Campanile

l-1When picking a restaurant for a special someones birthday you want to make sure not only is the food fabulous but the service exceptional.  When that special someone is yourself,  settling for anything less than perfect would be unheard of.  After a phenomenal day of shopping, sushi and more shopping, a relaxing dinner before a night out with friends is the perfect gift!

Celebrating a birthday at a restaurant you’ve never been to can be risky.  Not knowing for sure how the food is going to taste or weather the service will even acknowledge your presence can make or brake any dinner, especially a birthday.  A good tip to let the restaurant know it’s a special occasion is to simply tell the hostess when the making a reservation or writing a short note if your using Open Table.  Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself from the table to find a manager or hostess and double check that its known what occasion you are celebrating.  An outstanding restaurant will never need reminding.

Upon entering Campanile and seeing two smiling faces at the hostess stand, you get an immediate comfort feeling.  After the gracious general manager complemented my date and I, plus wishing me a happy birthday, the hostess escorted us to our table in the back dining room.  The decor is simple and elegant with rustic looking menus that resemble a vintage book.  While sipping on a complementary Sparkling Rose,  I flipped through the pages of the extensive wine list delicately designed by Jay Perrin, who also happens to be the GM.  Two glasses of the best red blend on the menu were pored table side : Cabernet

Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate

, Sangiovese and Tempranillo all in one glass?  Yes, it  happens at Campanile!

Deciding on the next few courses will be difficult since everything on the menu looks more tempting than the next. No need to decide at the moment ! We were sent out complimentary amuse bush – a mini crab cake to die for.  A pop-in-your-mouth pleasure package! Loving to pair my wine with cheeses I started off the meal with a plate of 3 cheeses.  Never has a cheese plate been such a work of art! Gorgeous dates and apples diced beautifully, a circle of honey in the center with scattered Marcona almonds around the plate.  A basket of home made crackers and breads were fresh from the oven.  Did I forget to mention that Campanile also owns La Brea Bakery?  Well they do ! And how fabulous the bread is !  Following the perfect cheese plate we ordered the Blue Crab salad which our server sent us split

Blue Crab Salad

Blue Crab Salad

in two plates.  A champagne vinegar with a hint of lemon and tarragon was the perfect complement to the crab and cherry tomatoes.  A meat lover, Stony chose the Rosemary Chard Baby Lamb with pomegranate and brown butter.  Super tender and an overwhelming helping this dish met outstanding standards!  After a fab sushi lunch one would think my fish intake was

Baby Lamb

Baby Lamb

met.  However the Hawaiian Walu was a must for me.  A medium rare  white fish with fresh green beans and caramelized onions was perfectly accompanied by an exquisite herb ragu ! Tasty, tasty and more tasty was everything on my plate! The unrivaled after dinner drink , a delicious Amaro was the perfect end to my three hour luxury dinner.  Hearing about the scrumptious brunch I need

Hawaiian Walu

Hawaiian Walu

desperately to go back taste the wonder fullness of breakfast !

624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-1447
Mon-Wed. 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Mon-Wed. 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Thu-Fri. 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Thu-Fri. 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Sat. 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Sat. 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Sun. 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Kitchen 24

nav_01-linkedAll your meals wrapped up deliciously in 1 restaurant.  Open all day and night Kitchen 24 awaits your arrival sitting  perfectly located on Cahuenga near bar-hoppers delight.  The perfect pre-game place with Happy Hour Specials to the dinner-esque After Hours setting K24 , as they call themselves, is equipped with all the breakfast, lunch, dinner and ton’s of in between surprises you could ask for.  No need to make a reservation because K24 won’t allow it!  Snag a booth in the window or a bar stool below the dj both and enjoy a fab meal with some indoor/outdoor people watching.

