Contributions by Anthony Stafford
Los Angeles is a melting pot of some of the best executed cuisines and drinks. From vegan and ketogenic masterpieces, to magically junk-filled delights, everyone can find something they’re looking for in the city that truly has it all. (West coast, best coast?) Joining the ranks of your favorite coffee and tea houses throughout LA with multiple locations, Intelligentsia Coffee has once again entered the fray with their fourth California coffee bar. The coffee pioneer opened it’s newest location in Hollywood last week, and it’s a welcome addition.
Located on Hollywood and Cahuenga, this is the first Intelligentsia location to open since the 2010 Pasadena opening. Their Silver Lake location opened over a decade ago, way back in 2007! In addition to Intelligentsia’s in-season, single origin coffees sourced from around the world, there is a rotating selection of trendy sparkling teas on tap — including matcha and chai tea lattes — along with nitro cold coffee
As if that weren’t enough, the incomparable bakery known as Mr. Holmes’ Bakehouse is supplying the Hollywood coffee bar with its signature creative, and over-the-top baked goods! After all, what good is a coffee bar without matching snacks? This will be a first for Mr. Holmes’ Bakehouse, as it’s they operate outside of their namesake bakeries to offer their brand new savory sandwiches (like habanero bacon).
The new Intelligentsia Coffee is a 38-seat beauty, and was designed by Standard Architects. It boasts a beautiful, vaulted mosaic tiled ceiling and outdoor stenciled wall painting, which both echo poppy fields from artist Paul De Longpre’s work. It’s important to note that the location sits on the site of his former estate, which explains it all. But it doesn’t stop there. Taking cues from “old Hollywood” institutions, like Musso & Frank (located just west of the coffee bar), Intelligentsia has interior walls paneled in dark stained wood, accented by quilted stainless steel and fluted mirrors.
The bar is a 30 foot-long island block clad in terrazzo (complete with a Poursteady system), and the seating is arranged like a subway car parallel to the bar. With a new shop on the scene, and just in time for Spring, Intelligentsia coffee is bound to be the hit in Hollywood. Get your mugs ready — Intelligentsia is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., daily!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, with about a week to go before it’s too late to land the perfect outing. In a city with a surplus of amazing food choices, you’d think it would be simple to just pick a place to have a Valentine’s dinner date, but it’s so much more difficult than that. Take five minutes to give it some thought and consideration, at least. If you’re still scrambling to find a great gift and the right reservation, then you can now consider half of the job done! We’ve got a roundup of some of the best restaurants in LA featuring Valentine’s Day specials across the spectrum of whatever suits your wallet, and taste. The clock is ticking. Dive in and discover your options:
Avec Nous at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
Avec Nous — the contemporary take on the classic French bistro with a St. Tropez vibe, is ready for the day of lovers with their Mediterranean-inspiried dishes. Spanish and Italian touches compliment their Riviera feel, and diners can expect a dosage of European spices to accompany their locally sourced seasonal ingredients. What’s in store for Avec Nous’ Valentine’s Day specials?
A refined yet inviting dining experience featuring a 5 course tasting menu (and optional wine pairing), with appetizers like Lobster Raviolo, Armagnac Cream, and Chili-Chive Espuma; while the entrees include a choice of Seared Scallops, Sweet Potato Purée, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Candied Pork Belly. You can view Avec Nous’ entire Valentine’s Day 5 course menu here. Reserve now, as it’s likely to be a full house.
In their own words, “Our passion is defined by our name: Avec Nous – dine with us, drink with us, celebrate with us.” Celebrate your love with Ave Nous!
Other details: Category: 5 course tasting menu with optional wine pairing. Time: 5 pm – 11 pm Address: 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Cast at Viceroy Santa Monica
When you see what Cast at Viceroy is, and what it has to offer, you’ll most likely be reminded of a movie that features scenes of a luxurious dining experience. Creative food, hand-crafted cocktails, and stylish outdoor cabanas where you can enjoy both, with a side of coastal personality? That should be enough to persuade you into making a reservation, right? If not, maybe you’re picky, but don’t fret.
The Santa Monica restaurant Santa Monica restaurant stars a unique indoor/outdoor scene and commitment to sustainability. Keeping with the trend of healthy eating and fresh, local ingredients, Cast works with nearby farms and prepares their dishes from scratch. Their Valentine’s Day plans involve a specialty dinner paired with a decadent cocktail menu:
Roasted Tomato & Fennel Bisque, Grilled Little Gem Salad, and the Baby Beet & Burrata Salad are just a few starters to get you all warmed up. Entrees include Branzino, Maine Lobster and Tagliatelle, and Farro Risotto to name a few. You can check out the rest of Cast’s Valentine’s Day offerings here, along with photos of the cocktails available for the lover’s holiday. The cocktails by Anuar Chavez, are as dreamy as you can imagine, with chocolates, fruits, and liqueurs — yet their names alone should be enough to entice you: Old Fashioned Love, Cherries on Top/Bubbles on Cherries, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry.
