On a recent trip to Brooklyn, I caught up with SF’s own Elizabeth Falkner at Krescendo, where she was manning (or shall we say womanning) the ovens for owner and native Brooklynite Nancy Puglisi (of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach). After shuttering the famed Citizen Cake and Orson, and in between gigs on reality shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef America, Falkner relocated and turned her attention to classic Italian dishes and Neapolitan pizza.
I’m sure Pasadena has its share of gourmet restaurants, given its wide leafy lanes, pristine old town, and upscale school district. But for some reason, whenever I pass through—which is often—I end up eating at a taco stand or a pizza place that proves so satisfying, I return again and again. Here then, are my non-fancy favorites in a fancy little enclave.
I’m no vegetarian, but now that I’m living the Los Angeles lifestyle—and surrounded by Sienna Miller lookalikes at every turn—I’ve gotten on board with the veggie-loving hordes and taken up a new hobby: Finding meat-free dishes I crave so much that I’d choose them over a burger regardless of the health benefits. No, seriously.
I don’t have to introduce the concept of Silverlake. If you read, you know it’s Hipster Central, all ankle boots and fedoras. You can certainly find enough to do within walking distance of its nexus, Sunset Junction (where Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards meet). But Silverlake’s top treasures are a little more spread out than that and require a car. No worries though, you’ve got a car or else you wouldn’t be in LA. Right?
I must confess, when I lived in San Francisco I didn’t may much attention to Dine About Town, the annual January promotion designed to lure people from their EnviroLog-brightened living rooms into the city’s restaurants. But now that I dwell in Los Angeles, it’s different, and the reason is simple: Dine LA’s 250-plus restaurants include several of the city’s top-tier A-listers—you know, the restaurants that don’t have to participate because they’re booked solid anyway.
Everyone knows about the stellar yoga to be had on the west side of Los Angeles—Vinnie Marino, Shiva Rea, and Bryan Kest draw A-list celebrities to the mat within a stone’s throw of the ocean. But the east side has its own quiet vinyasa scene going on. Here are the top spots to get flowing without hopping on the 10.
Los Feliz is by far the prettiest neighborhood on the East side of LA, hip enough to provide a culture fix but moneyed enough to avoid the grit of its highly touted neighbors, Silverlake and Hollywood. Its two main tree-lined avenues, Hillhurst and Vermont, run parallel to each other, and are easily navigable on foot.
You’d think Atwater Village would be overrun with hipsters after gaining attention from The New York Times this past year. But the little pocket of northeastern Los Angeles bordering Griffith Park, just a stone’s throw from both Silverlake and Los Feliz, is still uncrowded and neighborly, even though Details magazine named it one of the six best emerging neighborhoods on the planet.
Soon, the weekend Tahoe ritual will commence: Up on Friday, back on Monday, with lots of powdery snow, indulgent food, and strong drink in between. If you haven’t yet secured a ski house, and you like to winter in style, you’ve got a new option to consider: The Constellation at Northstar residences.
Essential SF knowledge in your inbox
Sign up for our email newsletters to keep up on events, restaurants and SF haps.