After a few hours of shopping down the block at Space 15 Twenty I staggered hungrily into Kitchen 24.  Only being about 6:30pm, the dining room was moderately crowded.  With a much needed martini in hand I caroused the menu.  Not much of a meat lover my eyes landed on the K24 Tuna Burger with a chopped  Ahi Tuna patty served on a toasted sweet french roll.  As if slightly seared tuna isn’t tasty enough a creamy Wasabi Mayo is slathered all over followed by thinly sliced Pickled Ginger!  A sushi lovers delight! Being completely satisfied after chowing down the tuna burger and not able to eat another morsel, I lived vicariously through the 2 girls sitting at the bar excitedly eating their Skillet Apple Pie topped with vanilla ice cream.  They dove into the black skillet housing warm apple pie as though there was a prize at the bottom with huge smiles on their faces.

My next arrival at Kitchen 24 was after a few hours of watching a friend pour drinks at Beauty Bar a few doors down.  Around 11pm and having that post drinking hunger, I watched as people flooded through the doors in a similar state.  Yummy greasy

Veggie Chili Cheese Fries

Veggie Chili Cheese Fries

food is exactly what everyone has on their mind and I succumb to the peer pressure of my taste buds.  I hear myself ordering the Chili Cheese Fries and am so delighted that the fries are topped with Veggie Chili and Cheddar Cheese!  Once placed in front of me the dish looks like a mini baked ziti and a fork is a must when eating this, in order to scoop up all the spicy chili and herbed cheese.  What goes best with fries? Burgers of course! Having just tackled a Chickpea

Chick Pea Burger

Chick Pea Burger

Burger recipe I was delighted to see that the Veggie Burger consisted of …Chickpeas! Thick tomatoes and paper thin pickles sits atop slices of onions , crisp lettuce and luscious mayo.  My favorite side dish is among the menu and I’m so pleased to say the Coleslaw is the perfect combination of crunchy and creamy. On the non veggie side of things my dining partner delved into a thick juicy Turkey Burger.  Served the same way as my Veg Burger, Stony decided to add loads of Avocado and melted cheese.  I quote him when saying ‘ it was one of the best turkey burgers I ever had.  Lean and not to big, the outside was crunchy and the inside soft.’  My third dining companion decided on a completely different meal.  The Hash Brown Salmon Florentine topped with a Poached Egg and Paprika Hollandaise.  Possibly the most different style of breakfast I’ve seen or tasted in a long time.  This breakfast salmon was so amazing I was thinking about it the next morning at breakfast, staring at my bowl of Special K.  Crispy slices of potatoes crushed around flaky, tender  salmon.  As you cut down with your fork the poached egg yolk bursts open and cascades over salmon and potato.  The spiced hollendaise brings the whole dish together and coats your tongue in a

Skillet Dessert

Skillet Dessert

heavenly way.  Be sure to get the perfect forkful of salmon-potato, egg and hollendaise.  Whatever time you decide to walk in Kitchen 24 will always be the right time!


Open 24/7 (except Monday’s from 5a to 9:30a for maintenance). No Reservations Accepted. First come, first served. Valet parking is available 7 days, 11a-3p (free) & 7p-4a ($10.00). 1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd Hollywood, CA 90028   323.465.2424

Little Doms

daysignFor those that have dined at Dominicks on Beverly Bvld are definitely familiar with their Monday Suppers as well as the size-able space both inside and out, equipped with 2 full bars and a burning fireplace.  As gorgeous as this restaurant is I’d like to introduce you to the more quaint side of Dominicks..Little Doms.  Located in Los Feliz this charming restaurant sits on a street corner and has a very homey feel to it.  Not only are Sunday Suppers available with amazing deals on wine and beer, Little Dom’s offers the most amazing brunch and lunch items I’ve ever had in Los Angeles.  Always call ahead of time to make a reservation so you dont end up like the walk-in’s sitting on a curb waiting for a table for 20 minutes.  Whether you get a booth inside or a table outside your taste buds will be tickled with delight.

