The hushed, rarefied Peninsula Beverly Hills is more of a special occasion place for us plebeian Angelenos, but you don't have to shell out for a room to enjoy the hotel's summer weekend barbecue dinners up at the cozy rooftop patio and pool area, which recently underwent a $4 million renovation. Come on a quiet Sunday night, and take a seat on the granite tiled patio with a fire pit, the beautifully lit pool, and the Century City skyline providing your evening backdrop.
The prix fixe barbecue dinner for $55 a person is definitely the way to go. You get four courses, though wine and specialty drinks like the jalapeno margarita are not included.
Start with the chef's seasonal-inspired gazpacho with fresh, slightly sweet combinations of quince, watermelon and grapefruit. Course number two is a salad-appetizer combo of light Peking duck spring rolls and a Scechuan cucumber-citrus salad with shiso, cilantro and whole-grain black rice. You can then choose among five barbecue entrees including a juicy grilled rib-eye with tangy Jamaican jerk sauce; and spicy Indian-inspired skewers with huge shrimp, baby eggplant, curried rice, and cilantro aioli.
Dessert is likewise seasonally inspired, and as 4th of July draws near, the chef has arranged an assortment of sweet Americana on the plate with goodies like a chocolate-covered banana (with sprinkles), fresh berries in cream, and a chocolate-dipped ice cream cookie sandwich.
If you're the kind of person who must dictate your own menu (read: control freak), there are also plenty of a la carte options, with starters for about $15, and entrees ranging from $19-$29.