Castaway offers sensational views of Los Angeles & The Valley

Some of my fondest summer dining experiences are sitting on the patio at Castaway in Burbank overlooking the city of Los Angeles. At the newly renovated restaurant, guests can create memories of their own at the country club-style restaurant, which offers 180-degree views of downtown and the San Fernando Valley, including a perfect view of…

A fine Fellow in Westwood

After cooking in the kitchen of The Churchill, Cliffs Edge, and The Larchmont, Executive Chef Michael Bryant is now showcasing some of his beloved dishes and adding a few new ones at the upscale Fellow in Westwood. I fondly remember meeting Chef Bryant three years ago while dining at The Larchmont, before it changed into…

Barcari W. 3rd in Beverly Grove

When the Greek restaurant Sofi closed, I hoped another restauranteur would take over the space at this hidden gem in Los Angeles. Recently I learned the Bacari Restaurant Group took over the space and opened Bacari W. 3rd. I’ve been to the Bacari GDL at Caruso’s Americana at Brand in Glendale. It’s a Venetian-inspired Cicchetti-…

Italian Food & Art at Luigi al Teatro

The Chateau Paintings displayed at Michelin-starred chef Luigi Fineo’s restaurant Luigi al Teatro, adds to the theatrics of the Santa Monica California seafood with a Southern Italian flair menu. Luigi al Teatro has an artistic past as once the historic Powerhouse Theatre. Inside the dining room on the walls are painted faces of actors looking towards…

Mediterranean Delights at Luna Grill

Sean and Maria Trakas Pourteymour opened their first Luna Grill back in 2004 with their minds – and appetites – set on offering healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food in a relaxed setting. Fourteen years later, the pair continues to offer a delectable blend of Maria’s favorite Greek fare and Sean’s beloved Iranian dishes at…

Ricado Zarate’s Newest Peruvian Restaurant

Years ago, I met three-time James Beard Foundation award nominee Chef Ricardo Zarate at his urban Peruvian restaurant, Mo-Chica. Later, he opened Picca, near Century City, and Paiche, in Marina del Rey, introducing Peruvian flavors fused with Asian and European ingredients. Enchanted by his culinary creations, I followed him to Santa Barbara to Blue Tavern…

More Than Just a PB&J sandwich

In 1917 peanut butter makers Ray and Blanche Magee made their debut at the Grand Central Market, selling high quality nut butters. Soon it became a culinary sensation and they moved in 1934 to the new original Farmers Market along Fairfax and 3rd. With the celebration of Grand Central Market’s 100 anniversary, Christopher Farber, Grand…

Smile’s di Alba – Where Focaccia is the Star

It’s quiet and peaceful walking around the Arts District on a Saturday morning. The only stores open are a few coffeehouses. Then by 10:30 a.m. the sidewalks become more alive with people strolling around with iPhones and cameras taking photos of the creative street art. Models pose near edgy graffiti in fashion designer clothing, and…

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…