"Los Angeles"

Shibumi

Shibumi

Los Angeles, USA

‘Did you manage to land a seat at Shibumi? Fine.’ This expected Downtown new opening is genius, since you have to find it as if it were a real izakaya in Tokyo, at the foot of some anonymous building on a signless road, as if they were all perfectly hidden. We are in Downtown, next to a car-repair garage on dark Hill St. A mouth-window shows nothing and you draw aside a dark Japanese curtain to cross the threshold. The long bar-counter and some small tables stand in sharply cool semi-darkness, while the music plays…

Botanica Restaurant & Market

Botanica Restaurant & Market

Los Angeles, USA

Nowadays, in the metropolis worldwide there are these fantastic addresses enlivened by a vision of ‘healthful cooking’ and populated by slim hipsters. We have some reservations about them, but nonetheless they appear in our notebook. Well, sitting at eleven a.m. on the wooden bench outside Botanica’s window with a big cup of boiling daily brew and a thick slice of almond-orange-honey breakfast cake and roasted fruit now belongs to our new routine in LA…

Palette Food and Juice

Palette Food and Juice

Los Angeles, USA

Beyond Los Feliz and Silver Lake, beyond Los Angeles River where one fly-fishes, to Atwater Village. That is where our sweetest and most elegant friend in Los Angeles, Kathy, took us. I hope you have already been there. The Eastside is genuine and contemporary, the signs on Glendale Boulevard range from department stores that sell 3-dollar t-shirts to the most advanced Californian bakery (Proof Bakery). Glendale Blvd is not so attractive, but in a few meters, we found some of our favourite boutiques in town (AVION Clothier, Individual Medley). Not to mention Palette, our idea of a fast casual lunch: a large ceramic bowl filled with any possible combination of corn, pulses, vegetables, proteins and sauce. The most unconventional dishes are bison bone broth and stewed meat, and the bison is clearly grass-fed in a well-known farm.

Woodspoon

Woodspoon

Los Angeles, USA

Downtown LA is our wonderful compromise to be halfway between the Arts District and Silver Lake – that is, where we like to wander in Los Angeles. What is brilliant about it is that every time we come back, we find a bunch of new places we can walk to and have dinner in, after a warm shower, when driving somewhere else is the last thing on our mind. It kind of feels like being a young neighbourhood couple. Our friend Carl suggested Woodspoon when one of our favourite restaurants in Little Tokyo closed…

Manuela

Manuela

Los Angeles, USA

Maybe LA’s Arts District exists as a neighbourhood since Hauser & Wirth, a sophisticated contemporary art gallery as large as a couple of museums, opened at 901, East 3rd Street. Manuela opened one year later as the perfect rendezvous. ‘Whitsell’s rural sensibilities settling into one of the most urban spaces on the West Coast’ (Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times). Chef Wes Whitsell comes from the South, from Texas, his bag full of verbs that suit perfectly a small future meal: in-house smoking, fermenting, preserving, pickling. There are a chicken house where twelve rare-breed chickens live, and a planting garden where home vegetables grow. All this inside the walls of an ambitious art space. There is a work by Paul McCarthy behind our table. ‘You Ain’t Done Yet’ is the title of the dessert menu. We will end up in the garden, plunging our big brass spoons into honey and roasted-strawberry ice creams, sitting at a table for two on broad mid-century chairs with wooden armrests and light dusty-pink velvet cushions. Just as in the wisest projects, one thing leads to another – the restaurant invites you to spend some time over the art book and in the exposition, and vice versa.

Bread Lounge

Bread Lounge

Los Angeles, USA

It is Downtown Arts District’s bakery. You could miss it the first time, since it hides in the busiest crossing on South Santa Fe Avenue. Let’s say you will have to go there on purpose. For the Balkan Borek, puff pastry triangles with sesame, rightly scorched, very crumbly, and filled with feta cheese, spinach and onion. For Challah, the Jewish Friday plait bread, and for the big breadsticks with Kalamata olives and za’atar, a mixture of herbs, marjoram, oregano and thymus. Homemade middle-eastern delicacies and perfect baguettes, worth a Saturday morning line, among young people from the neighbourhood studios.

