Where to Dine in Los Angeles this Summer

Rudy & Hudson

Santa Monica & Venice

Rudy & Hudson The best news out West is that Joe Miller – pioneer of Joe’s in Venice and Bar Pintxo – has opened a diner serving elevated comfort food. At Rudy and Hudson, you’ll find the most deliciously crispy fried chicken (it’s the buttermilk brined crust), breakfast burritos bursting with spicy chorizo, stacks of Reuben sandwiches, perfect thin-cut French fries and lemon ricotta Dutch baby cakes in a skillet just for a start. Local California wine and beer on tap have recently been added to this sleek space, so whether you linger in a booth, sit at the counter or take a picnic to the beach, this is some of the most soul-satisfying food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, if you find yourself in a carb induced coma, you can book a room at the adjacent Best Western hotel. www.rudyandhudson.com

Lunetta All Day The upscale all-day diner trend continues with chef Raphael Lunetta – a staple in the community after 20 years at JiRaffe – now at the helm of the old 2424 Pico location. Start your day with a savory grain bowl, vanilla bulgar and freekeh porridge or a breakfast sandwich with a fried egg, bacon and white cheddar. For lunch, the fried chicken sandwich is one of the best in town as is the Hamachi crudo, cobb salad and chocolate cake from the well-stocked pastry case. If the main room is too buzzy for you, grab a seat out back on the slightly more serene patio. In the evening, pasilla negro-rubbed grilled carnitas, rotisserie small-eye prime rib, or fried Jidori chicken are all good bets along with a seasonal cocktail. The charred bloody Mary is already one of our favorites. www.lunettasm.com

Tallula’s Closer to the ocean in the old Marix space (we think the best one is in WeHo anyway), lies the new modern Mexican haven by the crew behind some of our favorite Santa Monica spots: Cassia, Esters Wine Shop & Bar and Rustic Canyon. Jeremy Fox is in the kitchen but so is Executive Chef Mario Alberto who has worked with Ricardo Zarate and Josef Centeno and was last seen at Ysabel and Laurel Hardware in WeHo.  Entrees include Mexican white shrimp, fish tacos or turkey enchiladas, and crowd-pleasing nachos are spread out on a large baking tray, but those tender duck chilaquilas are calling our name. www.tallulasrestaurant.com

Felix Trattoria Over in Venice, pasta master Evan Funke is back and better than ever in the old Joe’s space on Abbott Kinney. Don’t miss the trofie with pesto Genovese, pecorino stagionato or the pappardelle with ragu bolognese “Vecchia Scuola” and a Parmigiano Reggiano – aged for 48 months. There are seafood, chicken and brisket options, along with a selection of four pizzas and stuffed squash blossom, but there are also many more pasta dishes to order (many more) and fortunately, you can see most of the them being made in the main dining room through the temperature controlled glass room where they make all the magic happen. http://felixla.com/


The Valley

Woodley Proper, Frankland Crab & Co. and Scratch Bar Food Network chef Philip Franklin Lee first wowed us with Scratch Bar on LaCienega before moving to Studio City with his popular vegan-veggie concept The Gaderene Swine. Lee is still in the valley but has moved his enterprise to a high-end strip mall in Encino and has somehow managed to take over three consecutive spaces, well four if you count the just added ‘sushi speakeasy’ in the back of Woodley Proper. The main trifecta also includes the tasting-menu-only Scratch Bar and a seafood friendly Frankland Crab & Co. A few options include having a cocktail at Woodley Proper before heading to Scratch Bar (since they only serve beer and wine), or keep imbibing there and order a feast of seafood from Frankland Crab & Co. Since these two fine establishments are connected, and share the same kitchen, you can order that fantastic branzino fish & chips or the clam chowder while sipping a ‘proper pour’ from aromatic to herbacious, floral or fruity. Genius. http://woodleyproper.com/

Silver Lake & Hollywood

Hot Hot Food We are happy to reconnect with Coly Den Haan – formerly of The Must and Perch – and Dean Harada of Earl’s in Mar Vista, who now have a cool all-day spot around the corner from Sqirl in Silver Lake. We are even happier to reconnect with the signature LA rice bowls which are an inspiring mix of Asian fried rice and Mexican street tacos topped with a fried egg. Try the carnitas combo that can be an entire meal for brunch and a perfect hang-over cure all with a ginger lemonade slushy or two. Save room for the Goldfish mac-n-cheese and the fluffernutter dessert. Soon, they will have a liquor store down the street where you can buy global wine finds or premium spirits and discretely slip them into your iced beverage. Just a thought. www.hot-hot-food.com Bar Angeles Already one of the most Instagram-able spots in town that incorporates a mural made famous by the late musician Elliot Smith into the design scheme, this gastropub also has great salads, pizza and cocktails. We’d expect nothing less from the team behind Grand Central Market’s Horse Thief BBQ, Cafe Birdie, and Good Housekeeping in Highland Park. Chef Booterbaugh describes the menu as ‘thoughtful bar food with a red sauce twist,’ referring to the house- Cal-Italian style fare and house-made dough for Roman-New York pizza but they also feature a white pizza with clams, capers, pecorino and salsa verde, or a burrata pizza with bacon, spring onions and roasted garlic on the menu.  http://www.barangeles.com/

