by Michael Ventre
GOURMET THRILLS WITHOUT THE FRILLS
Since Urth Caffé (267 S. Beverly Dr., 310-205- 9311; urthcaffee.com) opened its doors in 1994 at its first Melrose location in West Hollywood, a steady stream of dedicated devotees lured by the aromas of organic coffees and teas have passed through its comfy quarters, looking for a refuge where the proprietors are committed to integrity and not just trendy-cool names for drinks. One of the great pastimes in all of LA—and especially Beverly Hills—is the fine art of people-watching. At Urth, the conditions are ideal to sip, snack and scope.
Transition from Urth to down-to-earth. The Brighton Coffee Shop (9600 Brighton Way, 310-276-7732) has been feeding the meat-and-potatoes crowd since 1930, making it the oldest coffee shop in town. It has bagels, hamburgers, pancakes, sandwiches, salads, scrambled eggs and French toast. OK, so it also has a grilled tofu plate on the menu, but that’s only to comply with unofficial city code.
The most notable feature of Mulberry Street Pizzeria (347 N. Canon Dr., 310-247-8998; mulberrypizza.com) is that you can get simple, or you can get complicated. Opt for the traditional New York-style thin-crust pizza with your basic old-neighborhood ingredients such as anchovies, olives or pepperoni, of which your Italian mamma (or your friend’s Italian mamma) would approve, or go a little “Hollywood creative” on everybody and bring home a fresh spinach white pizza or a pestosundried tomato pie.
Some European-style cafés that serve up breakfast, lunch, dinner, sunset wine-and-cheese parties, live music, espresso and pastries, afternoon teas, Champagne brunches and bridal-shower wine tastings are easier to pigeonhole than others. Suffice it to say Ingrid’s (9861 S. Santa Monica Blvd., 310-277-9377; ingridscafe.com) does a little bit of everything and does it with the flair of a seasoned international connoisseur.
Jimmy Choo on Rodeo Drive
A LITTLE LIGHT SHOPPING
Shopping devotees who want to test their prowess against the best in the world make the pilgrimage to Rodeo Drive. Armed with no more than a few gold credit cards tucked into an Italian leather wallet, they hunt for jewelry at such glittery outposts as Tiffany & Co. (210 N. Rodeo Dr., 310-273-8880; tiffany.com), Van Cleef & Arpels (300 N. Rodeo Dr., 310-276-1161; vancleef-arpels.com) or Cartier (370 N. Rodeo Drive, 310-275-4272; cartier.com); for men’s and women’s accessories from establishments such as Fendi(355 N. Rodeo Dr., 310-276-8888; fendi.com) and Gucci (347 N. Rodeo Dr., 310-278-3451; gucci.com) and for gift and specialty shopping at notable spots including Bang & Olufsen (369 N. Rodeo Dr., 310-247-7785; bang-olufsen.com), Eres (441 N. Rodeo Dr., 310-246-1008; eresparis.com) and Jimmy Choo (240 N. Rodeo Dr., 310-860-9045; jimmychoo.com).
The Conservatory Grill (TOP LEFT); Goodies from Urth Caffé (BOTTOM LEFT)
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.