Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Penthouse

Having only half a day to spend in Los Angeles before hitting Vegas, I took the advice of an old school friend (see her fabulous blog, eat tori) and spent it in Santa Monica.

We started with lunch at The Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel. This was our first real meal in the states, having spent the previous day at Disneyland, and it was fabulous. Panoramic views over the beach also helped. Good views make food taste better. It's a scientific fact.

Not having eaten much in forty eight hours, the best way to start a meal is with a cocktail. The Penthouse has its own mixologist, and the Thyme and Cucumber Amnesia is delightful. It is "handpressed hothouse cucumbers and fresh thyme mellowed with copious amounts of Aviation New Western Dry Gin, freshly squeezed lime and white cranberry juice." Yes.

For starters, we thought we'd have woodfired flat bread with tomato, torn basil and fresh mozzarella. For only $10, we were expecting something small to fire up our appetite. On the contrary. It was huge. It was all we needed for lunch. Seriously. It was ten dollars at one of Santa Monica's fanciest restaurants... wow. It was delicious. Although simple, sometimes the simplest fare is the best.

For the main course, I had the crispy skin salmon with sauteed spinach and piquillo - tomato coulis, which was rather stunning. The flesh was juicy and tender and the skin lived up to its name. Crispy skin far outweighs the soggy silver skin some salmon comes with. The portion of salmon was also huge. 40% bigger than what a top restaurant would serve in Australia, so again you are getting bang for your buck, but potentially bang for you buckle, when your belt breaks open from your distended stomach.

The halibut was also superbly cooked and presented.

And what could be cuter than a mini cauldron of mash?

It was rather a pity that we were too full for dessert. I love dessert and am rarely too full for it, however with these jumbo sized portions, I was. I thoroughly recommend the Penthouse for its food, view and value. The service was also great (the waitstaff being made up of out of work actors, naturally). Well, it is L.A.

The Penthouse Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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