Last week, Michelin-starred Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon unveiled a whopping 13 new dishes at Hakkasan Beverly Hills, marking the most significant menu transformation since its September 2013 launch.
The chic Cantonese restaurant, like most Beverly Hills residents, recently underwent a facelift and now has a more chic, up-to-date look about it. Truth be told, the bar got a lounge implant — a handful of tables were added, to provide some small-group action. And now, with the new cuisine, the transformation is complete, body and soul.
A convivial group of food writers converged at the Golden Triangle digs to sample the celebrated chef’s latest culinary creations and imbibe in some of the specialty cocktails for which the bar has become renowned. The revered executive chef even flew in to do the cooking.
“My favorite new dish is the lobster soup,” the chef said.
An excellent choice because the lobster soup includes thumb-size chunks of fresh Maine lobster, as well as Enoki mushrooms and shredded ginger in a Chinese superior stock of chicken (including the feet), pork and dried longan (a tree fruit related to lychee), which also happens to feature a quarter-ounce of Scotch.
Another new menu item is the stir-fried squid with cashews. A medley of textures and flavors are on full display in this dish — onion, carrot, scallion, dried chilis and cashews interact with the tender squid in an oyster sauce with honey and vinegar, and garnished with cilantro.
Other dishes include a succulent braised abalone, pan-seared scallops with mango, a wok-fried lamb tenderloin, stir-fried Brazilian lobster and several more, which will delight the senses. But fear not, regulars, your favorites are still here — these are simply additions to the menu. The signature crispy duck salad that has become synonymous Hakkasan (crisped duck breast, seven types of cress, pomegranate seeds, pummelo melon, pine nuts) — that’s still just five syllables away.
General Manager Jordan Ogron (Fig & Olive, Bestia, Rivera, etc., etc.) provides a level of hospitality befitting of the Hakkasan brand, ensuring every diner has a celebrity-quality experience — even celebrities (who are oft-hounded on the streets of Beverly Hills outside — but not inside).
The aforementioned cocktail program remains a delightful extravagance, from the spa-invoking Saketini with its high-octane kick to the olfactory bliss of the Smoky Negroni, served tableside so that the patron might inhale the wondrous scents laden in the cloudy mists. Tastes pretty good, too.
233 N. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, 90210
Scott Bridges is an L.A.-based journalist who has worked as a police-beat reporter, a community newspaper editor, and a food and travel writer. He currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to The Huffington Post and Bizjournals.com, among other sites. He is a native Californian who lives on the Westside.