The Arthur J (Manhattan Beach, CA)

The Arthur J
903 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Dining date: 1/24/16

Exterior

The Arthur J is the latest restaurant from chef David LeFevre, who has opened quite the portfolio of concepts in Manhattan Beach. His first two restaurants, M.B. Post and Fishing with Dynamite, have both been big successes – this newest one is a steakhouse.

I stopped in during dineLA restaurant week. The Arthur J offered two appetizers, a steak, a topping, a sauce/butter, a side, and a dessert for $95pp. The options for each course looked pretty great, so it was an opportune time to try the place out.

Interior

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Juniper & Ivy (San Diego, CA)

Juniper & Ivy
2228 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
Dining date: 1/1/16

EXTERIOR

I’ve been following Richard Blais since seeing him on the fourth season of Top Chef. Given he was based in Atlanta, I figured I wasn’t going to be able to try his food anytime soon. Lo and behold, he moved to San Diego and opened this restaurant in 2014 – Juniper & Ivy. The restaurant’s been highly acclaimed since opening and has been atop my list of restaurants to try in SD. I was finally able to try the restaurant during a quick weekend trip on the first of the year.

I lucked out and got seats at the kitchen counter. Seated right in front of the dessert station and cold appetizers, I had a front row view of the action.

KITCHEN

KITCHEN

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Broken Spanish (Los Angeles, CA)

Broken Spanish
1050 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Dining date: 12/19/15

Exterior

Broken Spanish opened in June replacing Rivera in the South Park neighborhood of downtown LA. While Rivera had a notable chef (John Rivera Sedlar), notable partner (Bill Chait) and notable mixologist (Julian Cox), the restaurant never seemed to catch on. Chait partnered up this time with Ray Garcia (Fig) to open Broken Spanish, a modern Mexican restaurant.

Broken Spanish’s menu is very shareable, composed of a selection of snacks, tamales, tortillas, starters, and main plates. Between a party of two, we ordered one item from each section of the menu.

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Otium (Los Angeles, CA)

Otium
222 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 12/12/15

Otium

Otium is one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year. Part of the new Broad Museum development, the restaurant is a collaboration between Bill Chait’s Sprout Group and Tim Hollingsworth (ex-chef de cuisine of The French Laundry, Barrel & Ashes).

I’ve been following Hollingsworth since he departed TFL and came to LA. From his first dinner at The Strand House, to opening BBQ restaurant Barrel & Ashes, and to making tacos at the Petty Cash Taqueria soft opening, Hollingsworth has made a number of appearances around town. However, Otium promises to be his flagship restaurant. The restaurant has been open for about a month for lunch service, recently debuting brunch and then dinner service.

Bar

Kitchen

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Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles, CA) [2]

Osteria Mozza
6602 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Dining date: 11/5/15

I’ve been to the Mozzaplex a bunch of times over the years, but this meal was a unique one. It was part of the Chase Private Dinner Series open to Chase Sapphire cardholders. A $175 ticket included everything from food, wine, tax, gratuity and valet, as well as some time with the chef (Nancy Silverton) and sommelier. It was my first time trying a dinner in this series and I wanted to see what it was all about.

Mozza

Dining Room

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Pok Pok (Los Angeles, CA)

Pok Pok LA
978 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 11/8/15

Pok Pok was one of the city’s most anticipated restaurant openings this year. It has become one of the must-visit restaurants in Portland since opening 10 years ago. Since then, the restaurant and chef have been given numerous awards including chef Andy Ricker winning the James Beard award for Best Chef Northwest in 2011 and the New York location garnering a Michelin star this year. Los Angeles is the third city to have Ricker’s popular restaurant, following the opening of his Phat Thai street food concept at the end of last year.

Pok Pok

Bar

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