Mélisse’s New Spring Menus
Luxe French resto reveals two tasting menus inspired by the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.
April 23, 2013
Sample vegetable- or asparagus-focused menus in Mélisse’s luxurious dining room.
Mélisse chef Josiah Citrin unveiled two new tasting menus on April 22 that showcase the best fresh produce from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. The new spring menus include a four-course asparagus tasting ($195) and a five-course vegetarian tasting ($125), each with optional wine pairings by in-house sommelier Brian Kalliel.
The asparagus option starts with a poached green asparagus, served alongside decadent American Osetra caviar and a slow-cooked egg. Maine lobster accompanied by white asparagus, lobster glazed potatoes, and black truffles comprises the second course; while the third-course roasted Jidori chicken topped with a yellow wine jus rounds things out with white asparagus and morel mushrooms. A unique spin on dessert concludes the meal: sweet asparagus.
Alternatively, the vegetarian menu may start off with an asparagus-based dish of green asparagus, almond panna cotta, blood orange, and oxalis, but other vegetables share the spotlight. Dig into a second course of Uruguayan brown rice with sweet peas, daikon, and mint emulsion; followed by a broccoli dish made up of egg yolk, wild mushrooms, and vadouvan spice. After a fine cheese course, guests will enjoy a fruit dessert that features cherimoya, tangerines, and tapioca.
Both menus are available Tuesdays through Saturdays within Mélisse’s French-inspired fine dining room, complete with sleek white tablecloths and an attentive staff. Either spring menu is available by request. 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-0881
MOCA’s YESSSSS! Gala Raises 2.5 Million
Art patrons gathered for an event celebrating the debut of Urs Fischer's exhibit.
April 22, 2013
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) hosted their annual gala event on April 20, celebrating the debut of a large-scale exhibition by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. Dubbed YESSSSS!, the event was hosted by Larry Gagosian, and brought together an array of museum supporters including respected contemporary artists like Julian Schnabel and Shepard Fairey, Hollywood personalities like Brian Grazer, Jennifer Tilly, and Owen Wilson, and art patrons like Steve Tisch and Peter Brant.
Directed by artist Rob Pruitt—who explored mismatched themes in an appropriate homage to the modern art world—the experience kicked off at MOCA Grand Avenue. There, guests were invited to preview the “Urs Fischer” exhibit while enjoying cocktails by Russian Standard Vodka and a performance by LA-based band No Age. Attendees then boarded shuttles to The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, where they were greeted with Hawaiian leis. The chance to further explore Fischer’s intriguing sculpture installation, which features over 1,000 clay pieces made with the help of countless Los Angeles locals, was also on the agenda.
Pruitt’s quirky touches were visible throughout the evening—from the suspended male angels floating above the dinner guests, to a goat petting zoo, costumed Renaissance Fair characters, and a dollar bill cannon. To eat, event-goers enjoyed Parisian-style fare by Wolfgang Puck Catering. The meal was followed by a surprise performance from the USC marching band, and shows by The Go-Go’s and Mark Mothersbaugh, among others. Overall the evening raised over 2.5 million dollars for the museum. The Fischer exhibit is on view through August 19.
5 Must-Sees at Paris Photo LA
Our picks for can’t-miss exhibits at this exciting inaugural art event.
April 22, 2013
Paris Photo LA comes to Paramount Studios this weekend (April 26-28), marking an exchange of photography and creative ideas between Los Angeles and Paris. Derived from the prestigious photography fair Paris Photo, Los Angeles’ iteration of the event provides the same exclusive access to covetable contemporary and modern works, with an added focus on the LA arts scene. See our five musts below. Tickets are available on parisphoto.com. 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood
Photography by Sandra Mu/Getty Images (Car); Antonia Christina Basilotta (Breakaway); Jim Goldberg/Magnum Photos (Haiti)
Intermix's 20th Anniversary Line
The popular boutique toasts to 20 years with a multi-brand capsule collection.
April 22, 2013
Intermix, the premier boutique for chic luxury clothing and accessories, marks their 20th anniversary with a 20-piece capsule collection designed by boldfaced partners like Missoni, Ohne Titel, Robert Rodriguez, Alexis Bittar, and more. The collection is currently available for presale, and will officially be available for purchase in all of Intermix’s LA stores and online April 26.
With pieces ideal for spring and summer, each individual item in the collection works on its own but can also be mixed and matched. Pair the bright red v-neck Yigal Azrouel dress ($798) or the 50’s-style red Herve Leger dress ($1,690) with head-turning low-heeled red pumps by Sergio Rossi ($575). Or, opt for a white snakeskin dress by Mason ($588) with just a touch of black at the neckline, which will really pop with the exclusive fuchsia Proenza Schouler leather cross-body purse ($1,325) or a green and white tie-dyed Bajra scarf ($298). Meanwhile, outerwear perfect for chillier summer evenings includes Iro’s motorcycle-style leather jacket ($1,228) and the slightly edgier Rag & Bone silver and white blazer ($538). See all LA-area stores on intermixonline.com
What We’re Reading
Coachella’s fruit-inspired fashion, burger and wine pairings, LA runners honor Boston, more.
