Ace Hotel’s LOAM Focuses on Garden-Forward Cuisine

By Rebecca Horrigan

Walking into the historic 14-story Spanish Gothic Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles feels like diving into the past while, at the same time, exploring a spot that is effortlessly hip and present. It’s this perfect mix of new and old – record players in every room, but the latest luxury bedding, that gives the Ace its soul and its spark. 

Formerly the flagship Theatre of United Artists, the maverick film studio founded by Charlie Chaplin and a film star crew in 1927, the building was restored by the Ace and Commune Design to keep the artistic bones while renovating the space to become a dream spot to visit, gather and create.

I had the pleasure of staying there recently and could feel the creative energy emanating from the doors as soon as I walked in. It doesn’t hurt that the hotel is planted right in the heart of LA’s Broadway Theater District. The Ace boasts a stunning restored historic theater of its own, which hosts a slew of events, premiers, concerts and more. Just sitting in there and admiring the ornate decor and open balcony entertainment was enough. 

Ace Hotel (courtesy photo)

As we headed up to our room on the 13th floor, my jaw dropped at the panoramic views of the city skyline, vintage clawed bathtub, and sprawling bed with warm accents. I was ready to move in. But there was more to explore!

As the fall sky shifted into that sepia toned sunset hue, the rooftop pool and bar was calling our names. The “Upstairs” (as it is referred to at the Ace) was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House and the famous Hollywood night spot Les Deux Café. The ceramic lanterns hanging from trees, sweeping fig vines, and incredible list of cocktails and stellar wines make this spot a little oasis perched above the business of the city. But it was the warm smile and effortless hospitality of our bartender Alex that truly made us feel taken care of. 

The entire staff at the Ace had an aura of kindness and open-mindedness that made hosting look easy, and the good vibes seemed to spread throughout the building. As I nestled into my seat, I looked not just at the sky whipping up a cotton candy sunset, but at the people around me, who seemed to be whipping up exciting projects, plans, schemes and dreams. As I sipped a crisp cava and dipped thick lightly toasted slices of fresh bread into their house made spinach and artichoke appetizer, I soaked up this hopeful and creative energy.  

The ingenuity at The Ace extends to their superb restaurant Loam, in the form of aesthetically pleasing and even more important – downright delicious vegetable-forward cuisine from Executive Chef Joshua Guarneri. I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch there. It was tough not to order everything off the menu, but l went with a mix of classic and refined – a balance the Ace hits so well. For my more sophisticated side, I ordered the market greens with crispy shallots, tomatoes, and cucumber tossed in creamy tarragon dressing. And for the primal side, I ordered their picture perfect grass-fed beef burger, a juicy patty blanketed in cheddar, and topped with bread and butter pickles, onion, lettuce and tomato. Paired with smashed fingerling potatoes, this item is everything you want in a burger. My sister raved about her BLT and we both left with our taste buds singing and minds plotting the next time we could return. Loam is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features a fantastic little coffee bar stocked with Stumptown coffee and pastries for any time of day. 

LOAM (courtesy photo)

The best time to visit Loam and the Ace might just be this upcoming week of October 14- 28 for their excellent Dine LA deal. Dine LA showcases the city’s incredible culinary talents with specially-priced meals at many of their best restaurants for lunch or dinner.

Loam’s lunch special is $25 for a vegetarian cubano or arctic char a la plancha paired with their house red, white or sparkling wine. For $55, guests can enjoy their dinner menu which features a prawn bruschetta or grilled tamale appetizer, wild mushroom pie or tomato braised lamb entree, and almond cake or chocolate semifreddo for dessert. 

If you were looking for an excuse to do a little LA getaway, this just might be the perfect one. When my trip came to a close and I waved goodbye to the staff who felt like old friends, I felt the urge to somehow pocket or bottle the effervescence of this special place to take with me.  

A spiritual beacon of history and history in the making, the Ace reminds anyone who’s lucky enough to experience its magic, to keep looking up. 

 Rebecca Horrigan is a freelance lifestyle, food, and culture writer. In her spare time, she’s molding young minds as an English teacher. 

Rebecca Horrigan

Written by Rebecca Horrigan

Rebecca is a teacher, writer, and lover of food & wine. She enjoys sharing her travel experiences with the Santa Barbara community.

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