Latest Best of LA

What You’re Eating: Summery Spring Menus

May 15, 2013 6:00 AM

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(credit: Chrystal Baker)

(credit: Chrystal Baker)

(credit: Sirtaj Hotel Beverly Hills)

(credit: Sirtaj Hotel Beverly Hills)


We are somewhat between the spring and summer seasons, so beautiful produce is plentiful, and restaurants are updating menus to reflect that. There are also a new few eateries on the block with dishes and events that will surely whet the appetite. Pull out your calendar and make note of what’s in store.

(credit: Chrystal Baker)

(credit: Chrystal Baker)

Pitfire Artisan Pizza

Multiple Locations
www.pitfirepizza.com

Pitfire Artisan Pizza recently launched its new spring menu, and it is full of fresh dishes. In addition to signature pizzas, sandwiches and salads, the seasonal offerings include a Sesame Salt Seared Tuna Salad with shaved fennel, grapefruit and cucumber yogurt dressing; Farro Minestrone Soup with jalapeno pesto; Crispy Sugar Snap Peas with marinated tomatoes; and a Ham and Pineapple Pizza with pickled jalapenos. There is also a Roast Wagyu Beef Panini with housemade giardineira. Don’t forget to cool off with one of the lemonades or beer shandys. Each of Pitfire’s seven locations will feature these items and several more during May and June.

(credit: Sirtaj Hotel Beverly Hills)

(credit: Sirtaj Hotel Beverly Hills)

Sirtaj Hotel Beverly Hills

120 South Reeves Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 248-2402
www.sirtajhotel.com

The boutique hotel recently opened, and its restaurant and bar has already received a bit of buzz. p.s. beverly hills is the hotel’s eatery, led by Executive Chef Wes Leiberher. The name may sound familiar from his previous station at Beer Belly. Check out the restaurant’s daily happy hour between 4 and 6 p.m. with $6 selected cocktails, wine and beer and a rotating selection of appetizers, including Bacon Fat Fries, Fried Shallot Petals and Beer Braised Beef Cheek Sliders. Be adventurous and try the Tiger’s Milk cocktail — a creamy mix of rum, coconut milk, agave, sweet chili, cucumber and mint.

(credit: Emily Hart Roth)

(credit: Emily Hart Roth)

Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery

1014 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-2311
www.huckleberrycafe.com

When most people talk about Huckleberry, they mention the buttery, sweet pastries and savory breakfast dishes. The Westside cafe is more than just a spot for the day’s first meal. It is hosts a weekly Thursday night family-style dinner. For up to $35 per person, enjoy a three-course menu that changes each week. Sign up for the cafe’s email newsletter or check the website for the updated menu. No reservations are necessary, but the family dinners only run between 6 and 9 p.m. Get there early to grab seats for your family and friends.

(credit: Fishing With Dynamite)

(credit: Fishing With Dynamite)

Fishing With Dynamite

1148 Manhattan Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 893-6299
eatfwd.com

Fishing With Dynamite is Chef David LeFevre’s newest restaurant, which opened its doors a couple of weeks ago near his other eatery, MB Post. Fishing With Dynamite blends classic surf-and-turf-inspired dishes with LeFevre’s clean and flavorful twists. Grilled Octopus with Harissa Date Chutney, Miso Alaskan Black Cod with Gingered Eggplant and Thai Basil, Flat Iron Steak with Shishito Peppers and Soy Lime Gastrique and Crispy Pork Belly with White Corn Grits and Spiced Green Tomato Relish are just a few of the menu’s items. Of course, there will be a raw bar for those who love fresh seafood in its purest form. For now, the restaurant only offers dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m., but the addition of lunch will happen soon. The 36-seat space will no doubt fill quickly, especially with the strict walk-in only policy.

(credit: Public Kitchen & Bar)

(credit: Public Kitchen & Bar)

Public Kitchen & Bar

The Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 769-8888
www.thompsonhotels.com

These days, almost every food has its own holiday or month of recognition, and May is no exception. It is National Egg Month, and Public Kitchen & Bar has three items that might hit the spot. Try the Celery Root Soup with a soft poached egg and braised bacon, the Crispy Polenta with a sunny side up egg, wild mushrooms, and Pecorino Romano or the Crispy Egg with Duck Confit Salad, pickled cherry tomatoes and hazelnut vinaigrette. After enjoying a drink at the bar, an egg-packed dinner may be the perfect way to end the evening.

(credit: The Mixing Room)

(credit: The Mixing Room)

The Mixing Room

JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE
900 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 765-8600
www.lalivemarriott.com

This month, The Mixing Room is hosting a five-week cocktail competition called the May Mix Off. The event will feature some of L.A.’s top mixologists and spirits from the William Grant & Sons group, such as Milago tequila, Hendrick’s gin and Sailor Jerry spiced rum. With two weeks down, the final three weeks will culminate with eight finalists fighting for a chance to win the grand prize — a trip to New Orleans in July for the Tales of the Cocktail festival. Order a bite from the bar while you enjoy this event, which is free to the public.

(credit: Michael Gardner)

(credit: Michael Gardner)

Fig & Olive

8490 Melrose Place
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 360-9100
www.figandolive.com

The culinary masterminds behind Fig & Olive – Melrose Place have new dishes ready to add to the May menu offerings. Executive Chef Pascal Lorange will showcase his Scallops with Eggplant Caviar, Provence Vegetables and Burrata, Zucchini Blossom & Goat Cheese Ravioli, Yellowfin Tuna a La Provencale and Veal Milanese, in addition to several other creations. As for cocktails, try the new “mocktails” during brunch: Jardin de Fraises features kefir clover, muddled strawberries, fig and fig balsamic and Spiced Orchards, which mixes apple juice, muddled Thai basil, lemon, fresh ginger and lime juice. Be sure to check out the three-course prix-fixe Memorial Day brunch for just $28 offered Saturday through Monday of the holiday weekend.

(credit: Olive & Thyme)

(credit: Olive & Thyme)

Olive & Thyme

4013 Riverside Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 91505
(818) 557-1560
www.OliveandThyme.com

Olive & Thyme kicked off the month of May with its weekly Burger Night on Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. The next couple of special menus will feature three unique burgers — two beef options, one turkey selection — served alongside a helping of housemade chips. Imagine a Truffle Burger with garlic aioli and imported truffle cheese on a toasted English muffin, a BBQ Burger with sharp cheddar, bacon and a beer-battered onion ring on a brioche bun or a Spicy Turkey Burger with housemade Russian dressing, roasted jalapeno and pasilla peppers, aged white cheddar and onion straws on a brioche bun. In addition to burgers, the restaurant is now offering picnic baskets priced from $40 to $120. Goodies in the basket range from a simple combination of sandwiches, salads and cookies to a larger assortment with wine, cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Usher in a summer full of activities without the responsibility of planning the meal.

Chrystal Baker is a freelance food, events, culture travel contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine, Frugivore Magazine and Politic365. She is the co-editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere, as well as the Farm 2 Plate Culinary Club site.

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