Luau

Beverly Hills
427
luau_p

Photograph by Ed Rudolph

How does this new venture in Beverly Hills depart from the old-time Polynesian-themed restaurants that once dotted our landscape? The tiki decor is glorious, not garish (a wall of Papua New Guinean masks and the ceiling of lit puffer fish look more art installation than Trader Vic’s). The menu is ambitious (macadamia nut-encrusted ono or banana leaf-wrapped halibut, anyone?). The stylish waitstaff is dressed for St. Barts, not Waikiki. More traditional is the overly sweet tropical drink menu (save for that killer mai tai), ho-hum appetizers like wagyu meatballs and coconut-fried shrimp, and the high prices. » 369 N. Bedford Dr., Beverly Hills (310-274-0090). D Tue.-Sun. Full bar. Polynesian $$$

Photograph by Ed Rudolph