For whatever reason the Ace Hotel keeps entering my radar. Before attending a Shakey Graves concert at the Theater at the Ace Hotel last October I didn’t even know the place existed. Recently every time I scour the events pages for what I’d like to discover in LA this week, the Ace Hotel is always in the mix. It beckons me like a lighthouse and I the drunken sailor.
After a full day of shopping at Santee Alley my good friend and I were in need of some serious nourishment and adult refreshments. If you are unfamiliar with the amazing shopping mecca that is, Santee Alley, check out my previous blog post here: The Santee Alley Experience.
It was about 1:30 in the afternoon on a Monday and I was craving something a bit more unique than the typical Santee Alley street food fare. I clicked on Yelp to see what was currently open for lunch, within walking distance and had a full bar. LA Chapter popped up first and it looked perfect. A quick seven minute walk up Olympic Blvd to Broadway and I see LA Chapter. It’s attached to the Ace Hotel. Seriously!?! I can’t believe it. Before I can say anything about this strange coincidence. My friend turns to me and says, “The Ace Hotel? I keep hearing about this place.” I’m beginning to think their marketing team is either brilliant or has ESP. The interior is beautifully decorated. I love the black and white tile floor and bistro tables. We take our seats by the window and begin to peruse the menu.
I order the LA Chapter Bloody Mary, which has great flavor. It needed a bit more spice for my taste, but I like them very spicy. It also came with a humongous celery stalk. The server even commented when she handed it to me, “Here is your drink and your tree.” It did however come with a generous slice of lemon and two big olives. So I was happy. My friend ordered the Waterloo Sunset a vodka cocktail served with spiced pear liquor and Drambuie. A small but potent beverage.
The daily lunch menu is not what I’d expect from a hotel restaurant. Usually there is the standard club sandwich, a chopped salad, and maybe a bland burger. But this place had a ton of unique choices. You could order steamed mussels, a farro bowl, Shishito peppers and a smoked salmon terrine. Yes there is a burger on the menu but it comes with harissa mayo and is served on brioche. The chopped salad, which I ordered came with crispy duck confit and a pickled duck egg. It was delicious. My friend ordered the dry aged burger which came with fries. Mmmmm fries sound good to me too so I order a side. “Sorry,” the server says, “we don’t do sides of fries.” WHAT?! Blasphemy! But she suggests I try the hash browns which are really unique. I am always open to trying server suggestions. Not only do they work there and most likely also eat there. They see what everyone orders and re-orders so I imagine they have a good idea of what’s popular. I take her advice and order the hash browns. I’m so glad I did. They arrived shaped like two small fried croquets. The outside was crispy but not greasy and the inside was soft and warm with a touch of spice. They reminded me a bit of hush puppies. I ate both of them happily.
LA Chapter is definitely worth a visit whether you are staying at the Ace Hotel or not. I would love to come back and sit on the outdoor patio. Preferably when it’s not 90 degrees like it was yesterday. I should come back in the evening when it’s cooler and check out the dinner menu which is just as intriguing. A few offerings that caught my eye are scallop risotto, grilled octopus, lamb steak and spring pea ravioli. Yum! I’m sure there will be another event in my near future that will take me back to The Ace Hotel and in turn LA Chapter.
Check out their full daily menu and learn more about The Ace Hotel and LA Chapter.