- ONE WOMAN ON A MISSION TO DISCOVER & EXPERIENCE ALL THINGS LOS ANGELES
I’ve been relentlessly teased with pictures of some of the most delicious looking desserts and tasty beverages for what seems like months on end from fellow Angelenos enjoying said items at LA’s latest and greatest hot spot: Republique (pronounced: rey-pooh-bleak – say it with me now). Really though, the teasing never began and ended with just desserts and drinks… somewhere along the way there were baked goods thrown into the mix, shots of the fabulous geometric colored tiles that pave the interior, gorgeous lights that hang from the high vaulted ceiling, a chic almost medieval long family dining table, and not to mention images of dishes featuring cheeses and meats on more cheeses on meats. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to hold out for so long from trying the new spot on the block, it possibly had something to do with the fact that quick reservations proved to be as difficult as expected, but needless to say I finally made it LA’s new favorite spot and it was as fucking glorious as I knew it would be.
I have a weird obsession with anything and everything French. French food, French inspired decor, French films, France in general, and I’m very much so drawn to anything that seems to share my appreciation. In the case of Republique, Republique pretty much had me at “Republique”. Then the rest of the world at least in Los Angeles helped solidify my new-found love with plenty of more reasons to obsess over its French-ness. First impression starts with the incredible space: from the tall floor to ceiling windows, the gothic stonework, geometric mosaic tiles, the one and only picture of a young Marco Pierre White, to the warmly lit interior, it’s a space that is so beyond magnificent and grand that it’s almost impossible to explain and give it the justice it truly deserves. One thing that’s for sure is you truly feel transported: whether that’s to a movie set, a place in another time, or a city somewhere in France, it’s undoubtedly an exceptionally unique space.
What they serve in unparalleled ambiance they match in actual eating department. Prepare though, because dinner at Republique is definitely your cheat meal for the week. You will not be able to escape cheese, butter, bread, and meat and truth be told you won’t want to. The menu is classically French inspired, surprise!, with updated seasonal twists that will have you craving seconds. I myself have a new-found obsession for what Republique calls “Normandy Butter”; I’d love to try to explain this properly, but I’m afraid all I heard was “it’s like butter-cheese”. I don’t know about you… but that’s kinda all I needed to know anyway – go ahead and pass that butter-cheese and bread.
Besides the buzz and the whole “French” thing, admittedly what was really drawing me in to Republique, as mentioned previously, was pictures of their incredible desserts. I am the dessert Queen, as some of you may already be aware of, so the true test to winning my affection begins and ends at the end of my meal. Fortunately I’d like to share with you all that Republique passed the taste test with flying colors – Gold. Fucking. Star. I knew it was a good sign that the menu was twice the size as a normal dessert menu and had a variety that would leave me with no choice but to order more than one. I personally ordered the Meyer Lemon Tart and the Salted Carmel Chocolate Cake but I tell you, if I hadn’t shared two salads, two loaves of bread, a strip loin, french fries, and a whole lotta fish, there’s a pretty good chance I would have tried to order the whole damn menu. Good news is Republique ain’t goin’ no where any time soon and I cannot wait to revisit to feed the rest of my curiosities.
Republique is quite the show stopper all the way around and us Angelenos are quite pleased with what the Republique team has brought to the table thus far, literally and figuratively. If you are in need of a place to impress your company this is certainly the place to go. Or if you’re like me and simply happen to be a fan of craft cocktails, sugar, great food, and everything “French”, Republique should be next on your list too.
Somewhere up there at the top of the “LA’s Most Picturesque Restaurants” you’ll find places like Republique, Gracias Madre, and most recently – Manuela. Oh Manuela. I’ve been hearing nothing but amazing things about this place and once I finally had the chance to go, I completely understood why. As mentioned, Manuela is easily one of the most beautiful restaurants in LA right now; it’s located right in the heart of the Arts District in the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel arts complex which is of course complete with art galleries, a garden, and most importantly – chickens. I damn near screamed (in delight) when I saw REAL LIVE ADORABLE HENS in Downtown LA, just sitting there hangin’ out in a garden. Very casual. This garden and those chickens however belong to Manuela who clearly have taken the quality of their ingredients to a whole other level. It’s not all that often that a restaurant has such close access to their very own garden in Los Angeles. (Real estate is quite hard to come by in case you didn’t know!)
Every now and then there’s a restaurant that pops up in LA that suddenly becomes the standard, the test, that determines just how on top of your restaurant game you actually are. For weeks while engaging in foodie talk I’ve been frequently asked by friends and peers if I’d been to Winsome yet, and every time with a hint of reluctance I was forced to answer “no”. I’m never certain how it happens, why it happens, and how which particular places become the “chosen ones”, but when the community speaks, I listen. Winsome is one of the latest chosen ones. Now that I can finally say I’ve been I’m aware of the many reasons that may be, but even before having visited it was clear that solely by the looks of it, the place had appeal. Winsome is exactly as advertised: it’s winsome (adj: attractive or appealing in appearance or character.)
