One of Los Angeles’ most iconic hotels, the 726-room midcentury-style Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, has hosted the city and world’s elite since its opening in 1966. The tri-part, 25,000 square-foot ballroom, which was recently renovated, has been the setting for countless Hollywood galas. A social center within itself, the hotel was buzzing on a recent weekend with events that included the Goodwill Gala for Heroes fundraiser and the Beverly Hills Food & Wine Festival, as well as several large private events scattered throughout the hotel’s 100,000 square feet of function space.
Earlier this fall, the hotel’s sous chef Ali Parvinjah was tasked with updating the menu at Breeze, the hotel’s signature restaurant. A veteran of L.A.’s fine dining scene, Parvinjah’s revamp of the menu added vegan dishes and a flavorful Paleo
diet menu that is based on the idea of consuming what earliest humans ate in the prehistoric Paleolithic era. The popular diet emphasizes whole unprocessed foods, grass-fed meats, eggs, wild-caught seafood and nourishing roots, nuts, fruit and vegetables. Left off the plate are dairy products, refined sugars, salt and other modern diet additions.
Paleo diet menu preferences are also available in Breeze’s private dining rooms that hold 12-30 guests. The newly launched fall menu features a selection of seasonally inflected appetizers such as the mildly sweet pear and arugula salad tossed lightly
with a citrus cranberry vinaigrette and a colorful baby organic kale salad topped with bacon and a pomegranate and naturally preserved lemon vinaigrette. Among the entrees is a grilled New York steak accompanied by a layered sweet potato and leek gratin--an instant classic. Sea bass comes with a cauliflower "rice" - basically flavorful pureed cauliflower and a savory kalamata olive and heirloom cherry tomato ragu. While there’s ice cream on the dessert menu, be assured it is made from raw nuts and flavored with maple syrup, topped with raw cocoa nibs - no veering from the Paleo diet concepts.
Three years ago the mid-century gem was slated for demolition but local preservationists and the property’s current owner came to an agreement. The hotel’s striking, curving glass-and-aluminum facade will remain, an original design element from architect Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the World Trade
Center towers. Changes on the drawing boards include a restoration of the much loved building’s exterior by noted local preservation architects, the conversion of some floors to residences, extensive re-landscaping and the addition of two new 46-story towers that will house 290 residences. The project start date has not been announced. Until then guests and event attendees have the option of one of Los Angeles’ most health conscious hotel menus.