YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


A Last-Minute List for Mother's Day

Procrastinators, take heart: Many interesting Southland restaurants are still accepting reservations.


It's not too late. The following restaurants are still accepting reservations for Mother's Day:

Pick any of the five Pinot restaurants and dine in Studio City, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Napa Valley. Mother's Day brunch ($26 to $32 per person; $14 to $18 for children 10 and younger.) For specific locations call (213) 960-1762. . . . Mom gets a complimentary bottle of perfume at the Champagne Brunch in the Beverly Hilton's L' Escoffier Room and poolside Griff's. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 285-1268. $39; $20 for children under 12. . . .

The menu is French-Asian at Park Grill, where the brunch runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Park Hyatt Los Angeles, 2151 Ave. of the Stars, Century City. . . . Bring the extended family to any of India's Tandoori restaurants in Tarzana, Burbank and West Los Angeles. With a group of four, mom eats free; with a party of eight or more, two moms dine on the house. 19006 Ventura Blvd., (818) 342-9100. Prices vary. . . .

A family portrait by a roaming photographer is on the house during brunch at Almansor Court, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 700 S. Almansor St., Alhambra. (818) 570-4600. $16.95; $6.95 for children under 10. . . .

Omelet, carving and dessert stations, plus live jazz and an ocean view are on the agenda at Loews Santa Monica. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 458-6700, Ext. 2700. $42.50; $12.50 for children 12 and under. . . .

Moms are presented with an autographed copy of chef Victor Sodsook's "I Love Thai Food" during Siamese Princess' three-day celebration, Friday to Sunday. 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday; from 3 p.m. Sunday. Siamese Princess, 8048 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles. (213) 653-2643. . . . Singing waiters and live music from the Palm Beach Trio kick off brunch at Moonlight Tango, where moms eat free. Noon to 4 p.m. 13730 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 788-2000. $17.95; $8.95 for kids. . . .

If brunch doesn't tempt you, try dinner. At Bistro Garden at Coldwater, chefs Harry Klibingat and Karl Rohner offer a three-course dinner that includes a choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts. From 5 p.m. 12950 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 501-0202. $47. . . . Treat her to a hilltop view of Temecula. You supply the blanket and mom. And Mount Palomar Winery packs the picnic basket that includes a chocolate rose and a discount coupon for a bottle of wine. 33820 Rancho California Road, Temecula. (800) 854-5177. $15 per person.

Mark Your Calendar: Sixty-four of Los Angeles' restaurants and 47 wine and beverage companies join forces May 17 in Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, a benefit supporting anti-hunger efforts. Hours are 7:30 p.m. to midnight at Universal Studios. Similar events will be held simultaneously in 100 major cities. Tickets may be ordered by phone. $75 at the door; $65 advance purchase. For more information, call (213) 848-5100 or (310) 288-3663.

On Your Own: Table for one? Hardly something new to travelers and vacationers. But not always appealing to many who'd rather dine with company.

To widen the choices of where to dine comfortably alone, check out Marya Charles Alexander's newsletter Solo Dining Savvy, (800) 299-1079, six issues a year for $29 or $4.50 per copy.

The South Pasadena-based restaurant consultant spotlights restaurants in major cities that go the extra mile for the solo diner, whether it's casual dining or formal.

"A challenge [for solo diners] is to find a fine dining restaurant that caters to the lone customer. Usually, those places are reserved by couples or parties." One solution, she says, is for restaurateurs to create a communal table where the lone diner can share a meal.

A good place to try the idea is Rockenwagner in Santa Monica, where owner Hans Rockenwagner hosts a Stammtisch (community table) Tuesday evenings. No reservations are taken for the 18-seat table, but there is a special value-priced menu of appetizers, entrees and dessert.

"Stammtisch is a tradition in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Alsace," says Rockenwagner. "It's a table saved for regulars from the village or neighborhood."

The name comes from the German words "Stamm," meaning tree trunk, and "Tisch," meaning table. And the tables in Europe usually match an oak in girth.

Stammtisch is Rockenwagner's solution to L.A.'s car culture. "It creates a sense of community, camaraderie. It's very festive." Customers agree. It's been so popular that often he adds two or three extra tables.

When Stacy Selvaggio (wife of restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, of Valentino) worked as a photographer's rep, she traveled the world. Alone. Being a solo diner, she was often seated at the worst table.

At Valentino, "I tell the staff to treat single diners even better than couples," says Selvaggio. "I've been there."

For special events such as wine tastings or a guest chef dinner, Selvaggio offers guests the option of sitting at the "family table."

"We got the idea when we hosted a dinner for cookbook writer Marcella Hazan in 1993. We had so many requests from single diners that we created a family. It worked. And we've been doing it ever since."

Los Angeles Times Articles