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).
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
Presented by: Santiago Arana, The Agency
List Price: $30,000,000
Brentwood, which runs as far south as Wilshire Boulevard, is ideally situated to enjoy the creme de la creme of Los Angeles. Here, you’ll find some of the city’s best public and private schools, the popular Brentwood Country Club, dozens of fine restaurants (where regulars quickly become family) and plenty of trendy boutiques. With the 405 on its eastern border and the 10 on its southern border, the entire city is within easy driving distance of almost everything.
In fact, for many, Brentwood is the very definition of living well in Los Angeles. Within this enclave, the streets north of Sunset that wind up through the Santa Monica Mountains are the setting for many of the area’s most coveted properties. Of these is a lower Tigertail address considered among the most prestigious. It’s here that Santiago Arana and David Herskowitz of Cutting Edge Development, Inc. created one of the most vibrant homes currently on the market.
Pooling their combined experience in the luxury home market, Arana (who has the distinction of being named the premier agent west of the 405, fourth in California, and 11th in the country by The Wall Street Journal, as well as an elite top agent five years in a row by both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety) and Herskowitz (who has built homes all over the area, including that of E! host Giuliana Rancic and her husband Bill) incorporated everything one might wish for in a new build.
From quality materials and craftsmanship to five-star amenities, like a 10-car garage, pool, roof deck, elevator, front and back staircase, and service entrance, this eight-bedroom and 11-bath house easily tips over the line from outright beautiful to downright breathtaking.
Of course, a great home begins with a great location. Perched above nearby houses and accessible via a long majestic driveway, the home offers stunning, unobstructed views from each of its three levels.
Here, sight lines to the ocean and Catalina. There, an outlook of Downtown L.A. and Century City’s glittering towers. Every space—from the expansive roof deck, to the lushly landscaped backyard, to the bedrooms, to the courtyard at the top of the driveway— seems to frame a view tailor-made for sharing on Instagram.
“From quality materials and craftsmanship to five-star amenities … this eight-bedroom and 11-bath house easily tips over the line from outright beautiful to downright breathtaking.”
A home of this magnitude is often the setting for lavish parties, so Arana and Herskowitz have designed it with grand and frequent entertaining in mind, from casual parties to black-tie events. You might welcome guests at the front door and send them upstairs to the roof deck via the home’s elevator to enjoy aperitifs while the sun struts its daily drama; then, when its descent into the Pacific is complete, direct them down to the dining room for a sophisticated, chef-prepared supper.
The kitchen is outfitted with everything a professional might need to serve up a sumptuous feast, including two Sub-Zero refrigerators, multiple dishwashers and a capacious marble island, ideal for rolling out pastries. No worries if guests linger over a course. Warming ovens and an entire walk-in refrigerator area in the pantry ensure that every morsel is maintained at the ideal temperature. A wine cellar holds over 140 bottles and a butler’s pantry keeps behind-the-scenes preparations hidden from view.
If informal entertaining is on the calendar, consider an afternoon barbecue by the pool. There’s plenty of room for lounging on the large lawn and enjoying the afternoon rays. Sun-shy guests can escape the heat and still feel a part of the party, hanging out in the den that abuts the exterior. Later, when most of the guests have said their good-byes and only the inner circle remains, invite them downstairs for a cocktail.
A full bar is the centerpiece of the lower entertainment level. The moniker “game room” seems too diminutive for this expansive space, while “recreation room” seems too archaic a term to christen an area that boasts not only a state-of-the-art gaming system with a larger-than-life monitor, but also a ventilated cigar room; screening room; sauna, steam and massage room; gym; and more than enough TVs for watching multiple games at once.
Thoughtfully, Arana and Herskowitz have even provided a full-size regulation pool table. A laundry room, complete with two washers, two dryers and a pet bath, as well as two fully finished suites, ideal for live-in assistance, makes up the rest of this floor.
The third floor houses the bedrooms, including the spectacular master suite. There are few luxury hotel rooms in the world that can rival its amenities.
