The 20 Best Kept Secrets in LA’s Restaurant and Bar Scene

When planning a trip to Los Angeles, there are a number of must-see places you’ll have to visit. The most popular tourist destinations are usually the first recommendations you hear. However, many travelers appreciate diving in to get a more authentic taste–Where do the locals hang out? What do they order when they get there? Whether it’s unique libations, one-of-a-kind dishes, or Instagram-worthy experiences, many of the hot spots to wine and dine in Los Angeles have hidden gems within their walls.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

In Sheeps Clothing

Duck into this Downtown Arts District speakeasy hidden inside of Lupetti Pizzeria. The music is sure to take you away during their listening parties with a new album featured each night.

 

High Tide

Outside of having an Instagram-worthy design with plenty of pops of color, the bar High Tide in the Downtown Arts District has live glassblowing to mesmerize you with the unique artistry. You can also sign up for a glassblowing class to get in on the action yourself.

 

Photo: High Tide Glassblowing

Sunset & Vinyl

Make your way to the back of 800 Degrees Pizza in Hollywood and climb the stairs to this vintage speakeasy. Donate a record to their collection in exchange for a free cocktail at this music-inspired locale.

 

Photo: Sunset & Vinyl

The Little Friend

The sister bar to Silver Lake’s The Friend, this Venice outpost is a great place for a dance party but also offers up a surprising variety of mezcals from all over the world, stored within their unassuming closet bar.

 

the-little-friend-venice

Photo: The Little Friend Venice

Broken Shaker

Broken Shaker’s eclectic rooftop space is the perfect destination for catching up over drinks, and with a rotating Daily Punch, you’ll feel a nice buzz while you take in sights of the downtown cityscape.

| Read More: Best Rooftop Bars in LA |

 

broken-shaker-dtla

Photo: Broken Shaker DTLA

Tramp Stamp Grannys

Singers and music lovers flock to this Hollywood piano bar, with talented musicians playing all the hits while guests sing along. You’ll even catch the waitresses and bartenders showcasing their talents along with the occasional performance by owner Darren Criss.

 

tramp-stamp-grannys

Photo: Tramp Stamp Granny’s

Tesse

This restaurant at the base of the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood is known for its delicious menu and bar program, but also offers a unique bone luge experience for guests ordering the Bucatini bone marrow pasta. Guests receive a shot of Madeira wine poured down the empty bone for a one-of-a-kind taste to kickstart your palate.

 

tesse-bone-luge

Photo: Tesse – Bone Luge

Good Times at Davey Waynes

Angelenos flock nightly to this staple just off Hollywood Blvd. Try their alcoholic Snow Cones to cool off during a heatwave or their melt-in-your-mouth Shrimp Grilled Cheese to top off a night of boozy fun.

 

Photo: Boozy Snow Cone, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s (Time Out)

Somni

The Bazaar by Jose Andres is one of LA’s favorite fine dining establishments, but its even more exclusive restaurant-within-a-restaurant Somni offers a further elevated tasting menu in an intimate private dining space.

 

somni-beverly-hills

Photo: Somni, SLS Beverly Hills

Shangri-La Hotel Rooftop Bar

This hidden gem is the best place to watch a sunset on the Westside with guests lining the terrace each day to catch the perfect shot of the sun sinking into the ocean. Take the elevator all the way up to enjoy a drink at this local favorite.

 

shangrila-rooftop-santa-monica

Photo: Shangri-La Rooftop Bar

Seven Grand

Downtown’s prized whiskey bar is the perfect place to do a whiskey tasting with a group of spirit-loving friends. With premium selections from around the world, you can’t miss the chance to tickle your tastebuds with the expansive variety of options.

| Read More: Best Bar Programs in LA |

 

Photo: Seven Grand Los Angeles – Pouring With Heart

Berris

After a night out on the town, West Hollywood flocks to Berri’s late night eatery to indulge in their one and only Lobster Pizza. Bring your appetite along and let the upbeat vibe keep you partying far past last call.

 

Photo: Berri’s

The Bungalow Santa Monica

Taking in a view of the ocean is always a nice touch at The Bungalow’s renowned Santa Monica location. Order their housemade Sangria and let the fruity refresher take your beachside stay to the next level.

 

Photo: The Bungalow

Coles French Dip

Visit this Downtown saloon that originated the French Dip for an authentic taste of Los Angeles history. Polish off your sandwich with a little Varnish, which can be found behind an unmarked door at the back of the space…

 

Photo: Cole’s French Dip

Cleo Hollywood

Stop by this Hollywood establishment for a quick bite before a night out. Their signature Brussel Sprouts will have you questioning how such an unpopular vegetable can possibly taste so good.

 

Photo: Cleo Brussel Sprouts (sbe)

Nighthawk: Breakfast Bar

This breakfast-themed spot keeps Venice locals feeling good from morning ‘til night. Order their Vietnamese Iced Coffee cold brew cocktail and never look at your daily pick me up the same way again.

 

Photo: LA Times

Break Room 86

For aspiring entertainers, this 80s-themed bar is the place to go when you’re in need of an audience. Their live band karaoke night on Tuesdays will make you feel like a rockstar, or you can jam out privately by booking a room to serenade friends.

