HOVERING LIKE A CLOUD above Newport Beach’s Fashion Island® is the latest addition to this refined center: The LOT, an entertainment utopia curated for comfort and filled with a dizzying array of options for sharing the company of friends, family and associates. Open early morning to late at night, this hybrid meeting, dining, media and special event space is a hub within a hub.
The name is short for “backlot,” a nod to the moviemaking industry. The two principals, hospitality veterans from Mexico City who launched the respected Cinépolis U.S., aim to return moviegoing to the occasion it was in years past. “We envisioned an upscale and sophisticated meeting place where you create your own experience,” says co-founder Carlos Wellman.
The dining area at The LOT could double as a movie set. Tall glass entry doors usher the outside in. A neutral palette beckons, with plush, oversized furnishings virtually begging someone to sink in and relax. It feels a bit like an elegant treehouse: wood panels, high ceilings, diffused light. The effect is that of a backdrop, with the action up to you. My grandson likes to snack on a gluten-free muffin at the pastry café. I favor the grazing plates and fine wine by the glass.