A boulevard by definition is a street, often lined with trees. Wilshire Boulevard leading to the Westwood Palomar Hotel in Los Angeles may be lined with trees, but BLVD 16 Lounge is lined with good times, great appetizers and warm and inviting staff and management in a terrific upscale contemporary hot spot. This is definitely a place you do not want to overlook!
Making this establishment even better is that the hotel is pet-friendly. Of course, no animals are allowed inside the lounge or restaurant, but are welcome in the lobby area and guest rooms. When my husband asked one of the front desk associates if they allow felines into the hotel, she gave him a resounding ‘yes’ : “We accept all animals! In fact, we had penguins sitting in the lobby not too long ago!” (I’m not sure if she was referring to a group of gentlemen in tuxedos or the actual flightless birds, but hey…they love animals. What more could you ask for)? Either way, kudos to the Palomar in Westwood, CA for boasting the pet-friendly PR and the exceptional treatment of their guests and patrons alike. Kimpton hotels have long outdone themselves by impressing guests, caring for Fido and Sylvester (and Tweety Bird, too!), and for just an all around great sense of ease and style. We’ve not had the opportunity to personally stay at the Westwood Palomar as guests, but we have stayed in others across the country. This is due to the fact that we have a feline companion. (That’s an entirely different blog, but for you cat lovers out there, if you’d like to see a photo of Riesling, our traveling kitty, zip me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org).
BLVD 16 Lounge and Restaurant both offer FREE corkage Sunday night through Wednesday night. A point that makes us very happy. Despite our passing on the “Rush Hour” $3 glasses of wine at the bar, we thought we would just bring in a bottle from our storage locker and have a great time despite. (There are always martinis and brews available as well for those of you out there who aren’t wine connoisseurs)!
This establishment is anything but dull. The beautifully-designed lounge beckons the soul, while the incredible service and welcome feel lures you in. Reuben was our waiter and bartender. If you’re lucky enough to be there when he’s working, you will not be the least bit disappointed. (Call ahead to make sure he’s working before you go!)! His kind smile and genuinely warm personality made us feel welcomed and as thought we were the most important people in the room. We were fortunate enough to have also met the BLVD 16 Lounge and Restaurant Manager as well. His name is Isaac, and his professionalism, courteousness and effort to put his patrons first were impeccable. We certainly look forward to seeing and speaking with him again the next time we’re there.
Now, on to the food and drink fun! BLVD 16 Lounge has what’s called “Rush Hour”. This is basically their version of Happy Hour which includes very inexpensive wines by the glass, brews and well drinks. As this photo of their menu shows, Rush Hour lasts from 4pm to 7pm Monday through Sunday. If you opt to avoid that menu, and if you are there Sunday through Wednesday, you can bring your own bottle of wine in WITH NO CORKAGE FEE! (There’s our favorite line again)! Just remember that there is a 2-bottle limit, so don’t cart in your entire collection of ’78 Chateau Margaux!
The “Bar Bites” menu consists of BLVD 16’s appetizer selection. Interesting thing…it lasts from 4pm to 10pm! (Have you ever heard of such a thing)!?! How great is that! 4PM UNTIL 10 PM! And the options are amazing. Look at the below photos. We certainly couldn’t get them all in…there wasn’t anymore room left! The “Bar Bites” menu boasts various selections such as Mini Tasty Burgers for $3 each (crispy onions, smoked tomato, black pepper, Aioli and Jack cheese), Short Rib Sliders for $3 each (Robbiolo cheese and crispy onions), Crispy Calamari $7 (spicy tomato Aioli and lemon), Fish Tacos $4 each (corn tortilla, pickled Habanero, shredded cabbage and creme fraiche), BLVD 16 Hummus for $6 (served with crispy pita chips), Flatbread $7 (butternut squash, sweet apples, burrata, and truffle honey), Buffalo Chicken Wings $5 (with house-made blue cheese dip), Onion Rings $5 (with paprika Aioli), Herb Fries $3 (served in a mini handled fry basket with ketchup on the side), and the Mini Chop $4 (which is a mini version of a chopped salad complete with grape tomatoes, romaine lettuce, ranch dressing, bacon and heaping with chunks of fresh avocado on top!). We opted for the Mini Tasty Burger, the Short Rib Slider, the Fish Taco, the BLVD 16 Hummus, the Herb Fries and the Mini Chop. (Yes, we ate all of those! But believe me, between the two of us, we really weren’t hungry after. Even despite their smaller sizes)!
Above, the Tasty Burger with melted Jack cheese, a creamy Aioli, caramelized onion and a delicious savory beef burger nestles in between two mini toasted hamburger buns. Below, the Short Rib Slider with succulent beef short rib in a savory sauce, fried onion strings, melted Robbiolo cheese and a toasted bun.
