You might recognize Central 214’s kitchen and Chef Blythe Beck from Oxygen’s "The Naughty Kitchen" TV show. Happily, the rebellious, no-holds-barred chef puts as much personality on the plate as she exudes on TV, and a meal at Hotel Palomar’s stark, sharp black-and-white restaurant is worth the $150 you’ll spend for a romantic, three-course meal for two. The patio is the best bet if you want to see and be seen, but choose a table inside for a romantic meal. The uncomplicated room backdrops a straightforward menu with enthusiastically executed old-school American dishes, like chicken-fried oysters, spicy-fried lobster and chicken-fried Kobe steak. You’ll see a lot of fried items on the menu, and the sides tend not to come any healthier. A big ol’ scoop of butterfat-whipped potatoes, anyone? It’s a far cry from low-fat, lean takes on American cuisine…and it’s delicious. Sure, our arteries can only cope with an occasional visit, but our taste buds love every second when we do go.
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