Closings

Hotel Bel-Air to Shutter for Two Years in September

The historic Hotel Bel-Air will shutter on September 30th for up to two years of massive renovations. This long close will support a modern face-lift applied to all dining rooms and bars, plus a technology upgrade and re-vamp in all guest rooms. Twelve more villas and a new spa will also be there when the property re-opens. Hotel Bel-Air has long played host to pampered ladies who lunch and the low-pro celebrity set, making us wonder where regulars like Nancy Reagan and pals will scurry to for privacy and tortilla soup over the next 24 months. Maybe they’ll be forced to slum it in Brentwood. Here’s the recipe for the famous dish from RecipeSource, in case they want to hire help to cook it themselves:

Ingredients:

10 corn tortillas, chopped
10 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 lg. onions, pureed
2 fresh jalapeno peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. corn oil
3 heads garlic, pureed
6 oz. ground cumin
16 c. chicken stock

Garnish:
Grated Cheddar cheese
Cilantro sprigs, chopped
Avocado, sliced
Cooked chicken breast, julienne
Tortilla pieces, fried crisp

Heat oil in skillet until hot. Add tortillas and fry until crispy. Add tomatoes, garlic, onions, cumin and jalapenos. Sweat (cover and cook) until tender. Add chicken stock and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour. Puree in blender and strain through a sieve. Add salt and pepper to desired taste. Serve hot and add garnish as desired. This soup is especially delicious on a cold day and can be used as a main dish.

Hotel Bel-Air’s Tortilla Soup [RecipeSource]

Hotel Bel-Air to Shutter for Two Years in September