Greetings and salutations from a sweltering Los Angeles. As I write to you, it’s a sultry 92 degrees. AAC CPA and I are ensconced in a lovely poolside cabana at the luxurious L’Ermitage in the 90210 zip code. We just finished a delicious brunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Avec Nous, with our great friends, Amy and Julie, and it was great to to see them and catch up.
Avec Nous at L’Ermitage
Last night we Ubered over to the Tower Bar in the Tower Arms Hotel up on the Strip. We’ve dined there many times over the years and have always been impressed by the swank factor. The place is gorgeous and very sophisticated, the bartenders and wait staff (all of whom do their jobs extremely well) could well have been sent over by Central Casting. And legendary maître d’ Dimiti Dimitrov has always run a tight ship.
Having said that – and while it was a mixed pleasure to return – I have to admit some surprise and disappointment at the lack of dress code in evidence last night. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one who believes that you have to dress in white tie and tails to go out on a Saturday night. But the preponderance of sloppy t-shirts worn by diners of the male persuasion was just a bit of a shock. Whenever we’ve dined at Tower Bar in the past, the attire was nothing less than casual chic – and this place has been the epitome of chic for as long as I can remember.
The cocktails and dinner were as delightful as ever and our waiter, Ronnie, was perfect: there whenever you needed him, but allowing us to have an intimate dinner a deux.
So, would I recommend that you try out the Tower Bar next time you’re in town? Truth be told, the food is very tasty but, at that price point, there are other places that are just as good. We had looked forward to the whole experience: an elegant, swellagent evening up on the Strip, and our balloon was a bit deflated, sad to say.
Before meeting up with Amy and Julie, we decided to go for a little morning constitutional before it got too hot. Heading west on Burton Way, we ran into a Farmer’s Market just a few blocks from the hotel and decided to walk through to see how they do it out here. We loved it.
In addition to the multitudes of vegetable and fruit stands, there were several bread stands, one stand that specialized in dog food, and a small coterie of goats and turtles in yet another area.
While strolling through, we were beckoned by a very welcoming presence at a stand dedicated solely to balsamic vinegar. The welcoming presence, it turns out, is Chris-Ann, and she gave us a taste of many varieties of her wares: it was mind-blowing. I think my favorite may have been the chocolate flavored balsamic vinegar (to drizzle over your strawberries for a sumptuous dessert). We chatted with Chris-Ann for a good while and really enjoyed both the conversation and the samples.
The Gourmet Blends stand, overseen by the friendly Chris-Ann
Had we lived here, we would have walked away with a few bottles. As luck would have it, you (and we) can order the stuff online. Check it out for yourselves.
CULINARY TIP: Gourmet Blends
I know that you know that we’re back, yet again, at our favorite LA hotel, L’Ermitage, and I believe I posted a picture the other day. But that pic was a cheat, not our room. So I thought you might be interested to see our actual digs:
Our bedroom and sitting area
Dressing area – how about all those mirrors?
Bathroom – part one
Bathroom – part two
Yeah, this place is really cool beans. You might consider giving it a try next time you’re in town.
TRAVEL TIP: L’Ermitage
And now, gentle readers, it’s time for me to cool down. Then we have to think about packing before heading out for our last dinner in town: El Comprade.
Tomorrow: Yountville and the wine country!