Javier Plascencia & Tim Hollingsworth @ Petty Cash Taqueria (Los Angeles, CA)

Javier Plascencia & Tim Hollingsworth with Petty Cash Taqueria
Petty Cash Taqueria

712 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 8/12/15

Petty CashI’ve never been to mid-city’s Petty Cash, a modernized taqueria from chef Walter Manzke and restaurateur Bill Chait. The restaurant has been pretty popular since opening two years ago spawning this second location in the red hot Arts District of downtown.

The restaurant recently soft opened with a number of ‘Test Kitchen’ dinners. Night one included a mashup of Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria and Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos. Night two, the one recapped here, featured Javier Plascencia (Tijuana’s Mision 19 and San Diego’s Bracero Cocina) and Tim Hollingsworth (The French Laundry, Barrel & Ashes, Otium) pairing up with the Petty Cash team to cook up some tacos.

Kitchen

I’ve seen and heard about Plascencia’s cooking for some time and have never tried it so this was a great opportunity to get a taste of his Baja-Mediterranean cuisine. I’ve been a fan of Hollingsworth since his days at The French Laundry so I’m always in for a peek at what he’s cooking. This served to be a sort of preview of his forthcoming concept Otium at the new Broad Museum downtown.

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Melisse (Santa Monica, CA) [3]

Melisse
1104 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Dining date: 7/24/15

MelisseMy last time dining at Melisse was a year and a half ago when it participated in the dineLA Restaurant Week promotion. While Melisse didn’t technically participate this time, they offered a special 5-course 16th anniversary ‘Dine Melisse’ menu that happened to coincide with dineLA. Priced at $85 per person, it was a very attractive price point to revisit.

Dining Room

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Scarpetta (Beverly Hills, CA) [3]

Scarpetta
Montage Beverly Hills
225 North Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 7/7/15

Scarpetta

I’ve had some great meals at Scarpetta since it opened in 2010. It had been almost two years since I stopped in, so a return visit was long overdue. In my opinion, the restaurant’s best seats are the six at the kitchen counter; this would be my third time sitting here. We had a custom tasting menu built for the evening, picking a few old favorites and letting chef Freddy Vargas fill in the rest.

Kitchen

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CUT (Beverly Hills, CA) [2]

CUT
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
9500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Dining date: 7/15/15

CutI haven’t been to CUT since 2011 but have generally regarded it as probably the best true steakhouse in the city. I recently put that to the test during a revisit for a birthday dinner.

CUT is Wolfgang Puck’s modern interpretation of an American steakhouse. Their steak offerings are top-notch in breadth and quality featuring multiple cuts of Japanese wagyu, American wagyu, and aged USDA Prime varieties (distinguished between corn and grass fed). 

Steaks

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Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, CA) [3]

Chi Spacca
6610 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dining date: 6/6/15

exterior

I was at Chi Spacca just a couple of months prior but returned to introduce the restaurant to some others that had heard great things. It’s a perfect spot for a carnivorous group such as us. Given the format of the menu (primarily large portions of meat), big parties do best here. Luckily, we had a party of seven which allowed us a chance to try a bunch of items.

interior

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Barrel & Ashes (Los Angeles, CA) [2]

Barrel & Ashes
11801 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Dining date: 4/19/15

exterior

We first dined at Barrel & Ashes a few months ago and left impressed. Pedigreed fine dining chefs making BBQ may sound like an odd combination, but it really worked on our first visit. The recent Franklin/Perry Lang BBQ popup in LA got me craving some more BBQ, so a return visit here was in order.

interior1

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