With a name that salutes the community centers that filled Rio de Janeiro in the 19th century, Boteco beckons all walks of life to eat and drink at its contemporary wooden bartop and sleek, square tables. Historically, these centers incorporated the region's diverse array of northern European, Mediterranean, and Arabian cuisines, and Boteco continues this tradition.
In addition to crisping pizzas made from locally sourced ingredients, the chefs simmer pots of Portuguese stew with cod and potatoes, and arrange sizzling sirloin next to rice, black beans, Brazilian pico de gallo, and caramelized plantains. The chefs also use tiny kitchen tools to construct small bites of tapas and appetizers, all while bartenders whet whistles and other woodwind instruments with 50 domestic and imported craft beers alongside wines and mixed drinks.
Silk Lounge mixes nature and culture with its sleek yet cozy ambience, spacious patio, carefully crafted libations, and nightly entertainment. Guests seeking solace may retreat to a private booth to puff on a fine cigar ($8+), and revelers seeking a pleasant campfire vibe without rubbing two guitars together until they burst into flames can enjoy company at the patio's fire pit. Meanwhile, more than 20 varieties of single-malt scotch rest on hand to warm bellies, including an Auchentoshan old enough to drink itself (premium drinks are $12). A range of unique Chinese and Japanese wines can greet the tongue ($9 per glass), and a cool beer ($5) crisply complements an appetizer of chicken wings or calamari ($12+).
Named Best Bar by the Pasadena Weekly in 2009 and 2010 and a City's Best Lounge by Pasadena magazine in 2010, Magnolia Lounge keeps displaced Dixie drawls well-lubricated with its extensive list of specialty drinks. Give your gullet a gander with the I’m Effen Sexy martini, containing Effen Black Cherry vodka, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Peachtree Schnapps and cranberry juice, or toast to the titular tastes of the Magnolia cocktail, containing Citron vodka, infused raspberries, Newman's Own lemonade, and mint. Food-wise, Magnolia Lounge's eclectic menu matches the laid-back elegance of the candlelit atmosphere. Start a chic evening out with a french fry trio of classic-cut, yukon gold, and sweet-potato fries served with barbecue ranch, garlic aioli, and chili-honey sauce ($8) before pairing a grilled steak sandwich ($13) with a non-grilled glass of Stoneleigh pinot noir ($10). The fried green tomatoes, with basil cream-cheese filling, cucumber salsa, and roasted red pepper sauce ($8), will bring back forgotten flavors as it layers on some new ones, and the Magnolia cheeseburger decks out its sirloin slab in a seersucker suit of aged cheddar, caramelized onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and garlic aioli ($12).
Eden Garden Bar & Grill sprinkles blooming hunger pangs with a host of traditional Mediterranean dishes served in a warm, intimate setting. Guests lamentably unable to stick round pegs into square holes can comfortably stick a soft pita into the hummus ($7) or sink recently sharpened incisors into four pieces of falafel, which come flanked by sesame seed sauce ($8). The chicken shawarma, served with hummus and salad ($13), stokes the fires of the poultry partial, and the crispy prawns represent the underwater contingent by enlisting seaweed salad as its running mate ($18).
Much has changed since 1927, including the price of a chicken dinner. When Marius Taix Jr. first opened Taix, he served chicken dinners for 50 cents. Though the price may have changed, owner Raymond Taix made sure that the French country cuisine didn’t. Meals still come with a tureen of soup and freshly baked French bread, and the dinner menu of roast chicken au jus, salmon filet with champagne cream, and frog legs Provencal still honors the founder's original intentions. And though Raymond's staff is considered “vintage”—some having served more than three generations—they can still hang with the night owls, serving entrees from a late-night menu until 1 a.m. Taix also feeds cravings for late-night entertainment. Thursdays and Fridays, the restaurant hosts live music in the 312 lounge. On Sundays, the lounge also features standup comedy.
Executive Chef Eric Greenspan—who cut his teeth at restaurants such as Patina and Meson G—instills traditional American cuisine with a modern flair at The Foundry on Melrose, so named for its use of industrial designs to accent its art-deco décor. Featured in publications such as LA Weekly, the constantly evolving menu melds upscale dishes such as shellfish chowder with whimsical renditions of diner classics, including the signature burger stuffed between Hawaiian bread and onion-ring hula skirts. Often echoing with live music, the lavish dining room culls elements from the Machine Age to warm its space with antique light fixtures, sconces crafted from vintage heat registers, and colorful artwork. Outdoors, heat lamps protect diners from obnoxiously loud snowmen, and wicker chairs juxtapose the classic look of candles and white linens.