Are you convinced yet? If the answer is “yes,” make your reservation. If you’re still not sure, don’t worry. We’ve still got a few more stops to make.
Other details: Category: Specialty dinner & cocktail menu Time: 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm Address: 1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Love & Salt
The name is clearly an indication that Valentine’s Day should be celebrated here! Love & Salt’s Valentine plans include you and your date, along with a special menu themed “Is it love or lust?” What’s in store? Pasta tasting is being offered as a supplement to the Love & Salt dinner menu, and served by the course to each guest. In addition, themed cocktails and oysters on the half shell are available a la carte. Pasta tasting options include Papparadelle, Potato Gnocchi, 15 layer Lasagna, and Love Letter. Love & Salt’s steamy cocktails, named “Lady in the Ballroom” and “Lady in Red,” will seal your night with a kiss of citrus and mint.
In this appropriate pairing, the restaurant’s story goes fittingly with the season:
“Love & Salt is a story that begins with Cafe Pierre, a restaurant birthed by Guy Gabriele in 1977 to bring a taste of France to Los Angeles’ South Bay. While Cafe Pierre was a beloved part of the community for nearly 37 years, in 2014, Guy and his daughter Sylvie Gabriele, now the owner of Love & Salt, closed the restaurant to bring new life to the iconic space.
Love & Salt is a philosophy: that food needs only two ingredients to be great. It’s a sensibility that informs the feeling in the restaurant and the dishes on the menu — Italian-inspired with Southern California soul. An approachable wine list and classic cocktail program similarly reflect the vibrant SoCal setting of the restaurant, located just steps from the Manhattan Beach pier.”
Other details: Dates: February 13 & 14 Time: Dinner Address: 317 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Southern dining meets love at Yardbird, and it couldn’t get any better! Yardbird’s Valentine’s Day offerings consist of elevated comfort food, including appetizers, entrees, “finishing touches,” and desserts. Black truffle lobster mac and cheese, grouper, steak, sea scallops, and red velvet coconut cake are only a few of the impossibly difficult choices you’ll have to make when you reserve at Yardbird.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is owned and operated by 50 Eggs Inc., a multi-faceted, full-service creative firm focused on developing irrepressible brands within the hospitality and entertainment industries. CEO, John Kunkel says, “We’ve been blessed with an extremely talented, intelligent and enthusiastic group of people who possess a roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic second to none. That has been, and will continue to be, the driving force behind our success, plain and simple. We have more concepts in the works and our goal is to continue to develop ideas that we’re passionate about. We’re proud to be developing, building and operating the kind of places that we want to share with our families and yours.”
Other details: Category: Special menu served Feb 14 – 17 Address: 8500 Beverly Blvd #112, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Umami Burger x Coolhaus
Burgers can be romantic too!
In our final stop you’ll see why, like a cute Valentine’s Day couple, Umami Burger’s latest partnership with Coolhaus will have you and your Valentine swooning!
Umami Burger has partnered with Coolhaus this Valentine’s season to bring a special in-restaurant offer to the lover’s — and even those who aren’t! From February 11 through the 17th, when you order free delivery from DoorDash, Postmates, or Caviar (at a $15 minimum/order), you’ll receive an in-restaurant offer to redeem at a participating Umami Burger location on your next visit! Any purchase of a burger or salad means guests are eligible to receive 1 complimentary Coolhaus sandwich of their choice. (Limit one per voucher. Not valid to combine with other offers or promotions. Offer expires after February 28, 2019).
Also, for those redeeming their free Coolhaus sammie, receive an additional $1 off coupon valid for any Coolhaus Pint at a Whole Foods nearest you (in SoCal and NorCal only).
Clearly, this holiday was made for pairings, and that includes dinner choices and drinks. Now that you’ve got a great list of potential places to romantically grub out, there’s no excuse for disappointing your Valentine this year. Still, make sure you find an equally amazing gift for your love!
PamelaWeir-Quiton is an influential Los Angeles based woodworker who has been making finely crafted sculptural works since 1965.
