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Archive for the ‘Wine & Dine’ Category

Pasadena’s Saso Bistro Offers Northeast L.A.’s Best Happy Hour Oysters on a Dreamy Outdoor Patio

It’s nearly the first day of Spring and many of you have been able to secure your vaccination so may be considering dining out again. After all, for many of us, it’s been a year and some change since we have enjoyed reserving a table, sitting down, and enjoying an al fresco evening with dinner we haven’t made ourselves or picked up. If you are wondering where to venture out for your next restaurant visit, consider Saso Bistro in Pasadena. Saso is an exciting new seafood restaurant located in the historic Pasadena Playhouse’s courtyard that the restauranteurs have transformed into an absolutely dreamy and romantic outdoor setting with six feet plus room to spare between tables. “Saso” is a play on the Basque word itsaso for ocean. The restaurant itself, from L&E Oyster Bar alum, Chef Dominique Crisp, is a wonderful combination of “the Basque heritage, love for the sea, and the bounty of three coastal landscapes” – all under one roof*.

*The roof being the blue skies of Pasadena or Southern California’s blanket of stars, at least for the time being.

Photo Courtesy of Saso.

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Los Angeles’s Best Takeout & Dine-In Valentine’s Day Dinners

Valentine’s Day may be a little different this year for many of us, but several of our favorite restaurants around town are thankfully still here to make the holiday extra special. Whether you are searching for a safe, socially distanced table for your first time dining out in months or hoping for a picnic basket or a decadent seven course meal to-go, this list should have something for everyone. And why not show a little extra support to our friends in the restaurant industry by adding a bottle of bubbly or two, and by tipping as much as you’re able.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Cheers! 💕

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The Best Christmas Dinners To-Go in Los Angeles

In 2020 there’s really no place like home for the holidays. We all deserve a restful and peaceful time this holiday season. So take a load off, put your feet up, and order from some of Los Angeles’s best restaurants this Christmas. Here are our picks for the top options throughout our great city. It’s a great way to support your favorite local restaurants and to have a relaxing, mostly dish-free evening.

Photo courtesy of Jane Q.

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The Hollywood Home 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

With the holidays looking very different this year than in year’s past, and with businesses from booksellers to restaurants in Los Angeles struggling to survive, we designed this holiday shop-small gift guide to help support some of our favorite local Southern California outposts. Many items on this list below can be both ordered for delivery or picked up at the brick and mortar locations if you, like me, are a little late on the holiday shopping this year. These shops reflect everything that makes this city great and are items that you might not find anywhere else from vendors who — after this tumultuous and challenging year — could use a little of your love.

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Support Your Favorite Local Restaurants by Ordering Thanksgiving Dinner In

Novelist, screenwriter, and director Nora Ephron’s famous Thanksgiving turkey recipe was simply to salt and pepper the bird and stick it in the oven at 450 degrees and “do not do one thing to it. You don’t baste it…you might have to cover it a certain point. And you might have to drain some of the fat that comes off, but it’s all these years of endless basting for nothing, it turns out.”

Believe her or not, preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends can sometimes feel a bit like a chore, especially in 2020 when you will most likely be entertaining far fewer friends and family, or anyone at all. With restaurants in Los Angeles set to close dine-in services this Wednesday for at least the next few weeks, ordering your Thanksgiving dinner in is a great and easy way to support some of your favorite restaurants who no doubt have had an extraordinarily difficult year.

Check out this list of restaurants and grocers who will do all the work for you: select and test the recipes, cook the meal, and (in some cases) deliver it straight to your door. Restaurants include Little Dom’s in Los Feliz, Freedman’s in Echo Park, Lawry’s in Beverly Hills, Wexler’s in Downtown, Lunetta in Santa Monica, and many more.

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The Best Places to Satisfy Your Tea Cravings in LA

Tea may not be something that can overtake coffee in popularity just yet, but we’ve seen a continuously growing fondness for it in the past few years. According to the latest estimation of The Tea Association of the USA, Americans consumed over 84 billion servings of tea (or more than 3.8 billion gallons!) of this plant-based drink in 2019. This veritable craze over tea can be attributed to a lot of things, including this drink’s versatility.

