Start a romantic evening with a Dungeness crab cake with aioli, caper, lemon, and coleslaw ($15) and a bowl of the soup of the day ($10). Eye entrees like the soft and succulent roasted half chicken with fingerling potatoes, haricots verts, mixed wild mushrooms, and pearl onions ($24) and the braised short ribs with polenta, Swiss chard, and salsa verde ($25). Complete the circle of life by burying your fork in a slice of key lime pie with guava puree and mango sorbet ($10) or the chocolate chocolate chocolate trio ($16), whose richness is so deadly it was, until recently, banned by nonproliferation treaties. If you've recently cycled through Fraiche and think you've tasted it all, try the new lunch menu. The chopped salad with Italian cured meats, tomato, provolone, and chick peas ($13) and the Moroccan lamb sausage sandwich with harissa aioli ($13) offer just the right noontime spice-kick to erase your morning malaise.
Ugo claims to be the first establishment in Southern California to feature enomatic dispensers. These self-service wine stations begin to pour with the simple swipe of a card, making it even easier to get comfy inside a romantic space defined by candlelight and live jazz music.
Chef Akasha Richmond dedicates herself fully to her restaurant—she even shares her name with it. At Akasha, she gathers ingredients from family farms, organic growers, artisan food makers, and companies that stick to fair-trade practices, unlike Oregon Trail barterers who tried to pass off shag rugs as mink. These ingredients fold into modern comfort-food menus covering lunch, dinner, and prix-fixe dinner, as well as Passover Seder and Easter Brunch. To complete a plate of diver scallops in coconut curry sauce or a flat-iron steak with fingerling potatoes and bulb onions, Akasha has an extensive wine list and a house cocktail menu.
If you’re looking for a slice of pizza in the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles, head toward National Boulevard. That’s where you’ll spot The Coop Pizza, with its signature googie signage hanging above the glassy entrance. Pull into the side lot to pick from an array of pizzas, salads, sandwiches or simple Italian dinners, such as eggplant parmagiana, lasagna and chicken cacciatore. This is takeaway only fare, with no seating offered inside, but that hasn’t been a problem for The Coop – the aging eatery is nearing the half-century mark, but remains a steadfast neighborhood favorite. A whole new generation of customer now comes through the door, looking for their classic New York-style pizzas, each served with fresh ingredients and housemade dough and sauce. You can also pick up a quick slice if you happen to be wandering by, but be warned: The Coop is cash only, and closed on Mondays.
Fittingly located on Motor Avenue in the Palms neighborhood of West Los Angeles, The Garage featuring The Motor Club is a great place to grab a bite, have a beer and catch the game. With concrete floors and an open layout worthy of its namesake, this stripped-to-the-basics sports bar serves up hefty portions of typical bar food, including plenty of wings, sliders, pizza and tacos. A few favorites keep patrons coming back, like the Garage Burger, an 8 oz. grass-fed beef patty topped with sour cherry-lacquered bacon, cheddar, arugula and peppercorn aioli, served with a side of fries. Flat screens adorn the walls and the atmosphere is a comfortable slice of typical America, where patrons can sit back and enjoy a wide selection of draft and bottled beers. Weekday happy hours run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., when house wines and well drinks move to $4 each.
Short of the sink, Bella Vista Brazilian Pizza's chefs pile almost every ingredient in the kitchen?from meats and cheeses to fresh fruit and chocolate?onto thin-crust disks to create 30 different styles of gourmet pizza. Waiters then meander through the dining room in the tradition of Brazilian-rodizio-style meals, serving guests as much pizza as they can stomach or fit in their cheeks for later. Slices come slathered in specialty Brazilian-style sauces and topped with brazilian sausages, and catupiry?brazilian cream cheese?as well as in other non-traditional toppings such as cinnamon, hearts of palm, beef stroganoff, and vegetarian cheese. In addition to its savory pizza staples, Bella Vista also churns out dessert pizzas and four pasta dishes.
Open seven days a week and stationed in the Brazilian Mall, Bella Vista enshrouds guests in the light emitted by a tinted-window ceiling and decorative wicker-basket light fixtures. Energetic music fills the space as diners sup on slices and sip their own BYOB beverages. And on major international soccer match days, the matches are broadcast on TVs throughout the restaurant.