Food // Drink

luca-manderino-delights-south-bay

Luca Manderino Delights South Bay With Sosta

“The core of Venetian cuisine is very similar to Japanese—concentrated on the product, not on the sauce that surrounds the product,” says Luca Manderino, South Bay restaurateur, explaining the difference between dishes in Venice, where he was born and raised, and those from other corners of Italy.

It’s a difference he’s showcasing at his brand-new Hermosa Beach spot Sosta. The restaurant, which officially opened last month, is a continuation of Manderino’s local culinary imprint that includes his longtime former haunt, La Sosta Enoteca, located at the “five corner” intersection where Manhattan Avenue segues into Hermosa Avenue, and briefly, at another location along Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach.

“It’s a new start for me,” says Manderino. “I’m starting again from the roots. Literally.” He is doubling down on his Venetian origins at the intimate, candle-lit spot among Pier Avenue where simple wood tables and French doors create an informal charm—a look he favors. “I always like clean and rustic,” says Manderino.

His fans will recognize the romantic atmosphere and the welcoming chef-owner offering artfully presented plates of authentic Italian fare and meticulously chosen Italian wine. “My parents had two restaurants,” he says of his training. “I was raised in the kitchen.” It was in these Venice kitchens where he gathered the skills to create menu staples such as homemade gnocci, and specialties like Ribeye Tartare, Spaghetti with Salted Anchovies and Whole Branzino. Not to miss is a selection from Sosta’s wine list. All Italian, with about 45 labels and growing, the list features a variety of choices from north to south, and ranging in price from $30-plus to $2000 per bottle.

“Venetian inspired” is how Manderino classifies the cuisine at Sosta, and it’s his authentic twists that make the place a creative, already popular standout in South Bay’s restaurant scene. (The restaurant is open for dinner, and Manderino recommends reservations if you’re planning to visit Thursday through Saturday.) There’s a raw seafood appetizer, with a creative rotation of fresh ingredients, and Manderino’s ever-present yen for delighting diners with dishes they might not readily order, but learn to love.

“I always add something that is considered unusual by American standards,” he says. “For example, I do tongue; I do lamb heart; I do the tendon of the cow’s leg—I don’t put them on the menu though.” Instead, he may send a taste to the table for customers to try. “Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time people say, ‘I would never order it, but it’s so delicious.’ For me that’s the way to get the customer engaged on what Italian cuisine is.” sostacucina.com

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Ostrich Farm, a 50-Seat Restaurant in Echo Park

On Sunset Boulevard, a modern white façade stands out among the colorful buildings in Echo Park. This 50-seat restaurant, Ostrich Farm, is a family affair, born from the vision of husband and wife Jaime Turrey and Brooke Fruchtman. It took time for the couple to find the right space for their dream project.

Turrey, a chef who has worked in a number of San Francisco restaurants, and Fruchtman, the designer of Ostrich Farm who draws experience from her time as associate vice president of marketing and guest services at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, have combined their talents as co-owners of the restaurant.

Named for the Ostrich Farm Railway that used to run down Sunset Boulevard and into Griffith Park, the restaurant is located in a former pupusería, and the space was originally painted in different tones of purple and featured a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. It was completely transformed into a casual yet chic eatery with tufted green banquettes and wood-topped tables on one side, and stools and a marble bar on the other, all by Style de Vie.

Era black armchairs by Thonet (from Design Within Reach), brass sconces by Doug Newton for Nightwood, and handmade textiles add to the casual vibe. Inspired by both the legacy and current energy of the neighborhood, Fruchtman approached every decision with the objective of creating a place for the community and making people feel good. “Myinspiration for the design was the neighborhood itself,” she says.

 

“Echo Park is changing quickly, but it’s also wonderfully rooted in its history, so we wanted a space that didn’t feel too contemporary nor referential of a bygone era.”