TAO Asian Bistro The jaw-dropping entrance with a min-reclining Buddha as you ascend a staircase with a 20-feet tall Quan Yin statue looks more like a Far East movie set or a nightclub with a stage, than a restaurant with a koi pond, thanks to the Rockwell Group.  Perhaps that is because the original and wildly successful club in Vegas and outpost in New York are equally dramatic and entertaining venues. In most cases, this would just be a pretty exotic place for a drink that you could post on Snapchat, but the food also takes center stage. Standouts include seabass skewers, tuna Pringles (yes, raw tuna on a potato chip – trust us), surf-n-turf rolls with wagyu and King crab, lobster fried rice or spicy-crispy Szechwan duck. Soon, you can book a room next door at the Dream hotel and make a weekend out of it. The TAO Group has actually taken over the whole block with Beauty and Essex, Avenue and Luccini pizza. http://taolosangeles.com/


Hollywood Proper Residences This weekly or month-long-stay residential meets a hotel group, eclectically designed by Kelly Wearstler from her global travels, has landed just off of Vine Street in Hollywood. Whether you are a staying on the property in one of the newly refurbished Penthouses or just in the neighborhood at the Columbia Square complex, you can now pay a visit to the rooftop Filifera Bar & Lounge with 360-degree views. (Bookings can be made through Ressey.com) Order a cheese and charcuterie plate and drink copious amounts of rosé while the sunsets over the Hollywood sign. www.livehollywoodproper.com


The Tuck Hotel Probably one of the most interesting spaces to hit LA, this edgy 14-room boutique hotel is the brainchild of Argentine-born chef, designer and owner Juan Torre. The tastefully minimalist décor is primarily black and white with dark painted woods and luxurious touches like Frette linens, a mini-Marshal amp and a wine fridge. Torres has utilized local artists and photographers for paintings, prints, collages, murals and maps of LA throughout the space. In the kitchen at Delicat (recently opened for dinner) the Spanish-inspired menu – is an ode to the original Delicat restaurant by Chef Paco Parreño in Valencia, Spain – soars with crispy artichoke and mushroom paella, spinach pasta with burrata and egg yolk or grass-fed NY steak with potato ratatouille and chimichurri. Check out the brunch as well with a traditional Spanish tortilla and other worthy egg and salmon dishes. https://www.tuckhotel.com/


Freehand Originating from Miami, New York and Chicago, we now have our own cozy, hip option for a reasonably priced stay in the city. The Freehand LA hotel, is housed in the historic Commercial Exchange building downtown, along with Rudolph’s Bar & Tea, The Exchange for Israeli fare, and Broken Shaker will open soon on the roof.  Amid the 226 rooms, about 59 have been appointed for a shared space. Similar to a youth hostel – but with much better décor and linens – the budget options have either sets of two, three or four bunk beds and would be perfect for a girls or guys getaway bash. https://freehandhotels.com/los-angeles/
So Long, Hi You’ll want to book this tropical themed patio with palm trees and umbrellas for any parties this summer because despite all the massive growth downtown, everything shouldn’t happen in a hotel lobby. You’ll also benefit from the photo booth and pool table after a few “Dirt Cheap Happy Hour” $2 beers, $6 bar bites and $5 traditional pad thai (weekdays, Monday-Friday, from 3pm-7pm.) This ‘taste of Thai street food’ is brought to you by David Tewasart (Sticky Rice, Side Chick) and Bryan Sharafkhah-Sharp (White Guy Pad Thai) and also features green curry with deep fried roti (their version of chips and dip) and a crowd pleasing fried rice. https://www.facebook.com/SoLongHi/


