Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon started his career with Hakkasan in 2003 at the restaurant’s original London location. He currently serves as executive chef of the renowned modern Cantonese restaurant’s San Francisco location and has recently been spending time in Los Angeles preparing for the impending opening of Hakkasan Beverly Hills. Here, the chef shares his favorite discoveries from his travels.
Bouchon Bakery in Beverly Hills
“Bouchon is right across the street from our new Hakkasan location on Beverly Drive, so it’s a convenient to stop for lunch, dinner, or a quick snack. I admire the balance they’ve struck between high-end dining and a family-friendly atmosphere. I almost always get one of their salads for dinner. My favorite is the salade de blé berry, which has toasted wheat berries, purslane, cucumber, grapes, Marcona almonds, and a buttermilk dressing. I also go for frequent coffee breaks with the Hakkasan team. 235 North Canon Dr., (310) 271-9910, bouchonbistro.com
I loved Scarpetta’s New York location when I was based there during the opening of Hakkasan New York, and have found the Beverly Hills restaurant to be equally as enjoyable. Though my culinary background is in Asian cuisine, I can appreciate that Scott Conant has done a great job with his “take” on Italian. He makes great use of fresh ingredients, especially in the beautiful selection of seasonal vegetables he pairs with the sirloin of beef on the dinner menu. Scarpetta offers a caliber of Italian cuisine I have been unable to find elsewhere so far in L.A., all while maintaining a simple and approachable menu. 225 N Canon Dr., (310) 860-7970, montagebeverlyhills.com/beverly-hills-restaurants.php
The redesign of Spago features a minimalist layout that makes the restaurant’s vibrant and colorful dishes really stand out. Wolfgang Puck’s cuisine certainly lives up to his reputation for innovative cuisine –combined with what Hakkasan will contribute to the Beverly Hills culinary scene this should cause quite a stir among Angelenos. 176 N Canon Dr., (310) 385-0880, wolfgangpuck.com
Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market
The use of locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients is a signature part of my menus, so I love the impressive selection of produce at the Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market. It’s also a great place to pick up ingredients for a relaxing Sunday morning breakfast. The fresh baked blueberry and raspberry scones from the Manhattan Bread stand make the meal. The market is located along Civic Center Drive between Third Street and Santa Monica and is open Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (310) 285-6830, beverlyhills.org/exploring/farmersmarket/
Photo courtesy of Ho Chee Boon