What We Really LOVE about Los Angeles in Three Acts.
When you’ve got nothing left to lose, cash in those frequent flyer miles and visit your LA friends already. With the vast neighborhoods and scenic eateries for just about every taste level, the reasons to LOVE Los Angeles are powerful and mighty. Downtown LA, Los Feliz (just 15 minutes from downtown) & Playa del Rey (neighboring Marina del Rey and Venice Beach) all spell dream weekend getaway in my book. Follow your Playbill and experience three secrets we just discovered to make any trip West a vacationer’s success…
www.71above.com | 213-712-2683 * Downtown LA | 633 W. Fifth Street, 71st Floor | LA, CA 90071
Is three years on the scene too soon to label something a legend?
Seventy-one stories above the alfresco dining and distant ocean views (um, yes, you can actually see the Pacific Ocean from here), is a refined lunch experience in a stylish setting. Part bar, part lounge, 71Above boasts dramatic panoramic views that fill you up before the elevated cuisine does.
The bar is a haven for adventurous drinkers and indecisive tasters alike. Mixologists at 71Above are worthy of every step on that fire escape—just teasing, the elevators are swift and work just fine here and Vegas chic, may we add. We found a range of drinks almost as storied as the views—LA neighborhood inspirations infused into drinks like the appropriately named Laguna Hills (Bacardi 8, Brugal 1888, blood orange, lime, pineapple, and bitters) alongside the fruity allure of the West Hollywood (Hanger One Vodka, apple brandy, lemon, and apple cinnamon cordial). But it’s lunchtime, so what would our table know about a cocktail (winks)?
The alchemy coming from Chef Javier Lopez’s kitchen is undeniable and lunch is easy with a two-course menu selection. Downtown LA artisans, entertainment lawyers in good suits, and ladies who lunch all bond over Market fish and artful plates of honey nut squash. My lunch companion opted for the burrata and brussel sprouts (green apple, coconut curry, peanuts, tamarind, Thai basil). His fork didn’t miss any of it. If the picky eater at the table barely utters a word over their meal, you know you have lunch success. For his second course, the diver scallop was textured to absolute perfection. But enough about his plate, let’s talk about mine.
My first course was the lusty steak tartare (crostini, porcini aioli, mizuna kimchi, scallion, and sesame). The decadent setting commanded that I try it, and a fan was made by the first bite. You soon realize your palate can only take so much. Do save room for what is next.
My second course was the crab pasta (squid ink pasta, Calabrian chili, corn, chives, and bottarga). When tourism commercials run on TV promoting the food-loving state of California, this plate should flash up. It’s the proximity to the Pacific Ocean that allows such superb market fare—for sure. But it’s also the unique presentation and array of alluring flavors that spark a national conversation. This entree felt like a culinary love letter.
So stay faithful to your lofty aspirations and reserve a table for lunch or dinner at 71Above, already.
Visit the website and read about: The Chef’s Table—Reserve one or two booths facing their open kitchen for a front row seat as this culinary team creates a five-course menu. www.71above.com
Rockwell Table & Stage | 323-669-1550 | 1714 N. Vermont Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90027 (entrance off alley) | www.rockwell-la.com
Not everyone’s schedule allows for that cross-city trek to West Hollywood for brunch. Twelve miles and close to an hour of traffic make it easier just to stay home or choose alternate neighborhoods that compete for your smile and hearty appetite. Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz is that seductress.
There are no obstacles to a good time at Rockwell Table & Stage. Tucked away outdoor seating, bottomless mimosas and crazy good DJ jams took us to a place we wanted to be. Sports on TV in one room, DJ jams, and eye-candy locals in the other—this was that immediate retreat needed after a long work week. If you are looking for a handsome bartender with a twinkle in his eye and all the gay musical fans that follow his beat, then this is the fun and lively scene for you to rest your derriere.
Neighboring tables oohed and ahhed over the carrot cake french toast and Impossible vegan burger. And since our new year’s resolutions kicked in (and have already slipped our minds), we opted for the legendary crispy chicken buttermilk biscuit & gravy served with confit tomatoes, arugula, and fruit. Every bite was life itself! The gravy was such a sinful and lusty component that we never wanted any of it to end—definitely busting out my man Spanx this week.