Spire 73 Located inside the new Intercontinental downtown, this spot is reportedly open-air bar-lounge in the Western Hemisphere. To reach this perch, you must take an elevator to the lobby on the 70th floor. Be sure to grab a drink as there will be a line by 5pm when the elevator to the 73rd floor opens. Once you land on top of the world, order a margarita and kick back on fake Astroturf mounds, the bar or a wooden banquette – but don’t plan to use your phone to send a sky-high selfie as there is no cell reception. You can order sandwiches and other savory snacks but you might want to visit one of the other eateries on the 69th floor (are you still with me?) for sushi at Sora or the buffet at Dekkadance. Floor 71 has LaBoucherie: a French inspired steak house with plenty of private dining alcoves for a romantic ending to the adventure. www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/los-angeles/


Best New Happy Hours in LA

Keep Summer going with these long, lingering happy hours in Los Angeles. Here are over a dozen of the top newbies in and around the city that we have test driven not only for quality or originality, but for the best deals. (originally posted on http://www.westhollywoodlifestyle.com)

West Hollywood:



A little Latin flavor lands in Weho thanks to Adolfo Suaya and his son Kelian Suaya, as well as Ryan Sweeney, Alen Aivazian and Brandon Bradford of Goat Group who have launched Phoenix LA on 3rd Street and LaCienega. For the past 5 years Adolfo has been opening hotels in South America, Hotel Clasico in Buenos Aires and years before that, Casa Suaya in Jose Ignacio Uruguay. He’s coined as the Anthony Bourdain of SA, with a very successful show called Latin American Foodie. His grill skills – and authentic chimichurri, will be the primary focus of a very small steak driven menu – and the happy hour skirt steak special for $15.00 can’t be beat. The restaurant also boasts the finest scotch, whiskey, bourbon, and cognac selections, including a Knob Creek that was specially crafted for the venue. The back room has an open air space that is perfect for a private soriee, where they will soon be hosting screenings, and there is even a back celebrity entrance, naturally, but – the team promises this will not turn into a velvet rope club situation like the Nice Guy.

Happy Hour from 5-7pm 8480 West Thirst Street, West Hollywood, 323-655-5030 http://www.thephoenixla.com/


It is time to clock out and head over to Rascal where happy hour food and drinks are just $6.00 a pop between 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily. Rascal offers tasty bites like the juicy burger, fried chicken & gravy, mac & cheese, or the pancetta egg. Wash down these comfort food favorites with refreshing libations like the margarita, Moscow mule or wine cocktails like red sangria and the Cold Duck. For beer lovers, Santa Monica Whit is at the tap. Sip on selected varietals of red, white and bubbles, including Spanish white, Rioja Blanco Solar de Estraunza (2014), and the sparkling Torre Oria Cava.

Happy Hour from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm every Tuesday through Saturday, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm every Monday, and Sunday Funday is every Sunday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; 801 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, 323.933.3229. www.rascalla.com


Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern presents a daily happy hour menu from Executive Chef Isaias Pena with $7.00 Pub Beef Sliders, T.J. Doggs or a wood-fired three cheese pizza.  The healthy beet salad, Baja tacos, chicken ad waffles or short rib poutine are only $6.00. House Wine, Well Drinks, Draft Beers like Angel City Pilsner, Santa Monica Brewery XPA and Vermont Magic Seasonal are available for $5.00 a pop.

Happy Hour daily from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 pm to midnight; 5370 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323.525.2618; www.sparetirepub.com


Hollywood & Silver Lake:



It pays to make your lunch hour start during happy hour which runs from an astonishing 2:30pm to 7pm Monday through Friday at this stylish Hollywood newcomer. Paley is located in the historic Columbia Plaza and former home of Columbia Broadcasting Systems, or CBS, and named after their visionary leader William S. Paley and his wife Babe. Sit at the bar or on the patio and enjoy chicken liver pate or foie gras mousse. ALL the wines by the glass are half price which means you’ll be scoring top rose for only $7.00 or a specialty cocktail with smoky mezacal or top shelf tequila for the same price. They also offer their delicious (and massive) pub burger with Cajun fries for $15.00 which you could eat all day long.

Happy Hour 2:30p to 7pm Monday through Friday, 6115 Sunset Blvd; Hollywood (323) 544-9430 www.paleyhollywood.com


Hollywood’s new cool spot, Demitasse Roastery & Kitchen, is pulling out all the stops with their latest addition of Happy Hour. Solids are only $6.00 each, from the crudo to the palate cleansing strawberry gazpacho, and crunchy crudités. Hearty bites include the mini-brisket sandwich; papas bravas and the gooey grilled cheese comprised of English cheddar, Asian pear and Namasu pickles. Liquids include Daily Wine Specials for $6.00, a dollar off all Coffee Cocktails, and the eye-opening Roaster’s Special; a shot of espresso and a Collins’ glass of stout for only $5.00. California craft beers are $5.00, or have a variety with the beer flight also $5.00. Seeing as this is a roastery too, guests can opt for the Coffee Three Ways for $5.00.

