The Boxwood in West Hollywood’s London Hotel: inspired cuisine, relaxed setting

The Boxwood in West Hollywood’s London Hotel is a relaxed and open restaurant, filled with natural light, stunning views of the Hollywood Hills and a kitchen that will knock your socks off. Located just off the very smart London Bar, which was inspired by English country house conservatories and orangeries, albeit with a heavy dose of LA opulence, this very pretty dining room is devoted to culinary bliss. Executive chef Anthony Keene brings an ambitious cooking style to Boxwood, inspired by the seasonal ingredients he creatively blends into playful-yet-sophisticated dishes.

Keene’s personal style pairs classic British favorites with bright California flavors, creating a one-of-kind culinary destination. We found a menu filled with surprises and superbly served by a bright team of young professionals.

We swooned over the starters: tai snapper crostini with arugula, tangerines and yuzu dressing, chicken ginger meatballs with house pickled cucumber, lettuce and ponzu, roasted marrow toast, sweet crab gratin with green papaya and seaweed, and Nantucket Bay scallops with deviled butter, green lentils and pork belly. Each dish was nicely nuanced, masterfully balancing acidity and earthiness while never detracting from the main ingredient.

But there was much more in store for us: braised cod and baby clams in a broth of coconut milk with snap peas and shrimp fried rice, Maine lobster risotto with black winter truffles and Brussels sprout, and a modern surf & turf masterpiece with uni butter supporting a dazzling combination of prime New York steak and lobster agnolotti.

Those with less adventurous tastes can opt for terrific renditions of Dover sole, grilled salmon fillet, roasted chicken, bone-in Black Angus and petit filet, all on the menu and nicely paired to sides of a Belgian endive salad, Caesar salad, hand-cut triple cooked fries, sprouts and cauliflower fritters.

The chef even has some old standards like tuna melt, cheeseburgers, chopped salad and scrambled eggs on offer, which in his hands become elevated to heavenly heights.

On hand at Boxwood is a wiz of a mixologist whose métier is the art of the cocktail: Using only fresh juices, fruits, botanicals and purees, we drifted into reverie with such adult beverages as the Bond Girl, the Full Monty and the Oh My Gourd. Boxwood also has a nice selection of drafty and craft beers and the wine list is varied and could break the bank.

All in all, this is a restaurant of excellence. It has risen from the ashes of the former chef, irascible and rather rude Gordon Ramsey and quite honestly far surpassed this savage television personality.

Boxwood at The London West Hollywood is a gem, a refined place where your comfort is paramount, service is very attentive and the cuisine crafted with a rare combination of American whimsy and rigorous finesse. 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069; reservations: (866) 282 4560.

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