The Tuck Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is a boutique hotel with a creative spirit at its heart. The building has a notorious past. Built in 1922 and originally used as a warehouse; it was more commonly known for rooms hired by the hour than by the night – the block’s local brothel. Now the building has been transformed into a stylish 14 bedroom hotel, and the previously run-down neighbourhood has turned a trendy corner.
The concept for Tuck Hotel was a dream long in the making for owner and chef, Juan Pablo Torre. He wanted to recreate the life he lived in Madrid by building a gathering place for friends, family and guests. His hotel was to be a celebration of creative minds and a neighbourhood hub as well as a pretty stylish place to stay, eat and drink.
Born to a Sicilian family in Argentina, Torre’s routes are beautifully mixed, much like his passion for blending flavour, aroma, and ambience. Although hailing from a family of hoteliers and winemakers, Torre worked for five years in medicine before being drawn back to his true calling for the culinary arts. Many cynics had little faith in his grand plan to convert the dilapidated building into a thriving centre for the community, but that’s just what he’s done.
As you walk into the lobby, Tuck Hotel’s cool contemporary style is unmistakable. Raw materials of leather, wood and gold are blended with the 1920s architecture. Calm but trendy music plays as you notice the modern art adorning the walls. Meanwhile, collections of books from Picasso to Pollock and Banksy, to satiate any artist’s palette, are placed for your perusal. Then, when the time comes to check in to your room, you do so at the private hotel bar rather than a routine reception. Cocktail in hand, you’re ready and relaxed ahead of your stay.
The eclectic yet stylish vibe continues as you stroll into one of the 14 bedrooms. Each has been individually decorated by Torre with minimalist style but attention to detail. The bathrooms are equipped with everything you need and an elegant collection of l’Occitane de Provence products. You’ll find more intriguing artwork hanging on the wall and, in fact, all of it is for sale. In keeping with Torre’s community-based mindset, he has tapped into the local artists. The result is a constantly evolving gallery of works throughout the hotel, supporting both the neighbourhood and artists who live there.
Bar Garcia Restaurant
With a chef in charge, it comes as no surprise that food and drink are at the heart of Tuck Hotel. Although the intimate hotel bar is kept solely for the use of friends, family and hotel guests the dynamic restaurant is open for all to enjoy.
The restaurant is a market-driven concept, fresh produce being the key focus and vital ingredient. One day you’ll find wild calamari from Boston, and the next day it will be red snapper or another tasty catch of the day. The fresh dishes are served up with Torre’s signature chef style. If fish isn’t your dish, then the 60-day dry aged steak will melt in your mouth, and there are equally tempting vegetarian choices on offer.
To accompany the varied menu there is an extensive wine list with over 80 different references. The choice is remarkable with some really interesting finds such as Vega Sicilia. Again, in keeping with the hotel’s ethos, the wine has been reasonably priced so everyone can enjoy it. Torre loves his wine and believes it should be affordable. The rule at the restaurant is that they don’t serve anything they don’t like, everything has been vetted by Torre’s Michelin-starred taste buds, and that’s a pretty good recommendation.