If you think all the commercial real estate crowd does is golfs, you're wrong. It also eats. You publisher caught up with the smart set to see where.
We snapped attorneys Sandy and Rick Mallory at five-month old Din Tai Fung in Glendale’s Americana at Brand, with manager Aaron Yang, grandson of the founder who started the legendary dumpling palace in Taiwan in 1958. Today it’s got scores of locations throughout Asia, a half dozen in SoCal and Seattle, and a fanatical following that can’t get enough of its steamed buns with startling dollops of soup inside.
Here’s the room full of dumpling specialists hard at work making them.
Sandy and colleague Charlie Shumaker of Parker Shumaker Mills represent not only Din Tai Fung in Glendale and Costa Mesa, but the new Rao’s in Hollywood, which we snapped last month (the Christmas look is year-round). On the landlord side, they rep Gilmore Associates, which leases to popular Bar Ama (Tex Mex) and Orsa & Winston (Japanese-Italian fusion). Rick, of Allen Matkins, loves his wife’s culinary clients, and also recommends LA Chapter (at the new Ace hotel), Perch (on the rooftop of 448 Hill with “unbelievable views”), Bacamercat (in the Old Bank District), and the much buzzed-about Factory Kitchen and Bestia in the Arts District. He also says to look for Redbird, soon opening at Vibiana on South Main.
Speaking of Bestia, we tried it out with CBRE LA chief Lew Horne and wife Lisa. No, that’s not Lisa, of course, but Institutional Property Advisors’ EVP Ron Harris, right, who was at the next table with his wife. We're always afraid real estate competitors might come to blows and mess our pasta, so we persuaded them, at least for the camera, to give a family hug. Other favorites of Ron’s downtown: Rivera, Sugarfish, and Mas Malo, plus speakeasies Honeycut, Cano, and Varnish.
It was a Monday night but Bestia, as usual, was frenzied.
Of course, it’s in an old industrial building where the sign (meaning “beast” in Italian) was made to look old and weathered, like it’d been there since the Wild West. It’s helmed by Ori Menashe, previously at Angelini Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza, and if you want to eat there next month, you might want to make a reservation now.
On another evening, and in a galaxy far away, near their beloved rolling hills of Calabasas, we joined Fox Rothschild attorney Marc Levinson and wife Carrie at 25-year-old icon Brandywine on Ventura in Woodland Hills. Everyone has to obey the photographer, so we persuaded them to look up, even though they would much rather have been watching the bouillabaisse action.
At hopping new seafood restaurant Connie & Ted's in West Hollywood, we snapped Clarion Partners Richard Pink and wife Gloria. They know something about popular eateries, given the long lines at their eponymous La Brea hot dog stand for the last 75 years. (Yes, that was Pink’s you may have seen in a recent Glee episode—it was the only place where the cast was shown eating in LA.) If you want to celebrate the couple, and support a good cause (arts programs for underserved kids), the Hollywood Arts Council is conferring its first-ever Culinary Arts Award upon them at a luncheon for 300 on April 25 at the Roosevelt. We can’t promise they’ll be wearing their matching shirts.
Here's Jon Regardie, editor of the Downtown LA News, at one of his faves, Factory Kitchen. He took a risk bringing out newsprint in a restaurant known for incredible, but splattering, pasta sauces.
One of our own favorite outposts is chef Jesse Barber’s Barnyard, on Pacific Avenue in Venice, for reasons like this seared tuna, which posed for our camera cheerfully. But don't take our word. The LA Times’s Jonathan Gold not only gave Barnyard a rave review, but named its risotto as one of the top 10 foods he’d had in all of 2013. Which we therefore tried, but unfortunately gulped down so enthusiastically that we forgot to take a picture.
We also tried hot restaurant Bucato in Culver City, where for some reason they won’t let you take pictures. So we’ll say we enjoyed their fresh, light pasta but will otherwise reciprocate and leave the place cloaked in mystery. There’s also a great Asian fusion next door, Lukshon, in case you can’t get in. Got a favorite? Write BizNosh@Bisnow.com.