dinner on the outdoor patio.

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