Latest LA Art Scene from Annie Leibowitz to Andy Warhol

LA is having an art moment. This past week of activities from ALAC at the Barker Hangar n Santa Monica to the West Hollywood block party and Frieze at Paramount Pictures, proved that we are indeed a world-class art city.  We also spied rare Warhol photos at Casa Perfect  – the old Elvis estate in Beverly Hills – and were blown away by the iconic Annie Leibowitz exhibit still on view at Hauser & Wirth in the downtown arts district until April 14th.

This is an astounding exhibit with over 4,000 images taken from the early years during the late 60s to 80s, by the legendary Leibowitz. As an “ode to her work as a young photographer,” you will recognize some favorite Rolling Stone magazine covers, but there are also many never before seen black and white images of everyone from John Lennon to Loretta Lynn and Meryl Streep to Bruce Springsteen.

“This is a river of work and I did a liberal edit,” says Leibowitz. “I let it rip with anything at all that interested me. They all need each other like brothers and sisters.” Some of the early greats include Hunter Thompson, Jack Nicolson, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Ray Charles, Patti Smith and span all the way across the culture board from Baryshnikov to David Cassidy and even the Mustang Ranch, but the most impressive wall of images was from the raw Rolling Stones tour in the 70s. “I would have rather been on tour with Bob Dylan and Joan Baez,” recalls Leibowitz, “but I learned a lot about power. I became ‘cool’ yet was overwhelmed by the drug taking. It took a long time for me to get off that tour,” she jokes. “I decided that I wasn’t going to give myself over again like that unless I really believed in it.”


The images progress to more polished A-list celebrities and behind-the-scenes candid shots with politicians from Jerry Brown to Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It’s those in-between moments that are so important,” she says, “sometimes they tell the real story and it’s not always the dead-on shot.” The exhibit moves on to reveal rare and painful images of Beach Boys Brian Wilson walking on the sand in a bathrobe with a surfboard tucked under his arm to a body-painted Keith Haring in Times Square and the artists most famous image of John Lennon naked cradling a fully clothed Yoko Ono which was taken the day he was shot.  She recalled at the time, even through her grief, how supportive Ono was of her work as an artist, and ahead of her time.

Leibowitz reflected on her massive body of work – which took almost 3 years to sift through from a warehouse in the Bronx, and where it took her along the way, “I love my work and can stand outside myself and see the craziness and drive of working like this. You have to be obsessed. I’ve been so lucky and I’m going out with a camera in my hands.”

Fall Travel: Why Cartegena, Colombia Should be Top of Your List

Colombia has given the world a wide range of talents from Nobel prize-winning, poetic author Gabriel García Márquez to bombshell actress Sophia Vergara, so it has been exciting in recent years to see this destination creep up on top 10 travel lists and no longer as a crime-ridden no-fly zone with a dark history.

Situated on a bay in the Caribbean Sea, one of the country’s top draws is the thriving port city of Cartagena. This World Heritage Site founded by Pedro de Heredia in 1533, is steeped in pirate lore, with colonial architecture protected by the most complete set of fortifications in South America.

Everyone from Will Smith – who we recently spotted on location making a film – to the cast of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York City, have frolicked in the irresistible and picturesque streets. This town is so hot right now that it’s almost in danger of becoming a South American Cabo San Lucas – with the recent influx of tourism. Add in the fact that it’s only a short one-hour flight on Avianca airlines from Bogota – which will take you about 6 hours from LAX, and there is only a 2-hour time difference.

Once you arrive from a 20-minute airport shuttle trip, driving around the Walled City of Cartagena de Indias, might not be the seaside town you were expecting. The perimeter looks large and imposing like they might still be trying to ward off the pirates behind those walls, but the interior structure holds a charming, Colonial masterpiece that is reminiscent of good time New Orleans and tropical Jamaica mixed with a little rough-and-tumble Cuba.  Boutique hotels blend in with 400-year-old homes sprouting tiny terraces draped in Bougainville, cafes and stunning courtyards abound filled with artists, expats, and vacationers sipping the famous coffee or rum cocktails.

