The W Hotel in Los Angeles recently received a face lift, transforming it into a distinctively fun, modern SoCal-inspired space. I was lucky enough to have lunch at their outdoor restaurant, The Backyard, and let me tell you, dining here felt like an oasis.
Designed by Thom Ficilia, the decor at The Backyard is bright, whimsical and chic. The restaurant is situated literally in the W’s backyard next to the gorgeous pool and cabanas (which are worth checking out, by the way). Decorated in hues of cyan, grass, chocolate and white, the restaurant feels worlds away from the street lying just beyond the two acres of lushly landscaped gardens, framed by a 4,000-square-foot sundeck. In fact, I dined on the cushy couches, situated next to the tranquil mini-waterfall, which truly made it feel like an escape.
The menu of Mediterranean-inspired California cuisine was developed by renowned chef Monique King – so expect some incredibly savory eats. We started with the Spicy Tuna Tartare, which was accentuated with gingered cucumbers, lotus root chips, avocado and sesame edamame. Simple, scrumptious and perfect for a sunny day. For the main entree, I had the Grilled Lobster Quesadilla (the true California girl that I am) that was accented with brie, red pepper salsa, crushed tomatillo-avocado. It was totally divine – light, yet filling. It came with a mini-salad that balanced out the rich lobster and gooey goodness of the melted brie. My friend had the Smoked Duck Confit and Roasted Beet Salad, dressed with little gem lettuce, roaring forties bleu, black pepper walnuts, pickled red onion, date vinaigrette. It looked really delightful and complex – and according to her, absolutely delicious.
Other highlights from their menu include the Heirloom Tomato Salad with crispy buffalo mozzarella and aged balsamic; Meyer Lemon Roasted Artichoke with basil-tarragon dipping sauce, tapenade toast; and Roasted Wild Mushroom Pizza with fontina, herbs, truffle oil.
If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, try one of their signature drinks like the Sunset Fizz, which consists of absolute mandarin, raspberry puree, cranberry juice, and a lime popsicle. How fun is that? Or try their twist on one of my faves, the Blackberry Mojito – light rum, blackberry syrup and mint!
Overall, the food is really fresh and flavorful, while the atmosphere is relaxing. Bonus? The staff was prompt and attentive, without hovering. (My iced tea never reached below the half glass mark.) It really made for a very lovely spot to lunch. Whether you’re visiting or you’re a LA native, I highly recommend stopping by to check it out!
The Backyard is located on the ground floor of the W Hotel Los Angeles at 930 Hilgard Avenue. For more information, visit the W Hotel Los Angeles website or call (310) 443-8211 to make a reservation.