If indoor mask mandates return to Los Angeles this Friday, it may once again prove challenging to communicate your order, but you won’t be asked twice if you’re seated in a choice booth at The Hideaway, a late-night Mexican steakhouse hidden on a subterranean terrace below Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The first restaurant on Rodeo with a 2 a.m. last call is a breath of fresh air in a neighborhood dominated by sleepy ’80s stalwarts.
The Hideaway, with its movie set interiors, is meant to evoke road trips down to 1970s Baja, but it’s a contemporary touch that’s the draw: “Press for Tequila” buttons on the wall of the 210-seat dining room’s prime tables. That idea was imported from London’s Bob Bob Ricard, the opulent Soho celebration spot best known for its “Press for Champagne” button.
“I like champagne, but I like tequila too,” says Hideaway partner Jeffrey Best, who sees the button as an homage to Bob Bob Ricard’s excessive hospitality, adding, “once you order your first round, you push the button which triggers an app on your server’s watch, so they can reorder your drinks and bring them straight to you.”
For those tables lacking the button, diners can still show off by ordering tableside presentations of everything from freshly-mixed margaritas to tomahawk steaks, building on a nationwide trend of dining room showmanship that’s helped lure customers back out over the past year, from the vodka and tequila golgappa shot starters at Priyanka Chopra’s Sona in New York to the prime rib trolleys at Dirty French Steakhouse in Miami to the roving champagne and caviar cart that navigates the penthouse dining room at Monarch in Dallas.
The drinks at The Hideaway are the work of Julian Cox, the award-winning LA barman best known for his contributions to Bestia and Tartine. Cox left town after his own bar, The Hideout (no relation), closed last year, and he relocated to Las Vegas, where he’s spent the past six months as executive beverage director for MGM Resorts. He returned to LA to develop The Hideaway’s cocktail menu which includes the sweet-and-sour Tommy Margarita made with a mix of blanco and reposado tequilas, a savory Street Corn Old Fashioned, and a green-hued mezcal Pablano Escobar.
Drinks aren’t only available in the dining room. Aged stucco walls open up in unexpected places to reveal a glowing jewel box bar at one end of the restaurant, while an outdoor patio anchored by a central fireplace accommodates more than 200 additional guests.
Elsewhere, a “saloon-style speakeasy” is tucked away for VIPs who want to pop in for a quick plate of wagyu flautas or caviar quesadillas without working the room.
While Cox won’t be behind any of The Hideaway’s bars himself, he’s trained the staff, and at least one celebrity investor, the actor Ryan Philippe, feels up to the task while the restaurant continues to staff up.Philippe ascended the restaurant ranks in between movies, waiting tables before becoming a movie star, then as an investor in Craig’s, the A-list institution in West Hollywood.
“I might even hop behind the bar and serve up some tequila occasionally,” Philippe tells Food & Wine.
Of course, you may not recognize him. Like everyone else, he’ll be in a mask for now.