Some of Downtown’s best bars and restaurants can be found looming high over the neighborhood, but a rooftop spot serving vegetal, seasonal cocktails with fresh pastas, stellar views, and gargantuan seafood towers to be dipped in a side of saffron aioli? There can be only one.
The Hoxton hotel launched earlier this month with Sibling Rival, a ground-floor, modern take on the all-day diner, but this week the international boutique hotel chain opened up the top floor with one of the most scenic, romantic rooftop spaces we’ve seen all year. Pilot, from the same kitchen and hospitality group as its diner counterpart, is exactly where you want to be as the sun goes down. Lanterns on every table cast a glow over your charred octopus, the Dungeness crab fusilli, and deep bowls of pastrami-spiced lamb necks while the sky changes colors in the dining room’s wraparound window.
But the seafood-focused live-fire restaurant is just as cheery in daylight, with a retractable roof and bright, herbaceous cocktails on offer. Large-format dishes, cocktail carts circling the room and showy presentation—that saffron “grand aioli” comes served via giant wooden honey dipper—make for an engaging new DTLA spot, or, we should say, two spots.
Separated by a pool, Pilot technically encompasses both the restaurant and the rooftop lounge, an open-air bar with snacks, DJ sets and occasional programming for hotel guests and locals alike. The cocktail menu is more or less the same between full-service restaurant and the outdoor bar, while the pool and bar offer a few of the full menu’s apps and smaller bites: potato chips with caviar and a sour-cream dip; lamb or fish gyro; oysters with apple dashi and sorrel; wood-fired eggplant spread; and, from pastry chef Mallory Cayon, some house-made ice cream in a rotating cast of flavors.
In addition to Pilot’s set cocktail list, which involves some of the neighborhood’s more intriguing components—olive-oil–washed gin, coffee-infused vermouth, Greek yogurt, tiger nut milk—you can also find a section of the menu devoted to booze-free takes on classics: red pepper swizzles, dill juleps and a jasmine spritz, among them.
Catch a glimpse of what you can expect at Pilot, below, then head up to see it for yourself:
Pilot is now open on the roof of the Hoxton hotel, located at 1060 S Broadway. Find dinner service from 5:30 to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 5:30pm to midnight Friday and Saturday, and bar and lounge hours from 10am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am to midnight Friday and Saturday.