A Quieter Riot
BY Neal Broverman
March 04 2009 1:00 AM ET
The lobby is mostly dark and stark; only one picture hangs in the airy space. Check-in is accomplished without a traditional desk and without a line. Elegantly dressed hosts direct you to one of many laptop kiosks that handle all the details of arrival, from agent to concierge. Eyes will wander to the lobby's suspended jellyfish-like lights and shiny vertical wall panels that appear to be bursting into flame. A simple black staircase leads to a 24-hour gym and meeting rooms.
The lobby's adjoining restaurant, RH (referencing the hotel's former nickname), is another study in minimalism, where a private dining space is partially surrounded by 400 bottles of boutique California wines and champagnes encased behind glass. Chef Sebastien Archambault and his staff prepare fresh California cuisine from local ingredients in one of Los Angeles's largest open kitchens. Guests can watch the action from the main dining room's long communal marble tables, private two-seaters, or swirling banquettes. An intimate bar, where bookshelves are stocked with volumes about Los Angeles, looks over action on the Strip.