Sqirl

Sqirl

Los Angeles, USA

Savory breakfasts consist of rice (Kokuko Rose Brown Rice) served in a soup plate with sorrel pesto, available in two different versions: a gentler one, steam-cooked with candied Meyer lemon, poached egg, sheep feta and radish, and a stronger one, sauté with shallot, mint, coriander, cucumber, ginger, house-made sausage and sunny-side-up egg. Sweet breakfasts are made of an oversized, thick, burnt Brioche Toast, with a generous portion of ricotta cheese and overflowing seasonal jam. Squirl serves savory and sweet breakfasts until 4 PM, but you will still find quite a few people queuing at that time. Hidden behind a flowering Pink Trumpet Tree on the edge of the Silver Lake neighborhood, it is our favourite pace in L.A.. Please share.

Café Gratitude

Café Gratitude

Los Angeles, USA

Whoever makes of a fancy, healthy, organic vegetarian diet a lifestyle, a passion or a study, should not miss sitting on one of Café Gratitude’s benches. You can find it on Larchmont Boulevard and on Rose Avenue in Venice. There is no need for suggestions about the menu, since any choice will stir up your authentic gratitude.

Norms

Norms

Los Angeles, USA

Sooner or later, you too will discover (or enjoy again) Los Angeles. Among the many wonders of this city, we suggest having a meal at Norms chain’s first diner. Design and architecture of the Fifties with many original elements, a neon sign that stands out against the sky of La Cienega Boulevard, pastel glasses, an old-style menu, and the genuine Americans who people it will take you on a journey to a lost America. Since 1949, open 24/7.

Superba Food + Bread

Superba Food + Bread

Los Angeles, USA

You would not imagine such a diner to be in a parking on Lincoln Avenue (Venice Beach). Airy, fresh, graphical. Avant-garde. Forest green and off-white metal, white marble, bright wood. A minimalist design coloured by folkish details (Navajo blankets, fresh wild flowers, denim seats). Contemporary Californian cuisine. Not far from here, on Rose Avenue, you will find the first Superba Snack Bar, open for dinner and for the weekend brunch.

Cecconi’s

Cecconi’s

Los Angeles, USA

We are not fond of ‘glam’ restaurants, and never will be. Cecconi’s falls exactly within the category, therefore it is the exception that proves the rule. Lively, fresh, sophisticated, it puts a great care in its design as well as in the dishes. I give you my word as an Italian foodie with a demanding palate.

Joan’s on Third

Joan’s on Third

Los Angeles, USA

For regulars in the neighbourhood, Joan’s is an institution. A substantial gastro-café, a high-end grocer’s, a tiny romantic confectioner’s. It will be hard for you, as it was for us, to choose among unheard-of sandwiches, crumbly French toasts and generous salads with a thousand flavours.

Neptune’s Net

Neptune’s Net

Los Angeles, USA

Neptune’s Net is not a restaurant, nor a diner or a fast food. Neptune’s Net is a meeting place, an institution, and it is part of history for residents, surfers, Harley riders on the move, and for whom has lost their heart to Malibu. It is a wooden hut on the Ventura stretch of PCH. The first beach in Ventura – with the coming and going of surfboards and waves – is right on the other side of the road. Order boiled crustaceans (shrimps, crabs, lobsters) just with oil and salt, buttered corn on the cob, fish and chips, after swimming in the icy water at sunset. Memories of the West Coast, of a Californian summer, of the ocean.

Cafe Midi

Cafe Midi

Los Angeles, USA

The nostalgic beauty of old Southern California with its warm primary colours, its floral patterns, the relaxed disposition and the generous tasty dishes. A bit of Mexico and a lot of Hawaii. Cafe Midi, on the hippest part of La Brea, is all this. We chose the Crab Cake – crisp crab rissoles with a slightly spicy sauce.

Forage

Forage

Los Angeles, USA

Let’s start from the end, with a well-deserved applause to this small modern diner. Contemporary organic cuisine finds a generous, delicate, inspiring dimension here. In a word, sexy. If they happen to be among the day’s specials, do not miss the Salmon Belly Tacos, with jalapenos and corn tortillas. In the hip and still genuine Silver Lake.

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