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What a year. A motherfucker for sure. We’ve all had the same internal monologues: from “I’m so ready for things to get back to normal” and “Nothing is ever going to be normal again,” to “What the hell does normal even mean?!” The good news is things are changing.
The fog we’ve been walking through this past year has handicapped my memory, but the thing I haven’t forgotten how to do is have a good time with my friends. The question then becomes … where the fuck do I go? The conversations I have with my family tend to go like: “What about so and so,” or, “Remember that outdoor patio at …” to, “I know … damn, it closed.” And that’s when it hits you. So many incredible restaurants in our city have closed. Places that felt like second homes. We mourn them, for their loss is our loss.
However, quite a few managed to hold on and even debut, and I am so grateful they did. Whether you visit my favorites or the ones right down the road, just go and go and go … and keep going. It’s through their adaptability and perseverance that our lives are enriched. They are the fabric of our communities.
Some of these restaurants, including Cara Restaurant, Bar Restaurant, The Cloverfield and Manuela, stock Mullholland Distilling spirits.
In Silver Lake. French. A beautiful space and even more beautiful food with perfectly executed cocktails. barrestaurant.la, 4326 W. Sunset Blvd.
BLUE RIBBON SUSHI
At the Grove. Family-style food. Some of the best sushi in L.A. Has an amazing outdoor bar area with beautiful cocktails and a front-row seat for some fine people-watching and the Grove fountain. brsushigrove.com, 189 The Grove Drive
On the edge of Los Feliz in the new Cara Hotel. Like stepping into a Moroccan courtyard. White linen and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Cocktails created with ingredients from local, sustainable farms. carahotel.com, 1730 N. Western Ave.
CARAVAN SWIM CLUB
Baja-inspired restaurant in Westchester’s year-old Hotel June. That ocean breeze! The fish tacos! Best place to stay when you’re in between flights or just need to stay away. thehoteljune.com, 8639 Lincoln Blvd.
Next to the Santa Monica Airport. Huge, beautiful outdoor space. Creative cocktail menu with great social hour specials. You can even take your dog. thecloverfield.net, 3300 Airport Ave.
At the Hauser & Wirth art gallery in the Arts District. A wide-open courtyard surrounded by remarkable art. Fabulous food with ingredients from some of the best local farms. Cocktails change seasonally and they make their own bitters and tonic. manuela-la.com, 907 E. 3rd St.
Rooftop bistro at the Santa Monica Proper hotel with views of the Pacific. Perfect for watching the sunset. Great service and vibe. 700 Wilshire Blvd.
THE WAYFARER HOTEL
Rooftop dining with unparalleled views. Fire pits and creative cocktails. No better place to watch the sunset in DTLA. wayfarerdtla.com, 813 S. Flower St.
A Trio of New (Or Transformed) Chef-Driven Restaurants to Try Now
By THR Staff
Three-year-old Westwood restaurant Fellow went through a lockdown glow-up. Now it’s by far the most ambitious fine-dining restaurant in the area. Recently installed chef Chris Flint, last seen as executive chef at Curtis Stone’s Maude, presents a Cal-French menu (tortellini of cauliflower, seared duck breast with beets). The drinks program is run by vets of L.A.’s NoMad. 1071 Glendon Ave.
After perfecting his craft under industry stars José Andres at Mi Casa and Daniel Humm at NoMad, executive chef Rudy Lopez has set out on his own with a Spanish-meets-Mediterranean menu at this newly-opened jewel on Robertson Boulevard. Soulmate features an open-air patio (complete with olive tree) and dishes cooked over a live fire like the wood-fired octopus. 631 N. Robertson Blvd.
Inspired by 19th century steakhouses — plus her signature Italian approach — Nancy Silverton’s first new restaurant since 2013’s Chi Spacca opened in the Hollywood Roosevelt in April. The Barish features a variety of cuts of beef served with sauces and sides. 7000 Hollywood Blvd.
This story first appeared in the May 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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