Hotel Stale-Air

Saturday night, March 5, 2016 I and a few friends decided to celebrate a very close friends birthday by going to the Hotel Bel-Air. This had been a place of pleasant dining experiences and good times. And like most things that were once very classy institutions this too has changed, and for the worse. Read on, at some point, someone should post an Obituary for this once vibrant and upscale institution.


Parking? We don't park down here, we float. We all float down here....
Parking? We don’t park down here, we float. We all float down here….

Where you were once greeted by polite and well spoken valet staff, you now have clowns. When we arrived it was raining. Was there an umbrella brought to the car, well at least for the females? Of course not. This property is now a Dorchester Collection. (Note: Dorchester is a dumpy community just outside of Boston and thus the name kinda fits this one time fabulous hotel and place for good food.) If you hear Dorchester Collection when making reservations, RUN!!!! And be sure to hold on to your wallet or billfold.




Our reservation was for 8:30 P.M. and we arrived at 8:35 P.M. However, one of my guests had checked in around 8:00 P.M. I am told by some white doofus who is using words way out of his pay grade and expecting me to listen.NOT! I am told by Sir Doofus Your table will return shortly. I of course ask where did it go?.He made another stupid comment and I stated I had an 8:30 P.M. reservation and why am I not being seated at 8:35 P.M.? When you make a reservation you should realize, this is a place were dinner will set you back a few hundred bucks easy for two and we had four. What was happening right before my eyes was pandemonium at what was once a 5 star hotel and restaurant. Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air is a dining disaster. I have been treated better at Norms. Pick one, anyone!

You call this a steak? and where are my waders at?
You call this a steak? and where are my waders at?

Mr. Wolfgang Puck has put his name on everything from frozen food to big fancy restaurants and has NO IDEA WHAT IS BEING DONE!!! No way would he allow people making reservations to be treated like this. While I was playing word games with doofus, the guy next to me tells me I had a 7:30 P.M. Reservation. I am guessing he thought this would cause me to lower my voice and obvious disgust. We get seated in the indoor dining room and that too is packed like a Dennys on Grapevine during a snow storm. It is not a dining experience that justifies a $56.00 dollar steak (Butchers Butter my ass) that you could place in a shirt pocket, a childs shirt pocket. A very small smudge of mashed potatoes, $13.00. Putting all that aside the service in the dining room is always good to excellent. However, after dealing with the Valet that will park your car for $12.00 and let you get wet, and then dealing with the morons at the reservation desk who tells you Your table left but will be back..what do you think my waiter got from me by the time I was seated? I hated him as much as being there, BUT I was over ruled by the other 3 and stayed. Note: this place was leaking everywhere. The wood floors had at least an inch of water on them at places were you might have to walk. The walkway to the restaurant was wet and slick, and it was not raining that hard. Imagine, water an inch deep on the wood floors. Fake, I am sure, like the two hookers who were looking for the bar and the nights victims. Years ago these gals hunted at the Peninsula Hotel and collected Rolexs there from their sedated victims.

Your table went to the lil tables room, it shall return shortly. Ayup.
Your table went to the lil tables room, it shall return shortly. Ayup.

The bottom line, I guess, is that if you really dont know what once was then you might find this place fascinating. The reality, you are being sold a bill of goods, paying for a Five (5) Star experience and barely getting Two (2) Stars. And the food is served in diet portions but you are paying for the whole side of beef when you get your $56.00 dollar steak, Butchers Butter. Who thinks of these names? Maybe Doofus, the idiot at the desk, who told me Your table will be back? This was a wakeup call that this place is a total and complete rip off..unless you are a young hooker looking for a dry place out of the rain.



Former First Lady Nancy Reagan. 1921 - 2016
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan. 1921 – 2016

During dinner, I made mention that Nancy Reagan often ate lunch here at the Hotel Bel-Air. I actually saw Nancy Reagan and her security detail a few times, while I and friends ate lunch, also back in the day. I made that comment around 9:00 P.M. on Saturday night and this morning, Sunday the 6th of March, I awoke to the news that Nancy Reagan had died at the age of 94. Nancy died at her home in Bel-Air. Certainly a sad day to hear that a great First Lady of these United States had died. To some degree it was also coincidental that I too realized that a once great hotel and restaurant had also died in Bel-Air many months prior.




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By John Nazarian
Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
March 8, 2016
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author

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