We've previously lamented the tourist trap that is The Sunset Strip, a destination rife with tacky bars, expensive sex shops, and over-the-hill music venues that we thought it was cool to frequent as wide-eyed tweens who didn't know any better. But we have to grudgingly admit that over the past few years, parts of the Sunset Strip have become...dare we say...almost good? With an influx of some impressive restaurants like The Eveleigh, Estrella, and The Guild, the Strip is actually becoming a destination for not just tourists, but Hollywood/WeHo locals looking for some truly tasty bites. One of those destinations is Ivory, Brian Malarkey's beautiful eatery at The Mondrian; the California-focused cuisine, seafood-driven favorites, and stylish outdoor space make it ideal for locals and tourists alike (solving the perpetual question of where to eat on the Sunset Strip), just like sister space Herringbone. Because of the patio's perfect overlook of the city, we recommend getting here on the early side to enjoy some drinks and shared bites, all while catching the sunset over Sunset.Read More
Though it's only been open a few weeks, Maradentro was bustling and crowded when we arrived for our Friday night dinner. The second outpost of their popular Studio City Mexican seafood joint, Maradentro is shaping up to be quite the popular scene for the Brentwood-Santa Monica crowd. But lest you think it's all scene and no substance, don't fret; Maradentro backs up this popularity with a fresh, flavorful menu that focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. We were impressed by the bold flavors and the careful balance between classic Mexican dishes and contemporary influences, undoubtedly the work of partners Jesse Gomez and Jose Acevedo (of Mercardo fame). With a great bar program, excellent food, and a casual-cool environment, it's no wonder why this spot is heating up quickly.Read More
Nestled into the first floor of an office building on Wilshire in the former Sasabune space (before they moved down the street) is Santa Monica's new Japanese-French fusion restaurant, Maru. With a menu that ranges from fresh sushi to curry lamb, there's certainly a little something for everyone. Click through to check out all the wonderful dishes and our final thoughts!Read More
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Well, maybe just for us Angeleno foodies. Dine LA has come and gone, and as usual, we stuffed our faces at some of LA's hottest restaurants. First up was Connie & Teds--opened in 2013, Connie & Ted's in West Hollywood has been consistently hot ever since. This is probably due to Providence chef Michael Cimarusti and the casual, Rhode Island casual clam-shack ambiance. Connie & Ted's take their seafood seriously, and that attitude shines through in every mouthful. For the DineLA special menu, they offered a 3-course menu for a reasonable $40/person. Keep scrolling to see what we ordered!
For one of our appetizers, we decided to go with the 1/2 dozen chef's choice oysters. And damn, they were good. Some of the best oysters we've had, this selection was incredibly fresh and perfectly prepared. The lemon, horseradish, and mignonette sauce were all light and flavorful, but didn't overpower the flavor of the oysters. We're very seriously considering coming back for a night of just oysters.
The grilled calamari was a serious appetizer. Not your typical fried-beyond-all-recognition calamari, Connie & Ted's take on the classic seafood appetizer doused their gently cooked squid in tomatoes with arugula, garlic, and breadcrumbs. The tomatoes gave the dish a really nice savory aspect, while the arugula was fresh and lemon-y. The breadcrumbs provided the crunch and salt that we crave from more traditional calamari. Overall, a really nice appetizer.
For one of our entrees, we ordered the fish & chips. After spending plenty of time in the UK, we've had some great fish & chips, and these were also fantastic. The batter was crispy, and didn't get soggy. It adhered well to the fish, and the spices gave the dish a nice little kick. The tartar sauce was great, and the fries were incredibly addicting.
For our other entree, we got the lobster roll. And holy crap it was good. The lobster was buttery and plentiful, while the roll was also buttery and perfectly toasted. The richness of the roll was tempered by a squeeze of fresh lemon. We would come back just for this.
Overall, the meal was great. We loved the quality of the food with the casual atmosphere, and think this would be the perfect place to come for after-work drinks and a good meal.