Featured on Good Day LA and ABC, as well as the occasional celebrity snapshot in Star, chocolatiers at ChocolateBox Cafe cloak tongues with artisan chocolates, gelato, and hot cocoa crafted with Belgian expertise. Visitors can also fuel up with a savory mélange of crepes and wraps stuffed with French words. Whether nabbing a gift box of pralines, sniffing out a truffle as an afternoon snack, or arranging a catered wedding or event, chocolate fiends can get their fix in the form of finely, ornately decorated candies and gourmet hot chocolate.
Even in a city where celebrity sightings are fairly common, Taverna Tony is exceptional for its sensory feast. Once you’ve taken a seat at one of the tavern’s handsome wooden tables, it's difficult to keep your eyes from wandering. In one corner of the dining room, an A-list couple might be sharing a plate of charcoal-grilled baby octopus. In another, a graceful belly dancer might be twirling before a live band, her elegant costume sparkling in the glow of warm lanterns. These are just preludes to the main event, in which a server lights a pan of saganaki cheese on fire and magically saws a baklava pastry in half. If a quiet meal is more to your taste, skip the dining room and head straight to a lush garden patio where sunlight trickles in through rafters laced with ivy. Such a setting perfectly complements the restaurant’s popular Greek Feast, a selection of 15 house specialties that includes hummus, homemade sausages, and roasted lamb. If you inexplicably still have room for dessert, it’s hard to turn down a sweet house-made yogurt praised by the LA Times.
American Luxury Limousine's large fleet has been transporting people to special and everyday occasions—be it a college shindig or a business meeting—for more than 27 years. Professional drivers chauffeur bridal parties in style, pulling up to weddings in shiny stretch Hummers, party buses, and Lincoln Town Cars. They also offer leisurely wine tours of the Santa Monica Mountains to acquaint oenophiles with local varietals, and they host bachelorette parties to put an appropriately epic period on the end of a bride’s single life.
The Santa Monica mountains rise from the undulating greens of the Malibu Golf Club, clinking glasses punctuating the silence as wine lovers sample local vintages at Malibu & Vine Outdoor Wine Bar. Tables dot the grassy expanse, allowing guests to bask in the sunlight as the bar’s wine stewards pour out samples or full glasses of locally grown vintages from Saddlerock and Semler. On the weekends, the bar invites in musical artists to strum throughout the afternoon hours, making the late lunches more relaxing than watching a complicated computer sink into a swamp.
Howdy Sylvano Kabrins has a particular affinity for fresh, healthy Mexican food—in fact, he credits himself with launching the "Fresh-Mex" movement. Inspired by the two years he spent living with a peasant family in Mexico during college, Howdy founded his first Mexican restaurant in 1979. La Salsa, as it was called, soon blossomed into a 100-restaurant franchise, due in no small part to the fresh, light twist it put on a cuisine that was known at the time for being heavy and greasy. 16 years later, he opened Howdy's Taqueria, and his culinary imagination has only become more creative since.
At the taqueria, vegetables sourced from local organic farms—including Howdy's own ranch in Ojai—combine with deft recipes to create flavorful food brimming with macronutrients. The result is a selection of well-balanced dishes such as protein-packed Cross Fit bowls and the Rainbow Kale salad, which mingles kale and quinoa superfoods with heart-healthy beets and protein-rich sunflower seeds. Seafood is also a big draw, as lettuce-cup tacos filled with seared ahi tuna and Scottish salmon with quinoa share menu space with a multitude of fish tacos and burritos. Howdy's wife provides the chicken-soup recipe, which uses organic, free-range chicken in a dish that resembles italian wedding soup, and there's also a variety of sushi rolls available. But the food isn't all that's wholesome—the restaurant itself also embraces a casual and friendly ambiance, surrounding patrons with earthenware tiles and stout wooden chairs.