If the tables at Kate Mantilini could speak, they'd quickly find themselves booked by every major talk show. Their undersides have seen the feet of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro filming their first scene together in Heat as well as the pants cuffs of Tom Cruise, Mick Jagger, and Antonio Banderas, according to seeing-stars.com.
Founders Marilyn and Harry Lewis built the backbone of this celebrity hot spot. Harry had already worked alongside Humphrey Bogart in the film Key Largo when he told Marilyn that he hoped to open a restaurant chain geared toward folks in the film industry. In 1950, his idea came to life at several Hamburger Hamlets, where Hollywood icons could grab a meal or autograph a fan's shirt with ketchup before returning to their shoots. While luminaries like Sammy Davis Jr. occasionally supervised the kitchen, says the Los Angeles Times, Marilyn taught herself to cook a repertoire of eclectic comfort food. In 1987, the pair sold their Hamburger Hamlets and established Kate Mantilini.
Today, looming Mad Men posters on the walls speak to a modernism that has not abandoned the restaurant's Hollywood roots. A geometric orrery sculpture hangs from the gigantic sundial on the roof, and an elongated mural of a boxing match stretches across the dining hall. The smell of Kate's signature meatloaf weaves throughout the architecture and mingles with a slew of rotating aromas, from calamari to strip steaks and award-winning chicken pot pie. As the scents drift past the tables and onto an outdoor patio in Beverly Hills, they surround the former bank building, which now hosts homestyle breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
The Lewis family has also opened a second Kate Mantilini location in Woodland Hills. The garden setting has its own alfresco seating to supplement 42 indoor booths, where patrons can order the same quality of rustic yet upscale American cuisine. Though they see their fair share of well-known figures, both restaurants cultivate an unambiguously welcoming vibe—one that invites children to feast on macaroni, casual visitors to stop in for a bowl of soup, and hungry families to share tapas rather than saw microwave dinners in half.
The confectioners at Edelweiss Chocolates have been hand-dipping chocolate treats to satiate the sweet teeth of a celebrity clientele since the golden age of Hollywood. Peruse a savory stockade of cocoa-laden delights made from fresh sweet cream and butter and infused with imported fruits and colossal nuts roasted on-site. A one-pound box of assorted chocolate-dipped marshmallows cradles the confection haven’s most popular delicacies ($39), and a medium basket of assorted dark chocolates makes the perfect gift to give in celebration of a promotion, a mother's birthday, or Millard Fillmore Day ($69). A collection of more than 1,000 chocolate molds transforms everyday objects into edible treats, including a set of chocolate hair-salon equipment ($35) or a chocolate computer, which makes a perfect adornment for a living room or an edible office cubicle ($35).
Be it on one of The Farm's breezy outdoor patios or inside its down-home Americana-themed dining rooms, patrons today come to savor the nostalgic flavors of traditional American cuisine, just as they have since 1997. With black-and-white portraits of Wisconsin farmers adorning the walls of all three locations, fresh, seasonal ingredients are the heart and soul of The Farm of Beverly Hills' menus. Organic and locally sourced products comprise dishes whenever possible, as evident in the dill-pickle fried chicken made with a free-range and organic bird, the hearty meatloaf sandwich of certified-humane Angus beef, or original tableside magic tricks performed by Miss Piggy.
The longtime stomping ground of the Rat Pack, Da Vinci Restaurant has since renovated and directed its mission toward serving fresh, in-season ingredients, mostly gathered from local farmers markets and across southern California. Those choosing the dinner deal can peruse Da Vinci's ever-changing seafood-infused dinner menu. Start with the farmers-market vegetable risotto topped with smoked nuts ($12) before moving on to heartier entrees such as Sangiovese-brased veal shank accompanied by mascarpone polenta ($32) or the Colorado lamb duo (lamb chops paired with house-cured lamb bacon, $30), the most successful lamb-related partnership since Lamb Chop married her longtime love, Baa Baa Blacksheep. For a midday feast, lunchtime taste-testers can find noodle ecstasy with one of Da Vinci's pasta dishes, such as the lobster linguini ($16), which competes for top billing with the hummus and kabob plate (choose lamb, chicken, or beef, $16). And for your three ordinary, run-of-the-mill stuntman buddies, Da Vinci offers a mini-hamburger trio topped with foie gras and truffle ($18).
The edible delights at Enoteca radiate rustic authenticity from the comprehensive menu. Antipasti anchor the easy vibes, so dive finger-first into platters of grilled polenta and wild mushrooms ($13), or beef carpaccio with foie gras ($15). The usual suspects done creatively are all present during subsequent courses, including napoletana pizza heavy with anchovies and garlic ($13), seafood and squid ink risotto ($17), veal scallopine ($27), and the meatless burrata salad with mozzarella, green lentils, roasted beets, and asparagus ($13). Complement the edibles with sippables comprising more than 250 bottles of wine from the 20 regions of Italy in glasses, flights, and quartinos.
Like soup without a bowl, a peaceful night's sleep is nothing without a soft bed in which to sleep. Today's side deal provides the bed and four well-decorated walls to enclose it with a Queen Superior Room at the Crescent Hotel Beverly Hills for $125 (an up to $305 value). Purchase one Groupon for one night or several for several nights. There is no buy limit, but reservations are subject to availability.