Behind the menu is chef John Hornung, who cooks over a live-fire grill and prioritizes locally sourced products, including some from the restaurant’s own garden at the back of the property. Craft beers, wines and handcrafted cocktails accompany the bowls, salads and simple yet delicious plates of meat and fish. Welcoming and delicious, laid-back yet stylish, Ostrich Farm is “just California cool and casual,” concludes Fruchtman. ostrichfarmla.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF SKANDIA SHAFER (SPACE) AND IAN MADDOX (COCKTAILS)

Winston Pies in Brentwood Capturing Small Town Feel

Upon moving to L.A. a few years after graduating from law school, Brianna Abrams missed the down-home warmth she experienced while growing up in North Carolina—especially the tradition of sitting down with friends and family to enjoy each other’s company over a slice of pie. Trying to capture a bit of that small-town feel, the full-time attorney began baking pies as a passion project in her home kitchen.

After spending almost two years building a customer base via orders for everything from weddings to corporate events, Abrams left her law firm and opened the first brick-and-mortar of Winston Pies in Brentwood in 2017. Now, just one year later, she’s branched out with a second retail spot on West Third Street in West Hollywood.

“Baking has always been an integral part of my life, something all of the women in my family have done together,” says Abrams, founder, CEO and ChiefPieSmith of Winston Pies.

“While there are a lot of incredible bakeries in L.A., there aren’t any true all-dessert pie shops, and I wanted to fill that void. Winston Pies is my ode to the special brand of Southern hospitality that is synonymous with my hometown of Winston-Salem, right here in the City of Angels.”

Set between the Original Farmers Market and reimagined Beverly Center, Winston Pies’ newest locale is highlighted by a cozy blue, white and copper space featuring banquette seating and terrazzo-topped tables, a large menu board of available flavors, central counter showcasing freshly baked pies and custom woven art piece created by local artist Laura Stewart.

A plant-filled back patio is outfitted with Adirondack chairs and a teak sofa. As for the pies, expect varied sizes—from small bites to extra-large options for families—with popular selections including Dixie Classic Cherry, Blue Ridge Blueberry, Harvest Apple, Key West Lime and Chocolate Cowgirl. Special rotating, monthly flavors (including vegan and gluten-free choices) also are available, with Classic Fall Pumpkin, Classic Southern Pecan and Cranberry Orange Chess pies planned for the upcoming holidays.

@mariebuckphotography

“Each Winston Pie is handcrafted and made from scratch with the finest, all-natural ingredients using my trusted and treasured personal and family recipes,” says Abrams. “The result yields pies bursting with flavor, and heart-warming satisfaction down to the last bite. I hope to continue growing into new neighborhoods, so I can keep sharing my love for pies.” winstonpies.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF MARIE BUCK PHOTOGRAPHY

Tasteful Trattoria In Kimpton La Peer Hotel

With its 105 luxury rooms and suites, lounge spaces, pool, and a rooftop event area, the recently opened Kimpton La Peer Hotel is the new West Hollywood Design District hot spot. In addition to chic design and luxury amenities, the hotel hosts a striking modern trattoria. Inspired by chef Casey Lane’s trips to the Mediterranean coasts, Viale dei Romani—which means “avenue of the Romans” in Italian—blends Italian, Southern French and North African influences. The menu is rooted in Positano, a village on the Amalfi Coast, and includes seafood-driven dishes, pastas, and pizzas.

Crafted by Parts and Labor Design—a New York City-based studio established in 2009 by co-founders Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt—Viale dei Romani features an upscale Mediterranean atmosphere with nods to Hollywood glamour. Luxurious yet approachable, the curated aesthetic reflects “an experimental approach to form and materiality,” according to Cohen and Levitt. With lush ferns hanging overhead, a custom host stand made from a mosaic of mirror and wood welcomes guests.

Next to it, the bar, adorned with brass detailing and creamy Crystal Stratus Danby Marble with bold veining, is reminiscent of art deco jewelry. Furnished with round-shaped, custom-designed bar stools, this area exudes casual elegance, inviting guests to socialize. Adjacent to the bar, a cozy banquette occupies an alcove, making this nook more private from the rest of the space.

One of the main design highlights is “a massive, oval central coffer detail formed out of curved wood and metallic gold paint, [which] creates a feature within the main dining room ceiling that incorporates mirror to reflect the plantings and textured columns below,” say Cohen and Levitt.

In the concept’s main dining space, the 42-foot-long open kitchen featuring Mediterranean blue tiles is visible from almost any corner. A yellow velvet-upholstered lounge-style banquette echoes the gold painted ceiling. Throughout the restaurant, custom lighting fixtures complement a mix of vintage and modern furniture.

