Some may say enjoying an exquisite lunch in a beautiful setting is the hallmark of a good friendship. And when VIVA GLAM MAGAZINE was invited by PR representative Kim Kessler of The Four Seasons Hotel to sample their new vegan menu, we took this opportunity to enjoy a wonderful lunch together on a bright, sunny day in Beverly Hills.
It has been several years since the menu at The Four Seasons Hotel has changed. And Executive Chef Cyrille Pannier has included several new and exciting vegan dishes that everyone, vegan and meat eater alike, will enjoy. Chef Pannier has a long history with The Four Seasons having spent the last 20 years working at Four Seasons in Dallas, Austin, Houston, Nevis, London and Hampshire.
Lunch was served on the patio dining area of The Cabana Restaurant. The atmosphere is one of Old Hollywood luxury seen in 1950’s movie reels depicting glamorous stars in their heyday. One can imagine Clark Gable and Betty Grable lounging in this simple, yet sophisticated area. Beautiful flowers and exotic plants abound. We were greeted by our server and were treated to Sun-kissed Sangrias made of sangria, pinot grigio, germaine-robin brandy, citrus juices and yummy fresh fruit.
Our first vegan dish was an heirloom tomato and peach salad created by Chef Pannier.
This salad tasted like summer in each mouthful. Though simple in design, this dish had complex flavors that created a symphony in your mouth with each bite. This salad can be served vegan, or with a silky soft burrata.
Our next dish was an antioxidant salad also created by Chef Pannier. This salad was dense, dark and rich in color. Black kale, goji berries, pomegranates, blueberries, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, bee pollen and aged balsamic make this salad a highly concentrated energy boost in every mouthful.
Chef Pannier then served us warm pita bread with romesco, hummus, smoked eggplant and house marinated olives. The olives were pungent and full-bodied, a terrific accompaniment to the pita which we used to scoop hearty amounts of hummus, eggplant dip and romesco.
Our first main course was battered avocado tacos with house pickles, purple onions and ranchero black beans. This dish was created by Spork Foods, an organic vegan cooking school and food company owned by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. What was impressive about this taco is the battered avocados are a great meat substitute. They have just enough weight and density to make this dish hearty and filling. The purple onions are a sweet high note to the earthy black beans.
Our next main dish was the red bean veggie burger sliders with house made beet ketchup, crispy battered pickle, Vegannaise and gluten free buns also by Spork Foods. For meat eaters thinking they will “miss” something by going vegan, this is the dish for you. This fully satisfying dish has the texture of a meat burger and is accompanied by house fries. The crispy battered pickle on top is a fun garnish and the beet ketchup is perfect for dipping your fries into.
And finally, our dessert was Stella’s Best homemade vegan ice cream created by Catherine Weiss. I’ve heard stories of vegan ice cream being too weak, too thin or too icy. I can guarantee this vegan ice cream tasted none of the above. Cool, rich and creamy, we sampled oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and jelly, vanilla, caramel and chocolate. The flavors were so dairy-like that it was hard to believe there was no dairy at all!
Lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Cabana Restaurant is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with family and friends. Vegan, vegetarian and meat eater alike will all find dishes that will make this meal an occasion to remember. Next time we’re in Beverly Hills, we will definitely stop by The Cabana Restaurant for lunch again!