Latest Best of LA

What You’re Eating: Classic Eats With An Upscale Twist

May 29, 2013 6:00 AM

(credit: Vivien Killilea)

(credit: Vivien Killilea)

(credit: Tortilla Republic)

(credit: Tortilla Republic)

As we ease into summer, take the time to try a new dish or revisit a classic favorite. Carve out some extra time to savor some of these great dining experiences.

(credit: Vivien Killilea)

(credit: Vivien Killilea)

Stefan’s at L.A. Farm

3000 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 449-4019

A native of Finland, Stefan Richter has been cooking in America for over 12 years and loving it. After his “Top Chef” experience he went out on his own and opened L.A. Farm. From the fabulous wine with fabulous names (Used Automobile Parts, Bordeaux Blend), the Monaco Peacock cocktail to the specialty beer, before we even started to eat, we were happy.

The Cali Crudo Hamachi with lime yuzu vinaigrette is a perfect start. Follow with their new Purple Kale Salad or Beet Salad both with the freshest local ingredients. Main dishes are excellent and include: Crispy Scallops, Acorn Squash Ravioli, Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb, Duck Breast with Lingonberry Sauce and Chateau Briand with Truffle Mash and Bernaise. For dessert, try an Ice Cream Lollipop or one of the many specialties the pastry chef has prepared. For a complete treat, try one of the Chef’s Choice Tasting Menus or a Private Kitchen Counter of 10 courses and wine pairing. You will not be disappointed and, if you are lucky, the charming Chef Stefan will stop by to say hello.

(credit: Picca)

(credit: Picca)


9575 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0133

This Peruvian cantina has won its way into the hearts of many foodies in LA. Chef Ricardo Zarate has created a selection of dishes, mostly small, that perfectly blend the influences of Peruvian food including hints of Spanish, African, French, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.

Choose from the classics: ceviches, anticuchos (brochettes) and causas (potato cakes) to Lobster Tartare or Calamari with jalapeno and aji Amarillo dip. For the brave tasters, try the Anticucho Corazon with beef heart or Anticucho Lengua with braised ox tongue. Sea Urchin is going through a renaissance and Picca has it in the sauce of the Arroz Con Erizo as well as Uni Scallop Tiradito. And be sure to try something from the whipped potato ‘Causa Bar,’ where you can choose from a variety of options including Lobster & Caviar, Snow Crab and Spicy Yellowtaill.

(credit: Locando Portofino)

(credit: Locando Portofino)

Locanda Portofino

1110 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica CA 90403
(310) 394-2070

Tucked away on Montana is one of the best Italian restaurants on the West side. Founded in 1995 by Alberto Ferrari from Liguria and Florestano Caracciolo di Nicastro from Campania, Locanda Portofino it is the authentic Italian cuisine we all crave. The traditional dishes include Caesar Salad, Melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant parmigana), Fritto di Calamari (fried calamari), Spaghetti alle Vongole (spaghetti with clams), Pollo alla parmigiana (chicken parmigiana) and Scaloppine di vitello al limone (veal scaloppini), all made with the freshest local ingredients.

I hesitated to try their signature Sea Urchin Spaghetti because I am not a fan of raw sea urchin but I am glad I did as it was so delicious, I can’t wait to go back and have it again. Other dishes with twists on the traditional include: Burrata con prosciutto San Daniele, Alici fritte (fried sardines) and Linguine Positano with scallops, rock shrimp, dungeness crab meat and rucola in a light tomato sauce.

Locanda Portofino has a wine list of over 400 wines to choose from and is well versed in knowing what to pair with each course.

(credit: H.O.M.E.)

(credit: H.O.M.E.)


430 N Camden Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 271-4663

In the heart of Beverly Hills is a perfect place to enjoy a Sunday Jazz brunch. A diverse and large menu with fabulous choices include: Chanterelle Mushroom and Asparagus Crepes served with a white truffle béarnaise sauce; Salmon Tartar served with soft boiled quails egg, chopped avocado and grilled bread; Crab Mac n Cheese with four cheeses, jumbo lump crab and breadcrumbs; Grilled Maine Lobster Salad with half grilled lobster served with a baby mache, blood orange, haricot-vert and citrus vinaigrette; and Bourbon French Toast with bacon and banana-infused maple syrup. Or try one of my two Sunday favorites: Huevos Rancheros, two eggs over easy, corn tortilla, black beans, ranchero cheese, avocado, cilantro and spicy tomato sauce; or Crab Benedict, two poached eggs served atop of two Maryland style crab cakes, dill hollandaise and roasted potatoes.

H.O.M.E. also includes bottomless mimosas and a choice of breakfast pastries. You will probably need a nap after brunch!

(credit: Tortilla Republic)

(credit: Tortilla Republic)

Tortilla Republic

616 N. Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 657-9888

West Hollywood’s Modern Mexican Grill is, as they say, “a feast for all of your senses.” Start with your choice from as many as 50 tequilas to choose from, a Margarita Bar including unique creations like Cucumber Lavender, Beetarita, and Passion Fruit plus, classic cocktails like Sangria and Caipirinha.

Starters include: Tuna Crudo ,Tortilla Flatbreads (mushroom or tenderloin), a variety of tacos and many more that are perfect to share. The Lobster Enchilada melts in your mouth. Classic Arroz con Pollo Mole, Relleno Poblano and Fajitas are all great.

Tortilla Republic also has a great Happy Hour Tuesdays through Sundays from 3 to 7 p.m.

(credit: Public Kitchen & Bar)

(credit: Public Kitchen & Bar)

Public Kitchen & Bar

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA90028

In memory of Marilyn Monroe, who would have celebrated her 87th birthday on June 1, Public Kitchen’s executive chef, Tim Goodell, has created a menu in honor of the screen siren. Fans can enjoy the Marilyn Suite, a fruity cocktail blending Three Olive’s Marilyn Monroe strawberry vodka, passionfruit puree, lemon juice and simple syrup. Looking for something sweet? Try the Strawberry Blonde Cupcakes, filled with passion fruit curd and topped with white chocolate icing, piped to mimic the frills on Monroe’s iconic white halter dress. You can also try the Neapolitan Meatballs with tomato sugo, pine nuts and parmesan — a dish Marilyn learned to cook while married to Joe DiMaggio. The meatballs are available during Public’s “5 for $5” weekday happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m.

Jeannine (j9) Chanin-Penn | xoj9 | Creative Direction & Brand Design | Smart & beautiful solutions | design, movies, lobster & the color purple make me happy…


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