Don’t Go To Nate ‘n Al’s at Lunchtime

08.20.14

Recently I dropped kids off for lunch at Nate ‘n Al’s. These are kids who eat at restaurants regularly. They’re polite, they know how to order, they know how to tip. Unfortunately, their age prevented them from getting service at Nate ‘n Al’s in Beverly Hills.

I almost joined Yelp just to be able to review them but then I remembered I don’t care.

Every few years I forget just how awful the food and service is at Nate ‘n Al’s and I’ll find myself there for lunch, or even worse for dinner. Even with 40 years of experiencing their dreadful service nothing could prepare me for how awful things were for the kids. Here is the one star review I left on Facebook:

 I sent three girls there for lunch because I was short on time. Unfortunately after 45 minutes they still didn’t have food, then of course I asked for a manager. At 1pm there was no manager on site. They asked if I wanted to wait for him. I declined as I felt like an hour of waiting was enough. Everyone was nasty. The food has always been mediocre and it’s not cheap.

I’ve been coming to Nate n Al’s since I was a kid and will never be back.

Something has happened there and it’s not good.

Then I promptly forgot about it because, let’s face it, Nate ‘n Al’s isn’t going to get lots of space in my memory.

So when I logged into Facebook a few moments ago and saw an alert for my review I about fell over laughing.

nate n als don't eat lunch

Yes, a server at a deli just told me to not come for lunch.

You’ve been warned. Larry King loves the place but I don’t think he’s had a tastebud activated since the Vietnam War.

Luxe Rodeo Drive: The Perfect Sleepover Staycation

08.13.14

Earlier this summer friends and I had an amazing dinner at the Luxe on Rodeo Drive. I’d mentioned that it’s the perfect place for a staycation so we pulled out our calendars and they gave me a pair of rooms Monday Night. The most difficult part of a staycation with The Luxe Rodeo was figuring out my kids’ schedules.

I love a good hotel and Jane and her friends love a hotel sleepover. There’s something totally irresistible about crisp white linens, sumptuous beds, blackout curtains and room service. I am also unabashedly high maintenance and when I see that a hotel has a four diamond rating from AAA I know that there’s a good chance I’ll be pleased with the service (and I was).

We checked in to the Luxe Monday afternoon and the girls needed to get themselves ready. They were going to have dinner at On Rodeo, which has the trifecta of fun, delicious and fabulous for people watching. I met a girlfriend for dinner around the corner because the girls wanted to have a sophisticated dinner and I was not invited (I was, however, allowed to pick up the tab – yay me?).

happy kids luxe beverly hills

While they got ready I wandered outside and hit up Fendi, Gucci and Prada. It’s not that I wanted to go shopping it’s that they were clearly in view from my window and it wouldn’t have been a good hotel write up if I didn’t visit the neighbors, right? Also, I’m searching for the perfect cross body bag for every day and I’m pretty sure I found it but somehow that feels like a bigger commitment than buying a house. I know, I’m weird.

After a little shopping my Mom and Stefanie showed up to the hotel. We were taking a look at the rooftop because I have a big birthday to celebrate with Mr. G this year and Jane has a Sweet Sixteen in the Fall. We all agreed that it’s a spectacular place for a party. The views are magnificent, it’s private and we already know that Luxe provides excellent service because we’ve spent a zillion hours nibbling with them.

I didn’t take a good picture of the view from the rooftop so I’ll have to go back and get one.

luxe rodeo rooftop

Stefanie and I walked around the corner to the South Beverly Grill where the drinks are good enough that you don’t notice the prices on the menu. We had a fabulous time chatting and catching up and planning our next adventures. She’s headed to Vietnam and we’re headed to Polynesia. As we wandered back to the hotel for some coffee and dessert we found the girls playing around on the steps over at One Rodeo.

If you stay at the Luxe you’re basically trapped in a zone that you’ve seen every inch of on TV and in the movies. It’s a playground for the rich and since there’s no entry fee you can sort of hang around the playground and watch and enjoy.  The girls ran back up to Sprinkles and had ice cream with cupcake tops.

There is a hotel on Rodeo Drive not more than one, just one. It’s a street that is known everywhere you go. Just say “Rodeo Drive” and folks know what you’re talking about.