April 19, 2013
Katy Perry sports fruit-inspired style at this year’s Coachella Music Festival.
LA is and always will be a burger town, so our interest was piqued when Eater published a piece offering wine pairings for some of the city’s most famous patties. [Eater LA]
We can always count on Coachella for some fashion inspiration, and this year is no exception—stars like Solange Knowles and Katy Perry swapped bohemian-chic looks for fruit-inspired fashions. Are pineapples the new black? [The Hollywood Reporter]
If you’ve ever spotted a bright blue castle within the Hollywood Hills and wondered who lives there, the answer is the Morgans—a quirky performing arts family. See the scoop on who they are and how the abode was built (plus plenty of pictures). [LA Weekly]
On the subject of architecture, we’re still following the various exhibits related to the Getty’s “Pacific Standard Time” showcase. We especially loved this LA Times review of "Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990,” an exhibit examining the way the city’s landscape changed during and after World War II. [LA Times]
In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, a group of local runners gathered for an impromptu marathon to honor those affected by the events. Two of the participants also ran in Monday’s marathon. [ABC LA]
Photography by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images
Brunch Plans: The Pikey
The British-style pub serves a new spring brunch menu with a focus on fresh ingredients.
April 19, 2013
Not many British-style pubs exclusively serve organic, free-range meats and farm-fresh produce, but that’s precisely what makes The Pikey such a special edition to Hollywood. The resto unveiled a new brunch menu on April 14 that comprises seasonal eats and cocktails inspired by classics from across the pond.
The brainchild of chef Ralph Johnson, the brunch menu is divided into several sections ranging from housemade pastries to egg dishes. For something sweet, dig into the decadent brioche French toast with spring berries and crème fraiche, or a traditional crumpet with honeycomb and clotted cream. Innovative eggs dishes are also on offer—try the curry on toast with a fried duck egg, or the requisite full English breakfast. A large plates section of the menu encompasses some lunch-leaning items like a slow-roasted pork belly sandwich. Fresh salads and small plates, including oysters on the half shell and potted chicken liver, round the menu out.
Pair your fare with one of The Pikey’s brunch cocktails, all crafted with the same commitment to local, fresh ingredients as the food. Top choices include the Mountain Woman, a mixture of Blanco tequila, pineapple and lime juices, and mezcal served with a chili-salt rim; or the She’s a Lover with chamomile-infused Bacardi rum, crushed blackberries, mint, lemon juice, and honey. Whatever you order, enjoy your meal on their dog-friendly patio or in the the bright dining room, which also offers an open feel via skylights. Brunch is served 10:30 am-3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. 7617 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-850-5400
Weekend Recommender: April 18-21
LAB ART at Fred Segal, Alejandro Ingelmo shoe signing, and a charity-supporting lunch.
April 18, 2013
Bethenny Frankel was one of the headlining celebs at last year's LA Times Festival of Books. See some of this year's expected big-names below.
LAB ART Gallery Opening at Fred Segal
Thursday, April 18, 7-10 pm
Luxury shopping mecca Fred Segal welcomes LA’s revered LAB ART Gallery with an opening soiree this Thursday. Guests will enjoy refreshments courtesy of Beluga Vodka, Clover Juices, and Aquahydrate, as well as bites by Umami Burger and a fun photobooth. This marks the first time Fred Segal will house a gallery space, and the location includes over 2,000 square feet of works by renowned street artists Alec Monopoly, ThankyouX, Gregory Siff, and more. 500 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-260-1300
Alejandro Ingelmo Trunk Show at Elyse Walker
Friday, April 19, 12-5 pm
Head to the Elyse Walker boutique for the chance to meet shoe designer Alejandro Ingelmo, who will be in-store to show off his Spring/Summer 2013 collection and sign purchases. Attendees will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as the exclusive opportunity to preorder items from Ingelmo’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to attend. 15306 Antioch St., Pacific Palisades, 310-230-8882
The LA Times Festival of Books
Saturday, April 20-21, 10 am-6 pm
Join thousands of fellow bookworms at this exciting weekend festival, which includes music, movies, and other special events/appearances. From a reading by Molly Ringwald, to a Q&A with Debbie Reynolds, to a live cooking demonstration by skater-cum-chef Brian Boitano, there is something for everyone at the fun-filled event. Visit events.latimes.com for the full schedule; tickets are only necessary for some events and can be ordered online at latimesfob.eventbrite.com. USC University Park Campus, 850 W. 37th St., 323-442-1130
“Lunch Matters” Fundraiser at The Carondelet House
Sunday, April 21, 11 am-3 pm
Renowned chefs Suzanne Goin and Alice Waters team up for an afternoon event to help build a kitchen for the Larchmont Charter School of West Hollywood. As part of Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Program, the day at The Carondelet House will feature a delicious meal comprised of local and organic farmer’s markets ingredients, as well as cookbook signings and meet-and-greets by the chefs. Tickets range from $150-$1,000 and are available at lcw.mycharterschool.org. 627 S. Carondelet, Westlake, 323-466-1835
Photography by Jerod Harris/WireImage
Ritz-Carlton’s Garden-to-Glass Cocktails
Enjoy seasonal libations straight from the hotel’s rooftop garden.
