Posts Tagged ‘lobster’

Where old is new again: Towne Food & Drink

Crispy Pork Shank at Towne

Crispy Pork Shank at Towne

If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience but also want comfort food, then Towne Food & Drink in downtown Los Angeles is your place.

Helmed by Executive Chef Ryan Morrison, who spent time with Chef Scott Conant’s hospitality group, including as chef de cuisine at Scarpetta Beverly Hills, and consulting chef Eric Hara (Citronelle, davidburke & donatella, Chez Josephine, Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel), Towne is a delightful mix of high and low. Its New American menu features a variety of internationally influenced flavors prepared in a contemporary style. This philosophy extends to the dessert and cocktail menus, which are filled with updated versions of old favorites.

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09 2012

The Inland Empire just got interesting with Ra Pour

Lobster "Mac and Cheese" at Ra Pour

Lobster "Mac and Cheese" at Ra Pour

When I think of restaurants in the Inland Empire, chains come to mind. But Ra Pour, a high-end restaurant and bar in Rancho Cucamonga’s Victoria Gardens retail complex, has changed the way I think about dining in the I.E. (there are still a lot of chain restaurants, though).

Ra Pour, the jewel in restaurateur Karim Webb’s crown, is helmed by Executive Chef Greg Stillman, a French Laundry and Patina Restaurant Group alumnus, so right off you know you’re getting a quality meal. However, the combination of a high-end eatery with a club-like after-hours feel, including live music that makes conversation tough, is a bit strange. But given the area’s other options, Ra Pour is probably one of your best bets.

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05 2012

Water Grill Sunday clam bake


Oh, Water Grill. I’ve only been there twice, but what two awesomely lovely meals they were. Every restaurant should strive to be described as “awesomely lovely,” and Water Grill lives up to this term that I just coined.

This downtown mainstay is classic, elegant dining at its best, but without the pretentiousness that can easily accompany such a description. So what you get is a consistently great meal with an inviting, friendly atmosphere that’s hard to beat.

My first meal at Water Grill took place a couple of years ago in the form of a business lunch (‘cuz that’s how I roll). I remember having a vegetarian dish with eggplant, and while it probably wasn’t what I was “supposed” to order at a place that specializes in seafood, it was delicious. I cleaned my plate!

This second trip to Water Grill came at the invitation of the restaurant to try out its Sunday clam bake dinner. Based on my first experience, I expected great things, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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11 2009

Longest brunch ever, and not in a good way: Casa del Mar


Casa del Mar, a 1920s Santa Monica hotel with beautiful unobstructed views of the beach, recently introduced a $29 Sunday brunch, with your choice of an appetizer, entree and all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. Sounds great, right? I thought so, too, so I invited a bunch of my friends to try it out yesterday. Boy, were we disappointed.

It wasn’t so much the food, which was fine for the most part, though some of it had its problems, too. It was the extremely slow service that really got us. Since I made the reservation for the meal, my experience with the hotel started before anyone else’s, and it didn’t start off well.

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11 2009