Dinner at Ardor at the The West Hollywood EDITION hotel was a scrumptious delicious experience of cuisine - especially dessert - at the The West Hollywood EDITION

I looked forward to meeting Erik at Ardor, on of the restaurants at the West Hollywood Edition in West Hollywood, since making a reservation a month prior. After dropping my car off at valet (parking is $22 for two hours, and $9 each hour after) I followed the easy guidance from the valet to find Ardor, located just off the valet stand, to the right.

Immediately, I loved the lush green foliage and warm wood tones. After greeting Erik at the bar, our hostess offered us a table inside or outside. When I asked if there were heat lamps outside – the host said yes – and they could give me a blanket to wrap myself in so I wouldn’t get cold.

Immediately, my mind flashed back to my experience at The Restaurant at Meadowood Napa Valley, when I was given a cashmere blanket for comfort. Sometimes, it’s the little things that really set the tone for the evening.

I absolutely loved where we sat. It felt luscious and comfortable casual luxury. Even though we were next to Sunset Blvd and heard minor traffic, it truly was not that bad.

Browsing the menu, you just have to factor in that you’re at a hotel restaurant in West Hollywood, California. The prices reflect that.

As an amuse-bouche, FRIED PARSNIPS were first to the table.

Based on raving reviews by our server and host, we ordered the MILK BREAD (Beefsteak Tomato, Rosemary Oil, Sea Salt).

For a cocktail, I started with the PINK DRINK (Mezcal, Grapefruit, Velvet Falernum, Lime). All I can say is that it was perfection.

The pillowy softness of the bread was easily cut with a butter knife. The tomato on top gave the bread a refined elegance. The punctuated sea salt was just enough to give the bread contrast.

The best part about the ALEPPO CRUSTED SHRIMP (Creamy Polenta, Chayote Pickled Rhubarb, Scampi Sauce) was the presentation of the dish. I loved the way it was presented, and then topped with the scampi sauce. It was visually pleasing and tasted just as good as it looked.

To accompany our main course, and based on Erik’s rave reviews, I ordered the GREEN (Vodka, Avocado, Green Chartreuse, Mint). However, I specifically ordered it in a martini glass – which felt better for me. It was amusing to compare it to Erik’s order of the same drink, as it normally comes.

Now, dining at Ardor, there is one thing you should fully understand: there is care and attention to the precise detail of everything. Especially, the salt.

The salt that comes with the 80z PRIME SKIRT STEAK (House Mole Salt, Confit Garlic) is the perfect expression of how the right finishing salt truly makes the meal. The famous TEMPURA ONION RINGS (Buttermilk Soaked, Umami Powder)? Get them. Quite honestly, the best onion rings I have ever had. Once you bite into the crispy perfection, you’ll understand.

When our server came to check on us, Erik and I raved about the mole salt. RAVED. She gave our feedback to the chef, and then returned with a full selection of custom salt creations that Ardor uses. We got additional samples of the House Mole  Salt, Bonito Nori Salt, Yuzu Himalayan Salt and the new Cabernet Sauvignon Salt. She also explained that the Bonito Nori Salt and the Yuzu Himalayan Salt accompanies the 10oz DRY AGED STRIP LOIN and Yuzu Himalayan Salt goes well with the KING CRAB TAGLIATELLE.

And, we got more insight as to what’s in the fantastic House Mole Salt: pink peppercorn, cocoa powder, Maldon salt, Mexican oregano, muscovado sugar. It was incredible.

Hungry for one more thing, we desired to try a dessert. I am so pleased that we ordered the KEY LIME PIE (Mint, Yogurt Lime, Graham Crunch, Rum – Named “Best Dessert In California” – 2023 Michelin Guide) The Malibu Rum is presented in a beautiful spritz bottle, which you spritz on your bites of the dish for aromatics. This was absolutely lovely and a tasteful, delicious work of art.

The best part of dinner with Erik is – as always – our conversations. It is so soul connecting to have someone you can honestly talk about grief – everything from the anger, the frustration, and the memories – with. But this specific dinner had a very poignant conversation about adult friendships.

Adult friendships can be hard. Making and maintaining new friends outside of college – especially out of your 20s – is work. Sometimes, you have friends that are with you for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Within the last few years, I’ve said goodbye to friends I thought were going to be a part of my life for my whole life. Instead, just 30 years for one, 24 years for another and so on. But for every goodbye, I had to accept it and let that person go – and allow myself to say hello to someone new.

Right now, I feel really, truly good about the people I surround myself with. I’ve truly built a community that I can trust, grow with, celebrate with and enjoy moments of pleasure with – large and small.

Life’s honestly no fun when you have a hater secretly hating on you in your midst, while smiling in your face and giving you over the top compliments. Experienced that, grateful for the insight and glad those individuals are no longer in my life.

But, that’s the beauty of growth.  Time moves on. Hurts (sometimes) heal. The main thing I’ve learned is that for every friend that leaves, another potential friend is waiting for your hello.

That’s the way the wheel of life keeps turning.

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Ardor at The West Hollywood EDITION

9040 W Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, California 90069
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