With its colorful concrete pavers, lush plants and fireplaces, the courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy al fresco dining. Separated from the patio by vertical louvers and overlooking the pool, the intimate lounge area can easily be made private. In addition, the rooftop offers the perfect backdrop for a cocktail party.

Offering a “verdant dining experience with a Mediterranean palette and modern design sensibility,” according to the Parts and Labor Design duo, Viale dei Romani is relaxed, sophisticated and, fittingly, truly tasteful. vialedeiromani.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: (THIS PAGE AND NEXT) COURTESY OF VIALE DEI ROMANI (FOOD) AND ANDREA BEHRENDS (RESTAURANT)

The Surfrider Malibu is Much More Than a Hotel

The Surfrider Malibu is much more than a hotel. Originally built in 1953, it was recently transformed by its current owners. When it went on the market, Matthew Goodwin—a design architect who grew up in Malibu but was living in New York at that time—realized it was the perfect opportunity to create a new hospitality experience and capture the soul of a place that was dear to his heart. With his spouse and creative director Emma Crowther, and his business partner Alessandro Zampedri, Goodwin imagined a new concept.

“With The Surfrider, we took a 360-degree approach to hospitality, from the design vision, architecture and interiors, all the way through to guest experience,” Goodwin says. “Our internal brief was to celebrate its iconic past while still honoring the future, and to deliver it all in a design-forward boutique hotel.

The opportunity to be able to do this—to create a local experience in a design conscious way—is the reason why The Surfrider stuck with me from my childhood and was love at first sight for Alessandro and Emma. It was an opportunity to epitomize the California dream once again.”

The intention was to create an environment where visitors would immediately feel good and alive, and where they would be inspired and relaxed. At The Surfrider Malibu, “Make yourself at home” is not just something guests might hear in passing, it’s the hotel’s motto.

“The Surfrider has been designed to feel like your very own Californian beach house complete with staff, complimentary surf boards, stand-up paddleboards and a guest-only roof deck bar and restaurant which overlooks one of the most iconic waves in the world,” says co-owner Emma Goodwin. “It’s been amazing to see how many L.A. locals have been using it as just that—their own beach house. We have guests from as close as the Pacific Palisades or further east who have standing reservations once a month!”

Facing the Pacific Ocean and iconic Surfrider Beach, made famous in the classic movie The Endless Summer, the hotel invites visitors closer to nature, to admire the endless horizon, combine relaxation and adventure, and to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, healthy food, good wine, music and some fun. Complementing the locale is the hotel’s décor.

Natural materials such as reclaimed wood, stone, ceramic tiles and linen combine with soft tones in the public areas and inside of the 18 rooms and suites—all of which feature private terraces. Books and photographs complement the charming atmosphere. The hotel’s common area is also home to a library. Here, life is simply better.

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF M.K SADLER AND NICOLE FRANZEN

Cafe Birdie

Cafe Birdie Meets California Mediterranean

“Cuban expat Birdie moves to Miami and meets Clyde [her future husband]; they migrate back to his native New Orleans to open this restaurant. He’s dressed in a different suit every day of the week, is infectiously charming and adores Birdie. She’s passionate about food and the power it has to bring people together.”

This simple narrative, as retold by interior designer Sally Breer—who cofounded Los Angeles-based firm ETC.etera with stylist/creative director Jake Rodehuth- Harrison—inspired Café Birdie’s whole concept. But there’s more to the story.

Located in a 1920s-era building in historic L.A. neighborhood Highland Park, the restaurant-bar is open daily for dinner and on weekends for brunch. Helmed by chef Russell Victorioso, the establishment features a seasonal menu that blends Californian and Mediterranean references and includes farmers’ market salads, handmade pastas, burrata and Moroccan-spiced fried chicken, as well as a variety of cocktails such as Summer in the City, Flora and Overnight Flight, that showcase tequila, gin, vodka and fruit.

An expression of the ETC.etera team’s creative philosophy, this project required outside-the-box thinking, as well as an expert blend of form, functionality and mood. “Our spaces are equal parts tactile and narrative,” ETC.etera designers say.

