May 11, 2013 |
Angelini Osteria is almost everyone's favorite Italian restaurant in midtown: an informal room with well-designed trattoria cooking, a place to settle into for a plate of bombolotti or a Sunday saltimbocca, where whatever diet you happen to be on at the time will be accommodated without a fuss. Some nights, it feels as if everybody in the room knows one another, but you're in on the party too. You drink well, you eat well and you go home. A lot of chefs have come out of that kitchen, including Ori Menashe of Bestia.
March 30, 2013 |
Muddy Leek is in kind of an odd location, just a block or two away from the restaurants in Culver City's Helms complex yet seemingly well outside of the area. It's part of a building that briefly served as a design museum before it was converted into architects' offices, in an awkwardly proportioned space that runs through restaurant identities like Spinal Tap goes through drummers. The neighborhood is rich enough in gelaterias and boutique art galleries that it is nearly impossible to find a parking space on Saturday nights, and the big windows face out onto a panorama that includes two liquor stores, the ice cream sandwich shop Coolhaus, and a shop that flashes slides of sleekly designed kitchens on its exterior as if they were movies at a drive-in.
April 7, 2012 |
I'm crazy for oysters, always have been. At Hog Island Oysters near Bodega Bay, I've been known to down three or four dozen at a time, all shucked, slowly, by me. Wherever I'm headed, you can be sure I've got the oyster bars mapped out ahead of time. So when news came that a new oyster bar was about to open across from LA Mill in Silver Lake, I was thrilled. Even sweeter, the partners in the new spot are Dustin Lancaster and Matthew Kaner, the duo that brought Los Feliz the quality wine bar Covell.
December 18, 1987 |
The differences between hot and cool restaurants have been well-explored: At a hot restaurant, as at an amusement park, you plug yourself into a prearranged scenario; at a cool one, more involving, you determine your own role within the context of the restaurant environment. There is a third category, the "warm" restaurant, which exists mostly outside intensely urbanized areas and hardly at all in L.A.
June 15, 2012 |
The first time you come to n/naka, a kaiseki restaurant a bit north of Sony studios in the Palms area of Los Angeles, you will inevitably soar right by the place, a low, featureless building in a strip of dry cleaners and tarot-card readers surrounded by a raked zen garden in 50 shades of gray. There is no sign, no valet parking, no hint that you are entering a restaurant instead of a high-toned back office. When you find your way through the front door, you will be greeted by name - reservations are mandatory - and led through the spare, elegant dining room to a serene private room or possibly a nook that looks like the sleeping alcove in an expensive Manhattan studio apartment.
March 10, 2012 |
With the new Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, the Austrian chef who, along with Alice Waters, begat California cuisine, has finally achieved a quintessentially Californian restaurant, one with a legendary outdoor terrace in a verdant setting with swans gliding through ponds and enormous old trees overhanging walkways and tumbling streams. And what a difference: For the first time in recent memory, the historic hotel has a serious restaurant with some seriously good food. Puck may no longer be the youngest kid on the block, but he's tough and smart and, more important, he knows how to make food that is genuinely delicious.