Once there was this little rock star with big dreams of turning seven. Her mom and dad knew there was only one place that could make this happen…
Welcome to Sunset Marquis. Where dreams come true for lil’ rock star foodies like JetSet Tot. How do I know this? Because on the car ride home last night she repeated over and over, “This was the BESTEST birthday ever.” It made my mom-heart big. Really, really big.
What started out as our annual trip to The Grove to pick out one (OK, fine two) American Girl dolls, turned into a late lunch / early dinner at Cavatina inside the hotel that will always have my heart. I actually sighed out loud typing that last sentence because I have so much love and respect for the property. Not to mention the amazing memories I’ve made with friends here.
This was the first time I brought along the whole JetSet Family so the experience was even that much more special. JetSet Dad could finally understand what I’ve been raving about all these years, and JetSet Tot could visually see her three passions come alive on her 7th birthday: travel, food and rock and roll. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. Sprinkle her love for fashion into the mix and JetSet Tot is destined to live inside one of the properties villas. Mark. My. Words.
Visiting West Hollywood’s very own rock and roll oasis, Sunset Marquis for the first time was a true rite of passage. She woke up that morning asking to look a little “rockish.” So she threw on a pair of Dr. Martens, ripped jeans, flowy vest, black cashmere beanie and blue glasses. Basically dressed as a mini hybrid of Bono and The Edge, she could not have fit in any better.
And we already know she is the pint-sized Foodie Queen of LA, so she was full-on ready to take on the legendary Sunset Marquis Hotel as they launched Cavatina, LA’s newest restaurant led by Award Winning Chef / Restauranteur Michael Schlow on her 7th birthday.
While we didn’t have the chance to meet Chef Schlow, we did meet Sunset Marquis’ fantastic Executive Chef, Roger Eggleston, who prepared not only an outstanding meal for us, but was floored that Tot ordered the Charred Octopus with black chickpea puree, fresno chiles, olives and parsley for her entree. I told you, she’s not your ordinary Tot. She’s pretty flippin’ rad.
From the moment the plates were placed down the JetSet Tot negotiations started in full effect! Who was getting bites of what? The Ahi Tuna small plate with marinated cucumber, jalapeno, meyer lemon and crispy rice we ordered didn’t have a chance to survive the fork fight battle happening at our table. It was so delicious.
Then the entrees came out. Of course Foodie Queen ended up with her whole dish, half of my Slow-Cooked Salmon with whole wheat cous cous, shaved brussels sprouts, bacon and grapefruit and a quarter of dad’s Marquis Cheeseburger with crispy onions, cheddar, horseradish-black pepper sauce.
Our meal was concluded with a very special Happy Birthday dessert which was fabulous. Tot then successfully managed to scam a portion of Dad’s Warm Apple Crostata with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce from right under his nose. I did snag a bite and I can say with all that is truthful, it was the best dessert I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. Whole. Life.
As we were about to gather our belongings (i.e. 27 American Girl dolls,) we struck up a conversation with the General Manager, Rod Gruendyke, Jesse Flores the Food and Beverage Director and Francois Marin, Guest Services Manager, who very quickly became Coco’s bestest friend in the whole wide world. He brought her over to the foot bridge and had her help him feed her favorite, the koi in the pond.
While they were doing that, I continued to discuss with Rod why I love it there so much. It’s magical, it is safe and it’s home. Anyone who walks through those doors immediately appreciates the seclusion and the property’s unspoken rule (or perhaps a forgotten courtesy at most places,) that celebs are treated not only with respect, but as equals. So don’t even think about popping a picture. Seriously, don’t. It is not tolerated.
As we dragged ourselves away to brave the traffic back to OC, we made a promise to come back and stay a little longer to check out their special program designed especially for kids. Mr. Francois made sure to send Miss C. back with some super rock star souvenirs which she immediately brought to school this morning to show off.
The entire staff could not have made this birthday afternoon any more special for C and our family. From being greeted by our favorite, Logan, at the entrance, to being seated directly in the middle of the restaurant so we could enjoy the beauty from all angles, it really was the BESTEST birthday ever.
Then as if the day couldn’t have gotten much better, Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe filled the air. It gave me a moment to soak up what was happening. I’ve never been able to hear that song without tearing up. Now it has become the big beautiful bow that will tie up this special afternoon forever.
And that my friends is my love letter to Cavatina at Sunset Marquis.
Hugs & passports,
Photo credits: Nicole Standley and Sunset Marquis
On occasion, contributors of The JetSet Family receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not hinder the influencer’s point of view. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the overall experience.