When your server approaches your table he or she will immediately tell you the specials.  The best special to start out with ? The $10 bottle of Presseco and a small carafe of fresh squeezed o.j!  Everything else on the menu is a la cart which is a great way to dine especially with a bunch of people.  From breakfast to lunch items mixing and matching can be a lot of fun especially once your mimosa is filled.  Always be aware when pouring your mimosas table-side.  Once the orange juice hits the champagne it forms a chemical reaction causing an overflow…so pour slowly as your server will come over and explain in detail about this said “chemical reaction”.  Your mind will definitely be swirling with decisions on what to order so here’s a sneak preview on what to expect.

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

The Ricotta Cheese and Fresh Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup are possibly the most scrumptious pancakes I have ever had, with the exception of my grandmothers.  The ricotta is folded in the pancake batter and the blueberries burst with pleasure on your tongue, a perfect side dish for the table.  On the protein side of things, Little Dom’s Frittata’s have the ultimate ingredients.  As heardy as they come, the Wild Boar Bacon/Parmesan  Frittata  and the Pizza with Sunny-side Up Egg, Speck, Mozzarella, & Tomato Sauce are the perfect hungry man meal.  If your sweet tooth has decided to join you for brunch and getting dessert isn’t that tempting, simply order a side of toast which is delivered with homemade strawberry jam and a cup full of creamy Nutella!  Never ever to be missed are the Fried Potatoes.  Mixed with garlic and sizzling

Eggs Funghi with Fennel Hollandaise

Eggs Funghi with Fennel Hollandaise

hot, these pop-in-your-mouth potatoes compliment a brunch perfectly.  As a veggie lover the Poached Eggs Funghi with Roasted Mushrooms, Grilled Bread topped with Fennel Pollen

Fried Potatoes

Fried Potatoes

Hollandaise and the Roasted Tomato, Basil, Goat Cheese Frittata are packedwith fresh herbs and frsh ingredients. Whether it’s a Sunday brunch of mid week lunch, Little Dom’s is exceptional for any meal any time.

2128 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 661-0055

  • Hours:Mon-Thu. 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.Mon-Thu. 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.Fri-Sat. 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Fri-Sat. 6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

    Sun. 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Sun. 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

8 oz. Burger Bar

BBQ Grilled Fish, Fried Caper Tarter, Gruyere and Avocado

BBQ Grilled Fish, Fried Caper Tarter, Gruyere and Avocado

When you think “cheeseburger” I doubt your next thought would be “grilled artichokes” or “martini”.  However, when visiting 80z. Burger Bar on Melrose, these elegant choices are right at your fingertips.  After a day of boutique shopping or a late night LA bite, 8oz. Burger Bar is equipped with indoor / outdoor seating, including seats at the bar and a few pieces of vintage furniture.  A fast paced, sit-down-next-to-you server, will quickly place a red and white striped cloth, with silverware stowed inside, on the table.   Why did she forget the menus? Because your place mat is your menu! An array of food on both front and back of your faux menu wakes your stomach up and spreads your lips into a smile.  Not your average burger joint , 80z. offers not only burgers and beers but salads and grilled fish! If your favorite menu items are apps and sides then you’ve hit the jackpot!

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles

After a long Sunday at the Fairfax Trading Post, my appetite was huge!  We snagged a seat right next to the outdoor patio and within view of the flat screen TVs.  While sipping on a vodka martini I hand picked my bbq grilled fish sandwich just the way I liked it.  At $1.00 per topping it’s easy to get carried away, especially when there’s fresh avocados and fried green tomatoes to be had!  With over 10 different dipping sauces you can dip until your hearts content.  Picking aged Gruyere cheese, avocado and a fried caper dipping sauce on a sesame seed bun my bbq fish sandwich was perfect!  Having dinner with a meat lover, Stony chose an 8oz. medium burger with chipolte mayo, caramelized onions, cheddar, crisp bacon and tomatoes!  Why have french fries when you can have a  basket of fried pickles! Pair them with a saucer of dijon-horseradish and every bite explodes with flavor.  Truffled potato skins with a roasted tomato dipping sauce is a great choice to split for the table.  Not a a fan of carbs? No worries.  An artichoke grilled to perfection with a side of garlic aioli is cooked perfectly every time.  The best grown up grilled

8oz. Bacon, Cheddar, Chipolte Mayo, Onion Burger

8oz. Bacon, Cheddar, Chipolte Mayo, Onion Burger

cheese sandwich in town is at 8oz., the short rib grilled cheese!  Sliders and suds, burrata cheese salads and banana splits, you’ll be leaving here feeling quite satisfied.

