Another day, another amazing dining option in WeHo. Joaquin Estolano, the chef at The Riot House, located in the Andaz Hotel, works hard and looks pretty hot, spicy, and fit himself. He says, “Ten hours is a short day for me.”
“Fresh and healthy” is his mantra and the menu options are dishes that he may have evolved over years.
“We have many farms in the area and are able to use the freshest produce.” Estolano is proud of his baked kabocha squash. He serves it with fresh ricotta, pomegranate, spiced pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and cacao.
A vegetarian option is a chickpea fritter taco dish served with tomato chutney, dill yogurt, and pickled onion.
Most popular is charred octopus, with chimchurri aoli, suggested for athletes, for adding fitness and strength. The roasted bone marrow, accompanied by purple radish, is a small, rich dish, recommended for muscle recovery. The chef’s presentation is all about esthetics as well; how does it look on the plate? The bone marrow is served, appropriately enough, within a chunk of bone.
A large challenge for Joaquin Estolano and every chef working these days, is diners who have allergies. “Please ask your server about gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options,” appears at the bottom of every menu here. “No one should be left out,” the chef says.
The Riot House Restaurant is glossy, bright, and modern, with an open kitchen. The ambience is casual, in keeping with the Andaz Hotel history, famous for the iconic musicians that created havoc here back in the 60s and 70s, earning the hotel the nickname, “The Riot Hyatt.” Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones threw a TV over the balcony of his room, #1015, now a posh suite with a view of LA. It includes a large TV that’s very securely affixed to the wall.
Greatly subdued these days, the hotel’s heritage is honored in the lobby, where photos of that era’s pop music greats are prominent. The place is all leather chairs and open spaces, a mix of people in jeans with their laptops, glamour, and punk, and the popular rooftop swimming pool is a magnet for swimming, parties, music, and the view. The sleek restaurant is an extension that flows from it all. www.andaz.hyatt.com