19 Nov, 2009
The Huntley Hotel’s Penthouse, Santa Monica’s Cool Spot for Dining, Cocktails and Views
Santa Monica is Southern California’s preferred beach destination for those hopping off the plane at Burbank Airport or LAX, and seeking to immerse themselves in the Los Angeles / Hollywood vibe. While there are several hotels on the beach or on the ocean-side of Ocean Blvd. that runs parallel to the beach in Santa Monica, some of the finest hotels I have discovered through time include the beautiful, historic Huntley. One day I dropped by for a luncheon on the top floor Penthouse restaurant and was treated to the most amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and downtown Los Angeles. I had never seen these vistas and they made my lunch date so incredibly special, I now long to go stay at The Huntley and try out the rooms, even though I live no more than 30 miles distance.
For lunch we sampled some special wines and began our meal with a Small Plate of Crab Cakes served with Granny Smith Apples and Mustard Butter. Light, slightly crispy, and moist inside with rich bits of crab make these an excellent starter or evening appetizer with cocktails and sunset ocean views. We next ordered the affordable Market Green Salad with a wonderfully light Lemon Vinaigrette, and shaved Pecorino, plus Hearts of Palm. The main dish I ordered was a tasty Crispy Skin Grilled Salmon cooked to perfection. If money’s a concern, this may put you over the top with a price tag of around $22, but it definitely was worth the joy of eating a healthy fish cooked so much better than my own kitchen efforts. Desserts are sinful and to any diet. But if you leave without at least sharing a dessert such as the Banana Bread Pudding with a beautifully shaped spoonful of Burnt Caramel Ice Cream that I tried, you will have missed the prize.
When I added up my bill, it was still slightly less than a room night at The Huntley, which will be my next treat to myself during this autumn / winter season (I actually found rooms for $169/night.) The Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, shopping, and historic buildings and art tours, plus the Getty and Hollywood are all nearby. Location: The Huntley Hotel Santa Monica Beach - 1111 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403