It’s very easy to navigate the well-worn cobblestone streets on foot, taxi or by horse-drawn buggy, but no matter which transportation mode you choose, you’ll want to end up at Casa San Agustín – a member of Leading Hotels of the World – located in the Old City, or Downtown (Centro) area of Cartagena.

From the moment you pass the large wooden gates that lead to a courtyard reception, it feels like a grand private home. The central pool features a jaw-dropping ancient aqueduct surrounded by 20 guest rooms and 10 suites that make up the property constructed with three restored XVII century whitewashed Colonial-era homes with Romeo and Juliet balconies.

The private abode esthetic continues to the guest rooms which are all fitted with bespoke furnishings commissioned by local artisans from the chandeliers to ironwork beds that are fitted with Frette linens. For a family affair, a variety of suites offer living room areas and private patios with a Jacuzzi.

Throughout your stay, you will keep finding nods to the 17th-century history as a Spanish stronghold from the original frescoes in the Library, wood-beamed ceilings, tiles, sconces throughout the public spaces, library, rooftop bar and sundeck.

Another reason to make this your home for a visit is the acclaimed Alma Restaurant run by one of the most celebrated chefs in the country, Heberto Eljach.  Boasting another enviable indoor-outdoor leafy courtyard setting, where you can linger all day or at night while ordering traditional fare and listening to live music on the patio or a DJ in the bar area. There is a separate entrance to the restaurant from the street, so even non-guests can pop-in easily for a romantic or lively meal, depending on the night.

Chef Eljach is known for his refined classic Colombian dishes from seafood casserole, ceviche, prime aged beef, and lobster tail. Speaking of crustaceans, one item that you must order is the lobster empanadas. The flaky pastry is perfectly cooked, like a savory pie that is not too dense or chewy, and comes with guacamole and few other spicy sauces for dipping.

For breakfast, be sure to indulge in a typical Columbian feast that includes arepas (a pita looking bread made with maize dough or cooked flour) with eggs stuffed inside the pastry – almost like a hot pocket – alongside fried yucca, potatoes, sausage, cheese and salsa which are all typical side dishes for a hearty start to the day. And, you must try the famous Columbian black coffee even if you think it will be too strong. The hotel can even arrange a tasting with Café San Alberto where you will learn about the history, customs and how to taste and drink these magical beans. This coffee is so smooth you will not even need to doctor it with sugar or dairy products.

Once you’re caffeinated and fortified, time to hit the sites. Thanks to the local government the town is safe, clean and colorful teaming with preserved historic buildings, cathedrals, world-class shopping and dining.

The best way to get your bearings is by taking a three-hour walking tour of Old Town Cartagena with Galavanta Taylored Travel. The guides are all knowledgeable and charming locals, so you are in good hands.

You’ll visit the Plaza San Pedro Claver and also San Felipe de Barajas Castle. The site has a long dramatic steep entrance that leads to bunkers and a maze of tunnels and is the It is the most formidable defensive complex of Spanish military architecture.  Other notable sites include the Cathedral of Cartagena de Indias, one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the Americas. Construction began in 1577, finished in 1612, its dome a symbol of Cartagena’s skyline and resilience to this day.

You’ll pass plenty of street musicians, artists, and vendors, all speaking Palenquero which is the Spanish-based creole language spoken in Colombia, but Spanish and English are also widely used. Be sure to buy a few colorful hand-made woven bags, head scarves or wooden jewelry. For something a little more durable and impressive, this is also a fantastic place to buy emeralds and there seem to be plenty of jewelry stores in this tiny town who are willing to make you a ‘good deal.’ Guests can also book the hotel’s personal shopper, who can give an insider tour of the city’s best and most authentic boutiques for clothing, accessories, handmade crafts and souvenirs.


Your Complete Summer Rosé Guide

It’s that time of year again where all the clinking glasses appear to have a deep pink hue whether in your favorite local restaurant or backyard BBQ. With International rosé Day coming up on June 10th, we realize there are a lot of ‘summer waters’ to choose from these days – everyone from actress Drew Barrymore to Hello Kitty has produced a bottle – so we have narrowed down some of our favorites and must haves for the dog days of rose-all-day imbibing ahead.