7661 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 852-0008

  • Hours:Mon-Sat. 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

    Sun. 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Yogotango

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Chocolate Syrup, Strawberries and Blueberries

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Chocolate Syrup, Strawberries and Blueberries

Craving something sweet one day and dreading getting in the car, my NY instincts kicked in and I remembered the Frozen Yogurt place on Fountain and Highland, walking distance to where I live. Little did I know what a fabulous treat I was about to enjoy.

Possibly the best Frozen Yogurt in Los Angeles.  Unlike the limited flavors of frozen skim milk at Pinkberry and Pinkberry wannabes, Yogotango has an array of delightful flavors. For you Plain fro-yo people, yes you can still fill that craving and even add a flavor ..or two ..or three. My all time favorite ,Vanilla, along with other staples like Chocolate and Strawberry will leave your tongue dancing with flavor. For the more extreme taste buds try some Green Tea or Tomato flavor! The best part is being able to serve yourself as many toppings as you like. From Captain Crunch with the Crunch Berries to exotic pieces of Mochi, you’ll have a blast decorating your frozen yogurt. Fruit lovers can enjoy an array of fruit like Mango, Kiwi, Strawberries and Blueberries.  Sweet tooth lovers can reach in the cookie jar for a handful of cracked Chocolate Chip Cookie and Waffle Cone pieces, maybe even a Waffle Bowl!  Toasted Coconut and not only Chocolate Chips but Yogurt Chips too !  Yogotango is spic and span and it’s super affordable.  Dont forget to ask for a Yogotango Punch Card and receive your 10th Fro-yo free!  How sweet is that ? !

1300 N. Highland Ave. Hollywood Ca 90028

323-466-7724

Open Hours : 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Yogotango

Yogotango

Izakak-ya Katsu-ya

Salmon Caviar

Salmon Caviar

Possibly the best sushi I have ever had thus far!  Until my first visit to Izaka-ya, I thought every other sushi restaurant I’ve been to was fabulous.  Never before have I tasted such fresh ingredients, as though there was a huge pond in the kitchen where the fish on your plate had just been plucked from.  Every taste bud comes to life with each bite taken.  Washing down your favorite menu items with a bottle of hot sake is always a must. With more than 5 different locations, Katsu-ya does it right every time.

For your first time, start out at Izaka-ya on W3rd in West Hollywood.  Always having to wait at least 30-40 minutes for a table, take a walk down the block to St. Nicks Pub where a Jack and Ginger cost $7 and served as a double.  By the time your done sucking down your pint sized drink, take a stagger back down the

White Fish Topped with Pepper, Cilantro and Tomatoe

White Fish Topped with Pepper, Cilantro and Tomatoe

block and your table most likely awaits. Don’t expect for a quiet table and do expect to shout your whole conversation, this place is quite noisy.  However after making a few appearances you’re sure to be recognized by the staff and always treated with a smile.   After you’ve been lured in by the magnificence of raw fish, you’ll for sure venture to the original Katsu-ya in Studio City.  Tucked away in a strip mall, the line is pouring out the door with very hungry people.  Having actually made a reservation, unlike W3rd location where its virtually impossible before 9:30 to get one,  my wait was still around 15 minutes on a Monday.  These two native restaurants by Katsu-ya are by far better than his bigger, recent establishments that is now a home for A listers and paparazzi.  When dining in Glendale at the towering 2 level with outdoor seating Katsu-ya, the authenticity had vanished.  Actresses as waitresses, instead of the barely English speaking ones, is the first step towards knowing you’ve entered a main-streamed restaurant.  While sushi still tastes great its about $5-$6 pricier.  Master Sushi Chef Katsu-ya, now joined forces with restaurant designer Phillipe Stark and everyone wants to jump on the Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya train.

