LA’s 10 best poolside menus

By Joshua Lurie

Now that summer’s in full swing and the outside temperature hangs near triple digits, pools are some of the only places to find relief. If you’re adding some poolside bites to the plan, there’s no need to settle for hot dogs and rocket pops from a counter. Your better bet is to lounge at some of LA’s finest hotels, many of which add a compelling culinary component and buzzing scenes to pair with the sun’s sizzle. Here are 10 of our favorites right now.

The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows has debuted a new poolside dining venue with seasonal Mediterranean fare called The Kitchen. Chef Yousef Ghalaini, who also oversees FIG, is at the helm of the wood-fired Kalamazoo grills, while a mixologist prepares market cocktails tableside. The Kitchen is primarily geared for hotel guests, but also serves as an event space, hosting monthly guest chef dinners. Jeff Weiss is in the outdoor kitchen on August 16, and September 13 brings a mystery guest chef. Tickets to these monthly dinners cost $75, including food and wine.
Neighborhood: Santa Monica MAP

The Standard Hotel Hollywood
Chef Ari Taymor and Alma at The Standard and cofounder Ashleigh Parsons complement their modern restaurant with an all-day menu that’s available poolside from noon to 10 p.m. Lounge on the sea-blue deck or at the ping-pong table and snack on “bites” like chickpea fries with pickled chile, or share four-person platters of summer vegetables or “al pastor carnitas” with summer escabeche and grilled pineapple. Taymor’s fascination with Mexican cuisine extends to tacos, including fish with squash blossom crema, charred corn, and goat cotija. And this being Hollywood, you can also order a quinoa avocado bowl.
Neighborhood: West Hollywood MAP

Sunset Marquis
Chef Michael Schlow, the Boston-based chef who won a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast back in 2000, is working in collaboration with Executive Chef Chris Turano, and continues to steer Cavatina’s culinary direction at casually chic Sunset Marquis. Schlow understands that some people are happy with house-made potato chips and spicy scallion dip, but also digs deeper with items like a seared tuna Niçoise salad with tarragon vinaigrette, or gazpacho with Dungeness crab. The chef also offers a beast of a burger, with crispy onions, Cheddar, and horseradish–black pepper sauce.
Neighborhood: West Hollywood MAP

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
Jean-Georges Vongerichten brings New York–style French flair to Beverly Hills with multiple outlets within the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. The rooftop pool on the twelfth floor provides panoramic views, white lounge chairs, and umbrellas. Compelling bites to let you while away the afternoon includes pretzel-dusted calamari, angel hair pasta with wax beans and basil-pistachio pesto, and a lobster burger with green chile dressing. And yes, they also have tacos.
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills

Viviane (photo credit: Audrey Ma)

Jack Hotchkin took over as executive chef at the Kelly Wearstler–designed restaurant inside the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills, holding onto the seasonal Euro-American vision for the menu. Breakfast brings lighter options like smoked salmon toast and Greek yogurt parfait, probably to appeal to all the influencers and models that roam the grounds. Lunch focuses more on salads and sandwiches, while dinner breaks out the big guns, like grilled hanger steak, pan-seared salmon, and cacio e pepe. Clearly, this setting calls for cocktails, too—and they don’t disappoint.
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills MAP

Above SIXTY Beverly Hills
Sous-chef Angel Cruz oversees Caulfield’s on the ground floor of the SIXTY Beverly Hills hotel, and his comfort food vision also extends up to Above Sixty, the rooftop bar and lounge. While you soak up the sun, snack on caprese skewers or strawberry spinach salad, or cut loose with a “grande” seafood platter or churros with caramel chocolate sauce. Frozé is definitely the hit sip of summer, and Above Sixty serves their frozen rosé with passion fruit puree and fresh-squeezed juice, while the drink offerings extend to spiked punches and wine.
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills MAP

SLS Hotel Beverly Hills
From sunrise-ish to sunset, the cabana-lined Altitude Pool on the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills roof specializes in share-friendly plates, plus salads and sandwiches. Chef José Andrés makes sure to keep the menu light and playful, including shrimp with cocktail sauce pipettes, and crab cake sliders with mustard aïoli and house-made pickles. Of course you’ll find cocktails, including classics like the Moscow Mule and margarita, plus a fun Copper Passion with Elyx vodka, passion fruit, and a rosé float served in a copper pineapple. Take note: the pool is open to hotel guests and cabana-holders, so plan accordingly.
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills MAP

The Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel
Cabana Café is located poolside at the posh Beverly Hills Hotel, and you will pay a premium to enjoy a slice of prime pink real estate. Thankfully, hotel executive chef Kaleo Adams and chef de cuisine Isidro Padilla keep menu matters interesting. Buttermilk-blueberry pancakes come lavished with Greek honey yogurt and maple syrup. Pineapple Express is a wood-fired pizza with prosciutto, pineapple, Parmesan, and jalapeño. The property’s signature McCarthy salad is a huge, rainbow-colored Cobb variation.
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills MAP

The Hideout
The ONE Group and STK Los Angeles expand their Westwood footprint at W Los Angeles–West Beverly Hills with a poolside restaurant and bar called The Hideout. STK’s Robert Liberato crafted the menu of seasonal, California-inspired share plates. Depending on the time of day, that could mean Dijon-grilled Sonoma lamb loin, California white sea bass, or tea-smoked free-range duck with cauliflower, achiote, and crispy garlic. And yes, seasonality extends to cocktails on the patio.
Neighborhood: Westwood MAP

Skybar, the famed Sunset Strip bar poolside at Mondrian Hotel, gets their food from Ivory on Sunset, the resident Brian Malarkey restaurant. Most dishes are designed to be eaten with your hands. Menu categories include “flatbreads,” “finger food” and “between the bread.” The Maryland blue crab sandwich with bacon, remoulade, and fried green tomato sounds especially good. We know it’s hard work, but a few items actually require you to use a fork. Hopefully the Little Gem Caesar, flatiron steak frites, and grilled salmon with broccolini, Calabrian chile, and avocado puree are worth the “trouble.”
Neighborhood: West Hollywood MAP

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