Nightlife, Restaurants

Ditching the young and the restless at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills

December 10, 2012

Photo of the Polo Lounge courtesty of the Polo Lounge

BEVERLY HILLS, USA – 40 may be the new 30, but in Tinseltown, youth still reigns supreme. Ageism is rampant in casting calls, and Young Hollywood just seems to get younger and younger as years pass. On the nightlife scene, one is often hard pressed to find a decent spot that isn’t totally overrun by the young’uns.

That’s why at the Polo Lounge in the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, it’s refreshing to be the youngest in the room at 30. The grown-up spot has been catering to the power set since the 1940s yet hasn’t become outdated or lost its glamorous cachet. Though a small handful of young trendsetters has been rediscovering its timeless cool, for the most part an older and more mature mix of socialites, celebs, and international jetsetters reigns.

Aside from the juicy power scene, the seductive cocktails are also pretty luscious. The hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection, so you’ll find many of the same signature cocktails here that you’d find at other hotel bars within the group. I went for the same delicious margarita I’d previously enjoyed at Le Bar du Plaza Athénée in Paris.

The ambiance here screams elegance. Inside, deep booths and low lighting keep intimate conversations hushed, while the outdoor trellised patio buzzes with an elite group of see-and-be-seeners. You don’t have to worry about a bass-thumping teenybopper soundtrack here–sophisticated live jazz and piano serenade from the afternoon onwards.

Though the Polo is one of the classiest joints in town, they’re surprisingly relaxed about both door policy and dress code. Make a reservation if you want to be extra sure to get in, but don’t lose (too much) sleep over your attire. Leave the trendiness to the cool kids and go for effortless casual glamour, like a stylish day dress and sandals paired with oversized sunglasses.

As a nightlife option, the luxe bar is a perfect spot for classic cocktails and late-night dining–always buzzing, yet rarely overcrowded. But the Polo also offers full dining service starting at breakfast and proceeding through lunch, afternoon tea, snacks, and dinner. The Sunday jazz brunch here is lovely, especially if you can score a seat on the patio. Expect a Californian menu with classics like the eggs Benedict and the McCarthy salad (basically a Cobb with red beets and cheddar thrown in for color and flavor).

While the service can run hot and cold, it’s not prone to snobbery. Yes, the Polo is definitely a place for grownups, but there’s nothing old and crotchety about this Old Hollywood gem.

Read more about the Polo Lounge in our Los Angeles Guide.

Polo Lounge
Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows
9641 Sunset Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA
(1) 310-887-2777
Polo Lounge on Urbanspoon

Click here for our full-form mobile travel guide, The Purple Passport to Los Angeles.

Rachel Levin contributed to this post.

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