Franco is a find, with its cozy, garden-like dining rooms impossible to discern from its storefront exterior. Located on a trendy strip of Melrose Avenue, the trattoria is a piece of classic Italy right in the center of bustling Hollywood. Everything about the experience is authentic. For starters, guests walk through the kitchen to get to their table, which gives them a chance to say hello to the cooking staff.

Executive Chef/owner Franco De Dominicis, as his name suggests, was raised in Italy. He trained at the Accademia delle Arti Culinarie di Napoli, and went on to apprenticeships in France, Spain, Germany and London. After moving to Los Angeles in the late ‘90s, he served at the executive banquet chef at the Jonathan Club in downtown LA and later as executive chef for the nearby Biltmore Hotel. What this means is that De Dominicis brings decades of catering experience to his intimate 4-year-old restaurant. Franco’s has a capacity of 90, and both the canopied indoor space and the outdoor terrace are available for buyout individually or together. The menu features the cuisine De Dominicis grew up with, including house-made pasta (with gluten-free options), pan-seared branzino and roasted chicken breast stuffed with spinach, apricot and plums. Off-site catering is also available.

Disneyland has long attracted groups of all sizes, and a new, exclusive experience will have lucky guests believing in fairy tales again. Called 21 Royal, the epicurean journey for up to 12 guests takes place in a 2,200-square foot two-bedroom apartment that overlooks New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park. It was originally planned as a private residence inside the park for Walt and Lillian Disney, but Walt died before it could be realized.

 

It’s not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts. One that you’ll want to keep on your radar is the three-bottle gift pack of grape-based mixers from Stolen Fruit. The Sonoma-based company launched just a few months ago with five different alcohol-free blends, for both cocktails and mocktails, made with a blend of verjus—the fresh-pressed juice from green grapes—varietal grape juice and grape skins. The holiday pack ($54) includes Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc; Blood Orange Muscat; and Hibiscus Grenache.

 

Up on the roof there are Instagrammable views, fresh air and uncomplicated food.