- ONE WOMAN ON A MISSION TO DISCOVER & EXPERIENCE ALL THINGS LOS ANGELES
Filed In: FOOD (+ BEVERAGE)
All I ever think about anymore is when will I get to have Magpies Softserve again. You think I’m being funny, and sadly I wish I was! But being that my favorite food is ice cream, and Magpies is special ice cream, it all a true story.
Magpies opened about a year ago and since then I have heard nothing but rave reviews from everyone that has gone. I’m honestly not quite sure what took me so long… maybe the distance, but now that I’ve been I can’t imagine NOT having it.
Thirty. Eight. Years. Of business.
Wow. And I’m embarrassed to report that it’d taken me this long to actually DINE at the legendary Michael’s in Santa Monica! But alas, in celebration of a little spacial revamp and a brand new chef, I finally made it in. Michael’s is easily one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Los Angeles, and what I find to be incredibly admirable is that they have continued to evolve with the changing of time while still maintaining a peak level of authenticity and quality. Beloved and respected chefs like Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman, Brooke Williamson, and Sang Yoon (just to name a few) have all manned the Michael’s kitchen at some point, and the level of prestige that this Santa Monica mainstay upholds is something truly incredible.
One of my absolute favorite ways to “weekend” in LA is to head to Downtown Santa Monica and grab brunch with friends or family – especially during these especially sunny months. There’s always something fun going on around Downtown and always somewhere delicious to eat. I love being able to make an afternoon out of eating, shopping, and strolling, and since I’ve been doing a lot of weekend brunching in Downtown Santa Monica lately, I’ve rounded up the 4 BEST brunch dishes I’ve had in the area. You can make it a brunch walking tour if you please or you can try each item a day at a time, but these are four game-changer breakfast dishes that are not to be missed! *Mimosas optional.*
I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to dine near the beach, and I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to eat meals that have something to do with Brendan Collins. So when Tower12 in Hermosa landed on my radar I was genuinely ecstatic because in this case I’d get to have both. Chef Brendan Collins of Birch is one of my absolute favorite chefs in LA, and when I’d heard he had consulted on another menu for a new restaurant, I’d instantly made up my mind to go there ASAP. Chef Collins has his LA mainstay, Birch, as some of you may be familiar with, but he’s consulted on a menu for another one of my favorite (insanely underrated) LA local hideaways called Butchers Dog. Seriously, whatever he touches turns to gold, and Tower12 is no exception!
I have been out in Hollywood more times in the past month than I feel like I have in 2-3 years. Hollywood finally seems to be filling in the gaps with totally worthwhile cocktail bars and eateries and Viva Hollywood is one of my latest and greatest favorites to enter the neighborhood. Viva took over the space that was once Beso and converted it into a casual chic Mexican centric restaurant with ideal ambiance and all around great food. All I had to know prior to making the decision to pay Viva a visit was that Chef Raymond Alvarez (formerly of Toca Madera) had something to do with it and I was sold. Toca Madera and Tocaya offer some of my absolute favorite Mexican food in Los Angeles so I could easily count on Viva to uphold the same standard.
First thoughts over the words “magic show” (for me at least) aren’t exactly “OOoOooO!” I’ll be honest, usually there more like, “…hmmm…” BUT that being said, say “magic show” and “Houston Hospitality” (Good Times at Davey Waynes, No Vacancy, La Descarga, Breakroom 86, etc.) in the same sentence and suddenly I’m sold. Black Rabbit Rose is the latest Houston Hospitality venture to hit Hollywood; born into the former Butchers & Barbers space, Black Rabbit Rose is the team’s latest concept that is centered around dining, entertainment, and of course cocktails. It’s been described by many as the “smaller, younger, more hip sibling” to the O.G. of Hollywood mystery, The Magic Castle. (Cheesy magician voice) Why that may be, you’ll have to see for yourself.
Have you ever wanted to go out and just have dessert? It happens to me more often than I think I’d like to admit, but if you’ve got a case of the sweet tooth you probably sympathize. Well. If you were looking for the perfect excuse to dine solely on sugar, I have found it! One of my favorite places in LA, The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, now offers a 7 course dessert tasting that is described as a celebration in honor of the intersection between art and taste. We’re talking about The Peninsula here, you can completely guarantee that not only will your food taste wonderful, it will look particularly wonderful as well. Think seashells, flowers, pretty plates, perfectly made treats and all that exemplifies “almost too beautiful to eat”. The best part about this dessert tasting? It comes with free flowing champagne for up to two people! So for $76, you and your date/mom/friend/grandma/colleague can indulge in some truly incredible sweets, AND drink all the champagne you want.
MY FAVORITE PASTA DISH ON THE PLANET IS BACK IN LOS ANGELES. I REPEAT. MY FAVORITE PASTA. IS BACK IN LOS ANGELES.
Ever since Scarpetta closed its doors about a year or so ago, there was a void I worried would never be filled – that is unless I was willing to travel to the Scarpetta in Vegas or NY to fill it. But thankfully as of a few months ago, chef Scott Conant is back in Los Angeles and has teamed up with some of my favorite local restauranteurs to bring us The Ponte, and thus, bring back Scott’s signature spaghetti pomodoro.
And the award for cutest restaurant name… cutest concept… basically cutest everything goes to… KISMET! And I haven’t even told you my favorite part yet: Kismet is run by a dream *girl power* team (Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Madcapra fame, and formerly New York City’s Glasseriein) in partnership with the beloved team behind Jon + Vinny’s. It was destined for greatness and greatness it has already achieved.
Can we talk about how good Chinese food is (seemingly) really freaking hard to find in Los Angeles? WHAT IS THAT. I’m all ears if you’d like to school me on decent Chinese places in LA, but me personally, before last week there’s no way I could have offered you even one recommendation. But thankfully as of December LA is home to an AMAZING fast casual Chinese food joint called Fat Dragon, and it really is everything I needed and wanted in my life – finally the void has been filled.