The BLVD 16 Hummus above served with crisped pita chips went very well with the creamy tasty hummus, while the below Fish Tacos were outstanding with their cabbage slaw, fresh lime, pickled habanero and creme fraiche.
Above and below, these Herb Fries were perfectly seasoned, yet not overly salty. The Mini Chop Salad was flavorful, fresh and crisp with its chilled ranch dressing, chunks of crumbled bacon, grape tomatoes and hunks of fresh avocado.
For the art lover in you, BLVD 16 hosts their “Art In Motion” series every Thursday. It’s a 3-Course Menu that varies every week and is complimentary with the art being shown and the artist presenting it. There you can not only indulge in incredible creations on your plate, but also in amazing creations from the artist, who will be in attendance! (For more details on the Art In Motion series at BLVD 16, give them a call at (310) 474-7765.
Don’t forget to have your valet ticket validated before you leave.The lounge is happy to do that for you. (We parked a block away and walked, which wasn’t bad considering that that’s what most do in the city. But next time, we’ll just valet our vehicle in front of the hotel). Just remember to throw a few dollars to the valet who brings your car back to you despite there being no charge for the ticket. (They have to make a living too)!
We will definitely become regular visitors to the BLVD 16 Lounge at the Westwood Palomar Hotel. There is no doubt about that. It is definitely a winner in our book, and we see no reason why it won’t remain that way. Congratulations to Isaac for running and managing a seamless, exciting and unique establishment!
Oh, and by the way…on Thursdays, Hotel Palomar presents the classic acoustic sounds of Jake & Drew in the lobby. Jake Stone and Drew Nichols came together with a common goal. To play the music they love and to enhance the lives of those who listen to their clear acoustic style. Both talented vocalists and guitarists, Jake and Drew perform every Thursday at the Hotel Palomar on Wilshire Boulevard from 5PM to 6:30 PM. If you haven’t heard of them, remember their name. Because we guarantee that you will be hearing of them soon. Since we were introduced to these two entertainers, we’ve made a point to not miss a single performance. Hearing them for the first time, we were amazed. We expected a lot due to what others had told us about them, but we had no idea what we were in for until we heard them for ourselves.
Hailing from Missouri, Jake Stone’s strong lead vocals combine well with Oklahoma-born Drew Nichols’ mastery as Lead Guitarist. Ranging from popular favorites from the 60s to present day popular hits, theirs is a twenty-year combined acoustic talent that forces one to think, urges one to reflect and encourages one to be inspired. Together, their life-enriching, top-notch sound and touching method of delivering happiness to all who listen to their music will leave you spellbound. Performing for scheduled weddings, birthday celebrations and special ocassion events, you can also hear Jake & Drew perform regularly every Thursday at the Hotel Palomar at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA in the Westwood neighborhood. You can contact Jake & Drew directly at jakeanddrewmusic.com.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Upscale and contemporary. Cozy, yet not cramped. Private, yet not isolated. Color abounds everywhere you look, as well as featured artists’ creations strategically positioned around the dining establishment.
- FOOD / DRINK: Other than our recommendation of bringing your own bottle of wine on a “free corkage” night, we saw no other suggestions on the drink front. The “Rush Hour” beverage menu from 4pm – 7pm also offers brews and well drinks if you don’t opt for the wine. On the food front, BLVD 16 blew us out of the water! Great choices, terrific prices, nice-sized portions.
- LOCATION: Located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90024. Just look for the vertical PALOMAR sign in the front of the driveway. (See our first photo posted at the beginning of this blog.)
- HOURS: BLVD 16 Restaurant is open for Breakfast Service Monday-Friday from 6:30 AM – 10:30AM. Brunch Service is available Saturdays and Sundays from 7 AM – 2 PM. Lunch is offered Monday through Friday between 11:30 AM and 2 PM, while Dinner is presented nightly from 5:30 PM to 10 PM. BLVD 16’s Bar Bites menu is available from 4 Pm until 10 PM, while the Rush Hour drink specials are offered between 4 PM and 7 PM daily.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Reuben and Issac were incredible. We were treated like we were family by them as well as a couple of other employees we spoke to at the front desk and valet areas.
- PRICE / VALUE: Everything we ate for under $22.00! If that’s not a value, I don’t know what is.
- CORKAGE FEE: No corkage fee, (up to 2 bottles of wine), Sunday through Wednesday, either in the lounge or the restaurant.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone – (310) 474-7765, Website – www.blvd16.com
- PARKING: Valet is $7, but BLVD is happy to validate your ticket!
- TOTAL BILL: $21.58 (Including tax). Throw in a few dollars to tip the valet who brings your vehicle to you, and you have yourself a great evening out for just a few shillings! (If you’re a local, the lounge will throw in a local discount on top of it all!)
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.