August 2019

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James’ Beach’s 4th of July Weekend BBQ fun with French fries, watermelon margaritas, and mussels (Photos Paige Petrone)


  • Story / Photos By PAIGE PETRONE

I really love festive ideas for holiday cheer! Recently, local westside favorite James’ Beach threw a theme party called “4th of July Weekend BBQ.” So I rallied the neighbors and we headed over there on the holiday weekend.

The special menu included BBQ Sliced Skirt Steak, Texas Style BBQ Beef Brisket, Baby Back Pork Ribs, ½ Mary’s Natural Chicken, and BBQ Maple Leaf Duck Legs. After thoroughly enjoying very refreshing watermelon margaritas, we placed our orders. We were able to choose from the “American Way” with potato salad and collard greens or the “Taco Way” with house made tortillas, black beans, and their famous guacamole. Fun! I chose wisely with the “Taco Way” and the BBQ skirt steak. This was to die for! The steak was smothered in fabulous barbecue sauce. We also enjoyed the mussels and ribs and shared their terrific signature French fries.

James’ Beach is located one block from the beach and right in the center of all the Venice summer action. They host an amazing bar scene (think beachy night club vibe) that’s been hot for many years — a line to get in still forms on weekend nights. It’s a hot spot and always has been! I won’t share stories from my late nights there back in the day … but I’m super happy to share that we really enjoyed “4th of July Weekend BBQ!”

James’ Beach is located at 60 N Venice Boulevard in Venice.

Pace Restaurant

Pace Restaurant’s patio (on Laurel Canyon)

Pace Restaurant

  • By Kymberly Chase

Tucked up in the hills of Laurel Canyon, head chef and owner Sandy Gendel fuses organics with art and community with luxury in his treasured progeny, Pace. True to its name, this super cute sanctuary offers a cozy and serene approach to refined Italian cuisine. The atmosphere is romantic and ideal — a perfect combination of intimacy and ambiance. It’s one of the few places I’ve ever been where a couple can truly feel alone in the midst of a crowd. After 20 years Pace is still a local favorite.

Rarely do I sing a salad’s praises but their caesar is extraordinary. Crisp, tangy and farm fresh, it does the great Roman general proud. The shrimp scampi piccanti is divine. It is immaculately prepared with white beans in a tomato stew, and had I been dining alone I would have considered licking the plate clean! The spaghetti bolognese is arguably the best I’ve ever had and proves the difference homemade pasta can make. The true standout, however, is the grilled salmon. It was all I could do not to run to the kitchen and kiss the chefs! When we ordered, our server told us it is Pace’s most famous dish. This is a great date spot!

 Pace Restaurant is located at 2100 Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

Catch in WeHo

CATCH in West Hollywood (Photos Spark O’Connell)

Catch in WeHo

  • Story / Photos By Spark O’ Connell

Some places you go for pizza, others for pasta, but when looking for fresh quality seafood, it’s Catch! When you arrive on Catch’s roof in West Hollywood you are immediately struck by the luminous tunnel of vines, flowers, and lights on your way to the host stand. The space opens up to what feels like an old boat deck with vents and fans in the semi-opened roof. It’s spectacular.

From scallops and King Crab to Lobster Mac n’ Cheese and sushi rolls there is something here for everyone. A great selection of dishes for meat-eaters and vegetarians is also featured. Grilled Artichoke Hearts on a bed of a sweet tomato sauce is a must-try! The oyster selection takes you from coast to coast and the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese with mascarpone, breadcrumbs, and grated parmesan is indescribable.

Then there’s the dessert menu. We chose “The Carnival.” It’s a ferris wheel of fresh warm ricotta donuts that leave a trail of sugary smells as they pass each table. We were given bottles of cream cheese frosting, milk chocolate, salted caramel, and raspberry lime to inject into each donut in any combination. It is safe to say that Catch will reel you in for a meal you will not forget!

Catch is located at 8715 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.

Alta Adams

Alta Adams Restaurant

Alta Adams

  • By Kymberly Chase

A new soul food spot has opened up shop in the neighborhood. This fresh arrival to West Adams is called Alta Adams. It comes courtesy of restaurateur Daniel Patterson who opened the first Alta in San Francisco in 2013 and operates other Bay Area restaurants. With this new location Patterson has doubled down on the restaurant’s local ethos, adding chef Keith Corbin to give the locale a decidedly soul-and-comfort-food vibe.

The menu fuses the Southern flavors and dishes Corbin grew up eating and preparing alongside his grandmother, executing his own vision which melds soul food standards with a California reverence for fresh ingredients and  the occasional jolt of West African flavor. Warm cornbread with honey butter; black-eyed pea fritters with herb dipping sauce; candied yam gratin with spiced cashews; tender oxtails with rice and juicy shrimp and grits! There are wooden booths for groups, a 13-seat counter, and a charming patio. The excellent cocktail selection is curated by Aaron Paul with an emphasis on California suppliers. Favorites include the Swing Thyme as well as the Lunchbox with butter-washed whiskey, huckleberry, peanuts, and Aperol. Truly delicious!

Alta Adams is located at 5359 W. Adams Boulevard.

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