Each week we spotlight top Los Angeles restaurants, dining and drinking experiences you need to try.
Edited by Christina Xenos
L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Sept. 10. Over 50 top chefs—including Giada De Laurentiis and Michael Voltaggio—and mixologists serve signature menu items at this philanthropic culinary event that helps fund the fight against childhood cancer. Noon–4 pm. $195; meet-and-greet $1,200. Royce Quad, UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., L.A., 610.649.3034. alexslemonade.org
You can now get a taste of what Caruso Affiliated’s newest development is cooking up in Glendale with the opening of Mainland Poke. The eatery is the first of five new curated dining destinations to open there. Dine on Mainland’s signature poke bowls, or build your own with the additions of kelp noodles for a base, crispy onions as a topping and seaweed as a base and topping. (photo Paige Victoria Smith) 252 S. Brand Blvd, Suite C, Glendale, 818.696.1507. mainlandpoke.com
Local Kitchen + Wine Bar
This sought-after neighborhood spot in Santa Monica from chef/owner Maire Byrne (Thyme Cafe & Market) and Stephen Murray (Pizzeria Ortica, Studio at Montage Laguna Beach) is making waves with its perfectly fired Neapolitan-style pizzas and creative seasonal plates for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Highlights of the menu include uni toast on brioche with a farm egg and herbed creme fraiche; monterey calamari with capers, preserved lemon, radish and chile bread crumbs; verde pizza with zucchini, burrata, pesto, squash blossoms, basil and an egg; housemade pappardelle with veal bolognese, prosciutto and parmesan. 1630 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.399.8800. localkitchenandwinebar.com
The low key Fairfax Ave. restaurant known best for its fried chicken and cocktails served alongside live music. Now executive chef Jared Simons is switching gears focusing on plant-based cuisine for a new Sunday dinner series. The four-course prix-fixe menu launches this week and features dishes like a BLT with purple Cherokee tomato, frisee, eggplant “bacon,” and lemon dressing; and summer corn risotto with pickled cherry tomato, “goat” cheese and garlic chives. $55/pp. 5-9:30 p.m. Also happens (Oct. 16, Nov. 13 and Dec. 18). Reservations required: firstname.lastname@example.org. 432 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.
Plan Check “Comfort Masters” Guest Chef Series
Sept. 6-7, 13-14, 18, 21. The popular Los Angeles eatery welcomes 10 chefs from across the country for an exclusive six-month pop-up dining series in collaboration with food writer, Andy Wang and Table8. The series debuts this month with a lineup that includes Chris Anderson (Moto, Alinea, and L2O), Jamie DeRosa (Izzy’s Fish & Oyster), Mary Shenouda (The Paleo Chef) and Jeremie and Nissa Banet (Monsieur Madame). Visit website for complete details and Plan Check locations. comfortmasters.table8.com
Brunch with Tesla Motors and Luke Restaurant
Sept. 10. Take your brunch to the next level with a test-drive of Tesla’s Model S, where you can experience going from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 2.8 seconds in addition to the brand’s autopilot feature. After your ride, enjoy a $29 or $39 brunch at Luke, inclusive of food, cocktails and more. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations required: tesla.com. Luke Restaurant, 22616 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, 818.876.6000. lukela.com
Celebrity chef Marcel Vigneron focuses on plant-based fare for his newest restaurant, Beefsteak. Located next to Wolf, which opened last March, the fast-casual concept offers an array of salads, bowls and wraps that are all vegan, available gluten free, but also have the option of adding an animal protein. Also find juices, smoothies and wine in a brilliantly bright and airy ambiance. (photo Kenji Fitzgerald) 7661 Melrose Ave., L.A. beefsteakveg.com
Dine on contemporary fare at Obica’s third Los Angeles location at Sunset Plaza. New to this location is a guided mozzarella experience, where the restaurant will suggest which accompaniments go bet with each type of cheese (think perfectly pairing ricotta with pine nuts and cranberries). The menu also offers a large selection of small plates, antipasti, salads, vegetables, steaks, pizza and pasta, in addition to three new caprese dishes. First-time visitors can also take advantage of a special tasting menu just for them. 8630 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.360.5983. obica.com
In addition to their signature lamb and chicken skewers, sandwiches, bowls and more, the downtown dining destination inside Grand Central Market now serves a curated election of wine, sherry, beer and housemade vermouth. Managing Partner David Rosoff has a created a list that is a derivative off the Moruno Farmers Market wine menu, focusing on Spain, deep south of France, islands and volcanoes and a touch of California. Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, downtown. morunola.com