Farmers Market finds + spirits – who knew the two would make such the dynamic duo? Like yin and yang, vegetables/fruits/herbs and liquor seem to surprisingly compliment each other. Adventurous bartenders and “mixologists” all over the city are crafting cocktails inspired by all that is in bloom and currently in season, so let’s just say if you haven’t had vodka with your beets or arugula, it’s time we get you with the program. Here are 8 of the freshest (literally) and most inventive ‘garden to glass’ cocktails to sip on this Spring!
Picture this. It’s Saturday morning, the sun is shining, it’s brunch time and you’re on the hunt for mimosas, a delicious meal, and with any luck you’ll stumble upon a donut. What do you do? Where do you go? You go to the one place, centrally located in LA, that not only offers $14 bottomless mimosas, but a huge menu of all of your favorite brunch items, AND freshly made warm sprinkled donuts – you go to The Wallace in downtown Culver City.
She may be cute, she may be little, but her spicy zest and funky free spirited attitude surprises even the most intuitive of foodie people. Little Sister in Manhattan Beach offers some of the most incredible “East-meets-West” inspired dishes the Los Angeles greater area has to offer. (Serious statement huh. I know. Because I said it and I meant it.) Just when you walk by or even pop in, assuming you’re in for another great California bistro style meal by the looks of the joint, you’re handed a menu that completely surprises and delights you. And by you I really mean me, I have a particular appreciation for all things Asian food related, but follow along if you’re with me. This small and cozy corner joint is consistently buzzing from afternoon through evening, and its attractive rustic chic exterior, and cozy dimly lit interior have all who are hungry curious about what Little Sister is up to. Between the undoubtedly inviting casual beachy vibe, the intriguing “anti fusion” menu, and the nod to Fugazi and Black Flag with their lyrics written on the walls like art, it was quite easy to quickly fall head over heels.
1. Stir Market
“A modern California take on the classic European food hall experience”, Stir Market is your next go-to casual spot to sit down for a meal, where you may also pick up a few locally sourced groceries/in-house baked goods while you’re at it. Breakfast is offered 8 – 11 am daily with the option of brunch that is served until 1:30 on weekends, and lunch/dinner are also served daily – in other words, come in anytime, all day, everyday. Expect all things farm fresh from rotisserie chicken, fresh salads, artisinaly crafted sandwiches, and of course freshly baked treats, wine, and quality everything. This is the perfect spot to head for lunch/brunch with friends, and from the looks of the food and interior, Sir Market is an excellent place for some seriously gorgeous Instagram photo-ops.
Fairfax: 7475 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Open: 8 am – 10 pm daily
Monday January 19 –
Sunday February 1
dineL.A. Restaurant Week | 350+ Participating Restaurants
YES. Our favorite excuse to get out of the house and try (several) new restaurants is BACK and this year we’ve got more options than ever. For the next two weeks dineL.A. Restaurant Week participants will be offering pre-fix lunches from $15 – $25, and/or pre-fix dinners from $25 – $50. You can get the full list of restaurants involved HERE, and if you’re in need of an idea for where to even begin, read my Top 10 Must Have dineL.A. Meals .
2014 has been a great year for the food and beverage industry in Los Angeles: from the kookiest to the most classic of restaurants that have recently opened their doors, LA has done the global foodie scene proud. I’ve had the personal pleasure of partaking in tasting as many of these recent phenoms as possible the past year and as difficult as it is to pick favorites, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. From start to finish, top to bottom, food to fun, these are Love & Loathing Los Angeles’s top 5 favorite restaurants that have opened in 2014; lets see how many you’ve been to too and whether or not you agree!
A few weeks ago I had family friends in town visiting all the way over from Paris France. Between stressing the f*ck out about how I’m planning on communicating with them in general and trying to figure out what about LA they might actually enjoy this trip around I really had to sit down, with wine in hand, and plan out our few days together. I’m pleased to report back that even with the odds stacked against us – they hated their last trip to LA, and communication was reduced down to a 3 day game of charades – they left head over heels for Los Angeles. “William… Didier… Come back Los Angeles.” they said in their adorable Parisian accents, and I have to say, I don’t think I could be any more pleased with myself and my pro tour-guide like skills.
If you’ve got family, friends, people to introduce to Los Angeles that have never experienced such a city, it can be frustrating trying to make plans! You don’t dare let them walk on Hollywood Blvd, and if they want to see the Pier they might be on their own, but it’s in their and your best interest to show them our good sides and give them a better understanding about why you live in Los Angeles, despite their possible initial hesitations. There’s plenty of things to do and places to go that make living in LA look like a freakin blasty blast, if you find yourself volunteering to play tour guide to foreigners visiting LA, here are 5 tested and approved activities to consider:
1. Put your best food forward and show them how we do brunch, lunch, AND dinner.
The best way to experience a city and their culture is through their food, granted LA doesn’t exactly have one specific cuisine everyone abides to, but that’s kind of the beauty of this city, we’re a most epic melting pot of cuisines and our chefs are pretttty freakin incredible. It’s imperative your guests engage in an LA brunch, fortunately there plenty of options to choose from, but somewhere special and unique like Cliffs Edge, A-Frame, Tasting Kitchen, etc is the idea to keep in mind. Lunch is important too of course; think Gjelina, Terroni, Sycamore Kitchen, Public School, etc. Last but not least, finish any perfect day with dinner, perhaps al fresco??, at one of our city’s finest and favs like Eveleigh, Republique, Acabar, and shit maybe even Gjelina again? Kidding, but I know you’ve got plenty of places in your arsenal that you believe would impress out-of-towners – think, reserve, go, enjoy. Be thanked later.
