Wolfgang Puck Sets Up Shop at Hotel Bel-Air
Though his restaurant at the recently reopened Hotel Bel-Air is new, Wolfgang Puck is actually retracing his steps. The energetic, pioneering chef’s first stint here was as a consultant in the ’80s. “We have a few dishes from the old hotel, like the tortilla soup and the hamburger in the bar,” says Puck, “but we use our own recipes and create new classics.” He continues, “The menu has influences from France, Italy, and Spain—it’s Mediterranean, but using the best of what we have here in California.”
That combination of elements manifests in dishes such as the starter of house-made agnolotti with celery root-Fuji apple filling, pecorino Romano, and Italian white truffles; entrées including Maine diver scallops with caramelized cauliflower, toasted almonds, capers, golden raisins, and a purée of preserved lemons; and desserts such as Pear de Gene with toasted-almond cake, red currants, and raspberry sorbet.
David Rockwell is responsible for the restaurant’s stunning redesign, which seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces. Inside are the main dining room and an intimate private room, while the outside boasts a raised teak deck and screen-shaded patio with semiprivate banquettes and alcoves overlooking the famous swan pond. “Because this is the hotel’s only restaurant and people will be here all day, transformation is the watchword,” says Rockwell. “We created a restaurant that looks beautiful during the day in sunlight and shade, and at night there is a warm glow from the clear filament bulbs and fire element.”
With this elegant setting in one of LA’s most iconic hotels and a gourmet menu by Wolfgang Puck, who would not want to while away their days and nights here? Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Road, LA, 310-909-1644
photograph by joe schmelzer