Sealegs Wine Bar

Interior

Chilequilles

Ceviche

***** (5 stars)

This is a pretty darn good place, especially for an airport lounge. There’s a nice selection of wines by the glass and bottle, at fairly reasonable prices for an airport. There’s also a great menu off well thought-out, atypical food. Service was a bit slow, but when you’re trying to kill time during a layover and have a nice bottle of wine, that’s fine.

Sealegs Wine Bar
200 World Way
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(424) 227-8295
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sealegs-wine-bar-los-angeles

Carl’s Jr Restaurants

Interior

Exterior

Western bacon cheeseburgers and sides

*** (3 stars)

Carl’s junior offers a nice variety of pretty typical fast food. Unlike at most of the competitors you can get a BBQ bacon cheeseburger and onion rings, which are my favorites.

The food at this Carl’s is good, but it is quite slow, even when uncrowded, so don’t visit if you’re in a hurry.

The place is clean and the staff seems nice.

Carl’s Jr Restaurants
1611 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 731-0384
https://www.yelp.com/biz/carls-jr-restaurants-los-angeles-3

Taix French Restaurant

Interior

Ceasar salad

Escolar

***** (5 stars)

It’s sad that so few of the old school restaurants are left in Los Angeles. Taix is one of those great holdouts that harken back to the days of traditional French recipes in comfortably posh surroundings.

The restaurant is divided into a number of rooms, from a dark, clubby bar to an elegant high-ceilinged dining room.

Recipes are traditional and represent excellent examples of classic French cuisine: country style pate, escargot, tarragon cream sauce on your fish.

The highlight for me is the wine list, which offers a nice selection of domestic and international wines at the lowest prices in town. Most are at or near retail. What other restaurant offers a half bottle for $14? That’s less than the price of a glass at most places. If for nothing else this is a great reason to visit Taix!

Taix French Restaurant
1911 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 484-1265
https://www.yelp.com/biz/taix-french-country-cuisine-los-angeles

Pizza Hut

Interior at peak lunch hour

Personal pan pizza

*** (3 stars)

People seem to dislike this Pizza Hut, but I thought it was fine. At the middle of lunch time it was deserted and we thought it might be closed. But someone appeared and took our order, and the food was Pizza Hut standard, so I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.

Pizza Hut
1555 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 734-7713
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pizza-hut-los-angeles-11

Locanda Veneta

Interior

Exterior

Salad Insalata di “Locanda”

Carpaccio

Branzino special

Squid ink pasta

Affogato al Café

Tiramisu

***** (5 stars)

This is everything you’d want in a neighborhood Italian place: intimate, great ambiance, good food, nice wine list, friendly service.

Beef carpaccio was a nice starter, and I really enjoyed their unique Ceasar salad, which uses radicchio rather than romaine. It was a non-bitter variety of radicchio I hadn’t had before.

Their tiramisu is also unconventional, served in a bowl; it lacked the boozy ladyfingers in my favorite versions. But the affogato was excellent.

Locanda Veneta
8638 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 274-1893
https://www.yelp.com/biz/locanda-veneta-los-angeles

The Ivy

Interior

Patio

Interior

Complimentary garlic toast

The Ivy Sundae

*** (3 stars)

This is a really charming restaurant, from its lovely outdoor patio to the beautifully decorated and intimate dining rooms. Each table is adorned with a vase bursting with fresh roses.

Your experience begins with complimentary glasses of Champagne, and your meal begins with complimentary garlic cheese toast. Both were wonderful, and were actually the two best things we had.

Ceasar salad and tuna tartare were very good starters. The entrees were less impressive. There was nothing noteworthy about the grilled swordfish, and my companion’s steak, ordered medium rare, was cooked far beyond well done, to medium cremated. We never send anything back to the kitchen, but we had to send this back. To their credit, it was swiftly whisked away and removed from the bill.

The sundae was a very nice dessert, served deconstructed, with two excellent sauces.

The service was pleasant and responsive, but not necessarily attentive.

There are some decent wines by the glass and a few lesser wines with reasonable prices, but the good wines on the list are steeply marked up, which is opposite the usual strategy. As a result we settled for one that was only adequate.

The Ivy
113 N Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 274-8303
https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-ivy-los-angeles

Eggslut

Interior

Exterior

Bacon egg and cheese

Buttermilk biscuit

*** (3 stars)

This counter server spot occupies a downstairs outside facing corner in Beverly Center. The limited menu offers a hamburger bun with various fillings.

The bacon, egg and cheese sandwich uses nice ingredients to good effect, although a breakfast sandwich would be better on something other than a brioche hamburger bun.

The place is popular given that the sign on the door only allows five people in line inside at a time, although it wasn’t that busy when I was there for breakfast. Perhaps, despite the name, it isn’t a breakfast place, since it doesn’t even open until 8am.

You can skip the dried out, uninteresting buttermilk biscuit.

Eggslut
8500 Beverly Blvd
Ste 101
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 975-3822
https://www.yelp.com/biz/eggslut-los-angeles-10

Rao’s – Los Angeles

Exterior

Interior

Seafood salad

Penne alla Vodka

Fiocchi

Lemon Chicken

Amazing cheesecake!

***** (5 stars)

Rao’s is tucked away on an unlikely side street in residential Hollywood. It has that magical and now rare ambiance of the red leather booth restaurants of the 1950s.

You’d be hard-pressed to find better Italian food in LA. The meatballs and the seafood salad were great starters, and the Penne alla Vodka was also very good.

But the standout was the Fiocchi, made of Beggar Purse Ravioli, with Ricotta and Bartlett Pear Filling, sauteed in Brown Butter, and dressed with Sage and Dried Cranberries. It was, simply put, the best pasta dish I’ve ever had.

Another number one ranking goes to the cheesecake, served New York style, but with an airy character, elevated by a hint of Amaretto. Amazing.

Our server, Jonathan, was a terrific host, and basically assembled this wonderful menu for us. A great new LA find!

Rao’s – Los Angeles
1006 Seward St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 962-7267
https://www.yelp.com/biz/raos-los-angeles-los-angeles