A fireplace, sitting area and vast deck that mimics the sweeping view of the ocean and downtown seen from the main floor are expected. What’s not: his and her dressing and powder room areas. His, which includes a spacious steam shower, also features abundant room for an extensive sneaker collection and sports equipment, as well as a full year’s worth of both casual and formal clothing.
Her quarters are even more generous. A freestanding spa tub sets the tone, harkening back to a time when getting dressed was a lesson in self-care. Smart glass windows, which frost at the touch of a button, offer an extra note of privacy during morning ministrations while a built-in vanity and a closet rivaling the finest boutique in Beverly Hills astounds. Created by Häfele, the foremost name in closet design, it includes sophisticated details from cold storage for furs to soft close drawers and closet lifts.
In a house of this caliber, where even the most mundane details have been created with meticulous care, such luxury is a given. You expect the best in life. Why should you expect anything less in your home?
Written by Wendy Bowman
Jonathan Genton of L.A.-based Genton Property Group refers to the company’s new 12-story, 59-unit Four Seasons Private Residences-Los Angeles as a stand-alone development that is destined to redefine world-class luxury living—complete with a soaring tower offering breathtaking views via massive glass walls and folding doors, paired with a stellar lineup of five-star amenities and service. Not to mention a massive top floor penthouse priced at $50 million that could become the most expensive condo ever sold in L.A.
“The guiding light here is ‘quintessential L.A.,’ with the best-of-class people and firms,” says Genton, founding partner of the privately held real estate investment company that is developing the project in conjunction with a management team from the Four Seasons Private Residences, global architecture firm Callison RTKL and Webcor Builders. “What we have achieved is a quintessential L.A. building in an irreplaceable location, with an L.A. lifestyle, in a service-rich environment with a world-class brand that is L.A.”
Situated at 9000 W. Third Street on an acre of land adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills—between Beverly Hills and the fashionable North Robertson District—the mid-century-style residences will offer convenient access to top dining, shopping, cultural and entertainment options. “If you live in L.A., there are a few nodes where you want to live,” says Genton. “This is one of those neighborhoods…in the heart of West L.A., with all of the dining and shopping, and proximity to Century City, central job corps and high-value office markets.”
Living options include 58 custom residences, ranging from 1,800 square feet to 6,000 square feet, priced from $3 million to $16 million. In addition, the crown jewel of the project is a 12,000-square-foot penthouse that occupies the entire top floor and features a private, 9,000-square-foot rooftop garden oasis and pool offering 360-degree vistas of the city, along with direct elevator access and a private six-car garage. The building is set to begin welcoming residents in mid-2019, with units outfitted by top L.A. designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard focusing on drama, glamour and timeless sophistication. Expect open-concept indoor/outdoor living spaces inspired by California modern master Richard Neutra, replete with gourmet kitchens sporting professional grade appliances and built-in cabinetry; master bedroom suites highlighted by spa-like en-suite baths featuring a deep soaking tub, separate glass-walled showers, and his-and-her marble vanities; and resplendent rooftop gardens.
Residents also will enjoy numerous hotel-inspired amenities and services, including a 3,250-square-foot fitness center designed by celebrity personal trainer Harley Pasternak and offering spin, cardio and weight equipment, personal trainers, and private yoga, sauna and steam rooms. Among the other top-notch offerings is an IMAX theater with access to PRIMA Cinema and private movie screenings, as well as an exclusive chef’s kitchen serving up a private culinary experienced curated daily by a renowned AAA, Five-Diamond chef, and a heated saltwater lap pool flanked by cabanas and fire pits.
To ensure the ultimate experience, “we want to make sure we partner with the best people, offering our residents the best of class in everything that they touch [and] that we’re affiliated with,” says Genton. “That starts and ends with the Four Seasons.” By blending the Four Seasons brand with the West L.A. location and architecture, “we’re offering an authentic product,” he adds. “It will be looked at as one of these buildings that’s very special…they only happen a few times in a lifetime.”
FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE RESIDENCES-LOS ANGELES
9000 W. THIRD STREET
LOS ANGELES, CA 90048
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
A glamorous aura envelops Bel-Air. This enclave speaks to the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity. You can feel it the moment you pass through one of the two residential gates, and leave the rush of Sunset Boulevard behind.
A gentle, diffused light dapples leafy roads. Homes are well hidden behind high, exquisitely maintained hedges. Driving by the occasional ornate open gate reveals curving driveways. Even the Hotel Bel-Air, with its bevy of snow-white swans, exudes a stately hush, its valets springing deftly into action to greet guests. You’ve entered a different world.
The feeling is only magnified as you follow the long, winding driveway that leads up to 10690 Somma Way—less than 15 minutes from the hustle and bustle of central Beverly Hills. Teasing glimpses of the landscape suggest that up top awaits momentous views. As the white gate pulls back to unveil the house, its balanced beauty and perfect proportions immediately alert you to the magnificence to be discovered inside. The home’s white plaster exterior is a nod to the heyday of Los Angeles’s architectural past and is as beautiful as it is practical, deflecting the day’s heat for a pleasingly temperate interior. There’s plenty of room to leave your car, with the graceful circular driveway easily able to accommodate an entire fleet of vehicles. The attached garage to the left of the home holds three cars, and there is an additional garage just inside the main gate that can accommodate five cars, but in another iteration, would also make an ideal artist studio, recording studio, editing suite or rehearsal space. If the home’s welcoming air recalls the exquisite and exclusive boutique hotels that dot Europe, it’s by no accident. This is a home basking in the seclusion that its lofty private world affords.
Despite the home’s grandeur, it is the surrounding scenery, not the building itself, which immediately catches the eye. The spectacular 180-degree setting captures the city at its glittering best, with the canyon below especially lush. Here and there, a few homes peek out. Beyond, the towers of Century City glisten like an emerald city and, on a clear day, you can fully experience the expansive jetliner views. The impressive four-acre property extends until its edges are blurred by the thick forest of trees that separate the home from its neighbors. How this house can be so close to the city and yet still feel so far removed is part of its magic.
Inside the home’s front door, a bright hallway leads to the first of many picturesque moments—a dramatic atrium, complete with a winding staircase, canopied by four large and leafy Ficus trees. Sunlight pours through the glass skylight, eliminating the need for lights during the day and brightening the rooms that wind around this central point. Here on the first floor are all the public spaces: a living room with a panorama of the magnificent scenery; an open dining room; two guest suites with their own patios as well as two additional guest rooms; a spacious kitchen, graced with every appliance; a plush screening room; and a generous den that overlooks the backyard. Each room flows graciously into the next, setting the perfect stage for any occasion, whether it’s an intimate dinner for two, a sumptuous gala, or a summer lawn party. The home is unique in that it exudes opulence without feeling cavernous.
The upstairs rooms, which also swirl around the central courtyard, achieve this same balance. These may be the home’s more private spaces, but no expense has been spared in their appointments. The master bedroom suite, which runs along the garden side of the house, has been created for first-class living: a deep balcony spanning the length of the room overlooks the rear garden, with a fireplace, his and her bathrooms, generous walk-in closets fitted with highly-polished wood shelving, and a Jacuzzi. There is also a private office on this floor, as well a small kitchenette—everything is accounted for. Yet, even in the midst of this elegance, where every wall whispers for a magnificent piece of art and there is no end of places to put prize sculptures, it’s the view that enchants.
Among the home’s other discoveries: the perfectly landscaped pool area with a graceful pavilion and sunken tennis court perched at the edge of the backyard, just beneath the outdoor bar and barbecue. Have you found the gym and spa yet? There’s that view again that its floor-to-ceiling windows highlight. Rumor also has it that socialite Nicky Hilton threw legendary parties on the tennis court that lasted well into the night. It’s not hard to imagine Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, or any of Hollywood’s other legendary luminaries lolling in the grass, drink in hand, as day turns to night. Once you arrive here, why would you ever leave?
Aerial photo courtesy of James Respondek/Sotheby’s International Realty