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Splurging With Wolfgang Puck at Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles's WP24

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  Site Where: 900 Olympic Blvd. [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90015
January 7, 2011 at 9:31 AM | by | ()

Earlier this week, we told you about our recent stay at the Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live. Today, with this photo gallery of dishes, we’re going to take you along on the over-the-top dinner we enjoyed at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Wolfgang Puck’s WP24.

As the name suggests, the restaurant is on the hotel’s…24th floor. Duh. Guests enter through the front bar area, where hostesses stand ready to take them through the swinging after-work crowd populating the bar, and the bird’s nest-like booths, or “pods” as they’re called, in the lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown’s office towers.

Past another back bar in a dark corner of the floor, another pair of unmarked doors opens up into the low-lit dining room, with its equally spectacular views of downtown.

Seating just 66 people, the dining room feels intimate but bustling, with overhanging lights that mirror the city’s skyscrapers, and a combination of small tables and circular booths, though the overall sense created by the design firm iCrave was meant to call to mind an urban garden.

With the menu, Puck gets back to the style that made him famous in the first place at Chinois on Main: a flamboyant take on traditional Asian cuisine.

We started our meal with spring rolls with Maine lobster, prawns, and 10-spice honey; and the steamed baby bao buns with slow-braised pork belly and a Chinese honey-garlic glaze.

Then we tried the signature dim sum tasting plate with five types of dumplings: chive crystal dumplings with Alaskan king crab, shrimp and Kurobuta pork; lobster-shrimp sui mai; and “tiny dumplings” of pork belly, black vinegar, chili oil, ginger and cilantro leaves, among others. We also tried a side of the spicy sweet Hunan eggplant with roasted shishito peppers, chili, and crisp garlic.

For main courses, we sampled the whole-roasted duckling “Peking style” with traditional garnishes like bao buns, fresh chilis and scallions; and the grilled lamb chops marinated with Korean gochu jang chili in pickled ginger sauce, with crispy garlic and wild arugula salad.

Funny enough, we still managed to find room for dessert, so we ordered the luscious, layered marjolasian pastry with layers of dark chocolate, white espresso mousse, cashew nougatine and coffee ice cream; and the sticky toffee pudding cake made with kabocha squash, huckleberry compote, hazelnut praline ice cream, and fried sage.

Though there’s a list of inventive cocktails like the Aviation with Hendrick’s gin, Luxardo Maraschino cherries, lemon and Crème de Violette, we flipped through the huge wine list instead, and ended up pairing our dishes to Gruner Veltliner’s and Blaufrankirsch’s from Puck’s native Austria. All in all it was a meal of international flavors.

You might have noticed we didn’t put down any prices. That’s because the pay scale is based on the number of courses you have and breaks down like this:

-3 Course Menu: $70
-4 Course Menu: $100
-7 Course “Several Tastes of Good Fortune” Tasting Menu: $130, $185 with wine pairings
-Chef’s 10 Course Dynasty Menu: $160

We could have gotten by on the three-course, personally, but if you feel like splurging (or if you have an expense account like many of the other patrons in town for business and conventions do) this is definitely the hot new hotel restaurant to do it.

Full disclosure: Eric Rosen attended WP24 as a guest of the Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live but all opinions expressed are entirely his own.

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