Bao Down

Exceptional lounging at Puck's 24th-floor nest

It's surprising how few skyscraping dining and drinking options we have in L.A. But Wolfgang Puck is changing that with his new WP24 at The Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live–and you don't need a reservation to enjoy those 24th-floor views.

When you want Puck's take on Chinese-inspired dishes like whole roasted Peking duck, reserve a table in the dining room. But the stunning lounge, with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the entire Southland, is meant for spontaneous snacking.

There's no discount happy-hour menu, but the lounge's bar bites are worth the price. Order the soft bao stuffed with honey-lacquered pork belly ($12), and supple pork dumplings with a slick of sweet black vinegar and chili oil ($12). Or try the crispy squid, with its fiery red-curry sauce for dipping ($12).

It's amazing that Puck hasn't done sushi before: Here, rolls are fat with spicy lobster and scallop ($21) or pristine hamachi ($14).

To drink, the Dragon's Fire, with tequila, grapefruit, jalapeño and Thai basil ($14), offers just enough kick. Trust us, it will help ease the valet sticker shock later.

WP24 at The Ritz-Carlton, 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown; 213-743-8824 or wolfgangpuck.com