A few days before Here’s Looking at You officially opened to the public, my friend Thien and I attended a sneak peek for friends and family.
Lien Ta, the restaurant’s co-owner and front-of-the-house maven, is our friend and family, and seeing her longtime dream of opening a restaurant come true this evening was, dare I say, quite possibly even better than Chef Jonathan Whitener’s amazing cooking. High-five, L.T.! You did it.
Thien and I were seated at the best table in the house—a bad-ass banquette overlooking the entire dining room. We thrived in our throne all evening!
We started with two perfectly crafted cocktails. For me: the Seascape Swizzle ($15) with
Mezcal Espadin, summer berries, fresh lime, cassis, Lillet Rouge, rose, and sea salt;
a drink inspired by Sqirl’s seascape berry & rose geranium jam. I’m a total lightweight these days, and this one did me in in the best way.
Continue reading ‘Here’s Looking at You – Los Angeles (Koreatown)’
Every Friday afternoon on his unenviable commute from El Segundo to Pasadena, The Astronomer tunes in to KCRW’s Good Food to hear Jonathan Gold’s restaurant pick of the week. He usually comes home totally pumped to explore whatever hot spot Mr. Gold dished about—from cotton candy in Koreatown to swanky new openings in Downtown.
We were inspired to finally make reservations at Otium following one particularly memorable segment. According to Mr. Gold, Otium is possibly “the most spectacular new restaurant to open in Los Angeles in years.”
In the glow of The Broad Museum, Timothy Hollingsworth, the former chef de cuisine at the French Laundry, serves an eclectic menu of large and small plates. There are a number of raw seafood preparations, handmade pastas, and larger format proteins.
Continue reading ‘Otium – Los Angeles (Downtown)’
Of all the incredible restaurants on our Las Vegas dining itinerary, I was most excited for Carbone. According the the restaurant’s website, “this celebrated concept from Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick pays homage to the Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century – an era of glamour, showmanship and tableside service.” (See also: Parm).
My brother has been raving about Carbone ever since it opened in New York, so I was beyond stoked to experience the Las Vegas iteration for myself. One day I’ll make it to the original outlet.
From the moment we stepped into the restaurant, The Astronomer and I knew that we were in for a special evening. The main dining room boasted a chandelier dripping with crystals, while the waiters were outfitted in sharp crimson tuxes. All around us were carts preparing various provisions—from Caesar salad to bananas Foster—tableside. Dinner and a show is what Carbone is all about.
Just about everything here is larger than life, including the menu. Ironically, the details provided for each dish are minimal, despite the real estate available. Our
waiter captain was simply fantastic with filling in any blanks and offering solid recommendations.
Continue reading ‘Carbone – Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)’
Sitting down to a boozy brunch with The Astronomer was one of the highlights of our weekend in Vegas. We’ve never been much into gambling, clubbing, or lounging by the pool. Dining and imbibing—that’s #HowWeVegas.
After properly sleeping in for the first time in ages, The Astronomer and I rolled out of bed and headed to Bardot Brasserie for brunch.
Located in the former site of American Fish, Bardot is the Chef Michael Mina’s latest restaurant at Aria Resort & Casino. To create the brasserie’s menu, Chef Mina and Executive Chef Joshua Smith drew inspiration from travels to Paris. The menu offers classic French fare executed with a thoroughly modern hand.
To start, fruity and bubbly concoctions—a peach bellini for him and a blood orange mimosa for her.
Continue reading ‘Weekend Brunch at Bardot Brasserie – Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)’