Ravi and Sunitha Koneru don't much care for limitations. Not in their food, their decor, or their vision. When designing the menu for Chakra Cuisine they saw the entirety of India as a source of inspiration, from the tandoori of the North and the curries of the South to the street food of Bombay and the recipes of their native Hyderbad. And then they looked even further. What they found were ingredients such as banana leaves, scallops, and caramelized pineapples—ingredients rarely used in Indian cuisine that expertly matched the flavor profiles they dreamed up. The result is a blend of traditional and modern, where classic dishes such as chicken tikka masala segue into spicy reinventions, including a vegetable masala quiche.
The dining space is likewise a mix of old and new. Indian accents anchor the sleek, contemporary aesthetic of the dining room and private lounge, while colors drawn from the dishes themselves combine to create a cohesive backdrop. Red and gold dominate the interior, but brighter colors surround the bar, notably inside its seven specialty martinis. As for the outdoor patios, their tables center around a circular fire pit, whose flames tempt guests to sit amid the mandarin-orange trees and tell scary stories about hitchhikers with samosas for hands.
In an opulent, Eastern-inspired dining room that steeps in the scents of intoxicating spices, Nirvana blends classic Indian cuisine with the sophistication of Beverly Hills. Chefs call on both traditional Indian grilling methods and the excitement of new flavors to prepare an assortment of unusual dishes, ranging from unique curries and tandoori breads to whole legs of lamb marinated in Indian rum and spices. Beyond the vibrant mural and white booths of the dining room, the lounge and bar lure patrons in with the comfort of canopied beds, damask sofas, and the tranquil gaze of a giant Buddha's head. A flowing river—sealed with glass to protect feet from above and seafood escapees from below—runs along the floor and leads guests through each of the restaurant's distinct areas.
Strings of lights twinkle like fireflies over the patio at Il Cielo, webbing out from extravagant chandeliers. Below, flickering candelabras barely illuminate faces already aglow with the radioactivity that comes with being in love. Inside, it’s more of the same—soft yellow lighting, billowy white linens, large windows, and painted cherubim on the ceilings. From one event to the next, a room transforms from cozy fireplace surrounded by scenes of tranquil hillsides, to hearth trimmed with twinkling vines and floors carpeted with rose petals. The fairytale ambiance inspired About.com readers to crown Il Cielo their favorite romantic L.A. restaurant. But before it was a haven for lovebirds, Il Cielo was a home. Celebrity hairstylist Marcel Machu and his family made memories in the space until renovations in the 1940s. Where the dining room now sits, the Machus once posed for Christmas photos. The eatery’s garden was the setting for dinner parties with family and friends. Marcel's children grew up padding along its sidewalk to the waiting car. So when Il Cielo owner Pasquale Vericella went searching for a location for his eatery, the site of the former home cried out to him. He wanted a restaurant that felt homey and welcoming—like the Italian and Pennsylvanian countryside of his childhood—but still inspired magic. With its ample candlelight and delicious Italian cuisine, Il Cielo does just that.
Matchmakers Alessandra and Cristina Conti—sisters who share a total of 17 years of match-making experience—take the mystery out of developing meaningful relationships. They pair compatible bachelors and bachelorettes throughout the LA area, and can help eligible folks prime themselves for the dating scene with the help of celebrity stylists, body language experts, fitness trainers, and makeup artists. They also assist those who have found or lost love in one-on-one date, break-up, premarital, and couples coaching sessions.
Audiences enjoy cultural euphony amid the Spanish baroque themes of the Louisville Palace. In the lobby, a vaulted ceiling sculpted with historical faces looms above columns that swirl with flashes of cobalt and crimson. Once inside, patrons can marvel at the deep-scarlet proscenium or pull out their collapsible telescopes to gaze at the simulated night sky above.
After honing his skills in Gordon Ramsay's kitchen at The London in Hollywood and at the Fig restaurant in at the Fairmont Miramar, Executive Chef David Padilla brings his fine-dining expertise to On Rodeo Bistro & Lounge. All three menus?breakfast, lunch, and dinner?feature meals inflected with California influences, from an open faced salmon sandwich and veggies to a spicy tuna tartare with avocado. Other entrees cater to non-carnivorous appetites, such as the Beverly Hills Lobster Club sandwich, mushroom risotto, and drunken shrimp.
During social hour every day from 4-7 p.m. in the lounge, bartenders pour an international selection of wines while mixologists craft signature cocktails, such as the Donna Martin key lime martini and the Kelly Taylor?a sparkling wine drink with fresh raspberries. They also mix up other inventive spirits such as the Luxe Mule with orange vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer?which is beer fermented in oak sculptures of Carrot Top.