Sheraton Universal Retools Restaurant and Bar

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Restaurant Universal City

California's Restaurant and In The Mix lounge bring new energy to the hilltop hotel. [Sheraton]

Sheraton Universal has revamped their restaurant and bar and now features California’s Restaurant and In the Mix, an Art Deco-inspired lounge. The redesigned space features booths and banquettes overlooking the pool, retro leather chairs and a lime green and banana yellow color scheme. In the Mix incorporates fabric-draped cabanas, chaise lounges and a backlit elliptical bar.

Executive Chef Urs Balmer (previously with Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel) and Beres Wall (Hotel del Coronado) designed the new menu, focusing on seasonal, market-driven cuisine. Breakfast brings options like Banana Stuffed French Toast with seasonal berries and maple syrup or Spinach and Wild Mushroom Frittata with baked tomatoes and mild jalapeño salsa.

At lunch, expect to find options like Sautéed Nantucket Jumbo Sea Scallops ($15) with bloody Mary essence, celery leaf salad and caper olives; Panko Crusted Whitefish ($25), with grilled asparagus, fingerling potatoes, pear tomatoes and caper sage brown butter; and Porcini Mushroom Ravioli ($20) with vodka tomato cream sauce and sliced Portobello mushrooms.

California’s breaks out bigger culinary guns at dinner, adding a Dijon Crusted Australian Rack of Lamb ($37) with gratin potatoes, haricots verts and mild garlic thyme jus; and Boneless Braised Beef Ribs ($32) with potato gnocchi, crispy pancetta and root vegetables.

Sheraton Universal is hyping their Ultimate Star Burger (USB), with options like Black Angus beef ($10), American Kobe ($10), Colorado lamb ($10), fresh ground free-range turkey ($10), Veggie ($10) or a luxe Surf and Turf ($30) with Kobe beef & sautéed lobster. Choose from sesame, whole wheat, ciabatta or brioche buns, then top your burger with options like Gruyere ($0.50), wild mushrooms ($1.50), homemade chili ($2.50). Pair your complimentary fries or chips with items from the pantry. Think ancho chile dip, jalapeño salsa or curried cucumber yogurt.

If you’re feeling luxurious, “The Ultimate Popcorn” is seasoned with truffle oil and served with a bottle of Dom Perignon for $350.

In the Mix lounge, you’ll find dozens of vodkas, which are broken down by Silver Screen, “A” List and Award Winners. Each option is available straight up or in a martini. Every listing features tasting notes. For example, the grains in Irish Boru vodka are “distilled four times for smoothness and clarity.” Armenian Marani vodka is “laced with milk and honey and aged in oak.” French Jean Marc Xo features “super sleek, plum and cinnamon accents.” 100% Agave Tequila, Specialty Bourbon, Single Malt Scotch, Blended Scotch Whiskey and Cognac / Armagnac / Grappa are similarly subdivided. You’ll also find craft beers and 18 wines by the glass.

If you’re looking to eat In the Mix, consider Lobster Potstickers ($16) with jalapeño mint vinaigrette, Seared Black Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna Bruschetta ($14) with wasabi aioli or Crispy Coconut Crusted Shrimp ($14) with Hawaiian sugarloaf pineapple and chile glaze.

Address: 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608

Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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