Hillary Eaton

Originally appeared on LA Confidential

9 LA Restos with Upscale Takes on Fourth of July Fare

Want to celebrate the Fourth of July every day? We’ve rounded up nine dishes from LA’s luxest restaurants that one-up the standard Fourth fare and can be enjoyed well after America’s birthday is over.

Smoky Fried Chicken at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Known for reimagining American comfort food, Plan Check Kitchen+ Bar puts a fancy twist on Southern favorites with Jidori chicken, smoked milk gravy, yam preserves, and spicy pickled okra. 1800 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-288-6500

The Lobster Roll at Hinoki & The Bird

Not your typical lobster roll, this upscale-Asian version comes with a Vietnamese green curry aioli and fresh Thai basil, served in a bun dusted with Japanese charcoal powder. 10 Century Dr., Los Angeles, 310-552-1200

USDA Prime Beef Burger at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air

A true step up from your average burger, this USDA prime beef offering from Wolfgang Puck is topped with Vermont cheddar, garlic aioli, and shallot-jalapeño marmalade.

Spot Prawn Corn Dogs at Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar

Chef Jason Fullilove uses locally sourced Santa Barbra spot prawns in his interpretation the American-classic corn dog. They’re served perfectly golden and accompanied by a drizzle of tangy violet mustard. 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 310-456-8820

Bucket of Bones at Barton G.

Bucket of Bones by Barton G.

This meat-lovers feast comes loaded with barbecued Korean-style short ribs, 12-hour baby back ribs, grilled lamb lollipops, and chicken drumettes—all paired with a honey-gorgonzola dipping sauce, house-made pickles, and barbecue kettle chips. 861 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-388-1888

Oak Grilled Filet Mignon at Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse

This classic filet from Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse gleans its signature taste from an oak-fired grill and sumptuous red wine sauce. 330 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, 213-680-0330

Root Beer Float at Firefly

Firefly’s Paul Shoemaker combines sarsaparilla reduction, fresh vanilla ice cream, and root beer foam to create this elegant take on the classic root beer float. 11720 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-762-1833

Hot Fudge Sundae at The Eveleigh

This delicious new addition to The Eveleigh’s dessert menu combines sweet cream ice cream, piping hot fudge, and maraschino cherries. Bonus: every component is made in-house. 8752 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, 424-239-1630

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Stella Barra

Stella Barra’s decadent version of the ice cream sandwich boasts housemade ice cream (try the mint chip, salted caramel, or vanilla peppermint), sandwiched between two fresh chocolate chip cookies. 2000 Main St., Santa Monica, 310-396-9250


Originally appeared on LA Confidential

7 Creative Brunch Cocktails

Pass up the usual mimosas or bloody Marys at brunch this weekend with these seven innovative a.m. sips.

Maple Bacon Bloody Mary at Comme Ça

Maple Bacon Bloody Mary at Comme Ca.

This sweet and savory bloody Mary gets its taste from mixing maple syrup with bacon-infused vodka, and adding a crisp cucumber slice and extra bacon as garnish. If spicy is more your thing, go for the Sriracha bloody Mary instead. 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-782-1104

The Swan at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air

As part of the luxurious Graceful Living Package, The Hotel Bel-Air pays tribute to its famed patron, Grace Kelly, with a cocktail in her honor. With gin, simple syrup, a dash of lemon, and rosé sparkling wine, The Swan is a tipple fit for its movie star namesake. Available until August 31. 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles, 310-472-1211

Fig & Walnut Julep at Fig & Olive

Fig and Walnut Julep at Fig & Olive.

Fig & Olive reinvents the julep with a splash of St. Germain, port, muddled black mission figs, fresh citrus, mint, and a shaved walnut garnish. 8490 Melrose Pl., West Hollywood, 310-360-9100

CinnaMan-Mosa at Herringbone

Forget about Champagne and orange juice—Herringbone’s CinnaMan-Mosa goes the extra mile with apple and cinnamon-infused bourbon, cava, blueberry puree, and a touch of maple syrup. 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-848-6000

Green Goddess at A.O.C.

Green Goddess AOC.

Chamomile-infused vodka mingles with fresh cucumber, basil, and jalapeno in A.O.C.’s deliciously boozy take on green juice. 8700 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 310-859-9859

Death in the Afternoon at Bagatelle

Death in the Afternoon at Bagatelle.

In keeping on-theme with their over-the-top Sunday brunches, Bagatelle brings us Death in the Afternoon, the definition of the boozy brunch drink. Vanilla-infused absinthe gets mixed with fresh pineapple, lemon juice, and a touch of squid ink, and finished with a generous topping of Möet & Chandon Champagne. 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-659-3900

Iced Sherry Tea at The Eveleigh

Not your typical iced tea, this Earl Grey-infused amontillado sherry version by The Eveleigh’s Dave Kupchinsky is topped with bourbon, sweetened with cane sugar, and finished with bergamot bitters. 8752 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 424-239-1630


Originally appeared on LA Confidential

5 Tasty Ways to Celebrate National Burger Day

If the home-grilled burgers you tasted this Memorial Day weekend left you wanting for more, get ready to celebrate National Burger Day tomorrow (May 28) with these five unparalleled patties.

The PCB at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

The PCB at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar.

The PCB burger is proof that a gourmet upgrade doesn’t mean condiments have to be left behind. Plan Check Kitchen + Bar puts a creative spin on traditional toppings with the likes of Americanized dash cheese, ketchup leather (think of it as a fancy Fruit Roll-Up that tastes like ketchup), and schmaltz onions. It’s as delicious as it is modern. 1800 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-288-6500

The 7 oz. Lazy Ox Burger at Lazy Ox Canteen

Lazy Ox Burger at Lazy Ox Canteen.

The Lazy Ox burger boasts a perfectly charred outside and a nice pink center. It’s adorned with a generous amount of white cheddar and whole grain mustard, then set between a poppy seed-dusted bun. 241 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, 213-626-5299

The Comme Ça Burger at Comme Ça

Comme Ça Burger at Comme Ça.

Hailed as one of the best burgers in town, the Comme Ça Burger is simplicity in its most delicious form: prime beef and Vermont cheddar. In celebration of National Burger Month, Comme Ça will serve their classic burger plus an additional three to five new burger specials every Tuesday. The chefs will also turn to diners to describe their perfect burgers and incorporate the winning burger into the menu in June. 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-782-1104

Truffle Shuffle Burger at Stout

The Truffle Shuffle at Stout.

This fresh ground-beef patty is covered in mushrooms, melty brie cheese, and truffle aioli. Take a bite and you’ll see why this truffle iteration puts your average mushroom-topped burger to shame. 111 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-260-8679

Wood-Grilled Burger at Little Dom’s

The Wood-grilled burger at Little Dom’s.

Topped with burrata, pickled green tomatoes, and wild boar bacon, this wood-grilled burger from Little Dom’s packs a huge amount of flavor. You’d be hard-pressed to find a much heartier combination. 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 323-661-0055


Originally appeared on LA Confidential

The 5 Best Foodie Day Trips Around Los Angeles

Stuck in LA this Memorial Day weekend? Try one of these five foodie excursions in Los Angeles’ backyard.

Institute of Domestic Technology

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Make jam at the Institute of Domestic Technology.

Dedicated to preserving the lost art of cheesemaking, canning, bacon curing, and all other things homemade, the Institute of Domestic Technology offers classes and workshops where you can learn how to make anything from your own tofu to home-roasted coffee. Zane Grey Estate, 396 E. Mariposa St., Altadena, info@instituteofdomestictechnology.com

Cornucopia Farmer’s Market

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Shop for fresh produce at Cornucopia’s farmer’s market on Sundays.

Set up as a fundraising platform for the Cornucopia Foundation’s educational efforts on sustainability, the Cornucopia farmer’s market in beachside Malibu is the perfect place to scout out premium local produce, meat, and fish among surfers and celebrities alike. Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sundays. 23555 Civic Center Way, Malibu

Technique at Le Cordon Bleu

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Students at Le Cordon Bleu’s Pasadena campus cook haute cuisine at the school’s restaurant, Technique.

Dining at the famed Le Cordon Bleu’s Pasadena campus restaurant, Technique, is a wonderful way to preview tomorrow’s talented toques. Enjoy a decadent European-style tasting menu or dine a la carte while watching up-and-coming chefs prepare your dishes. 525 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-229-1377

Underwood Family Farms

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Guest can pick their own produce at Underwood Family Farms.

Instead of hitting up a farmer’s market, why not go straight to the farm? With a bounty of seasonal produce, ranging from fresh avocados to strawberries, Underwood Family Farms lets you pick your own produce directly from the fields. 3370 Sunset Valley Rd., Moorpark, 805-529-3690

Surfas Culinary District

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At Surfas, expect a comprehensive supply of everything, including cheeses.

A giant restaurant supply and gourmet food store with every cooking gadget you could ever imagine, Surfas deserves a special trip of its own. Whether you’re looking to take a cooking class, stock up on absinthe spoons, procure those hard-to-find spices, or sleuth out some imported booze, you’ll find everything you need in one place. 8777 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-559-4770


Originally appeared on LA Confidential

LA’s 5 Best Restaurants for Unparalleled Service

Even the most decadent meal at LA’s luxest restaurant could be marred by a subpar waitstaff. If you’re looking for the full package, we’ve put together a list of some of LA’s best restaurants for unparalleled service.


Melisse by chef Josiah Citrin.

Consistently rated across the board as one of LA’s best restaurants (if not the best), Mélisse is the master of making sure you get taken care of. Chef/Owner Josiah Citrin’s clever French tasting menus are framed by effortless service that manages the fine line between making sure you have everything you need but not bothering you, and sommelier Brian Kalliel’s ability to find the exact wine you didn’t know you were looking for. 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-0881


Chef Michael Cimarusti’s two Michelin-starred restaurant, Providence, is every seafood lover’s dream. Their tableside preparation of dishes, like salt-baked Santa Barbara spot prawns, echo an old-world standard of service that elevates the overall dining experience. And since no meal would be complete without wine, tuck into sommelier Drew Langley’s extensive wine program, rife with clever and unexpected pairings that perfectly complement the dishes. By the time the cheese cart rolls around, you’ll realize they’ve thought of everything you could possibly want. 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-460-4170


Wolfgang Puck's CUT in Beverly Hills.

Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel is just as hospitable as the hotel that it calls home. Though the mouthwatering steaks are noteworthy, what really makes a dinner at CUT unforgettable is the expert service. From the attentive waiters to the sommelier that perfectly decodes your preferences, dining at CUT is one of LA’s best restaurants to be wowed. 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-276-8500

Osteria Mozza

With fare by the culinary dream team of Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich, Osteria Mozza is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious Italian dinner and get taken care of in the process. The wonderfully professional waitstaff goes out of their way to make the most of your experience, while the sommelier helps you find the perfect wine. 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-297-0100

Saddle Peak Lodge

Saddle Peak Lodge.

Often labeled a special occasion restaurant, Saddle Peak Lodge, thinks of everything when it comes to service. With an extensive California-heavy wine list full of sustainable, biodynamic wines and a decadent game-centered tasting menu, the service is just the thing to perfectly complete the meal and make it a dinner you’ll want to come back for soon—special occasion or not. 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, 818-222-3888


Originally appeared on LA Confidential

Unique Margaritas to Spice Up Your Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and there’s nothing better to toast the holiday with than a refreshing margarita. This year, forgo the usual tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, and sip on one of these unique ‘ritas instead.

Spicy Mango Tree Margarita at Hotel Erwin’s High Rooftop Lounge

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Sip the Spicy Mango Tree Margarita while you enjoy High’s unparalleled views.

High’s riff on the usual festive drink is perfect if you want to bypass something sweet. Their Spicy Mango Tree Margarita blends mango, fresh lime, and a hint of jalapeno for a well-balanced cocktail that’s nicely complemented by High’s ocean views. We suggest sipping it at sunset. 1697 Pacific Ave., Venice Beach, 424-214-1050More…

Originally appeared on LA Confidential

Eat and Drink to Save the Planet This Earth Day

Between feasting on decadent Easter and Passover dishes and celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month, April is a delicious time of year. In keeping with the culinary trend for Earth Day (April 22), we’ve rounded up six local ways to be an eco-conscious foodie in LA.

Compartés Gourmet Chocolatier

Compartes Gourmet Chocolatier.
Compartés offers chic and eco-conscious chocolates.

Originally founded in the hopes of introducing European chocolate-making techniques and recipes to America in 1950, Compartés Gourmet Chocolatier has a long history in LA—and they’re eco-conscious to boot. Compartés chocolates feature fruits and spices from local farmers markets, and refrain from using any additives or preservatives. 912 S. Barrington Ave., Brentwood, 310-826-3380


Akasha's farm-to-table food.
One of Akasha’s farm-to-table dishes, comprised of local greens, watermelon radish, sungold tomatoes, humbolt fog cheese, golden balsamic dressing, and sunflower seeds. 

With the original wood, steel, and concrete restored in its development, Akasha was built with sustainability in mind. The food is eco-friendly, too, made with organic and handcrafted ingredients that result in dishes such as aged New York steak with truffle salt, pan-seared sea bass with sorrel salsa verde, and masterfully crafted organic cocktails. 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-845-1700

Moon Juice

Moon Juice LA.
Inside Moon Juice.

If you’re looking for cold-pressed juice or fresh nut milk that uses 100% organic ingredients, Moon Juice is for you. Even better, each bottle contains about three pounds of produce that is hydraulically pressed, raw, and ready for drinking. 507 Rose Ave., Venice, 310-399-2929; 2839 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 213-908-5407

Farm Box LA

Farm Box LA.
A sample offering from Farm Box LA.

Farm Box LA delivers the farmers market to your doorstep. Sourced from dozens of local, sustainable, and organic farms in the greater Los Angeles area, Farm Box LA gives you access to farm-fresh organic produce while supporting small, eco-friendly local farms. 888-888-8590; farmboxla@farmboxla.com

Qupé Sawyer Lindquist Wines

Qupe Sawyer Lindquist syrah.
Qupé Sawyer Lindquist’s Syrahs.

Qupé Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard makes great-tasting eco-conscious and organic wine in San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley with a special focus on creating a biodynamic environment, all the way down to practicing responsible water consumption and monitoring their vineyard’s effects on the soil. Go for a bottle of their special reserve, “Sonnie’s” Syrah, which boasts a rich pepper and savory fruit taste. 2963 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, 805-686-4200

Castle Rock Water Company

Castle Rock Water Company.
Castle Rock’s award-winning water.

Sustainably sourced from one of the world’s only growing glaciers atop Mt. Shasta and bottled in eco-friendly 55% recycled glass bottles, Castle Rock is perfect for the eco-conscious water drinker. The brand even won the 2014 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting award for best-tasting bottled water in the world. 4121 Dunsmuir Ave., Dunsmuir, 877-804-5090