Steingarten LA’s dining room, awash with muted golden tones and dominated by a kaleidoscopic art piece, doesn’t immediately scream German biergarten. Its menu, however, astutely outlines the restaurant’s integral blend of hearty Old-World fare and contemporary California cuisine. More than 20 varieties of sausage—including traditional bratwursts and spicy lamb links as well as game offerings of wild boar and berry—sit beneath toppings of pickles or house mustard. Each of the 8-ounce burger patties is made from grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, and can be custom-built with toppings such as smoked mozzarella and applewood bacon. True to form as a German-inspired eatery, Steingarten accents their food with exhaustive drink lists, including a beer list with German, Belgian, and American craft brews on tap. Creative cocktails include a white manhattan, made from clear American whiskey, and a cocktail of the month that has been aged in a used whiskey barrel.
With a drink in hand, patrons can stroll over to Steingarten’s intimate outdoor patio flanked with high stone walls and trellis-climbing ivies. In one corner, rosy cushioned benches surround a slender fire pit that flickers subliminal messages from behind a glass enclosure. The ivy motif also manifests in wrought-metal curlicues on each door and over the beverage fridge that takes up an entire wall at the bar.
From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Bacon-wrapped Asparagus - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Wasabi Crunchy Shrimp, and Ahi Tuna Poke. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, ahi tuna, or chicken with chili mayo until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
In the old days, children's meals largely consisted of gingerbread shingles, fired-sugar glass, and creampuff doorknobs, which often led to no more children. Give your kids a healthier alternative with today's deal: for $9, you get $20 worth of organic, American eats at Giggles n’ Hugs Children's Restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard. This Groupon can be used for dine-in or take-out.
Instead of triple-double bacon burgers laden with pie, Giggles' menu is a veritable cornucopia of fresh, organic, and nutritious meals that kids will still want to eat. With options for breakfast, lunch, and dessert, you're sure to find something to fill your joey’s pouch, no matter what and when they're craving. Kid-size buttermilk pancakes stuffed with chocolate chips are $5.95. For lunch, order up a steaming plate of mom's tricky treat mac 'n’ cheese, cheese sauce secretly laced with pureed butternut squash ($11.90 adult size, $8.90 for kids). Adventurous children or eggplant-loving parents will enjoy Pocahontas's Panini (goat cheese, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a light basil-garlic sauce on hot, grilled bread, $9.95) or bbq chicken pizza (chicken breast, onions, cilantro, and mozzarella cheese with homemade bbq sauce, $10.95). Desserts include ice cream, freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, and ice cream mashed between two chocolate-chip cookies.
Owners Joey and Dorsa Parsi created Giggles n’ Hugs to provide a clean, upscale environment where kids can do kid-based activities, such as play with colorful objects, run around and make noise, and debate the current socioeconomic divide of the Dutch middle class, all while getting to eat a nutritious meal. When your toddler decides to start singing her favorite Kidz Bop hit, she won't be seized by thick-necked bouncers and tossed into the alley. Childish behavior is fully encouraged and even catered to, with entertainment that varies day-to-day, including face painters, magicians, crooning howler monkeys, balloon-animal sculptors, and more.
MyFOX Los Angeles has this feature on Giggles n' Hugs, part of Lisa's LA:
Giggles n' Hugs is a place Hollywood celebrities like to take their kids, including Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Garner, and Adam Sandler; but it gets a lot of love from regular people as well.
Giggles n' Hugs gets 4.5 stars from Citysearchers, and Nickelodeon Parents Connect reviewers give it four stars.
- The play area is huge and extremely clean. They had everything a kid could imagine in the play area and more. The staff was genuinely nice and welcoming. – Sue Pedilla, Parents Connect
- The food is excellent and the play are [sic] is safe and clean with a variety of toys to keep the kids occupied for hours. My son loved it and didn't want to leave. I highly recommend this place to all parents of little ones. – leilylabu, Citysearch
The Stand’s menu of chili dogs, burgers, and tuna melts evokes classic Americana images of diners and ball games. The eats may be casual, but the staff strives to give them modern style, earning a spot on Gayot's 2012 list of Top 10 LA Hot Dog Restaurants. Upon request, the staff will wrap burgers in whole-wheat buns or lettuce wraps instead of classic buns, and diners also have their choice of beef, turkey, or housemade veggie patties. Gourmet hot-dog and sausage toppings such as garlic mushrooms and corn salsa join traditional fixings such as mustard, sweet pickle relish, and tears from a recently defeated baseball team. To wash it all down, servers blend up 20-ounce chocolate and vanilla milkshakes and tap a rotating menu of draft beers, as well as root beer.
There’s barely a plate in sight at Chego, where the menu revolves around made-to-order bowls. Starting with a simple bed of rice, chefs pile on toppings such as fried eggs, pork belly, wok-seared water spinach, and tofu fried with chili and garlic; they can also prepare custom combinations that are vegetarian and gluten-free. If you don’t want to take your chances, head to the permanent storefront on Overland Avenue. There’s also a food truck that’s always on the move, stopping only to dole out bowls and refill its engine with energy-packed rice grains.
The Nosh of Beverly Hills resolves East Coast–West Coast rivalry with a unique formula: it’s a blend of New York–style deli and health-conscious California diner. The result, as the restaurant’s website puts it, is “a place for people to meet and talk and nosh.” Groups gather over three meals a day, with special dietary menus and plenty of health-centric options to make everyone feel welcome. The chefs take pride in their baked goods made without the use of preservatives, their from-scratch salad dressings, and, especially, their sourcing: all meats, including free-range chicken and turkey, grass-fed burgers, and Niman Ranch roast beef, are completely free of hormones and antibiotics.
Breakfast specials kick off the morning with some lox and cream cheese on a signature bagel or a south-of-the-border treat, such as the breakfast enchiladas. At lunch, the deli serves a repast of triple-decker cold-cut sandwiches alongside a selection of melts. Those who spelunk deeper into the extensive menu will find such dinner eats as grilled salmon served on a bed of Israeli couscous, New York steak with sweet potato, and a brisket plate. This comes alongside a full slate of classic deli staples, including matzo ball soup, pastrami and corned beef, and organic house-made hummus and falafel—all washed down with organic coffee and tea. Parking at the restaurant is free after 6 p.m.