Posts Tagged ‘Larchmont Village’

Eating good in the Larchmont neighborhood with Vernetti restaurant

Vernetti salumi platter

Vernetti salumi platter

Larchmont Village isn’t a Los Angeles neighborhood that I frequent. It’s small and never really held a big draw for me, despite its cute, small-town feel. But now I know about Vernetti restaurant (and having Portland-based ice cream shop Salt & Straw nearby isn’t too shabby, either).

Chef Steve Vernetti and his wife, Joanna, took over the old Girasole space on Larchmont Boulevard a couple of years ago before reopening as Vernetti earlier this year. They’ve done their best to keep a neighborhood feel at the Italian restaurant while making some upgrades, including some gorgeous brass light fixtures and a better restroom situation (customers used to have to walk through the kitchen to use the toilet!).

When it comes to the food, start with some crostini — the deviled egg version with white anchovy is my favorite — and a salumi platter featuring prosciutto, porchetta, bresaola, spicy calabrese salami and house-made giardiniera pickled vegetables.

Crostini: deviled egg (front), ceci bean and roasted beet

Crostini: deviled egg (front), ceci bean and roasted beet

Then move on to pasta. The preparations are straightforward and satisfying: pappardelle con funghi (sautéed wild mushrooms, cream, parmigiano), rigatoni spuntature (braised short rib ragu, marrow, crispy greens, roasted tomatoes, breadcrumbs) and linguine alla vongole (manila clams, white wine, garlic, crushed red pepper).

Pasta: mushroom pappardelle (top), rigatoni and linguine

Pasta: mushroom pappardelle (top), rigatoni and linguine

The one savory dish I really didn’t take to was the seared yam and sage polenta cake, which is offered as a side dish. I didn’t understand how it was supposed to complement the other food, and it was kind of boring on its own.

But the desserts made me smile. Panna cotta with strawberry compote, cannoli and tiramisu. All classic and well-executed.



So next time you’re driving through Mid-City, consider stopping at Vernetti restaurant. You’ll get a satisfying meal of classic Italian dishes.

Note: This meal was hosted. 


08 2015

Relax at Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

Le Petite Retreat Day Spa

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

Sometimes going to a spa isn’t as relaxing as you’d like. Sometimes there are just too many people, too much foot traffic. If you’re looking for a truly relaxed spa experience in a more intimate setting than, say, Burke Williams (no offense, Burke Williams; I like you just fine), Larchmont Sanctuary Spa, formerly Le Petite Retreat Day Spa, in Larchmont Village might just be the spot.

While Larchmont Sanctuary Spa is small, it doesn’t skimp on amenities. The robes are über comfy, the communal waiting room is cozy (fireplace, fountain, complimentary drinks and snacks), and the treatment rooms are appropriately relaxing. I got the signature Jade Stone Massage Therapy treatment, which incorporates the use of rubbing alternating hot and cold jade stones over your body with Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai and deep tissue massage. The hot stones relax your muscles, and the cold stones help reduce inflammation. This is no wussy massage; the therapist, who was about half my size, worked me over! But that just meant I left feeling totally relaxed.

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa offers all kinds of facials (including a caviar serum), scrubs (Ionic Detox Foot Bath, anyone?) and even eyelash extensions. The spa also caters to couples with various couples treatments and a champagne bath for two as an add on, where you’ll lounge in a copper tub surrounded by flickering candles sipping champagne. Not bad, huh?

I originally wrote about this place for Gilt City. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll find another deal for Larchmont Sanctuary Spa soon!

Note: Updated to reflect the spa’s name change.


01 2012

Pilates kicks (my) ass

Gia Marakas doing the Pilates hundred

Gia Marakas doing the Pilates hundred on the reformer

I love Pilates, especially the kind that uses machines. So when I was offered a personal session with Gia Marakas, a private Pilates instructor based in Larchmont Village, I jumped at the chance.

I used to take lessons at Pilates Plus in downtown Los Angeles, and I loved using their proformer machines for added resistance to many classic Pilates moves. I did it three times a week and was getting in pretty good shape. Then I got a new job and never signed up for classes closer to my new office. A year goes by. And then I get this offer from Gia. Perfect!

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07 2009