by Sari Anne Tuschman| November 1, 2009 |
Venice Beach has many things—Muscle Beach, Rollerbladers, the ocean, but one thing it always lacked was a truly great rooftop deck. A former Best Western, the Hotel Erwin—which opened in June—has filled that void with arguably Los Angeles’ most spectacular 360-degree view and a phenomenal location, just 200 feet from the sand. “On a clear day, you have views of Venice and Catalina Island to the Santa Monica Bay, all the way over to the Hollywood Hills and even the Hollywood sign,” says Benjamin Malmquist, the hotel’s general manager.
On the rooftop deck—appropriately called High—guests can enjoy the view while sampling creative cocktails and light snacks, including oysters, assorted cheeses and shrimp cocktail. For a full dinner, one must sacrifice the view for the tastes of Hash on the hotel’s first floor. The restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner, specializes in—you guessed it—gourmet hashes, including corned beef hash, vegetarian hash and a special hash of the day. Chef Micah Fields makes sure breakfast is reminiscent of a home-cooked meal—honest, hearty and filling.
Dinner is an array of farmers’ market-inspired finds that rotate seasonally, save for a few signatures, such as the Wagyu burger on a toasted pretzel bun and “s’ghetti” and meatballs. There is also an ahi tuna “hash”— naturally—and a made-from-scratch soup every day. “We’re value driven,” says Malmquist. “This is a great addition for Venice folks looking for a nice, fresh alternative. Our goal was to create a hotel that was reflective of Venice Beach and its unique community.” Hip, comfortable, scenic and a little funky—the Erwin seems to have accomplished its goal. 1697 Pacific Ave., Venice Beach, 310-452-1111; hotelerwin.com