ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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July 2017

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Dining!

Jon & Vinny’s!

Jon & Vinny’s Grilled Asparagus

Jon & Vinny’s!

  • By Pam Bushman
  • Photo By Paige Petrone

We knew Jon & Vinny’s was a winner when two bites into our first course, Grilled Asparagus, we were already planning our next visit. Dressed with lemon and black pepper and dripping in Parmesan, this was a simple vegetable elevated to sublime deliciousness.

Our seats at the “Chef’s Counter” offered us a view of our next dish, Chicken Parmesan, being finished in the pizza oven. Fun! It was thick, juicy, and topped with the perfect amount of sauce and cheese. The menu is meant to be shared family style and this definitely was enough for at least three people. In fact, we had to control ourselves to not fill up on it.

There are several pizzas on the menu that we wanted to try but decided to stick with what we knew, with the Classic Margherita. Hands down it had one of the best crusts we had tasted. It was crisp, chewy and slightly tangy. That little zing played well with the sauce and mozzarella. The Spicy Fusilli with Vodka Sauce had a little kick. This was a nice twist and the sauce coated the homemade pasta beautifully.

Dessert was a study in creaminess. The house-made Soft Serve Ice Cream was a cool ending to our meal on a warm summer day.

Jon & Vinny’s is located at 412 North Fairfax Avenue. Reservations are suggested.

Commonwealth!

Commonwealth’s Fried Chicken

Commonwealth!

  • By Jason Cook
  • Photo Courtesy of Commonwealth

Omakase me, por favor. This is not a sushi restaurant. This is not a tapas spot. It is something in between. A sweet spot, which, as it turns out, is quite a hot spot. But in Burbank? Could it be the best restaurant in L.A. be in Burbank? It sure isn’t priced that way.

The Media City is not known for its cuisine. For years Johnny Carson would talk about dodging food poisoning on the backlot at the old NBC studios. The plethora of chains that came to dominate the area did little to bolster the stigma. Until now.

The eclectic dishes combine cuisines and textures to produce something worldly and compelling each time. Red snapper carpaccio with slivers of almonds and apple shallot relish is a beautiful beginning. Salads span the range from a charred caesar to peppery arugula cut with smoked lardon. There is roasted cauliflower with candied pistachio and Japanese eggplant with burrata. The fried chicken, which is fried perfectly, is the most “normal” dish, but it is served with a side of pickled papaya…which made me think, “Why haven’t I ever had pickled papaya with my friend chicken before? Of course I should have pickled papaya. Pickled papaya is delicious, and why didn’t someone give me this before!” I usually get so angry I order another.

And speaking of perfect pairings, they can do a half glass of wine with each course. As you would expect, their list spans the globe. Because that is what this place is—it brings cuisines together… you just have to get to Burbank.

Commonwealth is located at 222 S Glenoaks Boulevard in Burbank.

S. Beverly Grill!

South Beverly Grill’s Tuna Tartare

S. Beverly Grill!

  • Story / Photo By Paige Petrone

Busy and bustling is how I would describe South Beverly Grill, as the joint was jumpin’! The restaurant was so crowded I could barely find my lunch date. After settling and taking in the scene, I could see this was clearly a hot spot for movers and shakers that were “doing lunch” in Beverly Hills.

We began sharing Deviled Eggs, Shrimp and Avocado Sushi, and the “Famous Dip.” Both were fantastic, but the sandwich is a must-try! Don’t miss devouring this masterpiece. It’s filled to capacity with thinly sliced beef topped with spicy horseradish, and placed inside crispy bread ready for dipping. Order this!

The Tuna Tartare is truly spectacular. This is kind of my signature dish, as I always order it when I see it on a menu. Well South Beverly Grill delivered a most memorable, fresh version that was really scrumptious and served with crispy grilled toast points and an abundance of fresh slices of avocado. Pure perfection.

South Beverly Grill is part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group (with many locations all across the country). They deliver high standards and hot ambiance. Check one of their restaurants out soon. You will not be sorry. Cheers!

South Beverly Grill is located at 122 South Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills.

Crossroads!

Crossroads’ Gnocchi

Crossroads!

  • By Andrew Fish
  • Photo Courtesy of Crossroads

After a meal at Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Kitchen on Melrose Avenue, you don’t tend to feel that specific satisfaction of sticking to a vegan diet — you just feel like you’ve eaten awesome food. The dinner menu alone is packed with dishes to rival some of L.A.’s finest. The vichyssoise, a chilled potato and leek purée, is buttery smooth, and the lentil flatbread is crisp and satisfying. The herbed potato gnocchi hits just the right notes, and the lasagna Bolognese is layered with a delectable sauce. Though spiced chickpeas may not sound like an adventure, they’re truly fantastic. And it’s the oven roasted truffle potatoes that are darn near breathtaking.

Crossroads’ lunch menu offers the Impossible Burger — featuring a patty with a special ingredient called “heme,” a plant-derived protein that provides the meatiest experience you’re likely to have with a veggie burger. Enjoy it with truffle fries and a side of kale caesar with garlic focaccia croutons.

And if you’re into vegan chicken and waffles, or curious about the eggless Crossroads Benedict with herb chickpea panisse, you should definitely stop in for weekend brunch. While you’re there, you can sample their savory crepes with morel mushrooms, English peas, pearl onions and chardonnay cheese sauce, or try Mike’s Shakshuka, a chickpea fritter simmered in tomato and red pepper sauce. Crossroads has raised the bar for vegan fine dining, offering an experience that leaves even staunch carnivores satisfied!

Crossroads is located at 8284 Melrose Avenue.

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Calavera Tequila and LAArtsOnline.com

Friday, October 28, 2016
8:00pm – 1:00am

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica

NO COVER CHARGE
COSTUME CONTEST
DJ SHARK & DANCING
VALET PARKING $15

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