Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

This is the 25th year that Duane and Kelly Roberts, the owners of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, have created the nations largest holiday light collections. USA TODAY voted the display the “Best Public Lights Display.” This year’s theme is a Candy Spectacular. Every year the historic Inn ushers in an increasing number of…

Omakase Dining at the Ainoko Bar inside Petite Taqueria

Making a reservation for dinner at Petite Taqueria on La Cienega Blvd., I not only received a reminder call 48 hours before my reservation, but also a text from the restaurant one hour before my reservation reminding me of my upcoming Omakase experience. Driving up to the restaurant, I fondly remember when this space was…

Fantastic Food at The FLATS

Walking into The FLATS, I scanned the bar to see if the hanging wicker chair in the corner was available. Located by a large window facing Wilshire Blvd., it’s the best seat in the house to swing and sip one of the clever cocktails made by Template Consulting’s Marcos Tello and The FLATS head barman…

Delicious Del Frisco’s Grille

The crispy artichoke beignets with the layers of sliced artichoke heart stuffed with fontina and Parmesan cheese, and topped with a crisp coating of bread crumbs are just one of many new autumn dishes at Del Frisco’s Grill, which overlooks the iconic Santa Monica Pier from the northeast corner of Colorado and Ocean Avenue. The…

Since its opening in 1989, Toscana has established itself as a sophisticated Hollywood celebrity dining spot in Brentwood. However, its more recent, 7-year-old addition, Bar Toscana has made a name for itself as well. I recently met some friends at the bar to try their new stuzzichini, or finger foods, menu. Executive chef Hugo Vasquez,…

Winning Watermelon Dishes in LA

What is the quintessential summer fruit? My vote is watermelon! Some of my favorite chefs are preparing watermelon in fun ways onto their menus this summer. Since National Watermelon Day is on August 3, here is a list of 6 restaurants and bars that feature watermelon on the menu in innovative ways. 1. True Food Kitchen…

Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro

A few years ago while exploring Napa Valley, I visited Thomas Keller’s Michelin star awarded Bouchon Bistro in Yountville for lunch. The menu featured Keller’s roasted chicken, regarded by some as the best in the world. I still remember how I thoroughly enjoyed the crispy skin and moist meat paired with a glass of dry…

Celebrity Chef Scott Conant & Freddy Vargas – The Ponte

When Terrine closed last year, Stephane Bombet of Bombet Hospitality Group talked to Scott Conant about helping him change his classic French-inspired restaurant into a contemporary Italian one. Bombet knew Conant from Scarpetta at the Montage Beverly Hills. This celebrity chef attracted foodies from all over to order his iconic $24 spaghetti with tomato and…