Monterey Park invites you to A Classic Hilltop Restaurant that Reignites After a Dramatic Renovation
Could there be anything more precious than space? Even in sprawling Los Angeles, where good square footage is as rare as showers, a spacious room in a convenient location opens up a world of possibilities. On November 2, Luminarias will reopen following a multimillion-dollar renovation and complete menu evolution. This restaurant, banquet hall, and event area are among the largest in Los Angeles.
A favorite destination for tourists
Located on a hill on the Monterey Park side of the 10-710 interchange, Luminarias has been a favorite of locals and visitors since it first opened in 1972. The East L.A. kid attempting to impress a date, the wedding reception of your entertaining aunt, and the graduation supper for Cal State LA and ELAC students have all found their way there for years. Now it has been brought into the present day with a complete makeover by Specialty Restaurants, the same people who brought you Castaway, and the award-winning food hall The Proud Bird, among other places.
The new Luminarias embraces a natural, modernist look, with ferns, fronds, and other foliage brushing against wicker, wood, and stone. The chandeliers add a touch of soft lighting to the room, which pairs well with the sparkling cityscape outside the huge windows. The original credenza was repurposed into the concierge desk, and there is even a swing set up at certain tables in place of chairs.
The revamped bar is meant to be the first stop before supper or a place for the neighborhood to congregate on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays when happy hour is in full swing. The bar’s decor consists of green tiling, geometric shelving, and black leather bar stools. The bartenders have access to fresh herbs, citrus, and other ingredients from the garden immediately outside the restaurant. It includes, but is not limited to, classic cocktails, a broad spirits list, and creative drinks like the Paid Vacation, which combines vodka, passion fruit, basil, tarragon, and Szechuan flower.
The new cuisine, conceived by Corporate Executive Chef for Specialty Restaurants Jim Pastor, is mostly New American, with influences from Mexico and Latin America. Birria Empanadas, Crab Cakes, and Crispy Brussels Sprouts are all available as starters. Included in the extensive raw bar is Ceviche, made in the style of Peru, while the Squid Ink Bucatini is topped with crumbled chicharrón. In addition to the usual large-format main meals like steak and salmon, there are a few grilled skewers and an entire menu dedicated to build-your-own cheese and charcuterie boards.
The restaurant provides a fresh twist on fine dining for special occasions
There are about 130 seats on the patio, all of which look out over the herb garden and are illuminated by string lights. Even though the motorway is just below the patio’s level, the patio’s atmosphere is rural, thanks to the wafting aroma of citrus and herbs.
With its eight event areas that can accommodate anywhere from 25 to 600 guests, the updated Luminarias is a spectacular choice for celebrations of all sizes in the San Gabriel Valley. Banquet halls for seated dinners and ballrooms for dance have been revitalized with a modern, stylish eye, and there are also outdoor places suitable for small weddings. Don’t be fooled; this is still a fantastic spot for your wacky aunt to have her second wedding.