“To us, there’s a difference between simply furnishing a space and decorating it, between creating environments that are based on trends and those that have lasting appeal.”

Shaped to please the eye and the soul, Café Birdie—which also has an outdoor back patio—features marble-top counters, high ceilings, copper tables with banquettes and hanging pendant lighting. The combination makes it a lively space, both casual and energetic.

“We really wanted Café Birdie to transcend place and time,” says Rodehuth-Harrison. “[We wanted it to be] a space that you loved being in, but couldn’t quite put a finger on what exactly felt so comfortable, even familiar.” It’s this intangible sense of surprise that gives the neighborhood bistro a come-one-come-all flavor.

cafebirdiela.com

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF TESSA NEUSTADT

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Whiskey Nirvana

Known for unpretentious and innovative fare paired with an eclectic-mod atmosphere, the recently rebranded eatery Steak & Whisky American Tavern continues to offer mouthwatering steak with an exotic whiskey-back. 

Passionate about offering delicious, creative culinary experiences in a lively atmosphere, the Steak & Whisky American Tavern team believe in the magic that comes from sharing food with friends. Operating under the company name Blackhouse Hospitality Group, childhood pals Jed Sanford and Executive Chef/Owner Tin Vuong have opened five other successful establishments, most of which are in the South Bay, including Abigaile and Dia De Campo in Hermosa Beach, and Little Sister in Manhattan Beach and, most recently, Redondo Beach.

“The Prime New York Steak is always a favorite paired with Roasted Brussel Sprouts sprinkled with goat cheese and slab bacon,” shares Megan Nicholls, marketing spokesperson for Blackhouse Hospitality Group. The S&W Dry Aged Burger, meanwhile, is a classic hit that pairs well with the hot spot’s ever-popular Lobster Mac & Cheese. Other faves are the Lamb Osso Buco and Roasted Salmon.

Steak & Whisky American Tavern also serves the best spirits from around the world, offering whiskey nirvana for connoisseurs.

One will find exclusive distillers from Taiwan, Scotland, Japan and Ireland, to name a few. “Some of our favorite whiskeys include High West, WhistlePig, Boss Hog, Willett, Hakushu, Highland, and Kavalan,” says Nicholls.

Do not fear those who are not immersed in the whiskey culture, even the margarita lover may indulge in the Carrie Bradshaw Died in Mexico, a spicy el jimador cocktail. Craft beer drinkers and wine aficionados will also be right at home with a finely honed selection of each beverage type.

Uniquely, the concept offers a special spot for connoisseurs to stash one’s trove of whiskey. Establishing a whiskey locker concept at the locale, one can purchase a bottle from the bar to partake in at the moment and save the rest for another time.

“The idea is to buy a bottle and then diners can have our bartender make cocktails using your special whiskey (or other liquor) into cocktails of [their] choice for a small upcharge, or on the rocks for free,” explains Nicholls.

Designer decor at Steak & Whisky American Tavern evokes a sense of time and place. This venue is one of “classic Californio-Vaquero nostalgia with a coastal slant,” as Nicholls refers to it. This means rich in design with carefully curated elements: horse bits and Navajo blanket patterns nodding to the Western motif, with antlers, vintage coastal paintings and leather seating reflecting the classic California vibe. “The interiors came together with the help of interior designer Amanda Malson of Common Standard,” shares Nicholls.

Only three things are required for dining at Steak & Whisky American Tavern: a big appetite, powerful thirst, and an appreciation for a lively crowd. Cheers!

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF BLACKHOUSE HOSPITALITY GROUP

red-carpet-worthy-restaurant

Red Carpet-Worthy Restaurant Paley.

Looking for a great place to wind down after a long day, catch a meal before a show or maybe just gaze at stars? Then be sure to check out this hidden gem in the heart of Tinseltown. Tucked away in historic Columbia Square—a revitalized mixed-use complex that birthed the Golden Age of Hollywood—Paley. restaurant is named for the artistic and innovative era shaped by former CBS CEO William Paley, and has become known as the designated power-lunch meeting and lunch-break spot for folks from nearby studios and offices. During dinner, lucky guests might even get to catch a glimpse of some celebrities enjoying an impromptu meal with friends and business associates (think Oprah and Keanu Reeves).

