Friday, September 14, 2012

Brunch at The Penthouse @ Huntley Hotel: Great views & MImosas-a-flowing

Back in February I purchased a GiltCity voucher for brunch at the Penthouse at the Huntley hotel. For $125, you got a brunch for 4 which includes entrees, 2 desserts to share, coffee/tea and most importantly, choice of bottomless mimosas or bloody marys. The voucher expired in May and when I called in April to make a reservation, they were all booked up through May. Fortunately, they planned to honor the voucher after May, with no expiration. A few months later in August, I finally decided to redeem the voucher.

The Huntley Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in Santa Monica a block off the ocean, and The Penthouse is their restaurant located on the top floor.

The hotel used to be a very dated Radisson Hotel until some 5 years ago and The Penthouse used to be their Mexican restaurant Toppers – which had great happy hours. The Penthouse is definitely a nice upgrade from Toppers – the décor is sleek, chic and bright. The view is still as spectacular. The restaurant has wall-to-wall windows and a gorgeous panoramic view of the ocean, mountains and city.

This is the view from their bathroom!

When we arrived, I saw many mimosas being passed around – I knew right away that this would be my happy place.

The menu is typical upscale American brunch. If you were not fortunate enough to buy the GiltCity voucher, they also offer a $42 brunch on their regular menu that includes bread basket, entrée, dessert and bottomless mimosas or bloody marys. Not bad at all.

Delicious mimosas with fresh orange juice. Our waiter never allowed our glasses to be empty.

Although not included in our GiltCity voucher, we supplemented our brunch with a pastry basket consisting of banana bread loaf, lemon poppy seed muffin, pistachio scone, blueberry muffin, served with berry preserve, honey and butter.

Bananas fosters ~ Huge serving that consisted of soft French toasts with a delicious eggy coating and topped with dark rum and brown sugar. The dish surprisingly had a good balance of sweet and savory - it wasn't as overly sweet as it sounded.

Eggs benedict ~ typical simple brunch dish. Nicely poached eggs, and the potatoes were rather tasty with a bit of crispiness.

Huevos rancheros ~ black beans, queso fresco, corn tortilla, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo. Great combination of fresh tortilla with a crisp, and topped with a semi runny fried egg. You could tell how fresh the other ingredients were.

Even though everyone was so impressed with their dish, I think I ordered the best one on the menu!
Corned beef hash ~ poached eggs with chive hollandaise. What a gorgeous presentation -it looked like a steak tartare. The potatoes were well seasoned and cooked well (firm yet cooked through). The chunks of meat were tender, salty and had a slight cured taste to it, yet not overpowering. Loved the half poached eggs on top which added creaminess to the meat and potato mixture when you mixed them all up together.

For dessert~ we shared two between us four, both of which were outstanding.

Chocolate and peanut butter truffle with toasted marshmellow ice cream and toffee pretzel. The chocolate block was very rich and decadent. I really enjoyed the salty pretzel sticks.

Profiteroles were filled with vanilla bean ice cream and served with a side of hot fudge. The choux pastry was fresh and airy. I liked that they filled the profiteroles with ice cream instead of the usual pastry cream.

The Penthouse is a great place for a nice brunch. Our waiter was very attentive and really kept the mimosas pouring. The SO and I recently discussed that when we have guests in town, we will definitely take them to The Penthouse for a nice brunch. The $42 mimosa brunch on their regular menu is still a good deal especially with the good food, excellent views and the very constant pours of mimosa. In what turned out to be perfect coincidence, I received an email yesterday from Travelzoo regarding the same brunch special so I purchased another one today!

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