Her work has appeared in multiple publications over the years, including the cover of LA Home Magazine, and has been exhibited and collected nationally since the 1960s. She is considered an important part of the West Coast studio movement, and she is one of only a few veteran female artists working with wood. A lover of fashion,she originally planned to be a fashion designer. She has become a ‘bandsawfashionista.”
Known for her stylized functional doll forms and life-sized ‘rocking animals,’ Weir-Quiton is currently celebrating her 50th studio year. Championed by thelegendary LA curator, Eudorah Moore, her work was included in the seminal“California Design” exhibits (1964-1976) at the Pasadena Museum which definedthe look of West Coast design for generations.
Weir-Quiton’s work is a part of the fabric and history of the LA Design scene. Earlier this fall, a retrospective of her work was held to much acclaim at the Craft in America Center in Hollywood. A recent visit to her West Adams studio revealed how the artist is currently thinking about her work and her legacy.
KN:Your work has largely focused on animal and human figures made of wood. How has your observations of the interaction between man and critter effected your work?
PWQ: You know being in a military family, I would talk to my cats. And later, to my dogs. Being here, working alone in the studio and basically being an outsider, my dogs are more than muses. They are almost human to me.
When I was very young, my father was in the Air Force. My mother and I moved to Indiana to be closer to family. There is a place there, a nature preserve, where we would go for walks. That’s where my“nature walk “ necklaces come from. (photo)
I have always believed in fairy tales. So my fairy tale is like a kind of Hansel and Gretel, only with a good witch. So in my version of the story, we would gather nuts and things and we would go back to the good witch’s cottage where she just happens to have a wood shop, and a drill press. And you drill holes in everything you have found and you string it together!
KN: Is that a view of the creative process as a kind of magic, as alchemy?
PWQ: It is that, I’m not doing it. And, that anyone can tap into this channel!
All that I can say, is that it is intuitive. And now, more so than ever for me. It’s really has become crystal clear by thinking about the law of attraction. By asking, how does this make me feel? I’ve always been able to capture the frame, and hold it, and sketch it. In the new studio (West Adams), I feel even more connections. I’m seeing piles of sacred scrap from older projects, and I’masking “what can I do with this?”
The materials and the tools, nothing else matters. That’s who I am. We don’t travel. There is nothing else that I want to do. Once I discovered woodworking at the wood shop at Cal State Northridge, there was no turning back, it was100% commitment. It’s like an obsession that grabs you by the throat. It’s like Colin Kaepernick, the “take a knee guy” – find something you love and if you have to – risk everything. That’show that am.
KN: If you were to go back and tell your 23-year old self something, what would it be?
PWQ: (Laughs) I guess I would tell myself that it always worked out!
You can only have one thought at a time, and the trick is to be able to shift it and focus. That’s what coming in, and turning on the lights in the woodshop, does for me. It’s vibration, it’s frequency, it’s energy. The woodshop is my yoga,my meditation – it’s everything good.
I know who I am. It’s not an ego thing. I’m not afraid to put myself out there, because I don’t feel like I’m pushing myself. It’s “come and play with me inthe Universe!”
Katie Nartonis is an Art + Design writer, curator and auction specialist based out of Los Angeles, California and sometimes Taos, New Mexico. Earlier this year she curated “Nature: Human Nature” an art +design show at Loft at Liz’s gallery in Los Angeles. She is currently finishing co-writing and publishing a book on the late San Diego designer/maker, “JackRogers Hopkins: California Maverick”(with Co -Writer/Editor Jeffrey Head). Sheis the founder of The Nartonis Project and is Art + Design Editor of SoCalMagazine. www.thenartonisproject.com
Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills has partnered with Assouline, the luxury collectible book publisher, for an exclusive pop-up boutique ideal for all your last minute gift shopping needs. Located in the hotel’s lobby, the limited-time retail shop will offer Assouline’s newest and most in-demand titles — from now until the end of the year!Each thoughtfully handcrafted book is piece of art in itself, and perfect for everyone on your gift list.
Wine Me Up!
In addition to offering of lovely gifts, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills also hosts a complimentary weekly ‘wine hour’ from 5:30-6:30 pm on Wednesdays for guests of the Assouline boutique. The wine hour is welcome to all hotel guests, visitors, and Beverly Hills locals interested in shopping the Assouline space. What better way to knock out some holiday shopping than while sipping wine?
A Christmas Meal To Remember
Finally, both Viceroy Santa Monica’s Cast Restaurant, and Viceroy L’Ermitage’s Avec Nous will be open on Christmas Day for a delicious meal that should not be missed. The Christmas menu for Avec Nous will feature the following 5 courses: