photo credit: The Ingalls
Caravan Swim Club
Caravan Swim Club is a breezy, poolside spot at Westchester’s Hotel June where you can drink delicious cocktails in a cabana, but don’t expect a stand-out meal from its Baja-inspired menu. Apart from it being a convenient stop after landing at LAX and a chill place to have a drink, not much else makes this a distinctive destination. The menu is a mix of Mexican, Tex-Mex, and American dishes, all of which are listed at hotel prices (i.e., $25 for three shrimp tacos). Our biggest issue with the food at Caravan, however, is the overall lack of flavor. The cauliflower nachos are coated in a coconut turmeric cashew queso that tastes like unseasoned boiled cauliflower and those (expensive) shrimp tacos are fried in a bland beer batter. There are a few redeeming dishes on the menu, but for the most part, eating here felt like playing a game called, “do you taste anything, or is it just me?”
photo credit: The Ingalls
Caravan Swim Club is a place best left for daytime occasions, and maybe ones that involve poolside drinks and socializing rather than high expectations for a meal. For what it lacks in flavor, this spot makes up for with solid music curation, comfortable seating, good cocktails, and a great list of mezcal and tequila. We’ll happily order a few rounds by the pool and call it day.
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My GF Is Cooler
The refreshing vodka cocktail is as bold as its name. The honey balances out the booze, but lemon, grapefruit, and a splash of bitters keep it from getting too sweet.
Made with prickly pear gin, chile liqueur, and raspberries, this sweet, tangy, slightly smoky cocktail is what we want in a poolside beverage. We love its trippy pink-purple color, too.
photo credit: Abby Cox
Squash Blossom Quesadilla
This shareable quesadilla is one of the more flavorful items we tried. The Oaxacan cheese is salty, the flour tortilla is sturdy, the squash blossoms are tender and delicate—and there’s a smoky-hot salsa roja that brings everything together.
Grilled Queso Fresco Salad
A semi-successful attempt at a Mexican-style halloumi salad. The block of charred queso fresco was satisfyingly squeaky, but the gem salad with a lemon oil vinaigrette underneath lacked oomph.
Shrimp Taco Plate
$25 for an order of fried shrimp tacos will always make us squirm in our seat a little, but paying that much for overcooked shrimp particularly stings. The blue tortillas have a nice chew, and the salsa verde and cauliflower escabeche on the side are solid, but they’re not enough to hide the fact that these tacos are pretty whatever.
We’ll say this: the steak here is perfectly cooked, even if we couldn’t taste its supposed papaya marinade listed on the menu. The garlicky chimichurri, grilled onions, and roasted potatoes, however, were all delicious.
The rockfish and shrimp in this ceviche were nicely cured and not overly chewy, and there was a subtle sweetness going on that went well with the cilantro and onion. It’s just a nice bowl of ceviche with chips.