2. Drive them down the PCH to Malibu and do fun shit there.
There’s few things more enjoyable to a foreigner visiting LA than driving down the Southern California coast. Very few. As explained to me by my favorite French men at least. Start off by taking the 10 straight to PCH, see the Santa Monica Pier (look behind you kind of!), drive all the way through Malibu, put the windows down (or don’t), and enjoy the view! The great thing about Malibu is that it’s far but just close enough to feel like you’re taking part in this vacation as well – have a day at the beach should you choose, walk around the Malibu Country Mart, and have lunch or dinner at Nobu, Geoffrey’s, or Gladstones!
*please note whether or not they think they care about celebrity sightings, they won’t shut up over their excitement if they do find themselves around one. Malibu is a pretty great place to attempt said celebrity run-in, we were sat right next to Julia Roberts at Geoffrey’s and I swear these men died and went to heaven. Celebrity sightings = LA vacation made. Just sayin.
3. Take a Drive down Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd, and through the hills to see the houses.
…you don’t want to walk on Hollywood Blvd, or Sunset, so save them from the idea as well, because trust me they’ll be sad. Unless they’re wearing matching ensembles, are donning cameras with lenses they have no idea how to use, and aren’t afraid of sad or cracked out people, I just wouldn’t suggest it. I worked on Hollywood Blvd for 3 years, I’ve seen it all and it ain’t pretty, or fun. But a DRIVE down said Boulevards would be just the ticket: they get the idea, they can say they’ve seen the Chinese Theater and all the venues on Sunset but they didn’t even have to get out of the car and walk around and encounter the weirdness happening on the streets.
*another thing foreigners don’t necessarily admit to is that they want to see the Hollywood homes. Well good news because us freakin too – it’s fun, it’s free, and it’s super easy to find said mega homes. Drive down Sunset heading west towards the beach, turn right up any street and ta-daaa prepare to wow your friends. If you wanna be really crazy get a celebrity homes map and drive around! It’s actually pretty fun – plus it gives us Angelenos something to aspire to owning someday. … I mean if that’s your thing n all, I’d personally like to own ANY kind of property here, but that rant is for another day.
4. Stop off for coffee, shopping, meandering, or lunch on some of our quaintest streets.
We’ve got a lot of “hidden gems” and “off the beaten path” places that foreigners could and would truly appreciate. When I traveled abroad, locals spots, quaint streets, places worthy of instagramming 100 pictures over, etc, were the kind of things I went looking for. We’ve got plenty of places like this to eat, shop, and gallivant around (in one condensed area) so show em why people actually love living in LA by taking them to areas like Larchmont, Abbot Kinney, Montana, 3rd Street, and even Sunset Junction or Culver Blvd. These are the places they’ll remember because they won’t find any chains or chotskies stores here, here they’ll find specialty boutiques, cafes, bakeries, and more of the stuff people curious about culture actually want to see and experience.
5. Get the whole gang cultured at any one of our awesome museums like the Getty, Getty Villa, and LACMA.
… or any museum of your choosing really but these happen to be our most spectacular with a variety of exhibits that come through regularly – aka even if you’ve been, you won’t be bored. The Getty is particularly magnificent, it’s got an incredibly impressive view of Los Angeles that is guaranteed to awe, a perfectly primped garden that everyone should see, and of course a plethora of phenomenal art to experience. LACMA is another one of those places very near and dear to our LA lovin hearts, I’ve never heard of anyone not enjoying the museum so hey, you’ve got that going for you. Maybe even try to catch a Jazz at LACMA show and REALLY show your guests something fun and unique about Los Angeles!
Take them downtown. Get a cocktail with a view at Perch, coffee and cuteness at Daily Dose or Blue Bottle, an epic meal at Church & State, Faith and Flower, Baco Mercat, or Fifty Seven LA.
For the super foodie adventurous type take them to have authentic Korean BBQ in K-town, or to any one of Roy Choi’s establishments (Pot, Chego, Kogi Truck, A-Frame, Alibi Room, etc), and/or to have Shabu Shabu (KaGaYa, Kushi, Shabu Shabuyo, etc) in Little Tokyo.
Two words: Mexican Food. Four syllables: margaritas. Where ever they live there’s a pretty good chance they don’t have the privilege of being able to order a burrito or tacos literally whenever they want so take em to your Mexican joint! Guisados, Mercado, Petty Cash, El Compadre, El Coyote, Border Grill, Amo, Guelaguetza, El Carmen, Loteria – and so on and so on.
Think special, think memorable, think only in LA. Your foreign friends (I say foreign in the most endearing way possible) will thank you and should you play tour guide, you probably won’t have a terrible time either.