High Style in Downtown
Los Angeles experienced only partial darkness during the Great American Solar Eclipse. Still, the city celebrated with its usual festive community spirit. There were free viewing parties at the Griffith Observatory and the Glendale Community College Planetarium, at the physics and astronomy centers of UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and the University of California at Riverside. National Park Services Rangers led hikes at the LA State Historic Park in Downtown LA and at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas. The Big Bear Valley Astronomical Society set up telescopes at Swim Beach.
The newly opened BoardRoom is a speakeasy-type lounge tucked inside Kendall’s Brasserie at The Music Center in downtown LA. The latest addition to the Patina Restaurant Group, it’s a great pre- or post-theater spot for playfully indulgent bites like escargot shooters, oxtail poutine, deviled eggs stuffed with Santa Barbara sea urchin and duck fat garlic fries.
Downtown Los Angeles Offers a Bird's-Eye View on Gatherings
Downtown Los Angeles has another stunning new landmark, The Broad, a museum as contemporary and daring as the art within its distinctive honeycomb- like exterior.
The Broad is a $140 million showcase for philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad’s 2,000-piece contemporary art collection. Visitors can reserve or wait in line for free admission to the permanent collection, which includes art world luminaries such as Jasper Johns, Cindy Sherman, Ed Ruscha, Jean- Michel Basquiat and Robert Rauschenberg.
On a warm Saturday night in Los Angeles, guests arrived at a nondescript gate in a warehouse district, hoping that they’d found the latest incarnation of The Dining Room LA.
More than fine food was on the menu. The dinner also combined high-production décor and entertainment, plus a surprise element: The location was a secret until just days before the event. Guests knew only the date, city and zip code.
The globally inspired cuisine at Hinoki & the Bird, in LA’s Century City neighborhood, is refined, eclectic and vibrant. That describes this cocktail, too. “We use seasonal fruits and herbs in our cocktails just like our culinary team does in the kitchen,” says General Manager Nick Moore. “The shiso leaves are uniquely herbaceous and are balanced by the kumquats’ sweet and tart flavors. The bourbon really rounds out the flavor profile nicely with warm notes of caramel.”
Unconventional, unfettered and sometimes a little unpredictable, dinners beyond the confines of restaurants and hotels can be a blast for laid-back groups.
Redbird, located in a downtown LA space that used to be the rectory of a former cathedral (which also houses the stunning event venue Vibiana), offers a cocktail program inspired by vintage cocktail books. The Bird of Paradise is a close play on a recipe from the 1939 compendium A Gentleman’s Companion by Charles H. Baker Jr.
—1.5 oz. gin
—.75 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
—.75 oz. raspberry syrup
—one egg white
—.5 oz. cream
—dash of orange blossom water
Tuber melanosporum is quite a mouthful. It’s also incredibly delicious. More widely known as the black truffle, the precious and pricey mushroom--$800 a pound for "extra class"-- is in season now. When I received an invitation to celebrate "Black Truffle Friday" at Republique-one of my favorite new restaurants in LA-I marked the occasion on my calendar in big black Sharpie letters.