Meet & Eat

Meet & Eat

-Meet & Eat-
BY Karin E. Baker


Donut Farm Offers Vegan Doughnuts for Meeting Munchies

Donut Farm’s vegan doughnuts are becoming the indie treat of choice at Silicon Valley tech events and, with the opening of a new Silver Lake shop, the latest indulgence for Los Angeles hipsters. “People are embracing vegan doughnuts because they want sustainable, organic ingredients. It’s a clean doughnut,” says Josh Levine, who founded Donut Farm as Pepples Donut Farm in Oakland in 2007. The pastries are not just vegan, but also organic, non-GMO and, often, exotic.

Franco on Melrose Serves a Piece of Italy

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.

Take a Popcalm Break

The best thing about meeting breaks, as many chair-bound attendees will attest, is what’s on the refreshment table. In San Francisco, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel has gotten off the sugar track with a fiber-rich Popcalm Break menu for meetings. The spread features popcorn with a variety of shake-it-on herb and spice blends (ginger/coconut/ wasabi, for one) to help guests unwind, de-stress and boost their immune systems while noshing. A selection of vitamin waters accompanies the snack food.

Gather Clients and Colleagues at One of These Off-Peak Happy Hours

Sometimes you just need to get away from conference rooms, computer screens and the daily grind to connect with co-workers, vendors or business associates. Why not take care of business at an early happy hour, enjoying bargain drinks and snacks while you recharge? Here are seven happy hour spots that start early. Consider each a virtual office—at least for the afternoon.

Daily from 3-6 p.m.

ROKU Brings Interactive Japanese Dining to the Sunset Strip

When Sushi Roku opened its first location in Los Angeles in 1997, it brought fun, irreverence and inventiveness to what had been a pretty staid type of cuisine. Its baked crab hand rolls and tuna jalapeno rolls were instant hits, as were its sushi-friendly martinis. That location recently shuttered but the Innovative Dining Group has opened a flagship ROKU on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, taking over the site of what was once RivaBella, a fine-dining Italian restaurant.

A Pizza Bonanza in West Hollywood: Party-Perfect and Affordable

I wanted to start planning a party as soon as I walked into Pizza Romana in Hollywood and was shown to their “wine cellar,” one of their two private rooms. Right off the main dining area, which is dominated by wood-burning pizza ovens, the wine room has two long dark-wood tables, each of which seats ten. All along the walls are shelves that hold their carefully curated selection of Italian wines and giant cans of Luxardo “original” maraschino cherries, the imported-from-Italy cocktail staple.

A Spirited Ice-Cream Float from The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

Temperatures have been hovering near 90 degrees in Los Angeles these past few weeks. And that has us thinking about ice cream. You’ll read more about some new flavors that are being rolled out by some of California’s most delectable artisanal ice-cream brands in our upcoming spring issue. But since we didn’t have room to share recipes for boozy ice-cream floats—always a hit among meeting-goers everywhere—we thought we’d give you a taste here.

A Pre-Hangover Brunch at Viviane, Beverly Hills

Last Sunday I joined a press group for a preview of the New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch that will be served at Viviane, the lovely new poolside restaurant at the boutique hotel The Avalon Beverly Hills. I’d had only a single glass of red wine the night before but that didn’t keep me from enjoying the repast that was offered by the very talented executive chef Michael Hung, who most recently earned raves cooking at downtown LA’s


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