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Pumpkin Spice Soup Perfect for the Holidays & Colder Winter Months

With the holidays on the horizon, you may be turning to recipes that add a a dose of comfort and soul to the end of your work day. Look no further than this calming pumpkin spice soup that is absolutely perfect as a solo side dish this fall and winter that’s also always a hit with friends and family and that can be gussied up to serve as a filling entree. It’s a soup for all seasons! Perhaps my favorite aspect of this incredibly easy dish is that you can be adventurous with it. And, most likely, you have all the ingredients already in your pantry and fridge.

While “pumpkin spice” has become something of a cliché, it’s done so for good reason. People love it. The curry and white pepper add an authentic zest and flavor to this creamy pumpkin soup. You can also spice it up for a more piquant depth of flavor with turmeric or cumin. I’ve also occasionally added some Italian seasoning or sage or basil from the garden. Feel free to experiment or keep the soup as written. Switch out the chicken stock with chicken bone broth for an added boost of collagen, or if you do not have evaporated milk on hand use heavy cream, half & half, or for more of an Indian vibe go with a can of coconut milk. Top with julienned basil or chopped cilantro, toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of chili oil or a lovely arbequina olive oil. Or nothing at all! With this soup you cannot go wrong! And if you’re thinking of additions to make this soup more of an entree than an appetizer, I suggest adding shredded chicken, corn, or potatoes.

Although we will not be entertaining large groups this holiday season, this soulful pumpkin spice soup is sure to delight you and your bubble as 2020 comes to a close. Enjoy!

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The Evolution of the Hollywood Park Casino


In recent months, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have been felt across virtually every industry. Across Los Angeles, the restaurant industry was arguably the hardest hit due to stay-at-home orders, but the gaming industry has also suffered from a decline in revenue and a loss of clientele. One of the major casinos in LA that have undergone massive changes is the Hollywood Park Casino. It opened in 1994, and has recently been upgraded to a more modern design, welcoming new members to its renovated doors in 2016. While its original racetrack complex was shut down in 2013, the Hollywood Park complex is going to be supplemented by the opening of the new SoFi Stadium, home to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League.

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The Best Restaurants for Takeout & Delivery in Los Angeles Right Now

Tesse, Beverly Hills

After a month of stay-at-home orders requiring restaurants to shut their dining rooms, many of them are scrambling to stay afloat. Many restaurants across the city are now offering delivery and takeout to comply with social distancing measures. The local places on this list have special promotions, meal kits, discounted wines, and much more. Other restaurants have become de facto grocery stores, selling dry goods, produce, flour by the pound, handmade pasta, toilet paper, masks, and prepared meals that only need to be thrown in an oven.

We’ve highlighted a handful of restaurants, organized by neighborhood, currently offering either grocery and pantry items or full fledged pre-made meals on their delivery and take-out menus.

And skip the third party apps and order straight from the restaurant/market when possible so you save on extra charges and more of your hard earned dollars go directly to support the restaurant directly. It’s a great way to support your favorite restaurant during these challenging times.

Please note: Things can change quickly. Be sure to look at the restaurant’s website or social media to see what’s on offer right now. We will continue to update this list with new restaurants we have tried and enjoyed.

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A Preview of Palm Springs Modernism Week 2020

Modernism Week returns to Palm Springs Thursday, February 13th through Sunday, February 23rd. It’s no coincidence the annual event, which attracts thousands from around the world, is occurring on Valentine’s Day weekend this year. Modernism Week is an absolute love letter to the desert city of Palm Springs. It’s the city’s signature celebration of all things mid-century modern: architecture, food and wine, style and design, vintage Hollywood, culture, and so much more. There will be home tours of Palm Spring’s most architecturally significant houses, talks with experts, designers, and architects, film screenings, live music, drag bingo, cooking demonstrations and special atomic age-themed dinners and other culinary events, dancing, and, if the weather forecast holds, plenty of sun.

While Modernism Week is always an extraordinarily popular event for Palm Springs, there are still plenty of shows that still have tickets available. Yes, Charles Phoenix’s Super Duper Double Decker Bus Tour sold out months ago, we’ve highlighted some of our most anticipated events below and there are still dozens of others available to choose from. We’ll be staying at the recently remodeled and just opened Les Cactus boutique hotel in the city’s Warm Sands neighborhood, but a cursory glance online shows there are still dozens of rooms and rentals available, or, with events scheduled throughout the day and into the evening, Modernism Week also makes the perfect day trip from Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego.

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