We took a spin around Westwood's new Hotel Palomar today, mostly to check out the restaurant, Blvd 16. The hotel, a former Doubletree on the Wilshire corridor, was renovated and now owned by the Kimpton Group; it opens May 8, but Blvd 16 won't debut until Saturday May 10 for breakfast and dinner (lunch to follow). The 92-seater has an earthy, warm palette, lots of wheat, chocolate and barley tones, dark floors, and a splash of color from artwork. Huge metal ball light fixtures create cool swirly reflections on the ceiling. Exec chef Simon Dolinky was recently at sister property Hotel Salomar in San Diego, but did time at John Besh's August and Cobalt in New Orleans. He's going for the seasonal, ingredient-driven menu with things like roasted beets and watercress salad, ribeye with balsamic, arugula and crushed fingerling potatoes, slow-roasted lamb chops (here's a peek). The wine list has a California and domestic slant, and there will be fresh-fruit cocktails, natch. This could be a good addition for the Westwood/UCLA crowd wanting something more than Napa Valley Grille's enormity and the W's ridiculous valet charges.
Eater Sneak Peek: Inside Hotel Palomar's Blvd 16
by Lesley Balla
Trung Nguyên Legend Cafe will serve phin- and espresso-based coffee drinks using 100-percent Vietnamese-grown Robusta and Arabica beans