 

“Lunchtime is always vibrant and energetic with our neighbors from the L.A. film and music industry,” says Christopher Roache, managing director of Paley., which opened in April 2016 in a building that once housed Nestor Studios, Hollywood’s first film production company that became part of CBS Studios in 1938.

“We’re also infamous for our daily happy hours, where guests enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail to toast to the end of their work day. Dinner always attracts a mixed clientele from pre-theater dinners heading to shows at the Palladium or Pantages Theatre to local residents.”

Paley. is part of the Japanese hospitality brand Plan Do See, which operates 19 properties worldwide. Expect an art deco-inspired dining room with soaring ceilings and elegant Mid-century décor that transports diners to the La-La Land of old, along with a casual patio surrounded by lush greenery. Chef Brian Hill (former chef/owner of coastal Maine’s critically acclaimed Francine Bistro) serves a simple yet well-curated menu of classic dishes laced with local and seasonal ingredients, many grilled on an attractive wood-burning hearth or roasted in a custom-built oven. Among the most popular items? Lobster Mac & Cheese, Wagyu burgers and seared diver sea scallops with braised leeks.

 

There’s also a full lineup of signature cocktails, including the popular Babe (a twist on a lychee martini with a hint of lavender named after William Paley’s beguiling wife). Recent launch, “The Garden at The Paley. Patio” invites patrons to kickstart the weekend early with specially priced cocktails and bar bites from noon to sundown. And, for insiders, an exclusive no-cost “Paley. Privileges” membership program offers fun perks like a 50-percent discount off dinner on Monday and half off wine bottles on Tuesday.

“We’ll continue to thrive and be a local hot spot, yet a cozy place for all of our neighborhood locals, but we would also like Paley. to become one of the ‘must-visit’ spots in L.A. for out-of-towners,” says Roache. “After all, we’re in the midst of where all of Hollywood started, and stepping into our restaurant will bring you back to that glamour…we will continue to tell the story and history of how it all started.”

paleyhollywood.com

 

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Classic Comfort Food With a Flair

If you’ve already visited The Crack Shack’s locales in San Diego’s Little Italy, Encinitas and Costa Mesa, then you’re familiar with the kitschy environs and fine-casual, gourmet comfort food centered around fried chicken. But the newly opened L.A. site at Westfield Century City mall is the brand’s most upscale offering yet.

Think a virtual “Crack Palace,” offering a Moet & Chandon champagne vending machine, ingredients typically reserved for fine-dining restaurants, an L.A.-only sandwich and other fresh twists, alongside some of the eatery’s tried-and-true fun, edgy and playful touches…like a full wall of chicken-headed athletes, just to name one.

“We are an affordable luxury for guests who care about where their food comes from and how it tastes, and take extreme pride and care in our casual coop,” says Michael Rosen, The Crack Shack CEO and founder, who operates the eateries with Top Chef alum Richard Blais and Culinary Director Jon Sloan.

“While there are several fried chicken concepts, there aren’t many places that you’d want to go to hang out with your friends, have a cocktail and eat fried chicken; we wanted to change that.”

When it comes to the food, The Crack Shack offers anything but run-of-the mill fried chicken and standard sides, and all things chicken and egg. “We use Southern Californian, pasture-raised birds from Jidori, and a custom spice blend of smoked chilies and Old Bay from Le Sanctuaire in San Francisco,” says Rosen.

“We like to say that our fried chicken can be a not-so-guilty pleasure, as even though it’s fried and a little naughty, you can be sure you’re still treating your body with respect with all of the best ingredients and care.”

Among the popular offerings: bone-in fried chicken with biscuits and fries; the Firebird sandwich (a spicy fried chicken thigh topped with cool ranch, crispy onions and pickles on a potato roll); Senor Croque (a crispy fried chicken breast, runny fried egg, white cheddar and miso-maple butter on a brioche bun); and the Double Clucker (an exclusive L.A. item made with two ground chicken patties, cheddar, bacon, avocado, burger sauce, pickles and fried onions on a potato roll).