Robert Roll: Crab Center, Avocado Top with a Dollop of Spicy Mayo

Robert Roll: Crab Center, Avocado Top with a Dollop of Spicy Mayo

Sticking to the smaller locations you’ll find the food much more exquisite.   Start by ordering the Kabocha.  It’s not on the menu but you’re server will know exactly what you want.  Japanese pumpkin sliced , seasoned to perfection and served warm.  Never has pumpkin tasted so outstanding.  A big board on a stand arrives at your table with a plethora of sushi, sashimi, special rolls, warm dishes and handy recommendations.  The Yellow-tail Belly sashimi dipped in soy melts like butter on your tongue! My absolute favorite roll is the Creamy Salmon: plump salmon mixed with red onions and a white sauce tucked between soy paper and rice is the perfect roll.  I particularly enjoy this as a hand roll but the cut roll is fab as well.  The Fresh Water Eel sushi is to die for and always served crispy with a dash of sweet eel sauce.  Love caviar? Then the Salmon Caviar is a definite! A creamy crab/onion mixture stuffed inside individual salmon sashimi pieces topped with black caviar, sits atop several slices of cucumbers with a side of seaweed.  When dining in Studio City the recommended White Fish sashimi is the way to go.  Lemony white fish with thinly sliced red tomatoes and yellow peppers!  Of course a sweet ending is possible.  Individual Mochi in Vanilla, Chocolate and Green Tea is served sliced in half and oh so yummy!

Kabocha

8420 W3rd St, Los Angeles Ca 90048

323 782-9536…Lunch: 12pm to 2:30pm (Mon-Sat) Dinner: 5:30pm to 11pm (Mon-Thurs) 5:30pm to 11:30pm ( Fri-Sat) 5:30 to9:30pm (Sun)

Kabocha

Blu Jam

Blu Jam French Toast

What’s my favorite meal of the day? Breakfast! Anytime of the day. For lunch or dinner or super late night, breakfast is your all day meal.  Of course waffles and ice cream can be had for breakfast!  A mess of scrambled eggs thrown together with my favorite cheeses and veggies are a definite staple in my diet and makes for great dinner when wanting to keep things light.  After loads of crisp martinis with friends all night, a breakfast sandwich with homefries are sure to hit the spot.  Chocolate chip pancakes or syrup-soaked french toast is a meal for any occasion.   One cafe in particular peaks my interest most when wanting a mouth watering breakfast.  Smack in  the middle of Melrose sits Blu Jam.  Lined with tables on the sidewalk as well as cozy pillowed-lined seats inside, Blu Jam is here for you enjoyment.  It’s obvious that the owner looks to serve outstanding food as well as excellent service.

Having had both breakfast and lunch here, I can understand how Blu Jam received AOL’s City Guide: Best Breakfast in Los Angeles Award.   Serving organic fresh foods, an array of organic coffees and fresh squeezed juices, Blu Jam offers one tasty menu item after another.  With Karen in town visiting, I decided to make a morning stop at Blu Jam to show her how LA does breakfast!  Starting out with fresh squeezed orange juice and a caffeine packed mug of coffee is a must while looking over the menu.  My eyes immediately stopped on a scrambled called Old World.  Melted mozzarella on every inch of egg with thin slices of sauteed white onions, mushrooms and a sprinkle of fresh diced chives on top.  Trading roasted potatoes for a side of fruit was a refreshing choice! Since it was Karen’s vacation she decided to go the more indulgent root and order the sinful Blu Toast.  Organic Frensh Toast layered with blackberry jam and cream cheese topped with bananas, strawberries and powdered sugar (yes and syrup too)!   I have yet to try the changing menu of the once a week Friday Bistro Night.  Judging from breakfast I’m sure It’ll be  a hit!

Old World Scramble with Fresh Fruit and Grain Toast

Old World Scramble

7371 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046

Mon-Thu 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Fri 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Dinner 7:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Sat-Sun 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Tel: 323.951.9191
Fax: 323.951.9749