Happy Hour daily from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; 1542 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Hollywood, 323.498.5155; www.cafedemitasse.com


The group behind the Hudson Hotel and Churchill have recently graced Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake with southern inspired seafood eatery Sawyer. Here you will find a fun buzzy bar and dining room with wall banquettes, along with a date-night worthy patio in the back. Luckily happy hour is daily so you can try the fried chicken which is big enough for two and only $8.00. Select wines are $5.00; $4 beer, $6 well drinks and $8 cocktails. Linger on the romantic patio with a half dozen oysters of the day with pickled shallot-cucumber sorbet, horseradish-sambal cocktail sauce served with a draft beer or glass of wine for $12; or a Soft shell crab sandwich served on squid ink bread which is available on the regular menu.

Happy hour daily from 4-7pm; 3705 Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake; 323.641.3709; www.SawyerLosAngeles.com




Downtown L.A.’s finest gay craft cocktail bar, Bar Mattachine, is the perfect after work playdate, especially when the DJ is hot and the drinks are cold during Happy Hour. From 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Monday through Friday (Thursdays 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm hit the dance floor with DJ GoBSTARR), specials include $3.00 Pabst Blue Ribbon and $4.00 Joe’s Pilsner. Class in a glass comes in the form of Red or White Wine for only $6.00 a pop, while those seeking to mix things up a bit will enjoy a specially selected Cocktail of the Day for just $7.00. along with Select Small Plates, offerings and pricing change weekly.

Happy Hour Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Thursday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm; 221 West 7th Street, Los Angeles; 213.278.0471; www.facebook.com/BarMattachine  



This sleek downtown newbie is an airy modern design dream upstairs and downstairs a sexy bar. This is perfect for tasting select high end whiskey but also for the newly launched happy hour. You can enjoy a shot of whiskey, pizza and drink for only $10.00. Other must try menu items include the fried olives and potato croquettes. The Whiskey Room will offer 1 oz. and 2 oz. pours, and whiskey tastings or flights from Scotland to Japan. Chef Gavin Mills is a wizard when it comes to charcuterie and owns his own charcuterie business, so don’t overlook the rotating selection of house-made meats, and cheeses can be mixed and matched for $4 per selection.

Happy Hour is from 5-7pm Monday through Friday; 888 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 213-988-8880 www.mirorestaurant.com


Beverly Hills


Mr. C Spritz Social, is a new summer series on the pool deck of this southern European inspired hotel from the Cipriani brand hailing from Italy. Enjoy an Italian spritzer menu featuring cocktails like the Belvedere Peach Nectar Spritz, along with a delicious BBQ (the cheese burgers and sausages with peppers are some of the best in town), while relaxing on plush loungers and couches or try your luck at life-size Jenga, corn hole, and classic board games. Notable Los Angeles DJ Bobby French is usually spinning tunes.

Spritz Social on rotating Tuesdays all summer from 5pm until late; 1224 Beverwil Dr. Los Angeles, (310) 226-6245 http://www.mrchotels.com/


Finally, someone has come up with the genius idea to launch a Rose Hour for summer. The fresh, light and refreshing Rose was hand selected by Chef Keller and Chef Hands and will we served perfectly chilled by the bottle and accompanied by a pared small plate to compliment the notes and flavors for a perfect summer meal. Sit out on the patio and enjoy a “rose a day” or “all day rose” which will be hard to resist with the Loire Valley and Mediterranean being well represented, along with Napa Valley, and the fresh oysters staring back at you.  And, the best part: there is no cut off. As long as they are open so is the rose special.

Rose All Day! Every Day: 235 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills (310) 271-9910 http://www.thomaskeller.com/beverly-hills-california/bouchon-bakery/info-directions


Culver City:



For great Korean BBQ in Culver City, Hanjip has recently launched a happy hour that is also a great deal with massive portions. KBBQ style bites, soju, beer, and more from Chris Oh – who is the founder of Seoul Sausage Co, and Stephane Bombet who pretty much runs and co-owns all of our favorite spots around town from Terrine to Viviane and Faith & Flower downtown. While at Hanjip, don’t miss the seafood pancake, chicharron or the pork buns. Top it off with the refreshing and group friendly giant watermelon dessert laced with soju, topped with pop-rocks and fruity pebbles cereal – just grab a straw.

