CUSTOM HOTEL’S ‘DECK 33’ RESTAURANT SOARS
With the reinvention and re-launching of Westchester’s Custom Hotel, now under the umbrella of Joie De Vivre, the hip airport hideout is the only lifestyle boutique hotel situated near LAX, and its recently debuted poolside restaurant Deck 33 really impresses.
Deck 33 is a sheik restaurant and lounge overlooking the hotel’s pool and serves savory food and drinks with a Pacific Rim influence under the leadership of locally renowned Katsuo "Naga" Nagasawa, better know as Chef Naga, who has helped shape favorites like Le Petit Chaya, and Café del Rey. Dining poolside typifies the Southern California lifestyle and it is just the perfect setting for a relaxed meal. And a starter cocktail is a must!
The Custom Margarita, made with tequila, crushed orange, chipotle and salted rim, is a perfect selection, as is the House Mojito with house-infused ginger rum with cucumber, mint, lime and soda. If you’re looking for more sophisticated cocktails to sip poolside, then the Sazerac, with Rittenhouse rye, St. George’s absinthe, and house-made orange bitters, does the trick nicely, as does the An Improper Greyhound made with vodka with St. Germain Elderflower and grapefruit.
With drink in hand, it’s time to move on the Small Bites section of the menu. The Dungeness Crab Cake with black bean salsa, fried leeks, and ruby grapefruit is highly recommended. The menu is filled with wonderful light and refreshing selections such as the Shellfish Cigar with shrimp, scallops, shitake mushrooms, oba mint, yuzu pepper, mango salsa, and green curry, as well as the Yellowtail Crudo with avocado, daikon, mizuna, and warm ginger jalapeno ponzu, along with the Tuna Tartar with nicoise olive tapenade, quail egg, brioche chips, tiny greens, and whole grain mustard.
If you’re in the mood for entrees, Large Bites favorites include the Black Spaghetti served with shrimp, scallop, calamari, lobster, wild mushroom, and garlic white wine. It’s hearty and yet not too filling. Pair it with South Australia’s “Pristine” Sauvignon Blanc and you have quite the mouthwatering meal in front of you.
The Chanterelle Crusted Alaskan Halibut with mushroom ragout, rainbow Swiss chard and roasted tomato is another wonderful and guilt-free selection. Again, a refreshing Chardonnay would be a wise choice. And if you’re in the mood for something heartier, opt for the Chateau Steak with mushroom ravioli, peewee potato-mushroom ragout, roasted tomato, broccolini, and truffle au jus. It’s filling and extremely tasty and satisfying.
There’s a lot going on at Deck 33. Mondays feature a prix fixe three course menu for $30; Tuesday is half-priced wine by the bottle; Wednesday features Chef Naga’s Farmers Market Menu; Thursday includes $7 handcrafted cocktails all night; Friday features Power Lunch with $5 wines by the glass; and Saturdays and Sundays include live poolside music with bottomless mimosas.
Deck 33 is located in the Custom Hotel at 8639 Lincoln Boulevard in Westchester. Hours: Breakfast 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner Sun – Thurs 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri – Sat 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Call 310-258-5706.
Photos & Review by: Jose Martinez
Some Photos courtesy of: Deck 33