Updated: Dec 6, 2019
A Beverly Hills dream lunch
Places to eat in Beverly Hills are in an abundance ranging from all sorts of fun and fabulous cuisines, but if you are seeking a relaxed, elegant, iconic and delicious dining experience then 208 Rodeo is the place to be. Starting off as a gourmet sandwich shop in 1991, it has evolved into a full-service restaurant proudly serving locals, dignitaries, movie stars, well-known athletes, and international travellers from all over the world. The restaurant’s flagstone patio overlooks the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel and for any Pretty Woman movie fans out there this makes it even more exciting and special.
We were greeted warmly by the staff on arrival and so we cheekily asked to be sat in a gorgeous sun filled spot that caught our eye on the balcony overlooking Rodeo Drive, a request that was kindly accommodated.
While pondering over the menu what better way to kick an afternoon off than with a classic and refreshing American Mule cocktail made with Tito’s vodka, ginger beer & lime served in a stunning copper Moscow mule mug. This handmade vodka out of Austin Texas is such a treat using old-fashioned pot stills they taste-test every batch. A process, similar to that used to make fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs, it requires more skill and effort and it shows in the flavour of the vodka.
I had forgotten how much I enjoy this cocktail, one that can certainly be replicated with friends on those hot summer weekends at home.
( I just need to find the fancy copper mug!)
208 Rodeo showcase what they call 'California cuisine with pan-Asian and Italian influences', what a combination! The menu presents beautifully and deciding what to eat was made that little bit more challenging by their additional specials menu filled with seasonal and local delights.
A shared entrée of their signature Sesame Shrimp with sautéed shrimp, tangerine-sweet thai chilli reduction, sesame seed & toasted coconut positively set the tone for what was ahead. The tangerine-sweet thai chilli reduction was like nothing I have tasted before, it was tangy, citrusy, sticky in texture and packed with layers of flavour. The sesame and coconut were the ultimate dream-team and as I am writing this it goes without saying how extremely fresh and well cooked the shrimp were, they almost became the background accompaniment to this incredible sauce that stole the show. This is certainly going on my destination dishes list.
To follow, Tuna Tartare with sashimi grade ahi tuna, citrus ponzu, micro greens, wasabi aioli, & sesame crisp. Fresh, light and cleverly executed, even the diced cucumber on the side was a simple but fresh addition as this dish required a little crunch.
Another highlight was the Fresh Farmers Market Burrata Special with cranberries, candied pecans, cantaloupe melon, micro herbs & oil dressing.
The unusual combination alone filled me with intrigue.
The burrata was so creamy and those little cranberries had a sumptuous tangy bite to them which was subtly sweetened by the pecans. Joey our lovely and attentive waiter recommended a glass of Craggy Range, Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 from New Zealand to pair with the food and he could not have been more accurate. An easy drinking Sauvignon that didn't over power the flavours of these wonderful dishes.
Welcoming and friendly Manager William Toscano stopped by our table for a chat and to check in on our experience, which was a nice touch to the afternoon.
He mentioned that the chef's also specialise in Surf & Turf, sourcing quality steaks and lobsters that are then cooked to perfection.
A great tip for anyone wanting to have a bit more of a hearty evening meal at this venue.
He also offered a fantastic insight in regards to things to do in Beverly Hills and Sunset Boulevard which saw us head off to the Laugh Factory to enjoy an evening of entertainment by some of the worlds best comedy geniuses. Thanks for the advice William!
Add 208 Rodeo on your list of places to visit, be sure to check out the daily specials as these chef's certainly know how to create heaven on a plate, then sit back, relax and watch the world go by while being reminded of all the fabulous movies that have been made in this iconic part of California.
208 N Rodeo Drive
9:00am – 11:30am
11:30am – 5:30pm
5:30pm – 10:00pm
Photos by Hayley Danielle and 208 Rodeo