E.P. & L.P. has been a West Hollywood staple for years. E.P. is the indoor Asian-fusion spot for modern, chic dining, and the coveted L.P. rooftop has a view of the city that’s pretty much unparalleled — along with cocktails that just won’t quit. But with all indoor dining across the city closed, and a pandemic-related programming pause on the Melrose Rooftop Theater, the multi-story restaurant group has transformed their former theater space into a pop-up restaurant that will make restless Angelenos feel like they’re jet-setting.
Dubbed Las Palmas, and designed to celebrate and channel all things Tulum, the outdoor area is decorated with beautiful wicker furniture, and boasts the same killer views as L.P., as well as quite a few of the bar’s familiar favorites. There is one catch to getting a table at this pop-up restaurant — only parties of four or six will get the real estate, and reservations are highly recommended. Las Palmas is not a place to pop in for a quick drink with a friend, or that a couple could go by themselves for a quiet evening, it requires a group presence, and planning ahead. Hell, this is West Hollywood — not the beach of the east side — there’s even a dress code involved.
While this might all seem jarring to those who have been quarantining alone or with one other person in a constant state of work-from-home athleisure, the extra effort it takes to make a night at Las Palmas happen is actually part of the charm; it’s a reminder that some experiences are worth pulling a dress and boots out of the closet, and that respecting certain guidelines is another way of respecting ourselves. If pulling together four or more during quarantine isn’t your thing, then Las Palmas probably isn’t for you, but for those who are comfortable dining outdoors in a group, the special additions to the menu and overall elegant vibe are more than worth it. When special occasions warrant something more formal and structured, this is the place to be.
We started the night with cocktails, the sweet-and-sour Tulum Nights ($19) a vodka, lime and pineapple with a hit of heady green chartreuse, and the spicy Where Love Lives (also $19) made with mezcal, thai chili, guava and passionfruit. While the drinks are spendy, they’re well-balanced and made strong, and also available in pitcher servings for $90. Don’t get too hot and heavy with the pitchers though, there’s a two-hour cap on all dining experiences at Las Palmas, so make sure you only order what you can reasonably consume within the timeframe.
If the drinks at Las Palmas are great, the food is even better, and the fried chicken sandwich ($13) with gem lettuce and spicy mayo immediately stole my heart. A friend opted for the grilled pork belly sandwich (also $13), an interesting take on these uber-popular bacon-like slabs of pork, which was served with barbecue sauce, arugula and lemon. Both sandwiches came with an ample serving of fries for $8, and a series of appetizers helped round out the night. The salt and pepper calamari ($15) is some of the best I’ve had lately, and comes with shishito peppers and lime aioli to help cut the salt and crunch.
Carne asada skewers ($11) with salsa fresca on the side were so delicious we must’ve ordered three or four rounds of these to appease the entire table, and a take on the classic Mexican dish aguachile was thankfully not quite as spicy as the original, with blue prawns, lime and serrano chili. I was eyeing several other seafood options on the menu, like a gluten-free shrimp tostada ($13) served on crispy corn tortillas, fish tacos ($11), or a lobster quesadilla (!) for a cool $26, but ultimately stuck with my fried chicken to balance out the stiff drinks. Still, I wasn’t driving that night, so we squeezed in another round of cocktails before eventually making our way home to give others the chance to enjoy a warm LA night with the skyline view and tropical island vibes.
Las Palmas is the kind of happy accident that the necessary shifting and refocusing of the pandemic has brought about, and it’s the perfect location for a slightly elevated evening with a group of four or more. Not only is it a beautifully-appointed space with a killer menu, but going to dinner at this pop-up is a limited event, and a night out at this West Hollywood spot helps support a business that has been the beating heart of this neighborhood for so long. My advice? Take a night off, get dressed up, and check out Las Palmas before it leaves. And if nights are too tricky, please note that they also serve a full brunch menu. Just remember to leave the athleisure at home.
Check out more about Las Palmas here.