While on my short yet glamorous stay in Los Angeles, I had the honour to eat at many fine establishments – the most memorable being The Lobster at Santa Monica and Wolfgang Puck WP24 at The Ritz Carlton.
The Lobster is a gem of a seafood restaurant, situated at the ultimate vantage point at the end of Santa Monica pier, providing breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean and Californian coastline. Taken there by my two Angeleno girl pals, I'm for a treat, not only because they provide some of the freshest seafood in town but my hosts are champagne addicts and The Lobster has a very extensive wine list! As we take our seat the sun sets outside, a warming pink hue fills the sky; this is a very romantic setting, a definite deal clinching date location. We order champagne, naturally, while we consider the delights available, the menu is a Pandora’s Box of seafood, from scallops to oysters, fresh caught fish to, of course, Lobster.
We decide to share the Oyster Sampler for starter, several different types of oysters, caught fresh and locally, with a collection of interesting dips and sauces, including a spicy ketchup and wasabi aioli. The oysters are so fresh you can smell the sea; they are perfectly complimented by the delicate bubbles of the champagne. The sampler does not last very long, despite its size, quite possibly some of the best oysters I have ever had.We swiftly move on to our main course and, being the champaholics we are, champagne cocktails. I ordered the Hawaiian Ono; the portion of fish was massive, a slab of white plumpness, juicy with a texture like cod but meatier. The accompanying okra and steamed rice gave an Asian feel to the dish but the spices of the crust and sauce did not overpower the soft cut of Ono. My friend ordered the black linguine with shellfish, a truly dazzling dish with the sharp contrast of black pasta and muscles against the tones of orange and pink from the shrimp, scallops, lobster and squid; a true seafood masterpiece, simple, elegant, but packed with flavour and texture. Now, faced with the dessert menu, we decide to share the traditionally American chocolate brownie and I am not disappointed; served with lashings of ice cream, it's a perfect end to a fantastic meal. As we take a slow walk back to the car, I promise to myself I will return, with Prince Charming, watch the stunning sunset then stuff myself with lobster and rose champagne, pink passion at its best.
After the opening of CUT at 45 Park Lane in London everyone knows who Wolfgang Puck is, but I have been a Puck aficionado since eating at his many restaurants in Las Vegas. In LA, Puck also has several restaurants from Spago & CUT in Beverly Hills to Chinois in Santa Monica, but none of these compare to the food and location of WP24 at The Ritz Carlton. The hotel itself is a architectural wonder, jutting out of the city sprawl of Downtown like a metal wave in silver and blue, but the jewel of this hotel is located at the very top.
WP24 is an Asian fusion inspired affair, Chinese food with a twist, ranging from tasting menus with wine pairings to dim sum and cocktails. We opt to sit in the lounge, purely because the view from here is truly mind-blowing, spanning from the ocean to the Hollywood sign all the way down to the bright lights of Downtown. We order cocktails, the Lychee Martini is particularly good, as well as the Passion Cosmo. We decide to order a bit of everything so we can savour all the delights on offer, dim sum including Chicken Dumplings, Calamari, Soft Shell Crab and Duck Spring Rolls and we ordered a Sushi Platter with Wasabi and Chili. The dishes arrive and are visually stunning, each plate like a work of art. However, this does not stop us from diving in.
Well, what can I say, other than wow, the food is astonishing, so moreish we ordered several of the dishes again for round two. The crab was crispy yet soft, the duck moist, the dumplings spicy yet dainty and the sushi so fresh the quality was undeniable. Also what is nice about WP24 is the Chef de Cuisine and Pastry Chef are women, true girl power in action in that kitchen, with every dish leaving the pass a wonder to behold and eat. Despite several savoury dishes, we can not but tempted by the Chinese doughnuts, hot sugary balls of pleasure with a side of spicy chocolate dip, we were all in heaven. To summarise, WP24 is one if my favourite Puck offerings, great food, great location, and a fabulous end to my LA food journey.
1602 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, California 90401
United States of America
WP24 by Wolfgang Puck
900 W Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90015
United States of America
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