A Taste of Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix

When it comes to chic, sleek and unique, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix certainly fits the bill, starting with the rooms. They are decked in clean whites and dark woods, with pops of color, and are the ultimate blend of contemporary, comfortable and quirky. The high-rise hotel has become a Valley favorite for revelers looking for a fabulous spot to see and be seen (this summer, Saturdays and Sundays call for the popular Live at LUSTRE rooftop pool parties), families seeking a casual spot to rest after attending a ballgame or concert (there are several venues within walking distance) or foodies seeking top-notch fare–which is where we come in.

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix definitely has a way with food. In addition to its amazing on-site restaurants, guests are also treated to a complimentary wine hour with chef-made flatbreads in the evening (and they do not skimp on the pour) and a gratis coffee station with granola in the a.m., with a special focus on iced coffee during these blistering summer days.

Poolside, whether you’re participating in one of the action-packed parties (we visited during a Saturday luau complete with a roasted pig and Kona beer samplings) or simply trying to soak up the sun and a good book, LUSTRE Rooftop Bar dishes up enticing eats that blow the usual beer buckets and chips and salsa out of the water (though you can totally get those too). Summer-friendly eats like tacos, salads, flatbreads and sliders fill the impressive menu. The braised short rib tacos comes in a trio and features a jalapeño aioli, pickled radish, corn, pico and a large helping of tender short rib on a flour tortilla. Spicy, a bit crunchy and towering with flavor (and meat!), the tacos can definitely be split among a party of two. Our favorite LUSTRE dish, though? The al pastor flatbread. The flatbread with just enough chew is topped with shredded pork, cilantro and fresh chunks of pineapple. The combination is sweet yet savory, with just enough brightness to be a prime poolside snack, and it won’t weigh you down for the remainder of your poolside afternoon. To wash it all down, any of the house cocktails will do the trick, but who can beat a Monaco with gin, lemon, watermelon and soda on a hot day?

One of our local favorites, Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails, happens to find its home at Hotel Palomar. The restaurant serves up comfort foods with a Southwest influence (not to mention it has one of the best bar programs in the state). The restaurant really shines through its menu of appetizers. The crispy corn grit fries walk the line between being light and airy and indulgent (due to the hearty sprinkling of white cheddar and bacon). Blue Hound’s shisito peppers, an ingredient that has gained popularity on Valley menus, are paired with an addictive and creamy sriracha aioli that you’ll want to double-dip over and over again. Finally, the boudin balls, a favorite in the south, are filled with pork and rice and encased in a hot, crispy shell of breadcrumbs. Paired with tomato jam, if this isn’t comfort fare, we don’t know what is. 

Though there are plenty entrees to satisfy meat lovers, we opted for a few seafood selections: the signature shrimp and grits and the fried catfish etouffee. After one bite, it is easy to taste why the shrimp and grits (pictured) is such a popular offering at Black Hound. Large shrimp are paired with andouille sausage, juicy tomatoes and green onions and placed on a bed of creamy grits. The dish is warming and flavorful, and though it may read as a heavy offering, the bright tomatoes and large shrimp make it the perfect summer meal. For a heartier offering, the catfish is fried, crunchy and decadent, paired with rice, beans, chunks of ground sausage and the “holy trinity” of onion, celery and green pepper. There are lots of textures and flavors at play here, but they all come together in a delicious dish that will keep you satisfied until Hotel Palomar’s coffee hour the next morning. 

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