Upon our triumphant in-person return to Los Angeles in December 2021 to celebrate our annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team also revisited one of our favorite city hot spots: Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills for dinner at the on-site Riviera 31 bar lounge.
The list of accolades for Riviera 31 is long, including being a favorite of celebrities and other L.A. elite: Best Hotel Bar in West Hollywood by WEHOville; among the 10 hottest spots in Los Angeles to go out, by USA TODAY; and more. Visitors find themselves surrounded by sensual Baroque décor, cozy ruby red and blue velvet sofas, a gold Rococo ceiling and a hint of Roaring Twenties Hollywood glamour amid the luxurious French flair of the Sofitel. We started our evening with refreshing cocktails and delicious tray- passed items including Wagyu sliders with aged white Cheddar and caramelized onion spread, lump crab cakes, arancini with truffle and Grana Padano, and a chicken salad tartlet lush with dried cranberries and green apple.
For our three-course dinner, we moved to a private dining room off the Esterel breakfast restaurant’s main space. Our sumptuous dinner menu reflected the true love letter to Los Angeles and its diversity of people, cultures, tastes and influences that Chef David Macias puts into every one of his curated dishes. The menu and food offerings at the property reflect his own life and culinary path, which took him from Los Angeles’ South Bay to multiple luxury hotels in the city.
We enjoyed experiencing his ode to the tastes of Los Angeles in our handcrafted menu which began with a starter of roasted autumn squash caprese featuring burrata cheese, roasted pepitas, basil and golden balsamic. I opted for the roasted cauliflower entrée boasting fromage blanc, toasted pine nuts and Bloomsdale spinach, while my colleagues selected from other options including a braised lamb shank with roasted poblano pepper grits, aged Cheddar, sweet onion and a citrus gremolata; or crisp black cod accompanied by caramelized turnip, candied bacon, roasted fennel and sauce verte. For a sweet finish to an excellent night, we enjoyed a spiced, poached pear finished with dulce de leche, French toast and chocolate crumble.
Consider Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Riviera 31 or any of the hotel’s other venues, for any of your event needs.
Riviera 31 also hosts an exceptional live entertainment program. Following our meal, we found our reserved table for Jazz Night, offered every Monday night and dubbed “the place to be and to be seen, where the unexpected can happen.” Cello maestro Ryan Cross and his band bring the best of jazz and blues. Surprise performances from special guests frequently materialize; in the past, Stevie Wonder, Craig Robinson and Dan Reynolds (frontman of Imagine Dragons) joined in to sing and enjoy the best jazz night in Los Angeles. On Wednesdays, it’s time to dance! Angelo Pagan and his band deliver Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythms to Salsa Night, hosted by Gabriela Lopez. Attendees may find themselves dancing or singing next to the likes of Marc Anthony or celebrity dancers like Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Visit Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and Riviera 31 this spring for seasonal specialties including carnitas bao, pork saltimbocca, fried oysters, white mushroom pizza and bread pudding, alongside cocktails like the Elder Fitzgerald composed of Maker’s Mark, St. Germain, passionfruit syrup and lemon juice; and the Peach Julip, featuring Bulleit Whiskey, Liquid Alchemist Peach Syrup, muddled mint and sugar.
Once you’ve boarded Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur, it is immediately apparent this recently launched cruise ship delivers what the name promises. Jewel box opulence dominates in most of the public areas, while quiet luxury teamed with clever function defines the cabins (save for the individually decorated top-tier suites). The ship, designed by internationally acclaimed Studio DADO and constructed by Ancona, Italy, ship builder Fincantieri, holds up to 746 guests and is serviced by a staff of 548 for optimal passenger-to-staff service.
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The St. Regis San Francisco recently debuted a Lunar New Year-themed The Art of Tea to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Available for only a few more days, through Feb. 25, the afternoon menu boasts Asian-inspired sweet and savory items, a selection of tea and a complimentary welcome toast with Champgane Lallier R.018.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Keep New Year’s resolutions going with a stay at The Westin Tempe. The hotel recently launched a wellness stay offer in partnership with Lululemon. The limited-time Lululemon In-Room Fitness Experience includes accommodations in a guestroom equipped with a Lululemon-branded yoga mat and yoga block.