Before I dive into my trip to Mariposa, let me spend a split second hitting upon one of my favorite lunch places in Los Angeles, which, coincidentally is also located in a Beverly Hills Department Store.
Greengrass Beanery on top of Barneys (what! you didn’t know it existed! Meer Peasants!) has long stood as a staple on my ‘top picks for a lovely lunch in Beverly Hills’ list. Boasting a gorgeous view and a simple yet elegant menu, I have never been disappointed. Plus, their lunch is probably the only thing I can afford in the department store – so a visit helps momentarily elevate my social status. I was expecting the same vibe at Mariposa, but was quite disappointed. The decor is miserably boring and sterile – akin to a continental breakfast nook in a Holiday Inn hotel. Harsh, but I absolutely hate the ambiance. As if someone shopping at lunchtime wants to eat in a windowless dungeon when there’s a staggering possibility that it is 75 degrees and sunny outside. (Now, Nordstroms at the Grove – that’s
someone who did it right, with a gorgeous patio perfect for people watching. -review to come!)
But we had already parked, and the restaurant was busy with housewives totting birkins, so we decided to give the food a shot. (Albeit, I secretly prayed that nothing was melt in your mouth spectacular so we wouldn’t be tempted to ever return).
The service was exceptional, from the host to the waitress to the bussers. The menu had an impressive number of unique salads, many which were gluten free and, get this, accompanied by a carrot symbol. The little carrot certifies the dish as “go figure” – cuisine for a healthier lifestyle. I was sold. There was even a skinny drink menu with a strawberry margarita for under 200 calories!! But how? Are they magicians! All of the ‘go figure’ dishes had the full nutritional breakdown. Yes even the sat fat and sodium. After you place your order, this fluffy croissant with jam and butter and a little cup of their chicken broth soup is brought out for you to nibble on. How fun! The crab cakes (350 calories!) are delightful, with very little filler and a lovely citrus glaze. I ordered the tuna poke (240 calories!) and was equally impressed. The portions were adequate for one guest and the food was an excellent value for the money.
Would I go out of my way to return to Mariposa. No, never. If I happen to be shopping on the basement floor of Neiman Marcus and the crab cakes call my name. Well then that might be a different story. But you’re still more likely to find me at the bar on the fourth floor. (what! don’t tell me you didn’t know there was a bar hidden in the mens department! Why do you think your husband loves to go shopping at Neimans!)