Rosé Your Way Concierge
With the seemingly endless parade of rosé vintages coming into the marketplace, it can get confusing, but our friends at E. & J. Gallo Winery have created an educational program to help wine lovers find the perfect rosé for their taste buds, from a J Brut sparkling to a Barefoot Bubbly, With Rosé Your Way™, a personal rosé concierge is only a Facebook message away.

  • Visit Rosé Your Way™ on Facebook Messenger
  • Click “Get Started”
  • Answer the quiz to find the right Rosé for you
  • Explore education or ask for a recipe suggestion
  • Use the “where to buy” function
  • Don’t forget to “LIKE” the Rosé Your Way™ Facebook Page for additional content and Rosé inspiration


Best Wine by a Celebrity Chef
Patina Restaurant Group
founder and celebrated Chef Joachim Splichal announces the launch of two new rosé wines, the 2017 Domaine de Cala Rosé and 2017 Domaine de Cala Prestige Rosé, from his family-owned and operated winery. Both wines hail from the French vineyards between Nice and Aix-en-Provence, showcasing a pale pink hue with bright and clear reflections, evoking both floral and citrus notes that delicately progress into a spicy aroma.   Very drinkable and well-priced at $15.95 for the classic Rosé and $25.95 for the Prestige Rosé, Domaine de Cala is available for purchase throughout the U.S., including all Whole Foods markets in Southern California.


Best Contender to Replace Whispering Angel
La Chapelle Gordonne, 2017 from Côtes de Provence ($24) won the number one coveted spot on for the best rose out of the top 25. Blending Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault varietals for a wine that pairs well with seafood, such as lobster, this bottle will be a perfect companion this summer to your clam bake or beach excursion.

More scientific details: Clinging to the schist hillsides of Provence, the vineyard’s grapes are picked at night in order to take advantage of low temperatures, which enhances the quality. Some grapes are macerated before fermentation in order to facilitate the extraction of color and precursors of aromas. Under the press, the first juices selection allows only the tête de cuvée to be kept. Fermentation is controlled by strictly regulating temperatures, making it possible to work cold.  Once the fermentation is completed, œnologists and cellar masters meet to decide how this vintage will be blended in accordance with strict color and organoleptic standards.


Favorite Wine by a Celebrity
Barrymore by Carmel Road Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017 ($18) Yes, this wine is by actress Drew Barrymore – of the entertainment dynasty – who is now a partner in a winery along with winemaker Chris Kato, and it’s quickly becoming one of our favorites on the market. On the palate, the wine is delicate with floral and light citrus aromas. Flavors of fresh red fruits, along with notes of peach and apricot intertwine with bright, mouthwatering acidity, leading to a crisp and vibrant finish. This wine pairs well with burgers, sushi and spicy dishes, and with the screw cap, should be a hit at outdoor events.


Most Iconic and Adorable Packaging
That adorable and iconic lifestyle Kitty now has a sweet pink wine that is pretty delicious. Produced by Torti “Tenimenti Castelrotto” and PAROLVINI, Hello Kitty Sweet Pink Sparkling Wine is a sparkling rosé demi sec that comes in a tiny but mighty 375ML gift box that should be tucked under your arm when arriving at any summer soiree. Made with chardonnay and pinot nero, the color is delicate pink with smooth floral fragrances and hints of almond – but the feel-good factor recognition is priceless at $29.95 per bottle.

Favorite Branded by a Hotel 
Next time you’re trying the new menu Upstairs on the roof of the Ace hotel downtown (read: nachos, tacos and quesadillas), try a glass or bottle of Ace Rosé. Yes, your favorite hip hotel has its own product that is produced and bottled exclusively for Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. And, before you go scouring the isles at Trader Joes, this wine is only available in-house by the bottle or glass at the rooftop bar or at their restaurant Best Girl. The wine, produced from Central Valley grapes and crafted by Oeno, is a nod to early traditional California winemaking and features notes of ripe apricot, savory white peach, and white tea.


Honorable Mention from Down Under
Cape Mentelle Rose 2016 ($16.99) We love all wines from the Margaret River region of Western Australia, known as much for scenic surf as vintages, and this fresh, vibrant expression of the traditional dry rosé style is no exception. A combination of direct pressing and saignee methods deliver delicate, fresh aromas and color and your palate will swear it’s pricier than an under $20 bottle.

