Though all the food at Nola's is modeled after the Cajun and Creole cuisine of the Big Easy, the restaurant?s housemade ingredients give it a personalized spin. Chefs toss fried wings in a special tangy hot sauce, serve popcorn shrimp with a signature honey-chipotle sauce, coat 10-ounce catfish fillets with a special blend of seasonings, and cook fried chicken for 20 minutes.
When it comes to classic dishes such as jambalaya, the cooks approach from various angles, adding shirmp and crab claws to create a seafood version. For vegetarians, they've come up with a version that uses tofu sausage and fresh veggies. Rounding out the jambalaya variations, there is also a breakfast jambalaya souffl?, for those who love breakfast at all hours of the day. For lunch, they specialize in shrimp, oyster, and catfish po' boys, which are drenched in a cornmeal-and-flour batter, fried, and served with housemade roasted-garlic tartar sauce.
To complement feasts, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails, including a tequila-and-watermelon-juice blend called the Witch Doctor, inspired by the witch doctor that lives on the roof. Beneath the chandeliers and wooden beams of the rustic dining room, meals unfold as live musicians serenade diners with the sounds of New Orleans?style blues and jazz.
Few professionals can credit Flashdance with rerouting the course of their career. In fact, Richard Giorla could be the only one. The unconventional dance moves he saw in the film motivated the former Pennsylvania Ballet Company member to hit the streets of his new home, Manhattan, and learn breakdancing from dancers at the heart of the movement, trading his own dance expertise as payment. Richard?s career was in full swing when, struck with an injury, he started teaching a ballet-barre class. Though he appreciated its stretching and toning components, Richard craved a more aerobic workout. So he created his own solution?Cardio Barre.
The unique workout consists of high-energy, zero-impact movements that sculpt the long, slender body of a dancer without a student ever having to step foot in a traditional dance studio. As they balance on the ballet barre, or whichever classmate is closest, pupils direct all their focus to one muscle group at a time, while the entire body stays in motion for maximum fat burning. His approach?s pudge-busting abilities have made the fitness method a favorite of many health magazines and celebrities.
Dreamed up by the masterminds of Vintage Bar Group, The Well pours gourmet cocktails alongside refined pub morsels in a sultry lounge atmosphere. Behind a center island bar that swirls around an aquarium of tumbling martini glasses, barkeepers shake signature cocktails?such as the Rumba Punch, Brown Sugar Old Fashioned, and Cucumber Press?and pour beer and wine such as Delirium Tremens and Buena Vista pinot noir. A vast menu of appetizers and small plates elevate simple bar dishes of onion rings, ahi tuna tacos, and flatbreads with gourmet additions such as sweet-corn batter, fire-roasted salsas, and goat cheese. The white maple and mahogany-flanked hideaway leads to a majestic keyhole-shaped doorway, revealing a semiprivate lounge perfectly suited for special events or visits from Lewis Carroll. Whether seated on the lounge's overstuffed ottomans or perched on a leather banquette on the main floor, guests can sing along with tunes on the house jukebox, which was lauded as one of the best in Los Angeles by CBS Los Angeles.
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.
If you can get Dizzy Gillespie to play at your restaurant, your restaurant might become a cultural institution. That's one lesson learned during Catalina Bar & Grill storied history, which began in 1987 and was profiled by the Los Angeles Times in 2008. The bebop-improvising trumpeter wasn't the only star, or even jazz great, who's graced the Catalina stage?others include Art Blakely, Chick Corea, Betty and Benny Carter, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and Jimmy Scott. And things have not slowed down. Each month, the discerning booker schedules dozens of soloists, bands, and orchestras?but he's only interested in top-level talent. While live music is the true star, Catalina also features a full menu, which brims with entrees such as filet mignon, rack of lamb, and shrimp scampi.