Escape to Downtown LA

When I was invited to participate in one of the Escape Rooms in downtown Los Angeles, you know those intriguing spaces where you’re given clues and a time limit to escape – I wasn’t sure what to expect. My daughter and I joined six others in the Pyramid room, a secret tomb deep inside a…

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,…

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…

DRAGO Ristorante at The Petersen Automotive Museum

  Recently we visited the Petersen Automotive Museum to admire the special Hollywood car exhibit, featuring the iconic 1982 red Ferrari 308 GYSi driven by Tom Selleck in the hit television show Magnum, P.I., They also have the 1989 Batmobile in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and the 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible featured in…

Italian Street Food at Vinoteca

Adjacent to Culina in the Four Seasons Los Angeles is a newer Napolini culinary experience, Vinoteca Bar. I heard from others that it is so much more than just a bar and was eager to meet my friend Ali for lunch. After pulling up to the front of the Four Seasons, I walked to the…

Fun, Family-style Dining at Buca di Beppo

In the Cardinal room at the new Buca di Beppo at the Original Farmers Market, you can dine at the Pope’s table where a plexiglass box holds a bust of the pontiff. It’s fun to spin the lazy Susan resting in the middle of the table, and the Pope looks you directly eye if the…

Authentic Italian Cuisine – The Factory Kitchen

My first meal dining out in 2016 was terrific! New Years Day is sometimes a difficult evening to dine out, because many restaurants are closed after serving a celebratory New Years Eve multi-course dinner beyond midnight. Servers, General Managers and chefs are tired and unenthusiastic to work on the first day of a new year….

Italian at its BESTIA

The braised oxtail with cacao pasta, or Agnolotti all Vaccinara, is my number one dish served at Bestia. Chef Ori Menashe braises the oxtail for hours, rendering the meat off the bone resulting in a rich, succulent stock. Italian Grana Padano cheese, similar in taste and texture to Parmesan, pine nuts and currants add potent…