April 18, 2013
Cool off with one of the Ritz Carlton Hotel’s signature garden-to-glass cocktails.
Toast spring with a refreshing cocktail at Downtown LA’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where they’re bringing back their garden-fresh libations for the second season. The cocktails are especially fresh since mixologists harvest fruits, herbs, and other produce straight from the hotel’s garden on the BLUE pool deck. With 15 varieties of herbs and produce ranging from strawberries to limes and stevia to fennel readily available, the ingredient combinations are endless.
Try something summery like the Kalamansi Lemonade, which combines SKYY vodka, Kalamansi lemon puree and honey-lemongrass syrup, fresh lemon juice, and Sprite; or the Rhubarb Shiso Fizz, with freshly-picked shiso leaves, housemade rhubarb simple syrup, and Ketel Oranje. The Pinarita is a play on a margarita, taking advantage of Thai basil from the garden, and mixing it with fresh lime juice, pineapple tequila, and Luxardo Triplum. Guests can also enjoy the specialty cocktails within the hotel’s signature restaurant WP24, and at the BLUE rooftop bar. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown LA, 213-743-8800
Q&A: Pizza Expert Adam Tomei
Actor-cum-pizza chef Adam Tomei dishes on his weekly pop-up at Lexington Social House.
April 17, 2013
|Chef/actor Adam Tomei reigning over the kitchen at his weekly Lexington Social House pop-up.|
Adam Tomei wears many hats—he’s an actor known for roles in Flight and She’s Out of My League, the younger brother of actress Marisa Tomei, and the chef host of a Wednesday night pop-up pizzeria at Lexington Social House. There, Tomei’s menu changes weekly to incorporate everything from classic combinations inspired by his childhood in Brooklyn, to innovative mixes like the ode to CB with panteleo, sliced red onion, slivered almonds, rosemary, and olive oil. Below, the pizza guru dishes on his favorite pies, what he indulges in at Lexington Social House, and more.
How did you get into pizza?
ADAM TOMEI: Being an Italian-American from Brooklyn, it’s just part of my DNA.
What’s the craziest pizza combination you’ve ever made that actually worked?
AT: I tend to stick to the classics. The dessert pizza I've been experimenting with is probably the closest thing to crazy that I've tried.
From the pies you’ve served recently at your pop-up, what’s your favorite?
AT: I'm loving the smokey pazzo [with smoked mozzarella, speck, roasted red peppers, ricotta, and olive oil]. The smoky, combined with sweet and salty is too damn good.
Aside from your pizza, what’s your favorite item on the Lexington Social House menu?
AT: The fried chicken, but that would be my answer to every question if fried chicken could be an answer.
Is acting or cooking more nerve-wracking?
AT: They're pretty similar, actually. There are lots of nerves during the build-up, and then, once you're in it, you're too busy to be nervous.
Richard Serra’s ‘Double Rifts’ at Gagosian
The influential artist displays recent drawings and sculptures at the Beverly Hills space.
April 17, 2013
Double Rift #5, by Richard Serra, 2012.
An exhibit of recent drawings by renowned sculptor and artist Richard Serra is now on display at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. Dubbed “Double Rifts,” the displayed pieces most prominently include large-scale drawings that explore the concept of rifts within space. The showcase is rounded out by sculptures like Serra’s Elevational Mass, a layered piece made of one the artist’s favorite materials to work with—steel.
Serra has long been considered one of the most groundbreaking modern artists of our time. With a focus on industrial materials and large-scale sculptures that engage the viewer and complement their surroundings, Serra has developed a following for his works in both the public and private domains. His Charlie Brown piece, housed within a courtyard in San Francisco, is a 60-foot sculpture of corten steel that was designed to honor Charlie Brown creator Charles Schulz. In addition to the Gagosian, Serra has shown at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as multiple galleries worldwide. “Double Rifts” opens with an artist’s reception April 17 from 6-8 pm and is on view through June 1. 456 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-271-9400
Photography © Richard Serra. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery