The banquettes along the far wall had been removed and in their place were circular, free-standing tables for larger groups while proper square tables had been placed in the center of the room as well as along the windows. The restaurant had even added an outdoor dining section looking out over the small but lush Beverly Canon park (as well as Bouchon.)
The overall decor of the room was darkened a touch with dark wood floors and sparser lighting while the flowing white curtains which stretched high up the walls added some serious drama to the room.
Now onto the food. To start, Scarpetta serves a bread basket that carb-slaps any other bread basket you have ever had, thanks to its stromboli bread made with salami, mozzarella, basil and cherry tomatoes.
For our main meal, we opted for two of Scarpetta's signature dishes--the creamy polenta ($16) topped with truffled mushrooms and the spaghetti ($26) made with tomato and basil. The latter was cooked to perfection and actually tasted far better than it sounds (after all, a simple spaghetti dish is not usually an exciting menu option). The sauce was ever so slightly creamy, mixed with a touch of cheese and the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. But we'd be lying if we didn't say we wanted another order of that heavenly polenta.
Sadly, we couldn't stay for dessert but the hotel's new general manager Hermman Elger (who just joined the hotel six weeks ago) said the cheese plate is one of the best and the restaurant's manager Dean Tsakanikas also recommended the raw yellowtail and tuna "scusi" appetizers. And if you want wine to go with your pasta (or any of the lesser-priced primi piatti), the restaurant has a nice, varied wine list, including a rare 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild for a mere $4,820.
When we left at 9:45pm, the place was still happening and this was a Monday night. Over the course of our meal, people without reservations waited up to 45 minutes for a table. If this happens to you, we say just find a seat in the adjacent bar which serves up the full Scarpetta menu with a slight twist on the appetizers.
The only disconnect we felt was between the food and the room. While more dramatic and far sexier than the old Parq (which catered more to hotel guests than Beverly Hills at large), the room seemed almost too grandiose for this simple, Italian comfort food that we were eating. We're not saying that we would have liked to have been cramped next to other tables like they do in NYC but maybe adding just a few more tables would add more warmth.
Scarpetta serves lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Valet parking is available on Canon Drive for $8. HotelChatter was a guest of the hotel for this meal but all views expressed are our own.