suite soirees: a valentine’s day picnic complete with an epic heartcuterie board

Resources linked below

In quarantine, home really is where the heart is. Spending so much time indoors this year and still wanting to be safe during the pandemic, I decided to move things outside and set up a heart-themed picnic for my SuiteHearts (aka my pre-fiancé, Brian and bestie, Dan).

I first set the scene with a plush faux-fur rug and scattered a few blush and cream pillows around the center table so we could all sit comfortably. Then I created a focal point on the hedge with fabric flowers and a wooden “love” cut out in front of two chairs and a small table as a conversation space.

The drinks, or as I like to call them, “Suite Sips”, were perched on their own marble table for a drink station. I knew I had to have some variety for all of our different tastes so there were two rosé wines, beer for Brian, canned vodka spritz cocktails, and a fun pre-mixed strawberry margarita that fit in perfectly with the pink theme. Of course I turned to Dan and cheekily asked, “Will you accept this rosé?”

For nibbles, I always love to create pretty cheeseboards so I took the Valentine’s Day theme and created a “Heartcuterie” board complete with cheese, crackers, fruit, candies, and deli meats that I wrapped to look like roses. What better way to ask, “Will you brie mine?”

I fell in love with the idea of heart-shaped caprese salad (even though it was a bit cheesy) and was so happy with the way it turned out that I loved it from my head, all the way to-ma-toes. It was super easy to make and really delicious to eat.

For something suite, I hand dipped cherries in white chocolate and rolled them in black sprinkles for an updated twist on the classic chocolate-dipped strawberry. There was also heart-shaped watermelon and crispy vanilla meringue perched on marble pedestals.

I love the way the whole picnic turned out and it was a nice change to celebrate love outdoors. Tell me, do you beleaf in love?

Resources

Love Sign  I  Felt Hearts  I  Glitter Hearts
Faux Fur Rug  I  Pillows  I  Marble Table
Marble Cheeseboard  I  Marble Pedestals  I  Two-Tier Tray
Crackers  I  Heart-Shaped Crackers
Bubblegum Yogurt Pretzels  I  Cosmo Popcorn  I  Meringue
Candy Lips  I  Cosmo Bears  I  Cinnamon Hearts
Rose Wine  I  Rose Wine  I  Strawberry Margarita  I  Beer  I  Canned Cocktail

What snack would you fall for first on this snack board?  Let us know in the comments below.


suite eats: a green snack board for st. patrick’s day

I love a good cheeseboard.  Any time that I have friends over or entertain, I always like to offer a pretty cheese board or charcuterie plate since it’s easy (and delicious) snacking.  I also love any excuse to get creative and color coordinate.  So with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I wanted to do a twist on my regular spread and do more of a “green day” inspired snack board full of gorgeous green veggies, fruits, guac, candy, and cheese (obvi).

I headed to one of my favorite stores, World Market, to stock up on all the green treats they had from all over the globe.   (Links to products below.)

I started with my go-to cheese board plate (similar here) that my spread quickly outgrew, so I decided to embrace the idea of making my kitchen island the center of attention and laid everything out there.

First, I placed small bowls that would hold the dips around so that they would anchor the snacks and then started layering in the good stuff.  I made sure to use an odd number of bowls to keep things visually appealing.

Then I grouped the veggies together like green peppers, celery, sugar snap peas, cucumber, and green cauliflower.  To the bowls I added green castelvetrano olives and pesto to dip.

Above the veggies, I added in fruits like green apple, pear, grapes, and kiwi.  I added hummus and a garlic & herb spreadable cheese in the middle so you could dip the veggies or fruit in either one.

Then I found these fun, green guacamole flavored tortilla chips and mounded those by the bowl of guac.  Together they were so good!

I layered in a few other crunchy snacks for texture like “Margarita Crunch” popcorn, wasabi peas, and wasabi almonds before finishing off the snack board with some suite treats.

For the dessert end, I added matcha green tea Pocky biscuit sticks, green tea Kit Kats, apple flavored candies, and green tea chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

And no get together is complete without a good wine to offer guests so I partnered with Winc who delivered four bottles straight to my door and tailored to my tastes.  I took a quick quiz online and my delivery included my favorite, a sauvignon blanc, along with a chenin blanc, sparkling chardonnay, and a red blend.  Having hand selected wine delivered definitely made this soirée easy to plan since I didn’t even have to leave the house or scour the wine aisle looking at labels.  And Winc got it right too – we loved every bottle.

If you’d like to try four bottles of wine for $39 plus complimentary shipping, just use my special code here from Winc.  Your friends may be green with envy with how easy it is.

Resources

Winc Wine
Wasabi Almonds  I  Wasabi Peas Popcorn
Pesto  Olives Hummus Spreadable Cheese
Guacamole  I  Chips
Kit Kats  I  Pocky Macadamia Nuts  I  Apple Candy

What snack would you dive into first on this snack board?  Let us know in the comments below.

 

 


norah: brunch at this approachable weho hot spot

Norah_Interior

Still looking all incognito with no signage, Norah will pull you in with her enigmatic front doors if the smell of that skillet cornbread with rosemary honey butter wafting down Santa Monica Boulevard doesn’t get you first.

Once home to O-Bar (we still miss those blueberry mancakes shots) and then Don’t Tell Mama (nothing to write home about there, sorry mom), Norah has quietly taken over the trendy nightlife scene with all that they have.  Quite literally.  Everything we have experienced at this establishment, from the decor to the drinks, to the service to the food, has been something to tell our mama about.  (Even seeing hunky Keith Urban meet friends at one of the long chef’s tables.)

Norah_Front Entry Doors

First off, let us take a quick moment to just marvel at Norah’s front entry.  Those doors.  Those exquisite, dazzling wood doors.  As we waited patiently for them to open for brunch, we admired their design and craftsmanship.  We knew that they held back some amazingly delectable dishes for dinner, but what brunch secrets were locked inside?  We were the first ones in on a Saturday morning to find out.

In the fresh morning light, the atmosphere and decor was upbeat and stylish.  Accents of black, white, and tan are mixed with textures like marble counter tops and leather chairs at the bar.  A herringbone pattern wood floor leads you to large abstract black and white artwork and carved wooden figurines on the walls that lend an African vibe, but then you look around and see metal bar stools, glass walls, and bunches of filament lightbulbs that almost scream industrial.  The textures and patterns all mix so well together.  Kind of like their drinks.