SoCal-influenced side items include border Slaw (resembling what you’d find south of the border) and Mexican Poutine (a play on traditional poutine, but with Mexican and Californian flavors).

Guests also will find non-chicken-oriented items—such as salads, quinoa bowls and seared tuna—as well as signature milkshakes from Salt & Straw, beer and wine on tap, and craft cocktails. Two of the most popular drinks? The Hot Mess (a take on a smoky margarita with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, honey, lime and grapefruit) and the Scramble (a blackberry mule with vodka, crème de mure, lemon and ginger).

crackshack.com

Habitas Venice Beach Clubhouse - Private Lounge - By Read McKendree_

Habitas in Venice is Designed to Foster Connection

In an era where technology is ubiquitous and time spent in front of screens is dramatically increasing, a movement is growing. Creating an opportunity to cultivate more personal connections via a face-to-face conversation between like-minded individuals, Habitas aims to awaken creativity and inspire new ideas from its central location in Venice Beach.

Habitas Venice Beach Clubhouse - Exterior - By Read McKendree

Founded by Oliver Ripley, Kfir Levy and Eduardo Castillo, Habitas is “an experience-led global hospitality group, a platform for a global, social movement in the places we live, work and travel to,” according to the trio. In addition to a flagship hotel in Tulum, Mexico, the brand recently opened its first two urban clubhouses for members on the East and West Coasts, with one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.

Located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Habitas Venice Beach occupies a renovated beach house originally built in the 1940s. The structure sits beside a mural by Portuguese street artist Vhils. Open to all Habitas members, the elegant yet relaxed clubhouse features original, charming elements such as detailing on its facade and redwood and antique windows that reflect a classic feel accentuated by furnishings mostly sourced from estate sales and artisans markets around the world. Some pieces were custom-built for the space; artworks by local L.A. artists add a contemporary twist to the cozy atmosphere.

Habitas Venice Beach Clubhouse - Front Room - By Read McKendree_

The ground floor comprises a sun room with a built-in nook, classic 1970’s-era wood-on-glass table, green chaise lounge and Hollywood Regency-style lighting. A parlor—with chairs draped in sheepskin and a glass table—leads to a small courtyard. Adorned with a stone fireplace, green safari chairs, a yellow couch and a hidden bookcase, the living room is the main communal space.

In the kitchen, healthy takeaway and complimentary items are available. Among other amenities, Habitas Venice Beach provides surfboards and beach cruisers, also complimentary, as well as a concierge available by text, WhatsApp or email for questions and bookings. Upstairs, a loft is home to three seating areas with low-bearing furniture, double stacked pillows and tatami mats.

Habitas Venice Beach Clubhouse - Private Lounge - By Read McKendree_

Outside, the backyard—which hosts an outdoor rain shower—also features eclectic pieces such as custom-built benches painted high-gloss black with floral Indochina-style cushions. The nearby garage, meanwhile, was transformed into a space dedicated to yoga and meditation.

Designed like a home environment, inviting members to share memories and ideas through a program of events focusing on wellness, music, art, food and adventure, Habitas Venice Beach fosters a sense of community influenced by a cosmopolitan lifestyle and global culture.

Manhattan Beach’s Favorite New Quirky-cool Downtown Café Homie

Come Homie

Dine and shop at Manhattan Beach’s Favorite New Quirky-cool Downtown Café Homie

Manhattan Beach has become a bit of an epicenter for delicious and stylish restaurants. Woven throughout our beach community are great little haunts like Homie, the new café with an eclectic beach-bohemian vibe that achieved cult-status basically overnight. 

“We feel so blessed that our community has embraced us like it has, and the store is doing so well because of everyone’s support,” shares owner and native Manhattan Beach resident Kelley Bailey Haley, who has restauranteering in her DNA, having worked closely for years with the family who owned Tallia’s and also been part of the original crew that opened neighboring Mangiamo’s.

Streetside outdoor dining

Haley took a hiatus to pursue nursing in a pediatric center, but her dream of opening her own restaurant never left her. “I wanted to create something small, local, and relaxing,” she shares, “so when this particular downtown location came available, I was on it, and it turned out to be such an amazing spot for us.”

