On the way to and from a whirlwind trip to Japan (stay tuned) we decided to spend a night at both the front and back ends of the trip in Los Angeles, as we were flying directly to and from LAX.
Just after Christmas we arrived at The Pendry in West Hollywood (partially chosen because one of my sons lives in West Hollywood). The lobby and welcome areas were glossy and “chic” (particularly the lit sculpture in the entry which looked like it was part of the set of the Glass Onion). Since we had less than 24 hours in LA, so we wanted to get ourselves situated and head out to dinner.
The check -in process was easy, although the woman at the desk wasn’t the friendliest. We were handed our keys and directed up to our accommodation on the first floor. Having never stayed at any Pendry hotels before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Once we left the hip lobby environs we found ourselves underwhelmed by the somewhat basic decor and quality of the finishes. It was fine, clean and spacious, but by no means exciting. The rooms were impressive in size, but one major strike against it was the bathroom door which was literally right next to the bed, a huge pet peeve of mine.
In any case, there wasn’t too much time to ponder over the finishes at the Pendry, we had a reservation at Saffy’s, which was reputed to be amazing, and we were starving.
Saffy’s on Fountain is a Middle Eastern restaurant owned by the same group the owns Bavel and Bestia, two other LA hot spots. There is a big buzz about Saffy’s, and for good reason. The restaurant was very crowded, filled with people who were clearly enjoying the atmosphere and the delicious food. Luckily we were five, so that we could order a large percentage of the menu to share between us.
As per usual in Middle Eastern restaurants, the appetizers all sounded enticing. We managed to try about three quarters of what was offered, and they were all outstanding. There were two types of hummus- and we were split about which was better. The falafel was light and delicious, and the roasted carrots were also excellent. I was team hummus tahini, and of course was in heaven finishing the meal with vanilla soft serve with chocolate sauce. The meat eaters in the group raved about the shawarma and skewers. All said, Saffy’s was a big hit, and I would add it to your list if you haven’t already been.
We returned to the hotel, enjoyed a comfortable nights sleep, and in the morning headed down to their restaurant Ospero, for breakfast. To be perfectly honest the restaurant struck me as quite grim. The decor was cheerful, but the mood was a bit somber. It was empty when we arrived, and failed to fill up, and although it was empty the service was slow and lackluster. The food looked a step above airport offerings, and my fruit was left basically untouched. It was at this point that I made the call to switch the night we had booked at the tail end of our trip from the Pendry to someplace different. It was not an inexpensive hotel (I believe the room rate was $905 before tax) so in light of the less than stellar impression it made, we asked our travel agent to switch us to The West Hollywood Edition where I had stayed in the past. To be honest, at the time I didn’t love that hotel either (you can read my review here) but on reflection it was a big step up from the Pendry.
Following the sad breakfast at Ospero, we decided to drown ourselves in pastries at Republique one of our favorite LA haunts. We are not alone in this estimation, there is an ever present line outside the restaurant in the morning, but it moves quickly, and everyone is quite friendly. Once we got to the head of the line we ordered all the treats that struck our fancy and then settled in at a table where we ordered a bit more. Republique has never disappointed (they even have some amazing gluten free selections including fudgy chocolate brownies). Their bread and butter is also a team favorite. If I were to nitpick, the fruit and yogurt bowl I ordered was heavy on the apples which I believe have no place in a fruit salad. Following breakfast we checked out of the Pendry and headed to LAX to begin our big adventure with very full bellies.
Upon our return from Japan we went straight to the hotel and checked in. The Edition gave us a very warm greeting upon arrival and we went directly to our room, which was nearly identical to the one I had spent time in during my last visit. After nice long showers with our favorite Le Labo products we made the decision to go out for pizza, which was what my husband and eldest son were craving following two weeks of incredible sushi and sashimi. While there is indeed some outstanding pizza in Japan, we didn’t get to sample any during our trip.
We didn’t want to stray too far from the hotel as we were pretty fried after the long flight, so we decided to go to Ronan which has a huge following for it’s modern interpretation of pizza (and outstanding crust).
While my guys were craving carbs (which they deemed to be very delectable and satisfying) I focused on the veggies. The carrots (with a big glob of honeycomb) were outstanding, while the broccolini and salad were also noteworthy. The one miss were the potatoes which were greasy but not crunchy, and served primarily as a vehicle for a Calabrian chili paste. All in all, it was a very tasty welcome home meal after our trip, and we were able to navigate our way back to the Edition and fall right asleep.
The public space of the Edition boasts a pretty happening vibe, and is usually quite busy. Its a comfy place to grab a drink and play a game of pool.
Our flight back to Montana was pretty early, so we grabbed breakfast in the very aesthetically pleasing hotel restaurant Ardor which was much more appealing than breakfast at the Pendry, but suffered from similar service issues. 15 minutes for cream to be brought to the table seemed a little excessive, though they did bring me another Americano since my first one was ice cold. Their rooftop bar offers coffee as well, so that might be another option.
If your plans bring you to West Hollywood, I think the Edition is clearly a better experience than the Pendry. If you have room for just one meal, I would go for Saffy’s in a heartbeat- it was terrific.
I will be back in LA later in the year, staying at The Beverly Hills Hotel, so will report on that in due time.
Skipping the Pendry! Need to try Saffys…