Happy Hour is available daily from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m; 3829 Main St, Culver City (323) 720-8804 www.hanjip.com


Santa Monica


Enjoy and authentic Mediterranean happy hour at Inotheke, Santa Monica’s answer to modern Greek cuisine. Get comfortable at the bar and order up a glass of Happy Beer for $5.00, or choose from two reds, two whites or a rose (a Greek red and white are always available), and get a glass of Happy Wine for $6.00. Accompany your drinks with Bar Bites, like the Lamb Meatballs for just $6.00, served with tzatziki sauce; the mushroom or shrimp flat bread or Haloumi grilled cheese.  Fava Dip for $4.00, or the $5.00 Tzatziki & Pita. The classic Greek bite, Spanakopita, “Kopanisti” is also on offer for $5.00, comprised of feta, kaseri, spinach, red peppers.

Happy Hour daily from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm; 600 Broadway Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Monica; 310.458.3366 www.inotheke.com


All summer long by the Pacific Coast Highway, David Lentz and Kris Longley will bring an El Gato en la Playa Pop Up to their popular Santa Monica Canyon seafood eatery. What this means is that you will be able to feast on stellar dish deals at the bar with a frosty cerveza or specialty margaritas for just $7.00 or Baja style tacos for $3.00. Crudo includes Peruvean scallops for $4.00 and a bowl of snapper ceviche is $16.50. Mexican street corn is $7.50. You can add rock shrimp to guacamole & chips for $8.00 but you also won’t be able to stop eating the queso fundido with roasted green chiles and tortillas with chorizo for $12.50. Stand out tacos include the lamb belly adobo with pickled red onions ($13.50), and duck carnitas with charred pineapple and habanero salsa ($14.50).

Happy Hour every day from 5-7pm; closed on Monday. 100 West Channel Road, Santa Monica (310) 459-3337 www.thehungrycat.com

Where to Dine After The Broad

The Broad
Originally posted on AFAR.com
By Carole Dixon

Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad have brought new life to Bunker Hill with the opening of their “gift to the city” in the form of The Broad Museum. Located right across the road from MOCA and next door to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall masterpiece, there’s a legitimate arts and culture row on Grand Avenue shedding new interest on downtown.

After navigating the two-story Broad—viewing the web-like façade and contemporary collection with pieces by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol among the 2,000 curated selections—a memorable bite to eat should follow. Fortunately, the dining scene has also taken a giant leap forward in this area of the city. Here are a handful of new options that aim to capture your imagination

Otium Located adjacent to The Broad Museum, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth (former chef de cuisine of The French Laundry in Yountville), along with top LA restaurateur Bill Chait, have opened the official eatery for the museum. The façade features a Damien Hirst fish mural called Isolated Elements, which leads to an indoor-outdoor rustic-yet-sophisticated space of steel, glass, wood, copper, stone and ceramics—all created by local artists and artisans. Otium is Latin for “leisurely social activities.” The vertical gardens from Green City Farms on the restaurant’s rooftop will grow herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers, which will be liberally used in the seasonal menu’s flatbreads, lamb chops and whole fish offerings. 222 South Hope Street / OtiumLA.com

Nick + Stef’s   This modern steakhouse concept was just reopened by Chef Joachim Splichal and the Patina Restaurant Group. Back and better than ever are the 28-day dry-aged USDA prime steaks and show-stopping tomahawk rib chop, both grilled over oak and mesquite. For a larger group, pre-order a whole-roasted suckling pig or leg of Colorado lamb while you peruse the extensive global wine list with over 500 labels. Other carnivorous delights come in the form of Black Angus beef and wagyu, but be sure to hit the raw bar first with oysters, seafood cocktails, and shellfish platters. 330 South Hope Street / (213) 680-0330

Le Petit Paris This new French-style brasserie has recently opened in the historic core by restaurateurs Fanny and David Rolland. Located next door to the Howard Griffin Gallery in the El Dorado building, this two-story 1913 gem is listed on the National Register of historic places and was once the home of Actor Charlie Chaplin. The space still retains many of the original pillars, gold leaf, and iron work with added circular chandeliers lighting the black-and-white photography of Paris. The menu consists of French classics: croque monsieur, steak tartar, Burgundy escargot, a salad of frisée, bacon, potato, and poached egg. Don’t miss the duck foie gras which pairs beautifully with a viognier from Malibu wines, produced in California by a French winemaker. 418 Spring Street / (213) 217-4445+

Broken Spanish
Chef Ray Garcia—who is also behind the casual B.S. Taqeuria concept a few blocks away—relies heavily on the influence of his Latin roots for his latest concept, Broken Spanish. The chef recreates traditional cuisine with an elevated twist, clearly defined in dishes such as tamales with lamb neck, king oyster mushrooms, and queso Oaxaca. Other notable menu items include oxtail quesadillas with plantain and habanero and chile rellenos with potato and kale, but the most talked-about item to date has been the tortillas served with a little ramekin of whipped carnitas fat, which you can wash down with plenty of good mezcal and tequila cocktails to cut through the richness.
1050 South Flower Street / (213) 749-1460

Winter Beauty From Malibu to Larchmont Village

Posted on The Carat Diet
2015-12-04 10:58:25
By Carole Dixon

CieSparks Salon 2

For something a little different his holiday season, we take you on a fun journey through Los Angeles, from Malibu to Larchmont Village for the best in hair, nails and skin treatments to keep you looking hot – and relaxed, through the New Year.

Malibu’s hottest hair power couple Michael Sparks and Heather Cie, have recently celebrated one year at their chic Cie Sparks salon in the Cross Creek shopping center. Before any holiday parties or awards season red carpets, you’ll want to add a little color to locks and Heather is known for turning any dull hair color into a blond goddess in a flash – she works super quick on highlights, too. Her partner Michael is also known as one of the best hair cutters in the business, so visit his station after for a transforming look – or just a trim.  A few trend observations and tips from Michael include, “The big trend I’m seeing this winter is a long, slightly grown out bob. I’ve been giving my client’s long bobs with invisible layers. It’s my secret trick for creating a sleek bob, without obvious layers. With this cut, it’s definitely important to keep your locks moisturized. I love Oribe’s Gold Lust – it keeps hair shiny, and infuses it with a gold sheen. You can tell the difference after just one use! It’s perfect for all types of hair during this dry winter weather.”

The great thing about Cie Parks salon is the first rate treatment and services without the Beverly Hills attitude. This is laid back Malibu after all. ciesparkssalon.com

côte, the beach-chic nail care destination and retail shop in Brentwood, will offer a variety of unique gifts for everyone on your holiday list through to Valentine’s Day. Not just selling limited edition nail gift sets of their own hand-crafted polishes, or travel kits for jetsetters, côte has also traveled the world to bring you a specially-curated assortment of retail items including handmade ornaments, stationery and unique stocking stuffers. This is in addition to a plethora of new jewelry, fashion accessories, home goods and children’s items that côte is introducing throughout the season. côte is truly your one-stop holiday shop, but you can enjoy the gifts year-round, along with an amazing alfresco mani & pedi (add hot stones) while sipping rose on the patio. http://www.coteshop.co/.

To commemorate the December opening of the latest Star Wars movie, the newly re-launched Larchmont Sanctuary Spa has unveiled new treatments infused with “The Force.”    To be booked anytime through the end of December, the treatment packages – designed by the spa’s owner, who admits to being a Star Wars nerd – celebrate the characters and locations featured throughout the blockbuster movie series.  Ideal for the Jedi or the warp-lagged who need a special power boost, the treatment packages feature ingredients and products like:  healing mud from Alderaan;  salt from Tatooine; a Restorative Waters Bath from Dagobah; the finest Kashyyykian Beer – and all are guaranteed to ward off the evil with the good and make you feel 100% again.

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa is a serene urban oasis in one of L.A.’s most historic neighborhoods and formerly known as Le Petite Retreat. Book online at www.larchmontsanctuary.com or call 323.466.1028.

Santa Monica Steps up Culinary Game

Originally Posted on http://www.thecaratdiet.com
2015-05-25 05:34:23
By Carole Dixon

tartare ox and son
At long last Santa Monica has stepped up the Westside food game with new gastronomic eateries that rival any other pocket of the city.

Cadet French inspired share-plates restaurant on Wilshire was the first in a sea of game changers to the area. Many mouth-watering dishes pop out of the wood-burning oven at this cozy spot from Chef Kris Tominga (The Hart and the Hunter) and Jeff Weinstein (Freddy Smalls). One of the most decadent is the layers of mashed potato in a mini-skillet that is a cross between a gooey fondue and a scallop spuds dish with a torched French cheese crust. For lighter appetites try the ember roasted black cod or an Asian pear and kale salad. Thankfully, they are now open for lunch, so you can enjoy roasted cauliflower salads, tartines with bacon and avocado or beef tartare, or a comforting croque Madame along with a glass of rose for mid-day pick me up. http://cadetsm.com/

Aestus is hands-down one of the best dining experiences in the city -and now you can enjoy it seven days a week. Tucked away in a quiet corner of Wilshire only a few blocks from the beach, chef Alex Ageneau (Patina), and owner-wine director Kevin O’Connor (Spago) keep the pace moving during the buzzy dinner service at this retro-chic gem. Standouts include the squid ink capellini with crab; grass fed flat iron steak with sunchokes; roasted carrots with goat cheese; steak tartare hiding under a thin layer of sliced beets; farrotto – which is cross between risotto and farro with fava beans and topped with a poached egg; or the smoked trout with roe dip that might just take over the whole meal once you start dipping it into the crusty bread. http://www.aestusrestaurant.com/

Ox & Son is a cool new wine bar style eatery on Montana by The Forkin’ Awesome Hospitality group who seems to have taken over the Westside lately – they are also responsible for homey Arts Table down the road and the more casual alfresco Ashland Hill on Main Street. Make note: the latter has one of the best burgers and skillet-style mac-n-cheese dishes in town. At Ox & Son you’ll want to order the truffled quail egg dotted beef tartare that looks like a Jackson Pollack painting; sticky pig cheeks and black rice or the chicken fried duck confit conceived by Executive Chef Brad Miller. The crust is a little thick – so be prepared, but it’s nothing a South African rose can’t help to cut through the richness. http://oxandson.com/

The Independence took us by surprise. We were expecting another fun burger-style joint with a great bar – and we got that, but also an inspired multi-layered menu with Chef Tom Block at the helm. Lunch highlights include pho and a smoked pork torta with mozzarella and avocado. For dinner start with smoked whitefish toast, grilled octopus or venison ragu. Larger dishes encompass a bone-in NY strip steak; wild halibut with drizzled with smoked buerre blanc; and stuffed Idaho trout. Not your typical pub-grub fare for certain. Sip cocktails concocted by master mixologist Vincenzo Marianella from highly regarded Copa d’Oro down the street.  http://www.independencetavern.com/

Look for more culinary updates from the author on http://www.westhollywoodlifestyle.com

Three Hot Patios for Spring Dining in Los Angeles

Birch Bar

Hidden in Hollywood: Birch
There was a collective sadness in Culver City when Waterloo & City closed its doors for good after five successful years.  Without skipping a beat, acclaimed British Chef Brendan Collins has opened an international plate-sharing-centric eatery (we don’t mean small plates, but larger ones that you will want share), on Cahuenga in Hollywood revamping an old Japanese burger joint to a stylish-Scandinavian wooden enclave called Birch. If at all possible, the food is even more inspired here with rabbit baklava served North African ‘brik’ style, rolled and slightly sweet with dates and pistachio; and the most tender, gigantic pork shank served with za’atar flatbread being standouts – beware that it can easily feed a party of two. There are some creative cocktails on the menu, but the Graham Beck sparkling brut rosé from South Africa would pair well with any of the dishes–in our opinion, and is not seen on most wine lists, so go for a bottle. The best kept secret of this fabulous spot is the tiny outdoor patio in the back utilizing a brick lined alley space that feels more Soho in London that Hollywood Boulevard. http://birchlosangeles.com/

Arts District for Veggies: Zinc Cafe
If veggies are a way of life for your palate, along with sipping a good rose alfresco, head downtown to Zinc Café + Market Cafe. Not only do they have one of the best patios in town tucked away in the shade of a few industrial lofts on a restored loading dock, but the vast wood-fired pizza selection will make you forget about meat entirely (well, at least for this one night.) The kitchen also gets props for the ‘sliders’ with brown rice and mushroom patty and the ‘Reubenesque’ with baked beets. The adjacent Bar Mateo has started a Biergarten Thursdays, for the warmer months, which takes place on the patio and features a seasonal beer paired with the Ploughman’s Plate of rustic bread and artisanal cheese. One tip for the ladies: don’t wear spiky heels as they will dig into the gravel and make it almost impossible to walk after a few drinks – go for an espadrille or flat sandal. http://zinccafe.com/

The Classic, Class-Act
Michael’s in Santa Monica has been a dining staple for over three decades and has endured as one of the top alfresco tables on the Westside. Owner Michael McCarty has recently revamped the entire restaurant making it easy for the bar crowd and patio diners alike.

Gone are the white table cloths and fine china of previous days. Now you can relax on the patio with a local halibut crudo, braised pork belly tacos or genius chicken wings dipped in waffle batter that puts a delicious new spin on the dish – and feels like less carbs to us, so a win-win. These items can be ordered in the communal bar table area from open to close Monday through Friday, or in the main dining with the rest of the Modern American menu. Larger plates include Mediterranean loup de mer, the 28-day dry-aged NY steak or the tagliatelle pasta with oxtail ragout that is actually listed as an appetizer but is large enough to be a full size entrée. Don’t forget to try Michael’s house Pinto Noir made in Malibu with your meal.  http://michaelssantamonica.com/

Red Carpet Rituals and Beauty Tricks of the Trade

Originally Posted on The Carat Diet
2015-01-16 07:49:39
By Carole Dixon

The Golden Globes might be behind us, but awards season is just beginning and the next six weeks leading up to the 87th Annual Academy Awards on February 22nd will will be a flurry of Red Carpet ready rituals. Here are a few beauty tips for for hair, nails, spray tans and make-up that will leave you looking like an A-Lister.


Hair Extensions and Color:
If you’re locks are lacking luster, your color needs to be kicked-up a notch and a little volume wouldn’t hurt before you hit the after-party circuit this awards season, make an appointment with Kazumi Morton (pictured above) at Jonathan & George salon in Beverly Hills. (You also might recognize co-owner Jonathan Antin from the BRAVO series Blowout and some of the celebrity clientele that includes everyone from Cameron Diaz to Leonardo DiCaprio.)

Kazumi is not only a color guru but a hair extension genius. She sources a rare new product called Hair Lingerie that has with a wider panel of hand-picked hair (rather than applying multiple smaller manufactured patches to your head), and a harmless application that sandwiches your own hair between two panels and is then secured with a non-damaging solution, that will stay in place for at least six weeks, yet not harm your strands.  Kazumi is one of only a few dozen hair care pros in the United States that is licensed to apply the hair, and her color expertise allows a perfect match with your own shade every time. In addition, the salon is tucked away out of the fray on a quiet, tree-lined street in Beverly Hills surrounded by only a few low-key design studios and plenty of paparazzi free on street parking.

Her international appeal is also growing as Kazumi expands her popular Root Varnish line – for touching up your hair at home, with a launch in London this fall. The handy paint brush applicator is perfect for traveling women on the go and is all natural – even edible, made with 22 botanical ingredients including ginseng to strengthen your hair and black seaweed to hydrate, plus its fool-proof to apply at just before a big event, so you might even want to throw one in your designer evening clutch before leaving home.  www.jonathanandgeorge.com

Nail Art that Lasts:
Next time you go for a routine maintenance mani-pedi ask yourself: is the polish we wear a true reflection or just gloss? This is the question that Pico Blvd’s newest nail salon Enamel Diction is taking on. You can get to the bottom of this burning query by booking an appointment for a color consultation or consult their ‘colorstrology’ themed book before your next treatment.

The cute salon features a tree sculpture draped in body jewelry and a hybrid of custom made leather and wooden recliners for a relaxing pedicure – and even the manicure chairs are draped in a faux white fur cushion for cozy comfort. A cheery wall of bold art features prominently and a skylight surrounded by a living green wall hangs overhead.

Some of the nail art includes long lasting gels that won’t harm your nail beds and feel free to have your artist add a bold flower, an art-deco chevron design or even an iconic Eiffel Tower to a few nails to punch up the flair factor.  Some of the polishes and products are vegan, such as Berlin based company USL, but they also specialize in a few hard to find gems from Japan such as the Uka Pepper lotion that is massaged into your hands and feet during a treatment.

Not only can you book the entire space for your next party or special event – they have a make-up artist on-site during the weekends and are still adding more services. Most importantly, they also offer a membership plan, just like a gym, where you can yield unlimited hand and nail treatments for one low monthly fee. http://enameldiction.com

Natural Make-Up for All Night
If you want a light, natural look that will stick with you under the bright lights for the entire night, La Bella Donna is a revolutionary mineral powder line that behaves like makeup. The complete collection of mineral-based formulas, are healthy for the skin and contain pure minerals from rock that give benefits to your face that you cannot get from any other products. Not just for foundation, we love the compressed blush in ‘bella,’ lip sheer in ‘truffle shine’ for a little natural glossy action, the compressed eye shadows in ‘sultry olive,’ and they even make a mascara that will not cake under pressure.  This brand has been showing up in all our favorite salons around town lately, and now we know why. http://www.labelladonna.com/

Golden Glow for the Body
This ground-breaking spray tan treatment by VITA LIBERATA is actually called a ‘skin finishing session.’ Spray-tanning expert to the stars, Irish-born Fiona Locke, will actually come to your home or office to make sure your skin is not only glowing but also soft and silky to the touch. The VITA LIBERATA formulas will not give you even a hint of dreaded orange color, but they also contain Odour™ Remove technology that leaves not even a trace of that horrible chemical smell associated with most fake tans. Your skin will dry quick to the touch and the color will not be left behind on all your clothing and sheets, plus the Moisture Lock™ technology keeps the skin hydrated for up to 72 hours. This really is our top pick for a genius tan technique this season that will fool the cameras for certain. http://fionalockestudio.com/