If you’re looking for a central location this will suit you. It’s just a few minutes to the beaches or downtown, Westwood is nearby if you want to visit someone at UCLA or if you’re like me and you just don’t want to be home for a night it’s unbeatable. Right now I’m seeing rates around $360 with AAA, if you have dinner for four up the street at Crustacean you’ll be spending that before the tip.

If you’re looking for a resort the Luxe isn’t for you. The rooms are updated and clean but they don’t have spa bathrooms or a pool. There’s a fantastic outdoor area that’s more serene than scene. If you’re looking for a resort type hotel I would not recommend anything in Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills is urban and you’re there for the shopping and the touristy stuff. If you’re looking for a resort head to Santa Monica or hide out in Bel Air. You can always grab a salad and spend an hour or two at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s pool but it’s small and tired.

If you’re looking for the charm of a European Hotel without the cramped quarters and snootiness then the Luxe is the right place for you. There are less than 90 rooms, well appointed and they’re ready for international travelers. When I went under the desk to plug in my two phones, ipad and computer I saw this. It’s really quite handy when you don’t have a multitude of converters.

luxe beverly hills international travel

I’m excited to plan a party with Luxe. The kids’ school has had their galas at the Brentwood location and everyone was tickled with the space and the service there. The rooftop in Beverly Hills has an air of exclusivity and I like feeling like I’m on vacation 4 miles from my house.

Travel Tips:

  • It’s a boutique hotel on a street that goes to sleep by 10pm don’t worry about requesting a high floor, they’ll all be mostly quiet
  • Weekdays are low key, my room was next to an elevator and was completely quiet
  • The second floor has a patio between the buildings. If you’re a smoker or need a place for a toddler to run around without traffic this is a good floor for you
  • Try the bread pudding, it’s happiness on a plate
  • Enjoy breakfast at On Rodeo – people watch and relax

 

On Rodeo: You Know the Dinner is Good When it’s Four Hours Long

06.11.14

Last week I was invited to On Rodeo, the restaurant and lounge inside (and outside) the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. They are adding baked goods to their offerings and have wisely begun with a chocolate soufflé.

I don’t typically attend events like this but I’ve had several lovely lunches at the Luxe Beverly Hills and my daughter is bugging me to have a sleepover (and possibly a Sweet 16) there so I figured I’d put on my best eating dress and head out for some soufflé before dinner at 5pm.

We had passed appetizers, champagne and the soufflé along with an explanation of the sourcing of the chocolate and a reminder that Beverly Hills and Cannes are sister cities. I sort of paid attention but mostly I was enjoying the dessert. I enjoy the occasional sweet but given the option of cake or a cheese plate I’m pretty religiously going to choose savory over sweet so I was delighted to find that the soufflé was full of chocolate flavor and missing that overly sugary finish that too many desserts seem to have.

Once you’ve had dessert you might as well stay for dinner. So I did. There were wine and tequila pairings and great company at the table so I instagrammed the meal because I wisely knew that I’d forget each and every thing.

We started with roasted tomato soup which tasted like warm tomatoes from the garden.

Next was Ahi Tuna with fresh citrus there was a white wine pairing that was delightful.

Beet salad with candied walnuts

Do not miss the shrimp (and I don’t love shrimp) paired with a sip of tequila

Pan seared salmon on a bed of cauliflower with a sauce you don’t see.

Our second dessert was bread pudding because everyone needs a second dessert when you’re on your fourth hour of dinner.

bread pudding

And their dessert cocktails are spectacular. My favorite is the Key Lime Pie Martini. It’s delicious.

on rodeo key lime pie martini

If you’re looking to sit outside, to see and be seen be sure to request table 81. You’ll be smack dab in the center of Rodeo Drive. We ate and drank and laughed until 9.30. Just in time for a midnight snack, right?

I Was Thinking Junior Could Use Some Feathers in His Hair

04.17.13

beverly hills is weird

Bows are so gauche but this is my favorite sign in Beverly Hills.

Only in Beverly Hills: Blueberry Facial Scrub for Your Dog

04.4.13

There really isn’t much to say about this one.

Beverly Hills facials for dogs