It’s been 31 years since I moved to Los Angeles, but I still get excited about living here. A half-hour away from my house and it’s as if I’m in another world. A ninety minute lunch can feel like a mini-vacation, and that’s what this afternoon’s excursion felt like. Today’s partner-in-crime was my friend Kim who I met at my very first job when I moved to LA. We met at a Century City accounting firm where she was the office manager and I was the receptionist. The job lasted 2 months, but the friendship endured over 30 years.
We arrived at the entry to the London West Hollywood, a 3-year old hotel just off the legendary Sunset Strip, and were immediately wowed by it’s sleek and sophisticated lobby. We took the elevator to the Rooftop by Gordon Ramsay and when we exited we were definitely transported to another world. We were greeted by the staff that looked more like a casting call for HBO’s Entourage. This place was more like a movie set than a restaurant. Where were Vinnie and Turtle I wondered. We were on top of the world. The rooftop is surrounded by nothing but plexiglass, and the City of Angels surrounds you on all four sides. In one direction was Century City, in another downtown Los Angeles, and of course the remarkable view of the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip below us. We were not even thinking about food as the view was just overwhelming.
I looked at Kim and said, “this calls for a drink”! I’m not much of a drinker, but they had an amazing choice of signature cocktails. We both ordered the Cucumber Viper; a combination of Tequila, Orange Liquer, cucumber, fresh lime juice and agave nectar. At this point, we truly felt like we were on vacation. As I always like to do, we decided to split several dishes, so we started with the Spinach Salad with Shrimp, Scallops and Avocado. It was not a very big portion, but since we had other dishes coming we overlooked that.
Next we ordered the Short Rib Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Guacamole. It was very good and again a smallish portion, but great if you’ve got that audition for Entourage coming up and you need to keep that trim figure.
The restaurant offers several fresh sushi items so we chose the King Crab Roll. Another very good dish.
But hey, if you’re on vacation you’ve got to order dessert, right? So we did. They brought us the Lemon Tart with Burnt Meringue. As a pastry school graduate, I appreciate a well conceived and executed dessert. This tasted as good as it looked.
So all in all The Rooftop by Gordon Ramsay did not disappoint. The menu, though not large, is very well thought out and has something that will appeal to all diners. Everything is fresh and flavorful and beautifully plated. But it’s the view of the city that is the real winner here. For that brief ninety minutes I felt like I experienced what it is that makes LA that hip, cool place that the rest of America thinks it is.