While the beer selection leaves much to be desired for us (it’s all canned and lacks variety), the mixed cocktails are more show stopping and more in line with their diverse food offerings.  One thing that consistently stands out though is Norah’s level of service.  For a place as trendy as this, every host or hostess has been warm and inviting.  Those sly smirks and side-eye about how long their wait is from other restaurants has instead been replaced with a kind suggestion of checking out their two-sided bar while you wait.  Once seated, the servers and bartenders are all smiles and suggestions in their patterned button-downs and dark jeans.  Ask for Danny or Sean behind the bar for a well mixed cocktail and attentive service or ask for John, the restaurant manager, to share ravings of your favorite dish with him.

the spread

  • Morning spritzer with aperol, vermouth bianco, peach, lemon, sparkling wine – $12
  • Cast iron cornbread with rosemary honey butter – $8
  • Cinnamon roll monkey bread with salted caramel – $8
  • Squash & burrata with walnut puree, crispy quinoa, date caramel – $15
  • Breakfast martini no.2 with gin, sticky wine, apricot, lemon, coriander, egg white – $12

top nosh

While the carbs we ordered washed down well with our drinks, the squash and burrata had us at hello.  The presentation was on fleek point but the showstopper of the dish was the crunchy texture of the crispy quinoa mixed with the soft burrata.  The squash made us feel like we were getting some healthy vegetables in at brunch (we’re definitely telling our mama about that) while the walnut puree and date caramel felt like we were cheating on dessert.

may we suggest

  • Since Norah is super hot right now, we would suggest reserving a table for dinner early.
  • Better yet, go for brunch since it wasn’t crowded and some of the menu offerings are the same at both brunch and dinner (we’re talking about you, cornbread).
  • Sit at the bar for a more casual vibe and friendly banter from the bartenders.  I asked to modify one of their mezcal drinks with tequila instead and Luigi whipped up a whole different cocktail worth craving that’s not on their menu.  Grazie!
  • Suggest Norah to impress both your foodie friends and your trendy ones.
  • Order a bunch of their smaller, shareable dishes to get a feel for their style.

the specifics

Norah
8279 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood 90069
323.450.4211
www.norahrestaurant.com

Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11am to 3pm
Dinner: Daily 6pm to Midnight

Also be sure to check out our posts on Crossroads on Melrose and Animal on Fairfax for even more great #SuiteSpots to check out.

All food and drink and front door photos: The Suite Life
Interior photos: the infatuation, colony, la eater

 


suite treats: snacking with graze

Graze_box_open lid

Who doesn’t love when little brown paper packages tied up with string show up at their front door?  Umm, no one.  Especially when they’re filled with delicious little packets of good-for-you munchies from Graze!  These are definitely a few of our favorite things.

Graze makes snacking simple and nutritious with their over 100 recipes filled with things like dried fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, and chocolate.  A few of our favorites include the “Veggie Caesar” with ranch flavored half popped corn kernels, cheddar cheese bruschetta and edamame beans, the “Jelly Doughnut” which mimics the sweet taste of the higher-calorie snack with low-cal ingredients like raspberry fruit strings, raspberry infused cranberries, almond slivers, and vanilla cookie drops,  the “Summertime Punch” with goldenberries, pineapple & coconut, and the “Honeycomb Flapjack” (Graze’s version of a chewy granola bar) drizzled with chocolate.

graze_box

graze_box_open

Each perfectly portioned snack has a positive benefit like being a source of essential vitamins, low-calorie (under 150 calories) or a source of protein.  All of their snacks contain no GMO’s, artificial flavors or colors, no high-fructose corn syrup, and 0 grams transfat per serving. And you can customize your box to suit your preferences (like vegan, low sugar, low calorie) or just to satisfy your #SuiteTooth.

For only $11.99, Graze will deliver eight tasty treats straight to your door at the frequency you want: every week, every 2 weeks, or every month.  You can try your first box FOR FREE on us with no commitments, by clicking here.  Happy snacking!

Graze

Have you ever tried Graze?  What’s your favorite #WaystoGraze?  Let us know in the comments below.

Note: This post is not sponsored, Graze is an affiliate partner.  We like to share things that we genuinely love and think our readers will too.

graze_packets_stackedgraze_packets_openedgraze_box_open

all photos: the suite life


dineLA restaurant week: the 10 spots not to miss

One of the best ways to experience all that LA has to offer in regards to dining is dineL.A.’s highly anticipated Restaurant Week.  Kicking off this week and continuing through next weekend, dineL.A. showcases over 350(!) restaurants throughout this gorgeous city that offer up a special prix-fixe menu for lunch and/or dinner at amazing prices.  With lunches ranging from $15-$25 and dinners ranging from $30-$50, now is the perfect time to try a new restaurant, hit up a fave, or finally taste something from the kitchen of that high-end place that you’ve been dying to try.

Since we dine out a lot, we thought we’d share a few of our favorites.  Here are our top picks for places to dine that we’ve tried and tested and highly recommend:

connie & ted's lobster roll

1.  Connie & Ted’s – fresh seafood & cocktails

Lunch $25   I   Dinner $40

We are lucky enough to live within walking distance to this salty gem.  Make a res during dineL.A. and be sure to choose their lobster roll from their dineL.A. menu served hot with drawn butter and choose the scoop of their homemade ice cream.  If peanut butter or butter pecan is an option, do it!  Trust us.

Cuisine: Seafood, American
Neighborhood: West Hollywood
8171 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood 90046

Connie & Ted’s: Menu & Reservations

AOC_Farmers_Lunch

2.  A.O.C. – cheese & charcuterie

Lunch $25 (Monday-Friday only)

We had lunch here last weekend and decided to make it one of our go-to dining out staples.  With a cheese and charcuterie plate offered on their dineL.A. lunch menu, that’s reason enough for us to go again.  And again.

Cuisine: Californian
Neighborhood: Beverly
8700 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles 90048

A.O.C.: Menu & Reservations

jicama wrapped guacamole

3.  The Bazaar by Jose Andrés – the showstopper

Dinner $50

This is our #1 pick for our favorite restaurant in LA!  The dining experience is fun and playful with tapas-style small plates being served like their bite-size “Philly Cheesesteak” made with decadent Wagyu beef or their innovative jicama wrapped guacamole which inspired our immediate need for a mandolin in our kitchen.  (True story.)

Cuisine: Spanish
Neighborhood: Beverly
465 South La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles 90048 (located inside the SLS Hotel)

The Bazaar: Menu & Reservations

fig and olive

4.  Fig & Olive Melrose Place – fresh mediterranean

Lunch $25   I  Dinner $50

The food here is super fresh, imaginative and was a hit with our entire family (that’s hard to do!). The space is warm and beautifully decorated.  Grab a seat on the enclosed patio if you can and be sure to enjoy all of their different olive oils with each dish.

Cuisine: Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Beverly
8490 Melrose Place, Los Angeles 90069

Fig & Olive: Menu & Reservations

gracias madre

5.  Gracias Madre – vegan mexican 

Lunch $20   I  Dinner $30

Ok, so maybe “vegan” and “Mexican” don’t sound like they go together.  We mean, can it really have authentic Mexican flavors without meat and cheese? Gracias Madre is up to the challenge and killing it with every delicious plant-based bite.  Try one of their “snow cone” cocktails and order the empañadas.

Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
Neighborhood: West Hollywood
8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood 90069

Gracias Madre: Menu & Reservations

Jar West Hollywood pot roast

6.  Jar – modern retro cuisine

Dinner $50

The decor is fashionably retro while the food was more than modernly mouthwatering.  Order their famous pot roast or savor the salmon for your main course.  You really can’t go wrong with anything on the updated traditional menu.

Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Beverly
8225 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 90048

Jar: Menu & Reservations

mud hen tavern chicken waffle croquettes

7.  Mud Hen Tavern – a foodie’s playground

Lunch $25   I  Dinner $30

We went just last week and are still craving that ahhhhhmazing sauce from their chicken, bacon and waffle croquettes.  When you’re looking over your shoulder to make sure no other patrons catch you sopping up the sauce with a spoon, there’s no shame in this menu’s game.

Cuisine: American (new)
Neighborhood: Hollywood
742 North Highland, Los Angeles 90038

Mud Hen Tavern: Menu & Reservations

red o

8.  Red O by Rick Bayless – modern mexican

Dinner $50

We’ve got a soft spot for Mexican food and then when you tell us that this place serves a mean spicy jalapeño margarita, we’re jumping in flan first!

Cuisine: Mexican
Neighborhood: Fairfax
8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046

Red O: Menu & Reservations

rocksugar

9.  Rocksugar Pan Asian Kitchen – banana custard cake

Lunch $15   I   Dinner $30

This is basically our excuse to say that we need to go shopping or see a movie at the Century City mall (even though we don’t actually do either and just really need that banana custard cake). Each plate we’ve ever tried is filled with tons of flavor, is always consistent, and the decor is gorgeous.  Order the crispy samosas or the Indian stuffed flatbread and end your meal with the caramelized banana custard cake.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Neighborhood: Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles 90067

RockSugar Pan Asian Cuisine: Menu & Reservations

the village idiot melrose

10.  The Village Idiot – a great lively little bar

Lunch $15   I   Dinner $30

Belly up to this fun and inviting bar and restaurant that’ll remind you of that trip to London you took after college.  The atmosphere is welcoming and the food is hearty.  Try their roasted apple and arugula salad and the braised pork pie with a sweet ending of warm sticky coffee cake.  And don’t forget the pint of beer, mate.

Cuisine: American (new)
Neighborhood: Fairfax
7383 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046

The Village Idiot: Menu & Reservations

For the full list of restaurants participating in dineL.A.’s Restaurant Week, click here.  

For more of our favorite restaurants to try in LA, visit our “dine” section and check out our thoughts on places like Animal and Eveleigh.

 

photos: food republic, aaron cookboy meets girl meets food, fig and olive, the suite life, jar, mud hen tavern, locale magazine, la restaurants, la weekly


giveaway: win dinner for two at re creo’s next supper club

re creo giveaway dinner

***This contest is now closed.  Thanks for entering!***

Congratulations to Eva Fleur Mora Dragoo! We hope you enjoy dining at Re Creo Supper Club!  Be sure to let us all know how the dinner was in the comments below.  Enjoy!

As a holiday gift to you, on December 5th Re Creo will bring Christmas in Peru to Los Angeles at their monthly underground supper club and you have the chance to join them!  The crew over at Re Creo Supper Club was kind enough to provide us with a pair of tickets to give away on The Suite Life.

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Here’s how to enter for a chance to win…

  1. Sign-Up.  Enter your name and email address below.
  2. Comment.  Leave a comment below telling us about your one favorite restaurant in LA (besides Re Creo, of course).
  3. Wait. We’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, December 2nd!

Bonus: All entrants to the giveaway will receive a secret offer from Re Creo!  (Because what’s more underground than a secret and a surprise?)

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Don’t want to chance it?  Make sure that you’ve got a seat at the table and RSVP for the December 5th dinner are.creo.supperclub@gmail.com.  Just be sure to do so by November 30th as spots fill quickly.

Check out our recent article on our experience at Re Creo to see what the prize includes.

 

 

And a special thanks to everyone over at Re Creo Supper Club for making this giveaway possible!


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This giveaway is open to US residents 21 years of age and older.  Winner will be contacted via email. If our team does not hear back within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected in your place.  Limit one comment per entry. Multiple comment entries will not be considered.  This giveaway ends at midnight PST on December 1st, 2014.  Re Creo Supper Club was kind enough to provide us with the tickets to give away to you guys! (Thanks so much to everyone at Re Creo for making this possible!!) This is not a sponsored giveaway.
photos: Sarah Lockhart and Tim Ryon

re creo: an underground supper club where the experience is out of this world

ReCreoSupperClub_Dinner

If you think you’re a foodie in LA, you haven’t tasted anything yet.  We were lucky enough to be invited to join Re Creo Supper Club at their monthly dinner in September and the whole experience from beginning to end was unique foodie fun.

First off, you’ve got to be an insider on “The List” in order to score an invite to this amazing shindig (don’t worry, we’ve got you covered and you can sign up below).  Because the venue is intimate, often times at the chef’s home, seats are limited.  You can RSVP as a single diner or a couple and once you’re confirmed, you’ll be sent a confirmation with the details including the time, address, and any other insights (we were told not to wear heels because of the flooring on the roof at last month’s location).

When we arrived downtown, we were among soaring vintage bank buildings of the 1920’s and were buzzed up to the penthouse level at the address we were given.  The whole thing felt mysterious and exciting.  We were going some place we’d never been, to have dinner with people we don’t know, to be served a nine-course menu where we were at the complete mercy of the chef.  To say that we were intrigued is an understatement.

Once we ascended the spiral staircase to the private rooftop terrace, we were greeted by Executive Chef & Founder, Jean Valcarcel, shaking up our complimentary “welcome cocktail” of raspberry, rocoto (spicy pepper), and rosemary.  Then we were left to take in the 180 degree view of the Los Angeles skyline, peruse the handwritten menu for our most anticipated course (hello, root beer braised short rib), and get to know our other Re Creo diners while a groovy mix of tunes played in the background.

