Beverly Hills’ uniquely stylish Phillipe Starck-designed boutique hotel SLS (part of the Starwood Resorts Luxury Collection) is well known for its dinner service—when world famous José Andrés is your Executive Chef, you can count on that. But alongside The Bazaar, the hotel also offers a more casual—but equally chic–lobby restaurant Trés, with a weekend brunch that’s a notable alternative both to Bazaar dining and standard brunches.
Also overseen by Andres and designed by Starck, Trés is remarkable from the moment you step in. Open-walled to the hotel lobby, it’s split into two sections: one dominated by communal tables and sexy half-moon booths, the other a series of mini-living rooms with couches set before gas fireplaces, clear Lucite deer heads and shelves filled with intriguing photo books. To the left is a laboratory-like category-killer service bar that offers impressively mixologized libations.
When my friend and I arrived on a recent Sunday, we took one of the couches and felt like we were almost getting a private dining experience (Alexander’s unhurried but on-point service from the first moment to last certainly helped that).
Brunch here offers a modern Spanish-influenced buffet selection in addition to creatively reimagined breakfast entrees, salads and sandwiches. One can choose either option, but the ultimate experience is to combine them, starting with a foam-topped cava mimosa (above), fruit-filled margarita, or jamon and olive-accented Sangrieta. Every cocktail here seems to offer special condiments, special glasses, even special ice! Now that’s attention to detail.
Spread over three tables, the buffet offerings include several agues frescas to be served with cut fruit, greek yoghurt, fresh cold gaspacho poured into glasses with asparagus, carrot, pepper, cucumber and jicima sticks; sliced jamon, chorizo and salami; four well-selected cheeses; two caviars and deliciously mild cured salmon with all trimmings, including whole hard-boiled quail eggs, and seasoned prime rib.
Though this was more than enough to entertain an early afternoon of nibbling, we had to try at least one entrée, and happily, that was the 12 Quail Egg “Omelette,” in which a dozen of the little gems are poached and formed into a blanket over seasoned potatoes, and decorated with chorizo and (I believe) dollops of pear compote. Original, addictive.
Deserts include a number of chocolate pralines, tarts, tortes, gelees, macarons, chocolate and berry parfaits, and a flan that is among the best I’ve ever had. An unforgettable experience.
SLS Hotel is located at 465 South La Cienega Boulevard, 310, 247, 0400