Meanwhile, homie’s chef, Jason LeClaire, another South Bay native who has been cooking flavorful simple food for 30 years, co-created the menu with Haley. They selected simple items that they and their kids enjoy eating. “Our desire was to make fun and easy food that was really fresh and thoughtfully sourced,”

Homie boutique

Haley explains. Having grown up in Manhattan Beach, Haley wanted to support local business with her venture, therefore she buys all of her meat products from local meat counter Manhattan Meat Market and bread from the Bread Bar bakery in El Segundo, which delivers provisions daily—fresh and still warm. 

Commune table in the dining room

Patrons delight over yummy dishes like the Home Skillet, a breakfast bowl with white corn baby squash and avocado on cauliflower rice that is served all day. “People love our breakfast burritos, and we kept that item as a nod to our friends who had the space previous to us,” Haley explains warmly. Other favorites are the Street Tacos, and the Bruschetta is quite amazing. The delicious showstopper dessert is the Betty, which is toasted shortcake, fresh mixed fruit and vanilla cream.

Cappuccino

The café also serves a variety of craft beer, organic wine and has just added craft cocktails, being one of only 100 restaurants in California that are experimenting with new alcohol concepts like rice-based Vodka. These concoctions make homie the perfect stop for a Bailey cocktail or a Bloody Mary while enjoying the breezy, carefree atmosphere.

Fresh bruschetta

Within the walls of homie’s stylish setting, Haley’s mix of eclectic food and trendy retail is spot-on with her vision. “Since the store was zoned for retail-restaurant, we started experimenting with different ideas and came up with our own line of homie-branded products like T-shirts, hats and candles, which are selling like hot cakes, and the rest of the retail just kind of grew from there,” states Haley.

Sitting lounge at Homie

She also does a great business with her jewelry designer Wendy Stillman, who is known for her abstract tribal art and greeting cards, as well as locally designed MB Surplus jewelry that is fun and edgy. When perusing the store, one finds Haley’s very own line of plants and mini succulents from her gardening collection, livingsmall. 

Haley, a self-proclaimed picker who loves flea markets, mixing design eras and finding new talent, has blended it all in the winning recipe that is homie.

Homie

1140 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310.546.4663  |  homiemb.com

Farmhouse May Be The Ultimate Farm-to-Table Restaurant

“I want our guests at FARMHOUSE to have the same experience they would have if they stayed for dinner at my home,” says Peitso, who opened his eatery this past March.

“FARMHOUSE’s cuisine is heavily influenced by my background in agriculture and understanding of California’s local agricultural community.

I have been growing and cooking my entire life, and I know when ingredients are at their peak during each season, so I have developed a palate specifically for Southern Californian cuisine.”

Set on the street level of the Beverly Center, FARMHOUSE melds traditional American farm décor with contemporary finishes and treatments, such as Craftsman-style moldings, wood ceilings, slate and oak flooring, exposed brick and vintage wallpaper.

The large open kitchen boasting shelves of canned and preserved items is a highlight of the 7,000-square-foot space, which is divided into intimate areas, including a “living room” with a marquee fireplace, “greenhouse” atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and “farmer’s table” enclave.

Peitso has conceived a menu of simple, vegetable-forward Californian cuisine that’s seasonal and sourced from his family farm and a network of local growers. “Each dish will feature a light touch of culinary technique—such as grilling or roasting in a wood-burning oven—that will let the flavors of the ingredients speak for themselves,” he says.

Among the standout dishes is a lightly seared black cod with local herbed potatoes and a soft-boiled egg; an eight-hour braised lamb shoulder served with daikon Romesco and roasted carrots, and a dry-aged Creekstone burger loaded with pickled vegetables and served on a house-made brioche bun prepared with wheat grown and ground at Peitso’s farm.

As for the beverage program, FARMHOUSE specializes in a handpicked selection of small-batch wine, spirits, Kombucha and craft beer exclusively brewed in L.A.

The must-have drink? A Mad Men-style, 7.5-ounce martini mixed with locally produced vodka.

I want FARMHOUSE to bring a level of agricultural authenticity to its menu that’s in short supply in Los Angeles. 

“Most importantly, my team and I want to provide high-quality, seasonal vegetables and protein in an approachable and inclusive environment.”

farmhousela.com

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