Re Creo is a play on the Spanish word “recreo” which means “to have fun, entertain, enliven, or delight” and the evening’s guests, ambiance, and food made sure that the night lived up to that definition.  The conversations flowed easily and we loved how welcoming every guest was and how eager they were to get to know each other.  There were no wallflowers here, just a mix of really cool down-to-earth people who were hungry like us.

When we were finally ready to eat, the sun was just starting to sink behind the beautiful backdrop of buildings as event coordinator, and second half of Re Creo, Tinh Tran, welcomed us to dinner.  Marketing director, Angela Wagner, encouraged guests to post pictures of their evening on social media by using hash tag #ReCreoSupperClub which totally made us foodie-obsessed photogs feel more comfortable taking annoying pics of every course.  And each one was worthy of an upload along with the accompanying hash tags #delicious and #moreplease.

the spread

  • Welcome cocktail: raspberry, rocoto, & rosemary martini
  • Seared albacore tuna ceviche, coconut milk leche de tigre
  • Papa rellena, aioli verde, pickled red onions
  • Green pea & mint gazpacho, pea tendrils
  • Parmegiano regiano custard, spiced carrot salad, golden raisin puree
  • Korean steak tartare, frisee, quail egg
  • Sea urchin paella, cherry tomato escabeche
  • Cauliflower truffle shooter, thyme oil
  • Root beer braised short ribs, miso mashed potatoes, tangerine chermoula
  • Earl grey white chocolate bread pudding, lemon curd sauce

top nosh

Do we have to choose just one?  That’s usually not our first thought when we sit down to describe our favorite dish, as there’s usually a clear stand out.  In the nine courses we were served over the span of a few hours, each dish was equally mouth-watering.  Alright, alright, we’ll choose one. And it’s probably not the one you’re thinking we’d choose.

Our “most-anticipated” dish was definitely the root beer braised short ribs with miso mashed potatoes and tangerine chermoula.  We’re not even sure what a chermoula is, but we do know that there wasn’t a drop left on any of our plates that night.  The meat was hearty and as it melted in your mouth you could taste the underlying sugar of the root beer which gave it a slightly sweet finish.  The miso mashed potatoes were creamy and complimented the sweetness of the soda while the tangerine added some acidity and tartness.

Our “top nosh” honors go to the parmegiano regiano custard with spiced carrot salad and golden raisin puree.  This was such a unique dish!  I mean, who serves a cheese custard with carrots? Who plans a menu and says, “I’ll whip up a savory cheese mousse and pair that with carrots scented with cinnamon and cardamom?”  A creative culinary genius, that’s who!  The custard itself was smooth and creamy, similar to a really good Mexican flan dessert, but instead of a sweet treat, you’re biting into a savory cheese concoction with a crispy parmesan chip on top. Chef Valcarcel said it was the most difficult dish to make, but it was by far the easiest for us to eat.

may we suggest

  • Get on their invite list.  The only way into this awesome evening is by signing up for their email list to make sure that you’re first in line to score a seat.  They also post about the dinners on their social media pages, but in-the-know people like you will get first dibs on the coveted spots.  You can sign up below.
  • RSVP for their October 25th dinner now.  Reservations close on October 19th for their Brothers Grimm-inspired Halloween offering promising their “most macabre event of the year”.  Chef Valcarcel invites you to follow his trail of breadcrumbs through an edible journey through the darker side of our childhoods – it’s an opportunity to face your fears, and then eat them!  Mmmwwaaahaahaaa!
  • BYOW.  While Re Creo serves up the fare, you’ll need to plan ahead and bring your own wine since alcohol is not included as part of the evening. (Except for that sweet welcome cocktail, of course.)  How many bottles and what type of wine you bring will depend on you and your taste.  And keep in mind that you’ll be sitting next to some cool new people and offering them a taste of your skillfully selected vintage is always a crowd pleaser.
  • Bring cash.  At the end of dinner you’ll be given an envelope in which to discreetly pay for the evening.  While prices vary depending on the month’s menu, expect it to range anywhere from a suggested cash donation of $75 to $125.  This includes all courses, complimentary cocktails, tax, gratuity, and overall experience.  At $125, that’s an average of a little over $10 a course with tax and a 20% tip.
  • Bring Re Creo to you.  If you can’t make it to one of their dinners in downtown, bring the unique experience and amazing food to you by having them cater your next event. Whether it’s a small birthday dinner at home for your friends or a larger cocktail party for the office (book ’em now before the holidays), Re Creo is able to make your event a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure.

the specifics

Re Creo Supper Club
Facebook  I  Twitter  I  Instagram

To receive an invitation to their next dinner on October 25th, or future dinners, sign up here:

Also be sure to check out our posts on Eveleigh on Sunset and Animal on Fairfax for even more great places to eat in LA.

photos: Sarah Lockhart, Tim Ryon, The Suite Life


guide to la

guide to la

One of the best things about living in LA is all of the amazing places to discover.  No matter which corner of LA’s sprawling landscape that you find yourself on, there’s always something fun to do or a great cafe to grab a bite to eat.  Having lived in Los Angeles for over six years now, when our friends are visiting from overseas (G’day, mates!) or from the midwest, heck even our hometown of The OC, they always want to know where they should stay, eat, and go and we have plenty of fun suggestions to go around.  Here are some of our favorite places to check out while exploring the City of Angels.

eat_lunch

  1. Lemonade: This is quickly becoming our favorite lunch spot with all of the amazing options to choose from.  With 12 locations throughout LA from Venice to Brentwood to West Hollywood, this cafeteria-style lunch spot serves up some seriously delish fare, amazing lemonade combinations (we’re talking about you, watermelon rosemary), and some sweet desserts (that pistachio macaron – swoon!). Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, a foodie, or a hungry guy in search of a hearty meal, Lemonade has got you covered with marketplace selections like cauliflower with golden raisins, almonds, and curry to white truffle mac and cheese to sandwiches and braised beef brisket.
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  2. Mendocino Farms: This sandwich market is an easy place to grab a quick bite. Must trys include their Steak BLT with carved steak, applewood bacon, romaine lettuce, roasted tomatoes, herb aioli, and red wine onions on toasted rustic white bread. Add blue cheese crumbles to make this perfect sandwich even more perfect.
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  3. Alcove: Tucked away in Los Feliz in two historic bungalows surrounded by a beautiful garden patio, this cute little cafe serves tasty american classics like sandwiches, grilled paninis, burgers, salads, soups, and wraps.  If you go for drinks, ask for our old friend Eugene behind the bar and say hello.  Grab a spot outside in the garden and keep your eyes open for celebrities.  Adam Levine was even cuter in person!  (True story.)
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  4. ink.sack: Located next door to Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio’s famed restaurant ink. on Melrose, ink.sack is the lunch-sized portion for foodies in the know.  Their menu is simple, offering just creative sandwiches and homemade snacks.  Try the “Jose Andres” with ham, tomato, chorizo, and manchego cheese with a side of pineapple marinated in chili and lemon.
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  5. In-N-Out: You can’t go wrong with a California classic.  Burgers, fries, and shakes. That’s it. Their menu’s pretty simple, unless of course, you know about their “secret menu”.  Go on, act like a local and get your double double protein style wrapped in lettuce with a side of smothered animal style fries.

