Archive | July 2013

Three Amazing Patios, Three New Menus, One Russian Revolution

Fig olive private patio
Fig & Olive

Tiato Sunday Brunch
The An Family is well known for their long-standing Beverly Hills staple Crustacean – and for Mama An’s garlic noodles. At their Westside more casual, market-style, garden café Tiato in Santa Monica, the family has recently launched a new brunch that features a noodle bar. Yes, you can order different variations of the noodles with shrimp, chicken, beef or veggies that Mama will whip up and bring to your table in a Chinese to-go carton. Of course, you’ll be quaffing bottomless mimosas, so no rush. Order modern Vietnamese specialties such as the genius breakfast bahn-mi with prosciutto and an over easy egg or the crepe with a chicken and prawn combo, zucchini and sprouts. The house-made corn bread or French toast bananas foster with bourbon vanilla maple syrup should be on your hit list if you have a sweet tooth.

Family Meal at Ray’s
Kris Morningstar brings the kitchen staff meal to the public on Monday’s at his LACMA restaurant Ray’s & Stark Bar (owned by the Patina Group.) Themes vary from Italian to Mexican where you can eat casual family style plates made by the staff from chorizo and potato taquitos with green chile and blistered corn avocado crema to beef shortrib nachos with chile con queso for $8-$12; and a signature cocktail for only $7 with a red or white wine selection for $5 and beer for only $6. Another addition to the regular menu is water sommelier Martin Riese who will guide your through domestic and exotic H2O varieties from flat to fizz while recommending flights and even pairing menus.

Lounge Menu at Fig & Olive
This Melrose Place favorite imports some of the most amazing olive oils from around the world, has a great bar scene and brunch but the new lounge menu is worth a revisit soon and one of the best deals in town for $29 per person. Once you work your way through the fig gorgonzola tartlet, truffle risotto, rosemary lamb chops, burrata with Provence veggies and assorted crostini you won’t need dinner but just another round of signature cocktails or a bottle of rose.

New Russian Tea House: Mari Vanna
More to love around town this summer includes the former Bastide space and patio in WeHo that has been turned into a Russian country house called Mari Vanna – a fairytale grandmother of Slavic lore who welcomed hungry travelers into her home.  From the Russian Standard Vodka cocktails and infused shots to the female wait staff in floral house dresses, you will want to order comforting bowls of borscht, smoked salmon and caviar with blini, pelmeni (dumplings), and lamb katletki skewers before you hit the karaoke machine.  Try to score one of the nesting doll key chains that are reserved for VIPs, celebrities and other notable guests during after hours.