Favorite Canned Rose for a BBQ
Yep, this is now a thing and while we cringed at first at the idea of a canned varietal of any kind, MANCAN has come up with a strikingly good concept and has just produced a rosé made with California grapes from Sonoma, no less. For pure convenience alone, this should be in your fridge or cooler this summer for a quick get-away or throwing food on the grill or in the smoker.


Best Out of the Box Idea
Hangar 1 Rosé Vodka 
had the good sense to jump on the trend and mix classic grapes into a bottle of their bestselling grain-vodka. It doesn’t quite pack the punch we were expecting but it’s wonderful to drink alone on ice when you’re taking it easy on the hard libations or try it garnished with lime wedges or mixed with another fruit juice in a cocktail during brunch.


Celebrate Rosé Day LA
Finally, celebrate your love for all things pink in a glass at the debut of Rosé Day LA at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu on June 9th

To coincide with National Rosé Day, the festivities will take place on the idyllic setting of the Malibu hills estate and will include a celebrity-filled mid-summer’s day picnic celebrating all things Rosé Champagne and Rosé Wines. Musical performances by DJ’s Zen Friedman and Devin Lucien are scheduled, plus culinary experiences and Rosé food pairings by famed Iron Chef Marc Forgione, plenty of activities and instagram-worthy moments. Additional sponsors for the event include Moêt & Chandon, B.B. Rosé, Voss Water as well as charity partner The Art of Elysium. This one is not to be missed! For information and tickets: 

Batali on Eataly LA Grand Opening Celebration

Originally posted on West Hollywood Lifestyle 

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 03: (L-R) Adam Saper, Eric Garcetti, Alex Saper, Nicola Farinetti and Mario Batali attend Eataly Los Angeles Grand Opening Celebration at Eataly LA on November 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Eataly)

Eataly partners Mario Batali, Nicola Farinetti, Alex Saper and Adam Saper celebrated the grand opening of its first West Coast location at Westfield Century City with a private event before they officially opened the doors, on November 3rd at 6pm, to thousands of fans waiting outside. The event was attended by Emmy Rossum, Sophia Bush, Andy Garcia, Jimmy Kimmel and more who enjoyed a pasta-ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Eric Garcetti and a packed house.

Following the company’s philosophy, the vibrant Italian marketplace will be interspersed with restaurants, counters, and a cooking school.

Referring to the communal tables on the second floor where you can order pizza, pasta and wine, Batali quipped, “Those stand-up tables are better than Tinder. It’s an amazing social experience to try different things and mingle. And, you can have gelato for breakfast. You’re in a free zone and nothing has any calories in here.”
Great focus will be devoted to local producers, who provide fresh ingredients daily to harmoniously complement Italian products. The unique environment invites guests to “Eat, Shop, and Learn” about high-quality Italian food and drink as they taste dishes, find ingredients, and take classes. We know there are customers who don’t want to talk to anybody” said Batali,  “So, we will have grab and go for them. We are not embarrassed that you don’t want to talk to us. But, what give us great joy is if there is an angry yuppie behind you tapping their feet, we will slow down and give you more of our time. We want to piss that kid off until he comes back and understands what we are here to do, which is to exchange information. This will separate us from all the other shopping experiences. We develop a trust with you and can explain different types of Parmigiana or prosciutto.” 

Since Oscar Farinetti first opened Eataly Torino in 2007, this philosophy has spread with more than 35 stores across the world, including our flagship NYC Flatiron (2010), Chicago (2013), NYC Downtown (2016), Boston (2016), and now L.A.
Eataly will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the second floor (cafes, gelato, cooking school) and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the third floor (main marketplace and restaurants).
 Eataly Los Angeles
 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard
 Los Angeles, CA 90067

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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. 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.

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.


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 Order a cheese and charcuterie plate and drink copious amounts of rosé while the sunsets over the Hollywood sign.


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.


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.
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.


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.

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

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


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.


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;


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


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;


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;




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;  



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


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


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


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


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


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

Where to Dine After The Broad

The Broad
Originally posted on
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 /

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.

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.

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 or call 323.466.1028.

Santa Monica Steps up Culinary Game

Originally Posted on
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.

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.

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.

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.

Look for more culinary updates from the author on

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.

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.

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.