Opened in August 2021, Thompson Hollywood hotel comprises 190 guest rooms, 16 suites (one of which we stayed in during Frieze Los Angeles), an open rooftop with a picturesque pool, and five distinct food and beverage outlets—all within a new 11-story, glass-and-steel building. London-based interior architecture studio Tara Bernerd & Partners designed the elegant midcentury-inspired rooms and bright, welcoming lobby, weaving comfort into sophistication and style. No detail was left unconsidered and our stay was undeniably pleasant. The venue’s two bars and then-two restaurants were a highlight, and underscored the hotel’s convenience. With the recent opening of Mes Amis, the property’s third restaurant, Thompson Hollywood affirms its reputation as an enticing destination for guests and locals alike.
To learn more about the lush food and beverage ecosystem at Thompson Hollywood, we spoke with Sebastian Puga, Partner and EVP Brand Experience at Ten Five Hospitality, an integrated management company that specializes in lifestyle-oriented hospitality. Prior to his work with Thompson Hollywood, Puga was a fixture at pioneering outlets across New York City for a decade, including many frequented by the COOL HUNTING editorial team. Puga and the Ten Five team helped to plot out the vision for Thompson Hollywood and steered exciting ideas into a handful of hospitality hot spots.
During our stay, the rooftop left an indelible impression. It features two sophisticated venues that are thematically linked: The Terrace and Bar Lis. “They began around the idea of a 1950s or ’60s starlet like Brigitte Bardot, a woman living a life of decadence but with this connection to Hollywood,” Puga tells COOL HUNTING. As the Ten Five and Thompson teams embarked on a deep dive into the work of photographer Slim Aarons and the South of France, they realized no other venue in LA had done this despite the fact that so many Hollywood stars of that era traveled to the Côte d’Azur. They licensed several of Aarons’ images and used them to cement the design direction. From the furniture to the landscaping, music and menus, everything references the French Riviera.
The Terrace and pool make for an ideal respite during sunny mornings or leisurely afternoons, as a beautiful breakfast menu transforms into a thoughtful lunch one. It’s quiet and offers uninterrupted LA views. Bar Lis, on the other hand, which was designed by Bernadette Blanc, has a more convivial environment with a menu of traditional bistro fare. It later transforms into a nightlife venue, with programming that ranges from jazz to burlesque to international DJs.
Downstairs, things are just as exciting. “Our restaurant Mes Amis was concepted alongside our incredible chef partner Lincoln Carson—a James Beard award-winning pastry chef,” Puga continues. “His approach to a modern French brasserie with a California twist delivers something unique to LA. You’ll begin with the most remarkable cuisine and conclude with the spectacular desserts.” Together, the design (led by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and styled by Blanc) and dishes are transportive.
The Los Angeles food scene continues to advance and expand with everything from sustainable options to cutting-edge cuisine. Thompson Hollywood is eager to contribute through all of its outlets. “You have to execute a well-thought-out design, service, food and a vibe in order to succeed,” Puga says. “We are so attentive to all four of these disciplines every time we open any venue.”
When drinking or dining at any of the bars or restaurants in the hotel, one can easily observe a diverse mix of guests and locals. “We create these spaces with the intention to serve Los Angeles,” Puga explains. “The hotel experience is intertwined, of course, but first and foremost we think about its home city. A lot of locals have said to me that this feels like nothing else in Los Angeles. To me, that’s a job well done. That’s what’s engaged the city.” For an Aperol Spritz served with a sunset vista or a mouthwatering dessert as an exclamation point to a superb dinner, Thompson Hollywood’s got the chops.
Hero image of Bar Lis courtesy of Michael Mundy