Trader Vic's: Alive and Well @ The Beverly Hilton




I'm here to tell you that Trader Vic's is alive and well with an Inside-Outside Patio and still thriving after fifty years. Located downstairs at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, adjacent to their main restaurant, Circa 55, this famous mid-century watering hole is serving its famous drinks and a combination of all its favorites with a variety of sushi, sashimi and innovative dishes designed to keep anyone and everyone sufficiently delighted and extremely satisfied.

The place is really lovely. You enter the bar lounge area with four raised booths. Here, you will be escorted to their second inside room or, perhaps to their patio with a bevy of heat lamps in full operation, when necessary. It's a most dramatic and South Seas environment outside and will charm any lady you bring there. The drinks will do the rest, I promise.

We were there to sample their fare and the results were truly outstanding. I'll give you a rundown:

1. Beef Cho-Cho  (12) Six of the most exquisite satays of rolled beef in a heavenly, smooth, sweet and sour hoisin sauce, absolutely delightful on the palate. Moreover, it comes medium-rare with its own hibachi so you can heat each piece to your desired taste. One of the best appetizers I have ever tasted.

2. Almond Duck Tidbits in Plum Sauce with almond slivers (12)  You get two sticks to try. The smell, taste and crunch of each morsel is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

3. Alaskan King Crab Legs in a black bean sauce (24) This, too, is a must for you have never tasted crab until you pick out the meat in each of these flavorful legs. It's like "dying and going to heaven!"

4. Crispy Coco Prawns coated with coconut (18) Six GIANT prawns in the lightest batter, suffused in coconut, ever to enter your mouth. A tad red sauce and you're on another Trader Vic's voyage to Nirvana.


5. Dragon Roll (18) Spicy tuna roll topped with unagi, avocado and their special unagi sauce. For this we'll defer to Fran's kind comments: A visually beautiful experience which sushi lovers will adore.

6. Hamachi Carpaccio (21) Eight thinly-sliced hamachi in a special ponzu sauce. Tender, smooth and delicious, the fish was about as fresh as it could be and it was gently and lovingly eaten.

7. BBQ Pork Spare Ribs from their wood fired oven (12) Though these come only with Chinese mustard, they are fresh, meaty and smoky. Rib lovers should love these.

And although we've reported on seven of their specialties, please know there are twenty other choices available: Crab Rangoon, Grilled Scallops, Steamed Lobster Dumplings and Crispy Prawns are just a few and sound good to me. Chai, their genial host and General Manger, loves their Thai Red Curry prepared with four different items which we plan to share the next time we're there. And the Wok Fried Rice Noodles with pork and shrimp in a mild curry sauce gets my lips smacking at just the thought. And, when you go, please remember to tell 'em Joseph sent you for they like me very much.

Trader Vic's. In The Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills CA 90210, Tel. 310-285-1300. Open Daily. Dinner for two approx. $70 w/o alcohol.