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Sep 2, 2014 07:29 PM

High End Hotel Dining from LA to OC


Just wondering if I could get some feedback on a few choices due to inexperience at these restaurants.

Mother's birthday coming up. Was brought up in Asia where most high end restaurants are located in hotels. She is really big into the whole pretty coffee/tea set and elaborate service. Patina comes to mind.

Looking preferably for strong lunch recommendations and I'm hoping someone can lead me the right way. So far I have looked at the following but I don't know which restaurant in the hotels to be making reservations at.

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel
Montage Laguna Beach
Resort at Pelican Hill
Terranea Resort
Four Seasons Beverly Hills - CUT only does a dinner service, but if this is the clear cut choice, I'll have no choice. She did love CUT.


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  1. Great ocean Views: Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel or Montage Laguna Beach (I cannot vouch for the food at Terranea, but the view is killer also)

    Beautiful outdoor dining: Hotel Bel Air (Mom may really like this one: Idyllic setting with swan pond, it's also a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, like CUT)

    High-End Hotel Restaurant with service to boot: The Peninsula (Beverly Hills)

    6 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      Hi J.L.,

      I lurk these forum boards a lot. I feel all giddy that you're replying to my thread x)

      Thanks for the suggestions and recommendation. The Peninsula looks incredibly promising. I'm looking at the website now and i'm assuming you were directing me towards the Belvedere restaurant and not the traditional afternoon tea in The Living Room?

      As far as the ocean views you suggested, what would you recommend between the Ritz and Montage?

      I have heard many good things about Terranea, but I am waiting for one of my clients to get back to me as she spends a lot of time there.

      Thanks again for your response!

      1. re: cheezay

        Aw shucks, I'm giddy that you're giddy. :-)

        Yes, I do mean the Belvedere and not the Afternoon Tea.

        And of the two, I'd take the Montage over the Ritz.

        ipse's suggestion on Andrea at Pelican Hill is a great one, as well (but again I cannot vouch for the food there).

        1. re: J.L.

          Actually, I'd take the Ritz over the Montage. I prefer the less formal vibe at Raya at the Ritz, as well as the definitely better view. When Studio at the Montage is "on", their food is great, but I've found it to be variable. Somehow, I find Raya more comfortable, less expensive with excellent food and an indisputable killer view.

          Andrea at Pelican Hill is very pleasant, has a nice view, good service and excellent albeit not exciting IMHO food. It's very god though!

          If you want to stay in L.A., the Belvedere at the Peninsula is hard to beat for a special occasion. Vastly more pleasant in every way than CUT at the Beverly Wilshire.

          1. re: josephnl

            Hi Joseph,

            Thanks for the post. I'm thinking of staying in Laguna Beach or something coastal since I think that would be more enjoyable. I am leaning towards either the Montage, Pelican Hill, or the Ritz now.

            It seems that Studio is open only for dinner so I would have to be going to the Loft at the Montage vs Raya at the Ritz or Andrea at Pelican Hill.

            Some of these other suggestions such as Splashes and Beachcomber look great but I'll save those for myself.

            I just found out that I've been to the Peninsula in HK and Shanghai but had no idea it was called the Peninsula so I will end up skipping the Belvedere until some future engagement takes me there.

            Thanks for everyone's input! I'll update later with where we decide to go and how it is.

            1. re: cheezay

              One last plug...if the Studio at the Montage is out, I would definitely pick #1 as Raya and #2 as Andrea.

      2. re: J.L.

        Awesome room service fare at the montage. GreaT area by beach and private coves. Falcons to keep the riffraff out. Choice.

      3. Pelican Hill.

        There isn't a more picture perfect setting than the terrace / patio, which easily makes up for any deficiencies in the food.

        4 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Hi Ipsedixit,

            Would you be referring to Andrea or the Pelican Grill (or perhaps, both ;)...)

            1. re: cheezay

              It has the killer view. Newport Beach coast line with the golf course as eye candy.

              Pelican Grill gives you ... the pool??

              1. re: cheezay

                I recently had a disappointing dinner at Andrea--service was excellent, and the view from the terrace lovely, but the food was well below both where it had been before and where it should be. I have had mostly good meals at Pelican Grill and the view is still quite nice from there; however, for a hotel dinner, I would probably choose one of the other coastal choices such as Stonehill Tavern or Studio. If view is not a factor, I rather liked the food and service at the new Oak Grill in the Island Hotel.

            2. The Bel Air is lovely....but somewhat politically incorrect these days. Lots of folks boycotting that and the Beverly Hills Hotel. There are often protesting picketing as well. And the Montage does have the view....but the Beverly Hills Peninsula is quite elegant.

              1. 1 Pico at Shutters in Santa Monica is a pretty serious restaurant. With a whitewater view.

                Here's the website and menus.


                Also Catch at Casa Del Mar


                I've done tasting menus there and have always been surprisingly impressed. (not if they still have a tasting menu, but I'm sure they'd accomodate you.)

                1. Not sure if it's the most over-the-top-fancy, but "Splashes" at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach is pretty fantastic. Plus, you cannot get closer to the water...even if you tried.



                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LeahBaila

                    Well just to be can get closer to the water at The Beachcomber in Crystal's actually right on the sand! Both Splashes and The Beachcomber have decent food, but neither is the "high-end" destination the op is seeking.