“Guests are entitled to the best of everything, regardless of cost,” said Margaret Anderson, the original founder of The Beverly Hills Hotel. We discovered this to be true at Bar Nineteen12. After being closed for over two years, the hotel transformed the venue’s outdoor terrace into an airy, garden-inspired space.
Named after the year 1912, when the hotel opened in Beverly Hills, Bar Nineteen12 offers a creative cocktail menu named for the neighborhoods surrounding Beverly Hills.
This is where you bring a special person in your life or take out-of-town guests to sit outside on the terrace for one of the most quintessential sunsets in Los Angeles. Looking west the views include a skyline of towering palm trees and a peek of the hotel’s iconic pool and cabanas.
The gorgeous lavender-colored cocktail named Pacific Palisades came in a large balloon wine glass with beautiful flowers on the outside. The cocktail is light and achieves its purple color from Butterfly Pea Blossom Tea. It’s topped with a splash of a G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne, Italicus liqueur offering bergamot and citron notes and Elderflower. Beautiful and edible deep purple and white miniature pansies cascade down the glass.
The talented mixologists also make a cocktail named Benedict Canyon that is made with rye and cognac, and a Beverly Crest made with Scotch and Cointreau. The Hollywood is a refreshing and citrusy Grey Goose vodka drink.
Sparkling wines include Paco & Lola, Brut Cava from Spain and my favorite Schramsberg, Brut Rosé from California. They also offer actress Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power’s Avaline organic red and white wines, plus an array of French, South American and Napa Valley varietals.
A rolling cart offers selections of domestic and international cheeses. We selected three to go with our drinks; a yellow Shropshire cow cheese from England, Dado cow cheese from Tuscany, Italy, and 30-month-aged Comté from France. Cheeses are served with accouterments that include roasted nuts and dried fruits.
Executive chef Pedro Contreras crafts the best California products into culinary delights. Having spent over 20 years curating the menus at some of the finest restaurants in the world, Contreras’ passion for food began as a young child. Every weekend his family would select and cook a new recipe together. This love of creating innovative dishes and menus led him to become one of the most dedicated culinary experts for world-class cuisine.
Contreas’ food menu at Bar Nineteen12 is limited, however each dish is spectacular in appearance and flavor. We started with shishito peppers glazed with a smoking chili aioli and an ahi tuna tostada. The crispy corn tortilla shell was topped with chunky avocado spread and a generous amount of slightly spicy ahi tuna cubes glistening with ponzu. It was topped with crisp lemon and peppery flavored cilantro, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds and nori.
Live it up and order the exquisite A5 Wagyu Tataki. It’s one of the best beef dishes you will ever taste. Even though it arrives with just four perfect small slices, the beef is tender, flavorful and very satisfying. It comes with a truffle citrus sauce for dipping, however, I thought the wagyu was perfect alone.
We also ordered the most decadent grilled cheese sandwich in Beverly Hills. On a beautiful floral China plate were four triangles of crunchy grilled sourdough bread with flavorful melted aged white cheddar cheese. Contreras shaves fresh truffle on top to give each sandwich an ethereal earthiness, offering slightly nutty, sweet and savory black olive notes.
After our meal and cocktails, we walked inside the lounge to admire the rotating art exhibition. The night we visited there were photographs from James R. Hedges IV Collection of Andy Warhol Photography.
This is the time to toast to the holidays, see the beautiful decorations around the Beverly Hills Hotel and take in the festive views at Bar Nineteen12. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m. On Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday there is live music starting at 6 p.m. $$$ 9641 Sunset Blvd., (310)273-1912.