Beverly Hills' iconic "Pink Palace" is celebrating its glamorous roots by giving its signature restaurant dish a lavish upgrade – and a new price tag to match.
The Beverly Hills Hotel's iconic McCarthy salad recipe has remained untouched for decades, but from June through December guests will be able to upgrade the traditional menu item to a $1912 version, as part of a 110th anniversary promotion.
The salad's $US1912 (around $A2750) cost pays homage to the year the hotel was founded, 1912, with a portion of proceeds from the salad going towards historic preservation organisation LA Conservancy.
The reimagined dish will be served by staff with white gloves and feature a slew of luxurious new ingredients including lobster and caviar, and gold leaf flakes – washed down with a bottle of Dom Pérignon.
Additionally, the salad will arrive in a commemorative bowl made specially by French porcelain house Bernardaud, with a design inspired by the hotel's iconic Martinique banana leaf wallpaper print. Guests can take the bowl home with them at the end of the meal.
A standard McCarthy will set guests back $63 ($US44), a price point that might raise eyebrows outside of Hollywood circles, though the hotel's restaurants serve on average around 600 of the dish each week. It features two types of lettuce, organic chicken, beetroot, egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato and avocado, with a balsamic dressing.
The McCarthy salad was named after one of the hotel's former frequent guests, polo player Neil McCarthy, who the hotel claims one day requested the very specific list of ingredients for a salad while visiting the Polo Lounge. The dish has been a signature of the hotel since.
At $US1912, the upgraded McCarthy salad may be a contender for the world's most expensive.
The record was previously set in 2003 by French chef Raymond Blanc for a $1128 (£635) Florette Sea and Earth salad, which featured a range of rare caviars, langoustines, Cornish crab and lobster. The costly seafood salad was sold at the Hempel Hotel in west London to mark Florette National Salad Week.
The $1912 salad is one of a number of special activities and promotions on offer at the hotel throughout the year, to mark the milestone 110th anniversary.
Other activities include a "love letters" initiative asking guests to pen a note to the hotel on a specially designed letterhead to be displayed throughout May, and a summer movie series in the pool area, showing films that feature scenes shot at the hotel, including Hotel California, Beverly Hills Cop, and Troop Beverly Hills, among others.
The Pink Palace will also host a Bert Stern photography exhibition in the lobby honouring long-time guest and actress Elizabeth Taylor, featuring rare images of the Hollywood great. Taylor's father reportedly had a gallery in the hotel's promenade dating back to her childhood, and the star went on to become a regular of the property, staying after six of her eight weddings, dining frequently at the Polo Lounge, and posthumously having her favourite room renamed "Elizabeth Taylor's Bungalow 5" in her honour.