In the ten thousand block of Wilshire Boulevard in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, there’s a local restaurant and lounge called Palomino. Known for it’s hardwood-fired Mediterranean cuisine and creative culinary menu, Palomino also offers a refreshing Happy Hour. All day, every day in the immense lounge Monday through Friday from 11AM to Midnight, then Saturday and Sunday from 4PM into the late evening hours, a menu of unique and appetizing items are presented for your dining and sipping pleasure. We stopped in recently, curious what Palomino might have to offer in this terrific section of the city. For a Sunday afternoon, it turned out to be the perfect place to enjoy an invigorating cocktail and a few of the delicious appetizers offered on their Happy Hour menu.
The bar in the lounge is massive. Certainly a great place to meet new friends and gather with others for special occassions and still have the spaciousness needed to have a great time without feeling overly crowded. We arrived around 6:30 PM, and the lounge wasn’t packed at all. In fact, we quite enjoyed the this time of day there because even with eight tables occupied in the bar, we still felt as though we were the only ones there. We could hear each other talking and could carry on a conversation without screaming at the top of our lungs, which was appreciated. The soft comfortable burgundy leather chairs offer somewhat of a steakhouse booth feel the instant you are seated. Displayed art on the lounge walls is an eye-catching exhibition and a colorful contrast to the beautiful deep-colored wood and elongated marble bar complimented by a light colored polished floor.
Our server, Jeffrey, was incredibly attentive and adept. He made suggestions from the ongoing Happy Hour items that proved to be flavorful as well as appealing to the eye.
My husband tried Palomino’s Cranberry Mojito above. It was crisp, refreshing, loaded with fresh mint leaves and had a cranberry essence that wasn’t too overpowering. Incredible and a fairly large portion served in a tall glass.
Above, I chose the Pomegranate Margarita. Not too sweet. Not too tart. Just perfectly mixed by hand at the bar and garnished with a simple salted rim.
We wanted to try one of the Happy Hour wines as well. Since we are predominantly red wine aficionados, we chose the above Cabernet on the list, which our bartender graciously poured a sample of to try before having a full glass. It wasn’t bad considering it wasn’t what we’re used to drinking, but when we asked what Palomino’s corkage fee is for future reference, we were told $13 in the lounge or the restaurant! We’ll keep that in mind for next time!
On the Happy Hour appetizer front, we chose three items we thought we would enjoy: the Italian Sausage & Mushroom Pizza, the Grilled Mushroom Salad and we couldn’t resist the sound of the Mushroom & Cheese Risotto Croquettes! There seemed to be a mushroom theme going on since everything we ordered was made with the delightful and healthy fungi…
Italian Sausage & Mushroom Pizza
The Italian Sausage wasn’t too spicy, but it had the perfect amount of flavor. Above, the thin crunchy crust was enjoyed by us both, while the zesty sauce and freshly-sliced mushrooms blended with cheese and fresh parsley on top completed the dish nicely.
Grilled Mushroom Salad
Above, the Grilled Mushroom Salad was a real treat. Loaded with thickly-sliced mushrooms and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, the salad is then tossed in a delicious house vinaigrette and topped with walnuts over a pile of arugula. We weren’t sure it would be large enough for the two of us to share, but it was. And incredibly tasty!
Mushroom & Cheese Risotto Croquettes
Finally, the Mushroom and Cheese Risotto Croquettes arrived! This dish arrives with two sauces for sipping. The first from the left above, a creamy delectable mixture and not spicy, while the other on the right, a marinara-style solution with a zesty flavor. Both terrific with these crispy-on-the-outside, yet creamy-and-bursting-with-flavor-on-the-inside croquettes. Filled with perfectly-cooked risotto, gooey cheese and fresh mushrooms, this is a fried delight that you dare not miss out on! Below, we cut one of the croquettes in half to show you just how amazing the fillings of cheese, mushroom and risotto appear…
Overall, our experience at Palomino was satisfactory. We can see ourselves returning soon, and maybe even bringing along some friends to enjoy the Happy Hour there!
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Palomino’s Lounge is highlighted by it’s massive, rounded marble-topped dark wood bar, colorful artwork, comfortable leather chairs at low-top tables and an excellent view out of any of the huge wall windows in the cocktail lounge.
- FOOD / DRINK: Freshly-prepared selections that are tasty and creatively presented.
- LOCATION: Palomino is located in Westwood at 10877 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90024.
- HOURS: Palomino Westwood is open for Lunch Monday through Friday from 11AM to 4PM, for Dinner from Sunday through Thursday from 5PM to 10PM then on Friday and Saturday from 5PM to 11PM, and the Bar Area is available Monday through Friday from 11AM to Midnight and Saturday and Sunday from 4PM to 11PM. Happy Hour is presented all day, every day in the bar.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Our waiter and bartender, Jeffrey, was very professional, was happy to make suggestions and answer questions and was genuinely pleasant.
- PRICE / VALUE: For what we ordered, and the quality of the drinks and bites we enjoyed, we felt satisfied that we got a decent value for the money.
- CORKAGE FEE: $13 per bottle in the lounge or in the restaurant.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (310) 208-1960, Website: www.palomino.com
- PARKING: Valet parking is available right outside the restaurant, however there is ample metered street parking right across the street that is very convenient as well.
- TOTAL BILL: $36.82 (including tax) for the Italian Sausage and Mushroom Pizza, Grilled Mushroom Salad, Mushroom & Cheese Risotto Croquettes, a Cranberry Mojito, a Pomegranate Margarita and a glass of their Happy Hour Cabernet.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.