“It's the best pizza I’ve found in Los Angeles,” says comedian and recognized Italian Ray Romano about D’Amore’s Pizza. He’s not the only star to fall for the authentic slices: owner Joe D’Amore has shipped his cracker-thin crusts to destinations across Hollywood, including the set of Two and a Half Men and Jennifer Garner’s house. Whether he’s serving an A-lister or the average hungry citizen, Joe bakes all of his cheesy treats to-order inside a stationary brick oven or an innovative oven on wheels.
D’Amore’s traditional methods and tempting taste are a family legacy. Born and raised in an Italian family in Boston, Joe D’Amore grew up savoring his grandmother Mommanonna's handmade pizzas—a meal he would miss upon moving to California. Joe asked his grandmother to join him out west and show him the secrets to her trade, but when she pulled the pie out of the oven, something wasn't quiet right. Mommanonna immediately knew that the California water was sabotaging her famous cracker-thin crust, and urged Joe to bring water from Boston. Today, he takes the practice a step further, importing water from Italy along with olive oil, flour, and pizza wheels carved by Michelangelo.
Dozens of anxious shoppers line up on the sidewalk, peering through a glossy store window for any sign of activity. After what seems like hours, a door swings open and visitors flood the shop to glimpse the object of their anticipation: newly released Dave White Air Jordan basketball shoes. The staffers at Millennium Shoes are not new to this kind of commotion, since many passionate shoe buffs routinely make the trek to the shop's poured-concrete floors to pick up eye-catching sneakers from brands such as Nike, Jordan, and Reebok. Alongside the trove of classic and designer kicks, sporty apparel and accessories by Stussy, Silvano, and Mitchell & Ness cloak upper halves, complementing newfound footwear and keeping hair from attempting to lace itself for attention. In addition to its bustling limited-edition releases, Millennium Shoes entertains visitors with a range of special events, including video-game tournaments and guest appearances by NBA players.
Appearing in a puff of glitter at parties across Southern California, the beloved heroines and heroes of Tiara Princess Parties bring the dreams of little ones to life. Actors and actresses come in costume as enchanted royals, beautiful fish people, famous fairies, and even a few caped crusaders. With the help of a grab bag of activities and games, they lead birthday songs; twist balloons into swords, animals, or divine mandates to rule; and pose for plenty of photos to help blow the minds of pals who couldn’t attend.
Kreations Event Services is the brainchild of the Anderson family and showcases the edible masterpieces of Chef Kenneth Anderson. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts’ Hollywood branch, he became a personal chef to several celebrities, including Tim Allen. Today, he and his wife, Kira, focus on personal gatherings and weddings, for which they provide catering, floral designs, and event-planning services.
The dishes at 208 Rodeo Restaurant have a definite homeyness about them: french toast, rotisserie chicken, miso salmon. However, each dish is enhanced with unique touches, such as that french toast's almond croissant-base, topped with mixed berry compotes and almonds. This comes from Chef Alejandro Arrieta's background. While he learned to love cooking as a young boy in his grandmother's kitchen, his gourmet training in the likes of Patina and the Hotel Bel Air shines through the classics. Other parts of the menu take a straightforwardly meaty turn, such as grilled steaks and burgers made with Snake River Farms Kobe-style beef, and the kitchen turns to the sea to showcase scallops and salmon.
The restaurant itself feels just as comfortable and fresh as the menu. Inside, crisp white tablecloths line a soothing cream-and-black room. Outside, the second-story patio blossoms with colorful canvas umbrellas and the occasional tiny flower sprouting from a dropped sesame seed.