From Mexico to Andaz at Andaz West Hollywood

After a pandemic and pregnancy, it’s nice to get back out. You might say that I “pulled out all of the stops” when I got invited to Andaz West Hollywood. The occasion was “From Mexico to Andaz,” a media evening that combined travel, food, cocktails, colleagues, and Hollywood. A few of my favorite things, no? 

From Mexico to Andaz West Hollywood was a unique celebration of creative culinary and immersive Mexican cultural experiences as I learned about Andaz Mayakoba. The intimate event hosted a joint, multi-course menu between the two luxury properties with Mexican-inspired cuisine, mixology demonstrations, and vibrant art.

Andaz West Hollywood

As I drove down Sunset Boulevard, it was an opportunity to take it all in. West Hollywood is Los Angeles at its most “La La.” I’m guilty of enjoying an episode (or two) of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills here and there. I had a “fangirl” moment as I drove by Pump, Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant, and where many “drama” moments have occurred. Just minutes from Andaz WeHo. I couldn’t help but swoon at the allure. 

And the swank continued as I pulled up to Andaz. I love any chance to be on the Sunset Strip and knew this was rock star royalty. I headed to Riot House, the hotel’s on-site restaurant and bar. Its large, surrounding windows with views of palm trees along the street looked like a postcard come to life.  More on its namesake later.

Lots of Hollywood throwbacks adorn the lobby. Who else loved Tower Records? (c) Mary Farah
Riot House Bar. (c) Mary Farah

Meeting (and Sipping) Mezcal Amaras

Since I’d be spending the evening with Mexico, of course, there had to be tequila, right? Not exactly. Instead, we sampled a fabulous introduction to Mezcal Amaras at the bar. Although mezcal comes from the agave plant like tequila, it’s a completely different experience. 

I felt like I’d graduated from the margarita. While there’s nothing like the refreshing satisfaction of one, the mezcal is mature. Smoky, warm, and made me want to savor it. It didn’t hurt to learn that Mezcal Amaras sets high standards. They grow everything organically and the distillery is all about giving back to Mother Earth. It felt very similar to Santa Fe; that the locals have a beautiful “bond” to their land and food. It certainly showed in my cocktail, Hot Dreams. A dreamy concoction of mezcal, pineapple juice, agave syrup, and habanero tincture. 

As we sipped our drinks, we enjoyed the art of Angélico Jimenez. His vibrant work made me feel like I’d just arrived in Mexico. 

Dinner with Andaz Mayakoba

It was now onto a beautiful dinner prepared by Andaz Miyakoba’s Chef Miguel Gomez (Executive Chef) and Chef Omar Barquera (Chef de Cuisine). The plates were borrowed from some of the items found on the menu in Andaz Mayakoba. 

The decor and upscale vibes to the dining environment felt very “Old Hollywood.” Andaz West Hollywood has created an atmosphere that blends everything we love into the mood of LA. It’s the ultimate love letter to Hollywoodland. 

We began with quick toasts from some of the Andaz West Hollywood and Mayakoba teams. Up next we took a mezcal shot to pair our palette with beef tongue tacos. Yes. You read that correctly. Our starter was a beef tongue taco with cilantro and red sauce on a fresh corn tortilla. Most who know me know I’m not a meat person. Although I understand alcohol and food pairings on a new level when I taste something I already like (red wines, mezcal) with something I don’t usually eat. It was an adventure, and I’ll add it to my exotic foods checklist. 

The works of art by Angélico Jimenez and mezcal bottles from Mezcal Amaras. (c) Mary Farah
Beef tongue taco. (c) Mary Farah
Decadent lobster zucchini blossoms. (c) Mary Farah

From Mexico to Andaz

The highlight of the multi-course dinner had to be the lobster zucchini blossoms. The Chef explained the vegetables were bought that day at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It was a gorgeous presentation, and a plate I’d never experienced. Seafood is my weakness and this burst with flavor. The fresh local vegetables nearly stole the show. 

That’s not to say the colors beetroot salad was shabby. I love root vegetables, and it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed multicolored beets. It was served with burrata cheese, celery root puree, and chard leaves. We rounded out with baked conchiglionis and a mole de olla short rib stew. 

There was a trend with this menu that I much appreciated. Each of the meals was light. When I think of a Mexican dinner, it’s usually heavy. These courses were fresh in taste and creativity. It got me very excited at the thought of one day visiting Andaz Mayakoba. Even the mezcal felt sophisticated. 

Dessert in the Penthouse 

As the saying goes, Andaz saved the best for last. Already falling in love with the property, I was thrilled when it was announced dessert would be in their penthouse. Before Hyatt bought the hotel and created Andaz West Hollywood, it was a notorious haven for the rockers. 

One of the bedrooms in the penthouse. (c) Mary Farah
City views from the balcony. (c) Mary Farah
City of lights! (c) Mary Farah

Back then it was known as the Riot House. Some of their guests included the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who. You’ve heard of them, no? The penthouse is the ideal homage to its musical past. Black and white photographs of David Bowie, the Beatles, and other greats adorn the walls. As you drink your morning coffee or nightcap, the balcony gives you incredible views of the Hollywood Hills, and below you is the Sunset Strip. 

I devoured my cocoa ice cream that included one last shot of mezcal. It was the ideal sweet treat to top off a very sweet evening. xo

  1. Bobbie Kitto

    September 27, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Loved the article. Felt like I was right there with you all the way. Thanks for the experience.

    1. AlongComesMary

      October 5, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      Thank you so much, Bobbie!

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