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The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel is one of those places where I immediately felt like I didn’t belong.

It’s everything I’m not. Rich, Famous and Historic. At least, not yet.

First challenge of our ritzy night out: Where to park.

I’m a proponent of avoiding valet at all costs. I’m cheap…and it’s a pride thing.

With a desert of unavailable parking spots surrounding the hotel, I knew I had to hire a car service. Plus, it was my birthday. A good reason to spend extra dough on some luxury.

Like the exorbitant meal to follow wasn’t enough!

We pulled up in our presidential looking big, black SUV and hopped out as if we’d done it a hundred times.

We checked in for dinner at the time when many were finishing up happy hour.

Early Nerd Special, I like to call it.

I make early dinner ressies for the good, natural lighting for my photos. It often makes for empty restaurants or geriatric dining companions.

Upon arrival at the restaurant, I expected a much more snooty atmosphere. But the hostess and our server were both warm and friendly.

The Garden Gimlet cocktail was one of the best drinks I had ever had. Everything was in perfect herby, spicy proportion.

We ordered the famous McCarthy Salad (which is their version of a Cobb) and the Filet Mignon, since it seemed appropriate.

But first we started with the famous (and recommended to me by a friend) Steak Tartare.

This was prepared tableside, which I had never seen before. Also, instead of super thin strips of uncooked beef, we were presented with a huge patty of ground beef. It seemed unnerving at first, but it was so delicious that all fears of later becoming sicker than a dog dissipated.

The salad was so finely chopped it was as if someone had prechewed it for us. Now, that’s going the extra mile for a customer! But I got over the texture quickly and it was also very tasty. And an enormous portion, I didn’t even finish it. Who am I??

The filet was perfectly cooked and I also highly enjoyed the potato tower situation.

The chocolate souffle seemed fitting to order. It was gorgeously presented but we choose a combo of half pistachio and half chocolate and I believe the pistachio flavor kind of got in the way. Go one or the other, I would suggest.

All in all, a perfect special occasion meal when you want to feel like a celebrity and then become sorely disappointed that no one is snapping your photo. Trust me, the paps aren’t fooled by your hat and over sized sunglasses. I know from experience.

The Beverly Hills Hotel
9641 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 276-2251
http://www.beverlyhillshotel.com/the-polo-lounge

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How many Hollywood royalty have gotten wasted in this booth?

How many Hollywood royalty have gotten wasted in this booth?

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One of the best bread baskets ever!

One of the best bread baskets ever!

The menus are on iPads.

The menus are on iPads.

Garden Gimlet -

Garden Gimlet –

Tableside Steak Tartare

Tableside Steak Tartare

All the tartare fixin's!

All the tartare fixin’s!

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Polo Lounge Steak Tartare - 28 - 4oz. of Natural Beef Tenderloin, Classic Garnish, with Herb Fries

Polo Lounge Steak Tartare – 28 -
4oz. of Natural Beef Tenderloin, Classic Garnish, with Herb Fries

McCarthy Salad - 34 - Romaine Lettuce, Chicken, Eggs, Red Beets, Tomatoes, Cheddar Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Avocado, Balsamic Vinaigrette

McCarthy Salad – 34 -
Romaine Lettuce, Chicken, Eggs, Red Beets, Tomatoes, Cheddar Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Avocado, Balsamic Vinaigrette

 Filet Mignon - 53 - Potato Cake, Roasted Root Vegetables, Morel Mushrooms and Madeira Sauce

Filet Mignon – 53 -
Potato Cake, Roasted Root Vegetables, Morel Mushrooms and Madeira Sauce

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My Birthday Souffle!

My Birthday Souffle!

Half Chocolate, Half Pistachio

Half Chocolate, Half Pistachio