Each week we spotlight top Los Angeles restaurants, dining and drinking experiences you need to try.
Edited by Christina Xenos
Barbershop Ristorante – Farewell to L.A.
Through April 20. Chef Walter el Nagar’s Barbershop pop-up is about to take off on a world tour and to kick it off he’s throwing a dinner series in Venice. Dine on his imaginative cuisine during a five-course prix-fixe dinner that offers snacks like kifto toast, fruit cocktail, fermented Caesar and prawns crudo; coconut ceviche with striped bass; asparagi alla Milanese with acquerello rice, asparagus, bacon and egg yolk; exploded xiao long boa with pork jowls, sea urchin and puffed wanton; and more. $75/pp, $25/pp wine pairings. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 436 Lincoln Ave., Venice, 424.272.5849. Tickets
Hinoki & the Bird
Ongoing. Chef Brandon Kida takes farm-to-table to new heights with his Wednesday ICHIBA tasting menu. The rolling dinner series reflects the produce Chef Brandon and his team picks up at the weekly Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market. He then brings it back to the restaurant and develops a unique five-course menu based on his finds. Last week he celebrated spring produce with dishes like hamachi crudo with, fava beans and pickled strawberries; Santa Barbara spot prawn curry in a coconut broth; poached 63-degree Lily’s egg, served with asparagus, spring herbs with rice and a shallot emulsion; duck breast with green garlic and rhubarb jus; strawberry ice with rhubarb compote and whole milk ice cream. The menu also featured an optional market inspired cocktail, the Chasquido with juiced snap peas and cucumber, tequila, mescal and lime. $95/pp, $65/pp wine pairings, $15 cocktail. 10 Century Drive, L.A., 310.552.1200. HinokiandtheBird.com
Napa Valley Grille
Re-Opens March 30. After a three-month, $2 million renovation, Napa Valley Grille re-opens to the public and commemorates its 15th anniversary. The restaurant’s interior dining room, private event spaces, and outdoor patio have been refreshed with new furniture, lighting and decor to reflect a contemporary interpretation of the Napa Valley aesthetic, while still capturing the warmth of wine region. The restaurant also welcomes a new Executive Chef, Adrian Vela (Cafe Del Rey), who brings with him experience working under chefs Rick Moonen, Charlie Palmer, Bradley Ogden and Joël Robuchon. Vela was recognized on Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list of the city’s top culinary talents in 2014. The bar also had a face lift, and now has expanded seating with room for 50 people. New drinks include rotating wine-on-tap selections chosen from the restaurant’s California-focused wine list, craft beer and an extensive mix of more than 40 classic and forward-thinking cocktails. Lunch and dinner daily. Brunch forthcoming. 1100 Glendon Ave #100, L.A., 310.824.3322. napavalleygrille.com
Hey 19 Public House Suntory Dinner
March 30. Led by owner and celebrated cocktail connoisseur Demi Stevens (also a co-owner of Ortega 120), Hey 19’s Suntory Whisky Dinner features a five-course tasting menu of dishes from Executive Chef Vasili Tavernakis. Drawing from her extensive expertise, Demi will also lead the group through the background on how each spirit is made. $85/pp. Call for reservations. 4525 Calle Mayor, Torrance, 310.378.8119. hey19publichouse.com
March 30. The Sherman Oaks BBQ spot best known for its burgers, slow cooked BBQ, eclectic bistro fare and extensive beer list, is releasing its latest World BBQ Tour this week. The menu focuses on Korea and features starters like pork and shrimp dumplings, and mains like kalbi red oak-grilled short ribs, spicy goghujang chicken, and Dwaeji kalbi pork chop. The quarterly event continues this summer. 13539 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818.906.7427. boneyardbistro.com
Taste on Melrose
March 22-24. Get in the mood with a new monthly “aphrodisiac” menu items timed with each month’s full moon (because we all know that full moons makes us a little frisky). Bask in the moonlight in the courtyard or sit under the skylight in the new Atrium and indulge in offerings, such as the Fanny Bay oysters with a Champagne shallot mignonette ($15); pepper-crusted filet Mignon with charred fingerling potatoes, roasted asparagus, truffle compound butter and Cabernet red wine sauce ($28); and a caramel chocolate mousse cake with strawberry sauce ($9). 8454 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323.852.6888. ilovetaste.com
Sweetfin Poké at Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel)
April 2-3. Get your poké fix at the Beverly Wilshire this weekend during a one-of-a-kind brunch experience. Chef Dakota Weiss will be serving up your favorite Sweetfin signature bowls, build-your-own-bowls, and offering an elevated “Beverly Wilshire Bowl” with hiramasa yellowtail, bergamot infused ponzu, grilled white asparagus, sugar snap peas, pixie tangerines, winter truffles and crispy leeks served over bamboo rice, for this weekend only. 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.385.3901. Reservations.
Chef Ludo Lefebvre brings his famous buttermilk Provençal Fried Chicken-inspired menu to Universal CityWalk with the debut of LudoBird. The outpost originated from Chef Lefebvre’s food truck concept called LudoTruck and serves the chef’s signature menu of Provençal fried chicken, sauces and side dishes. Universal CityWalk, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. citywalkhollywood.com
As bikini season creeps up, it’s important to note that you don’t have to sacrifice having fun for being good. In honor of spring and their 60-year anniversary, revered Mexican restaurant, Casa Vega invites you to get your buzz on with their $6 signature Skinny Margarita through April 30. Sip to your heart’s content without the guilt. The special potion subs a lighter mix of reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, agave and spring water for the regular blend. You can also celebrate the restaurant’s anniversary with it’s Throwback Thursday “Tacos & Tequila” promotion. Every Thursday from March 31 to June 1, order founder Ray Vega’s namesake “The Boss” margarita, and pair it with a 60¢ “taco-back” grilled chicken taco. “The Boss” margarita is made with Patron Silver tequila, Patron Citronage, Grand Marnier and fresh lime ($13.50) 13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818.788.4868. casavega.com
Cape Seafood and Provisions
Chef Michael Cimarusti is synonymous with some of the best seafood in L.A. as the force behind his restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s. Now he takes his wealth of knowledge about seafood to a shop. Stop in for top sustainable wild-caught whole fish, custom filets, shellfish, sea urchin, caviar and more, along with housemade stocks and sauces, and grab-and-go dishes such as chowder and lobster rolls. The food frenzy doesn’t stop there—they also carry the turf along with the surf—natural and USDA Prime steaks and chops from West Coast Prime Meats. 801 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. cape-seafood.com