do

  1. The Getty: This hilltop museum offers some amazing views of the city and free admission – just pay for parking.  Wander throughout the different wings taking in the Monets and the sculptures and then soak up the sun outside on the lawn with a bite to eat.  Walk off lunch in the garden and take a pic with the amazing skyline behind you.
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  2. La Brea Tar Pits: It’s crazy to think that millions of years ago, woolly mammoths and saber tooth tigers were wandering around what is now Wilshire Boulevard. Scientists are still excavating the tar pits and the specimens they have on display are staggering.  Check out the wall of wolf skulls – you won’t believe how many there are!
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  3. Griffith Observatory: High up in the Hollywood hills, you’ll find the famed observatory and one of the best views of LA.  This is a fun spot for dates or tourists alike since admission is free.  Opened in 1935, check out the sweeping views from downtown to the Pacific while you take in the Old Hollywood architecture and star gazing.
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  4. Cinespia: What could be cooler than watching a movie outdoors in the middle of a cemetery where the stars of Old Hollywood are buried?  In the summer months this becomes one of LA’s hottest spots.  Bring a blanket to enjoy a picnic with the sounds of a DJ spinning today’s top tunes and when the sun sets, the movie begins. Even though you’re in a cemetery, not all movies screened are scary, this month includes There’s Something About Mary, Pretty in Pink, and The Matrix.
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  5. The Farmers Market: LA has some of the freshest produce around and the best way to taste it is to visit one of the many farmers markets around the city.  From the original one on the corner of 3rd and Fairfax next to The Grove to Santa Monica, explore all of the wonderful treats California has to offer.

see

  1. Santa Monica Pier: There is so much to do and see down at the pier from the restaurants to the performers.  Take in the salty sea air and grab a cocktail at Bubba Gump’s before taking a ride on the Ferris wheel.  Once you’ve walked to the end of the pier, you can explore some more at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade or by taking a walk on the beach.  Don’t forget to catch the free summer concert series too!
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  2. The Ellen Degeneres Show: What better way to see celebs than by grabbing tickets to a taping of Ellen?  Filmed in Burbank on the Warner Bros. lot, this will no doubt be a fun way to spend some time in LA or get to know your way around a bit.  Be sure to bring your dancing shoes.
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  3. Rodeo Drive: Even if your wallet can’t afford that new Gucci bag, you can still have a great time window shopping up and down this famed street in Beverly Hills.  Packed with tons of shops and cute cafes, you can also branch out to the neighboring streets for more affordable fare.
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  4. Sprinkles Cupcake ATM: Yes, you read that right.  Sprinkles Cupcakes has a 24-hour ATM machine to make sure your sweet tooth is always satisfied.  If the line is out the door at the actual bakery next door or it’s after hours, sneak in a cupcake at the ATM.  If there’s no wait, go inside and use the secret “whisper word” found on Sprinkles’ social media pages for a free cupcake.  Shh…
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  5. Hollywood Sign: Quintessentially LA, this is probably the most famous landmark and something to see close-up.  While you can’t actually drive by or walk up to the sign, there are a few places where you can get a good view and a great photo. Check out Canyon Lake Drive, the Griffith Observatory, or Mulholland Drive.

be seen

  1. Laurel Hardware: This hip hot spot is great for brunch, dinner, cocktails, or to bump into someone attractive.  Catering to one of LA’s cutest crowds, Laurel Hardware kept the original name of the home improvement store that once occupied this space.  There’s a front area with open kitchen or head on back to the bar area with communal tables.  For beautiful scenery with dinner, opt to dine in their outdoor patio garden underneath olive trees.  The menu changes almost daily, but if they’re on the menu, trust us, order the brussel sprouts.
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  2. The Abbey: Looking for a fun scene to mingle with martinis?  The Abbey on Robertson is your go-to place for great people watching whilst cocktail in hand. This super high-energy bar has been dubbed “The Best Gay Bar in The World” and with the lively atmosphere and packed patio, it’s easy to see why.
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  3. The Hudson: Go for the jalapeño mac and cheese, stay for the happy hour prices. A must order is their brioche grilled cheese with short rib and tomato soup and “The Huddy” cocktail made with gin, lime, cucumber, and basil.  This place can get lively on game nights, so definitely bring some friends with you and keep your eyes open for good looking people all around.
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  4. Eveleigh: Hidden away in plain sight on The Sunset Strip, this Australian-inspired farm-to-table spot has amazing food, awesome service, incredible drinks, and fabulous views.  Check out our write-up here.  Grab a seat at the bar in the center of the restaurant underneath hanging cow skulls or strike up a conversation with that mysteriously hot guy lingering at the second bar way in the back.
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  5. Sur: Even before The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules hit the air, Sur was serving up a cute crowd alongside creative cocktails.  Hit this place before or after dinner and you might just catch a glimpse of one of the cast serving dinner or drinks behind the bar.  Just don’t go home with Jax, we beg you.

spot

  1. Chateau Marmont: If you want to rub shoulders with Hollywood’s elite, grab a table outside in the garden and enjoy planning your next day of exploration with a drink in hand.  This is the place where many a celeb has lived (we’re looking at you, Lohan) and even more have visited.  We ran into Ellen Pompeo while we were there and Katy Perry was spotted the next day.
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  2. The Ivy: After a long day of shopping, curl up at this quaint little haunt on Robertson and just wait.  If a celeb isn’t sitting right next to you, they may just be walking in or carrying a Kitson bag across the street.  Paparazzi are lurking behind every tree and if a celeb wants to get photographed, this is the place they’re sure to show up.
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  3. Runyon Canyon: Sweat out all those libations with a short and easy hike up the hill at Runyon Canyon.  A haven for celebrities and their pooches, this hike will take about 40 minutes round trip and is a great way to get outdoors and take in the amazing view of LA at the top.
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  4. Sunset Marquis: Hidden unassumingly at the end of a one-way street off The Sunset Strip, this hotel has a beautiful garden and bar to people and celeb watch. We sat next to Simon Fuller during a meeting and the hotel has a long history of rock ‘n’ roll royalty getting rowdy.
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  5. Sunset Tower: This is one of Jennifer Aniston’s favorite spots and one of ours as well.  Take in the amazing view of the LA skyline at Tower Bar while sipping drinks and nibbling on appetizers.  The hotel evokes a feeling of Old Hollywood glamour and it’s fun to check out where Hollywood’s elite rub elbows after The Oscars.  Just don’t go home with John Mayer, we beg you.

primp

  1. Drybar: With 11 locations throughout LA and at only $40 a pop, there’s no reason for your hair to look anything but fabulous.  This blow dry bar serves up snazzy ‘dos with sassy names like “The Manhattan” which will make your hair smooth and sleek, “The Cosmo” for a head of cascading curls, and “The Straight Up” for their signature blow out with lots of body and just a little bit of curl.  They do one thing and they do it well.  As their tagline says, “No cuts. No color. Just blowouts.” Blow on in and get your hair done before hitting the town.
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  2. Blushington: With your hair looking sweet, hit up Blushington for a double scoop of make-up perfection with their professional make-up application at affordable prices.  For only $45, you can walk out looking like a starlet with red lips and a fierce cat eye.
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  3. Olive & June: The cherry on top of this already rockin’ beauty sundae is Olive & June in Beverly Hills for a fab mani/pedi.  Created out of necessity for a great manicure without being sketchy or pricey, you won’t find a wall of massage chairs here.  Instead, you’ll be pampered in a pretty setting with soaking bowls and personalized service.  Now, that’s just wonderful.
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  4. Meridian Day Spa: Where can you go for a really good massage or facial without having to go to a pricey spa?  We couldn’t believe our wallets when we stumbled across this place tucked away around the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard.  At $56 for an hour massage, we could definitely see ourselves making this a monthly habit.
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  5. The Art of Shaving: To pamper your guy, you must check out this place located in Century City’s Westfield shopping center.  Guys can get a close shave by their expert barbers that wield a straight razor like a ninja sword across an inflated balloon filled with baby kittens.  Our maintenance manager felt like a king after cashing in his gift card for a 45-minute “Royal Shave” that included a hot towel and after shave mask.  Perhaps a perfect treat for say, the end of Movember?

shop

  1. Third Street Promenade: One of the best places to go in LA, you can easily spend the majority of your day here perusing the shops, exploring the cafes, watching the people, and playing in the sand.  This outdoor destination has a ton of well-known stores like CB2, Sephora, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
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  2. The Grove: This outdoor mall is home to great shops and restaurants.  Stop by The Whisper Lounge to rest your feet after a day of shopping at places like Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, Barneys’ New York, Michael Kors, & Banana Republic.  Be sure to wander through the Original Farmers Market while you’re there too.
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  3. Abbot Kinney: Venture out to artsy Venice for great shopping and people watching on this cute boulevard by the sea.  Stumble into any of the shops offering clothing and accessories, books and gifts, beauty products, or art.
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  4. Melrose: Gritty and trendy.  Fashionable and hip.  This very famous street offers very unique shops and very unique people.  Here you’ll find one-of-a-kind vintage stores alongside boutique retailers.
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  5. Robertson: Peruse this high-end mecca for luxury retailers like Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Tory Burch, and Nanette Lepore. Keep your eyes peeled for celebs and paparazzi and be sure to check out Alice + Olivia and Kitson while you’re there.

view

  1. Perch: Perched high above the downtown skyline, this indoor/outdoor rooftop restaurant and bar is the perfect place to take in the city lights up close.  Cozy up to the outdoor fire pits and drink in the amazing view.  There’s even a roof above the roof – look out for the balcony up above.
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  2. Gladstones: For the best view of Malibu during the day or just as the sun is setting, check out this casual eatery where PCH and Sunset Boulevard meet.  With some of the freshest seafood around, be sure to try their mango fish tacos or their clambake with lobster, crab, clams, shrimp, andouille sausage, corn, and potatoes.  And be sure to take the leftovers with you – they’ll wrap them in foil in the shape of a mermaid or pelican.
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  3. Sunset Ranch Horseback Riding: Make reservations to explore the hills above the Hollywood sign by horseback.  Offering day, lunch and sunset rides, this is a surefire way to see Los Angeles in all her glory with a breathtaking backdrop and view.  There’s even a BBQ tour option that ends back at the ranch for some good grub and festive music after a 2-hour trail ride.  Yee-haw!
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  4. Petit Ermitage:  We had driven by this unassuming boutique hotel countless times, dismissing it as just another apartment building tucked away on a corner of a tiny intersection of side streets.  So when we were asked to meet on the rooftop for a business meeting, you can imagine our surprise.  This magical little gem felt like we had stumbled upon a secret door in the middle of the city that led to a rooftop terrace, pool, and sweeping views.
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  5. Sixty Beverly Hills:  Formerly known as The Thompson Beverly Hills, this rooftop bar, pool, and terrace offer incredible 360 degree views of swanky Bev Hills.  Grab a drink and a small bite and relax as you watch the sun set before heading out to dinner.

eat_dinner

  1. The Bazaar by Jose Andres: Listen, Imma let you finish, but this is one of our favorite restaurants of all time.  You see, we like the production and creativity that comes with dining at places that serve up molecular gastronomy artwork and pass it off as food.  Order the spicy “Jalé Berry” martini that mixes muddled black berries with jalapeños or the “Magic Mojito” that is presented to you table side as it’s poured from a chilled mini cocktail shaker over a glass filled with cotton candy that disappears as it melts into the drink.  When we say that everything on the menu is good, believe it!  Order the stuffed piquillo peppers filled with goat cheese, the sweet potato chips with yogurt dipping sauce flavored with tamarind and star anise, and the “Not Your Everyday Caprese” which comes with a fun surprise as you bite into the little skewers.  Ok, maybe we won’t let you finish… pass that jicama wrapped guacamole!
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  2. Red Medicine:  Speaking of eating art, run to Red Medicine for an adventure in culinary brush strokes of genius.  We wisely opted to go with the tasting menu and were served course after course of edible poetry.  The first course came presented in a fish bowl and you had to break through a frozen layer of pea puree with your spoon to get into the briny tang of orange fish row nestled at the bottom.  We’re not even sure what else was in there, all we know is that we were fighting for the last bite.
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  3. Hinoki & the Bird: When you’re bumping into Bobby Flay the first week this restaurant opens, you know you’re in for an amazing meal.  And when the owner and chef stop by your table to say hello (umm, swoon, David Myers) and then sends over every dessert on the menu, you will happily oblige trying every dish and not taking home any leftovers. The kitchen is helmed by Top Chef alum Kuniko Yagi who offers up sharable dishes like their signature lobster roll with green curry and thai basil, namesake hinoki scented black cod with maitake and shishito, and their stunning summer pepper toast with coconut miso jam and goat cheese.  Go. Now.
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  4. Osteria Mozza: Chef Mario Batali serves up some seriously delish Italian dishes at this eatery on the corner of Melrose and Highland.  Christina Aguilera likes to eat here and we recommend ordering the burrata with bacon, marinated escarolee, and carmelized shallots alongside the tagliatelle with oxtail ragu or the grilled quail wrapped in pancetta.  Bellissimo!
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  5. Jinpachi:  We are slightly obsessed with sushi.  Ok, majorly.  So when we tried this tiny little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hidden gem, it has quickly risen to the top spot on our favorite sushi restaurants.  Everyone you know says that they know about “the best sushi place ever” and that “you have to try it”.  We are totally ok if you don’t take our word for it though.  We actually don’t want you try this place.  Stay away, far away.  Because if you go, then you’ll be taking up one of the handful of coveted seats in this already small space.  Don’t order the salmon sashimi with jalapeño and cilantro or the halibut carpaccio with yuzu. Don’t even think about the black cod with miso or the green tea creme brulee.  Ok, but do try the spicy tuna on crispy rice if all else fails as this is the BEST one we have EVER ordered. Watch the door as we’ve run into many many a celeb here: Anne Hathaway orders avocado on crispy rice, Bette Midler sits in the corner, and Kristen Bell, Jonah Hill, Shiri Appleby, Lauren Bush Lauren, and Ronan Farrow all like to sit upstairs. If you do decide to try this place, ask the owner behind the bar, Taka, for his recommendations and definitely take his word for it.

stay

  1. The Viceroy: Located in Santa Monica, this hip and stylish hotel will blow your mind with their decor, their bar, their pool, their location, and their views.
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  2. The Roosevelt:  Stay in the heart of Hollywood off the famous Walk of Fame at this Old Hollywood haunt.  Opened in 1927 and home to the first Academy Awards in 1929, The Roosevelt offers an air of elegance and glamour of a bygone era mixed with the lively and rowdy good looking crowd at the pool and Beacher’s Madhouse nightclub downstairs.  If you feel a hand tap you on the shoulder one night while walking back to your room, don’t worry, that’s just the ghost of Marilyn Monroe that’s said to haunt these halls.
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  3. Palihouse:  Offering locations in West Hollywood and Santa Monica, Palihouse is a unique boutique-style hotel/residence.  It feels like a hotel and it looks like a hotel, but people actually live there?  Lucky.  With a great bar and restaurant downstairs, they’re pulling a Lindsay Lohan a la her Chateau Marmont era.  There’s also Palihotel on Melrose if that’s more your style.
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  4. The London: Swanky and hip, this luxurious hotel offers suites off The Sunset Strip where celebs love to celebrate their baby showers on the rooftop garden. Stay here to be close to everything, but far from ordinary.
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  5. Shutters on The Beach:  Stay on the sand in Santa Monica in this iconic hotel boasting amazing views of the Pacific.  Think of this place as if you were in the movie Dirty Dancing staying in a luxurious resort, only you were on the beach building sand castles instead of dancing with Johnny Castle.  And go on, grab a seat at their restaurant in the corner.  You’ll have the time of your life.

live

  1. West Hollywood:  A lot of the places we mentioned above are in or near WeHo and this vibrant city is home to famous icons and streets like Melrose, Robertson, Sunset Blvd, The Grove, The Beverly Center, and The Sunset Strip.  This small and friendly city has some of the most gorgeous Old Hollywood-era apartment buildings, rent control (hello!), and a welcoming community vibe.  Hey, any place that has a tram that runs along the main drag of Santa Monica Boulevard on the weekends to make sure you make it to the bars and back alive sounds like a good time to us.
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  2. Los Feliz: This affluent neighborhood sits hillside between Hollywood and Silverlake and is home to Griffth Park and Observatory.  Offering a very laid back vibe with its hipster residents and cool cafes, Los Feliz is a haven for expensive historic homes and celebrity inhabitants like Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Demi Lovato.  Rents here are more affordable than most of the neighborhoods further west, so look for those great deals.
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  3. Santa Monica: Nothing really beats living next to the ocean.  Considered part of “The Westside”, SaMo sits west of the 405 freeway and is home to upscale beachy residents, beautiful large homes, great hiking trails, and rent control.  While rents here are still pricey, think of all the money you’ll save by walking everywhere and not having to run your A/C in the summer and instead just letting the sea breeze cool off your apartment.  Sweet!
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  4. Silver Lake: Named “LA’s Best Neighborhood” by CNN Money in 2012, Silver Lake is a hipster haven for LA’s cool crowd that likes to talk about the script their writing and the latest art gallery opening over a cup of Intelligentsia coffee. Packed with shops and cafes, walking in this “eastside” neighborhood is as easy as finding an affordable abode with chill neighbors.
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  5. Brentwood: This upscale enclave is home to UCLA’s beautiful campus and a super cute downtown area full of fun restaurants and shopping.  Rents here may be pricey, but that’s because this is such a beautiful and quiet place to call home.

If you liked this, share it.  If you’ve got a favorite place you’d like us to check out for a future installment of our Guide to LA, let us know in the comments below.

photos: frugal travel guynewport beach independent, chasing aphrodite, alik griffineater la, models & moguls, drybar, downtown santa monica, the food stalker, boy meets girl meets food, bag trends, koning eizenberg


beach nation: get your feet sandy at this cafe in the middle of weho

beach nation sand and deck chairs

There’s nothing better than living (or working) within walking distance to amazing restaurants, so naturally when we saw the sign go up for Beach Nation directly across from one of the buildings we manage, we were eager to check it out.

Located on the boisterous corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer Avenue in West Hollywood (which locals lovingly refer to as WeHo), Beach Nation finds itself in good company sharing the intersection with Hamburger Mary’s (and their famous karaoke and drag queen bingo), Joey’s Cafe (good luck getting a table for brunch on the weekends), and West Hollywood’s City Hall (robo garage coming soon).

For years, the Beach Nation site was home to abandoned remnants of an auto repair shop, an asphalt parking lot, a chain link fence, and Irv’s Burgers next door.  Now, it has been re-imagined into a Thomas Schoos designed beach-themed cafe that “literally brings the beach to the city via actual sand,” according to Zagat.

The open air cafe is mostly that, open air, save for a small building where the ordering takes place.  You’ll be greeted by delectable offerings inside a refrigerated display case in front of a large menu on the wall as well as pastries tempting you on your way to the counter to order.  Be sure to check out the coffee menu behind the registers or grab a cold soda from the open case and a bag of chips below.

Since this is a beach-themed coffee shop, we were a little confused at the execution of the theme and the type of food served – it seemed like a bit of a disconnect.  We still aren’t quite sure that the sands of Malibu and Coppertone go hand-in-hand with a steaming latte and hot sandwich, but we’re game for giving it another go since sitting in the sand in the middle of the city is a lot more convenient than sitting in traffic to the westside.

the spread

  • Turkey panini with turkey breast, smoked gouda, baby swiss, green apple, mizuna, cranberry apple chutney – $8.95
  • Salami and ham panini with genoa salami, capicola ham, provolone, olive tapenade, hot/sweet cherry peppers, honey mustard – $8.95
  • Iced latte – $4.65
  • Rose lemonade soda

top nosh

Our simple lunch was filling and delicious and we were actually quite surprised how good the food was considering it’s made off site and then grilled in the cafe.  We swapped bites and both favored the turkey panini over the salami and ham offering.  The snap of the crunchy apple and lighter flavors seemed to go better with the sand and warm weather versus a meat-heavy grilled sandwich.  While the salami panini was indeed very good, we would opt for something that had a bit more green to it next time.

The coffee was rich and flavorful and not at all bitter and we’ll definitely be stopping by this cafe again to grab an espresso or salad very soon.

may we suggest

  • Give this place a try for lighter and more “artisinal” bites than the burgers, fries, and omelettes being served next door and across the street.
  • Disconnect your pre-conceived ideas of what a beach-themed cafe might actually serve on their menu.  If you were thinking fire-pit roasted hot dogs on the end of a wire hanger, nachos, s’mores, and mai tais, you will sadly be disappointed.
  • Bring your best friend!  Being an outdoor cafe, sharing a meal outside in LA’s sunny weather is perfect for brunch with girlfriends or lunch by the sand with Bella your well-dressed labradoodle bestie.  Beach Nation is dog friendly and Bella will definitely enjoy the doggy equivalent of “people watching” with all of the well-groomed tail walking by.  Just be sure to keep her off the sand as digging and squatting is definitely not suitable sand etiquette.

the specifics

Beach Nation
8289 Santa Monica Boulevard at Sweetzer Avenue, West Hollywood 90046
323.654.0020
www.beachnation.com

Monday – Thursday 8am-10pm
Friday 8am – midnight
Saturday 9am – midnight
Sunday 9am – 10pm

Have a great place to recommend for brunch, lunch, mimosas, or cocktails?  Let us know your top picks for restaurants in LA for a chance to be spotlighted in a future post.

photos: the suite life & beach nation


eveleigh: australian farm-to-table on sunset blvd

Eveleigh Deck

Hidden among the hustle and bustle of the bright lights, clubs, and towering hotels of the famed Sunset Strip lies a hidden gem tucked away behind a beautiful garden of greenery. Eveleigh (pronounced Ever-lee) is a breath of fresh air along the smoggy Strip that serves rustic farm-to-table plates of palatable poetry to the hipsters of LA.

Named after an inner-city suburb of Sydney, Australia known for its award-winning artisan markets, Eveleigh has Aussie chef, Jordan Toft, heading up the kitchen.  (I’ve got a soft spot for all things Aussie.)  As you step inside, you escape the hardscape of the city and are greeted by the warm feeling of a charming cottage-like structure that feels nothing like the world outside.  Wooden floors, dim lighting, large lemon trees stretched towards the ceiling, and cow skulls hung above the bar in the center of the restaurant make you feel like you’ve stumbled into an upscale and modern cowboy saloon decorated by Restoration Hardware.

The food is just as amazing as the decor and the only thing that beats that is the outstanding service.  Our server instantly greeted us and told us the intriguing tale of their handcrafted cocktails by their master mixologists that come armed with a passion for mixing up their own house-made infused syrups and infusions.  While the cocktail menu was a bit too heavy on the whiskey and bourbon for my tastes, I fell pleasantly in love with their “Beach Babe” made with tequila and found a few other options to try with gin and rum.

the spread

  • Hamachi crudo with kumquat, aged bacon, house-grown basil, cayenne – $18
  • Picked local stone crab with white pepper, sea salt lemon – $22
  • Roasted heirloom pumpkin with maple bay, local almonds, flax seeds, brown butter vinaigrette – $12
  • Wagyu beef cheek with cheesy white polenta, cipollini onion, mustard greens – $28
  • Warm doughnuts with spiced sugar, house-made jam, whipped cream – $12

top nosh

We made sure not to over-order while still getting to try a good selection of their sharable plates and saving room for dessert too.  The Wagyu beef cheek with white polenta takes the honor for Top Nosh.  It was melt-in-your-mouth tender, savory, hearty and a filling bookend after two fish dishes and one veggie option.  The portion size was great for two when paired with other plates or can be hearty enough for one.

may we suggest

  • Go.  This is one of our favorite restaurants in LA with a menu that changes daily and that focuses on a “market-driven” menu.  This means that Executive Chef, Jordan Toft, visits local farmer’s markets, checks out what’s available, and then crafts his menu from there.  A brilliant and beautiful way to cook.
  • If you don’t have the time (or funds) for dinner, grab a drink and a quick bite to eat on the outdoor patio out front.  You’ll be surrounded by lush walls of greenery, a fountain, wooden deck, and great people watching.
  • Make a reservation with a friend or date that loves to try new dishes and sharable plates.
  • Be sure to check out the second bar at the very back of the restaurant.  Not only is it a great place to meet a few new people, it also has one of the best views on the Sunset Strip of the lights of LA.

the specifics

Eveleigh
8752 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood 90069
424.239.1630
www.theeveleigh.com

Brunch:  Saturday & Sunday 10am-3pm
Lunch:    Friday 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner:   Sunday – Wednesday 5pm-10pm; Thursday – Saturday 5pm-11pm
Late Night Menu: Sunday – Wednesday 10pm-11pm; Thursday – Saturday 11pm-12:30am

Also be sure to check out our posts on Crossroads on Melrose and Animal on Fairfax for even more great places to eat in LA.

All food and drink photos: The Suite Life.  Other photos: film west hollywood, eveleigh, stylehaus