We blame the “devil’s hands” for that braised short rib skillet and two poached eggs. We may have filled up two bites ago, but that cabernet thyme sauce kept drawing us back in. Pack up a grilled lemon chicken sandwich to take back to your Airbnb, hotel or home—they kinda had us at lemon caper aioli and ciabatta roll—just saying.
Carrot bundt cake, snickerdoodle apple berry crisp with vanilla bean ice cream or the chocolate chip cookie skillet with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce will be enough reasons to return. We skipped dessert this time around (hello, did you read the above?). Besides, we were already so sweet on Rockwell Table & Stage that dessert just wasn’t necessary. But there’s always tomorrow.
It’s more than just brunch seducing your senses at Rockwell Table & Stage…
Valentine’s Dinner under the stars, Hookah Lounge upstairs.
Happy Hour 4-7 pm, Monday-Sunday
Dinner theater venue-side and the open-air heated patio in the back (see a schedule of events on the website for exact details and listings of all musical performances)
NEVER BEEN KISSED, the Unauthorized Musical (from the co-creator of the 90’s musical Cruel Intentions) is currently playing!
Before you trek to the Greek Theater or visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House nearby, Rockwell Table & Stage would love to have you! Trust us when we say that there is a warm face here just waiting to win you over.
435 Culver Boulevard | Playa del Rey, CA 90293 | 310-574-1920 | www.innatplayadelrey.com
I’ve been hotel hopping in Los Angles for many years now and have never experienced a stay quite as warm as this. Years of driving down Culver Boulevard west of the 405, I’ve passed this gemstone and mistaken it for an oversized Cape Cod style home.
The Inn at Playa del Rey is exactly where you want to apply the brakes. 20+ individually designed guest rooms and suites surrounded by nature’s perfection await you. As you enter, sunlight and fresh sea air fill the check-in lobby, breakfast room, and main living room with its coastal warmth. Borrow a bike from the Inn after unpacking and make it to the beach or open that bottle of wine and enjoy the mountain views from your private balcony in the suite you plan on never leaving.
Our timing for arrival was sublime, as guests bird watched from the main deck, we took a brief property tour with the most accommodating staff known to Planet Earth. The experience of watching a women’s spiritual circle at the tip of the wetlands only seduced our senses and well-being that much more.
No one around here is giving up on their daydreams. Views of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Preserve creates the much-needed distance you crave from all the city activity. Watch the sun going down as all Southern California living reduces to a twinkle of lights on the horizon.
Depending on the season, canoodle over a glass of wine on your private patio or watch the haze of vacation finally wash over your other half from your jacuzzi soaking tub in the bathroom. If you’ve ever stared at the person you love through a dual gas fireplace from your bubble bath throne, it’s a headspace that is enticing to anyone. The shower held all the comforts of home, and if any security video surfaces of us wearing plush bathrobes while “borrowing” LATHER apothecary face soaps from the maid’s carts, we will deny it at all costs.
Our room was so spacious and quiet with a separate sitting area from the bedroom. This was ideal as I wake up earlier than my other half and could read at 5 am or catch up on my emails. The decor was casual nautical chic and everything felt updated and modern. One of the lamps wanted to come home with us, but a beach-chic resort vibe doesn’t quite work in our humble Pasadena home. The frogs in the marsh and our soft conversations were the only sounds to break the silence of the night. Magical is a great way to describe a weekend getaway here.
This place is how you reconnect with the essence of life.
We had a few revelations over the breakfast buffet available exclusively to guests of the Inn at Playa Del Rey.
- Greeted with chocolate chip cookies in our room made us feel welcomed
- Tons of closet space for everything—we settled in easy and never “tripped” over our luggage
- Super comfy bed and fresh linens
- Secure Property—We had to be buzzed in (guests receive a key for the main door after check-in)
- Lots of fun shops and eateries a few feet away. Senor G’s Fresh and Healthy Mexican food for lunch was amazing!
- Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Restaurant—an authentic Italian eatery for a candlelit dinner. We were so charmed! Everything was made from scratch.
Follow Inn at Playa del Rey on Facebook for Black Friday and holiday specials.
This is just one of many fabulous properties from Four Sisters Inn. Each one so unique; yet, sharing similar traits (hot homemade breakfast included, wine & cheese happy hour, fresh coffee and tea available throughout the day and easy parking for the car rental). Peruse the website and see what I mean!
Always wondering and always wandering,