 

Photo: Break Room 86

EP & LP

Take the elevator up to the LP rooftop bar for a glamorous view of the Hollywood Hills. Order one of their Boba Cocktails for a unique twist that will keep your night buzzing right along.

 

Photo: Eater LA

Gracias Madre

You’ll be feeling light as a feather after stopping by this all-vegan WeHo spot for one of their CBD oil cocktails. The Sour T-iesel, Stoney Negroni, or Rolled Fashioned each include a dose of green medicine to end on a high note.

| Read More: Best Vegan Eats in LA |

 

Photo: Sour T-iesel cocktail at Gracias Madre. (LA Times)

The Rooftop Bar at The Standard DTLA

German beer lovers will rejoice in knowing The Standard’s rooftop bar also has an attached Biergarten. Stop by in the early evening Wednesday through Saturday for German snacks and say cheers over a tall glass of brew.

 

Photo: Biergarten Standard DTLA. (New York Post)

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For information on restaurant reservations or nightlife tables, contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire in the chat box below.

 

Wine and Dine at The Best Restaurants in San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its beautiful architecture, vibrant culture and innovative tech landscape, making it one of the most interesting cities in the world. With impressive restaurants on every corner, there are plenty of places to take in a quality dining experience during your visit to the Bay. Make the most of your business trip or vacation when you indulge in some of San Francisco’s best restaurants.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Flour + Water

The seasonal menu at Flour + Water keeps guests coming back for more to enjoy this inviting, classic restaurant with a neighborhood feel. Situated in the Mission District, you’ll taste some of the best pasta in San Francisco made with unique combinations of vibrant flavors. Their newer sister restaurant, Flour + Water Pizzeria, is also a go-to for a taste of a delicious pie.

 

Photo: Flour + Water

Photo: Flour + Water Pizzeria

Ayala

You’ll find delicious seafood creations at Ayala, located at the Hotel G in Union Square. Sky-high ceilings create an enviable ambiance to enjoy their menu of fish, shellfish and an impressive raw bar. Your dining experience is topped off with a buzz from their menu of freshly-made cocktails. 

 

Photo: Ayala San Francisco

Photo: Ayala San Francisco

Monsieur Benjamin

The flavorful dishes at Monsieur Benjamin are sure to please your palate with Parisian fare in the heart of Hayes Valley. The modern reinventions of French classics, including steak tartare, escargot and frog legs, bring new life to traditional recipes. This bistro won’t disappoint during your next French cuisine craving.

 

Photo: Monsieur Benjamin

Photo: Monsieur Benjamin

Fiorella

If you’re in the mood for Italian, Fiorella in Outer Richmond is the place to go with wood-fired pizzas and antipasti made by Brookyln-born chefs. Order from their diverse wine list to bring even more flavor to the savory selection. Their wallpaper featuring the faces of San Francisco icons makes this outpost a neighborhood staple, along with its newer sister restaurant Fiorella Polk Street.

 

Photo: Fiorella

Photo: Fiorella

Tartine Manufactory

As an extension of its Bakery predecessor, the Mission’s Tartine Manufactory has grown to be a local favorite for unparalleled pastries by day and an appetizing dinner menu by night. The bright and airy atmosphere complements the fresh fare of sandwiches and salads alongside its dreamy evening ambiance filled with the scent of seasoned vegetables and meats.

 

Photo: Tartine Manufactory

Photo: Tartine Manufactory

Nopa

The rustic environment at Nopa brings authenticity to your dining experience with American, Mediterranean and Italian-inspired cuisine. Anyone who can appreciate a good burger will enjoy their signature dish paired with delicious craft cocktails. 

 

Photo: Nopa San Francisco

Photo: Nopa San Francisco

Liholiho Yacht Club

The Hawaiian cuisine at Nob Hill’s Liholiho Yacht Club keeps guests returning to enjoy the sophisticated, fun environment. The exclusive spot keeps reservations filled due to its mouth-watering menu featuring ingredients like kimchi, peanuts and pineapple, evoking Asian influences with a Californian flair.

 

Photo: Liholiho Yacht Club San Francisco

Photo: Liholiho Yacht Club San Francisco

Marlowe

This inviting eatery brings a lively energy to its Soma surroundings with a bustling clientele of revelers. Sink your teeth into their menu of mouth-watering favorites ranging from signature brussels sprout chips to a noteworthy hamburger.

 

Photo: Marlowe San Francisco

Photo: Marlowe San Francisco

a Mano

It’s first-come-first-served at this restaurant in Hayes Valley, known for its long line of guests ready to be wined and dined. They may not take reservations, but their Italian cuisine is worth the wait with items like pizzas, pastas and even a signature fried chicken to satisfy your tastebuds. Grab a table along the sidewalk outside for perfect people-watching in the city.

 

Photo: a Mano San Francisco

Photo: a Mano San Francisco

Delfina

This busy go-to in the Mission requires a reservation to enjoy its California-Italian style dining. With two decades of bringing quality plates to the area, Delfina offers up a solid menu of wood-fired pizzas, arancini and spaghetti that will make you never want to leave.

 

Photo: Delfina San Francisco

Photo: Delfina San Francisco

Kin Khao

Union Square’s Parc 55 Hotel is home to Kin Khao, a contemporary spot with a menu of flavorful Thai classics. With homemade curries and sauces, this Michelin-starred restaurant has proven itself worthy drawing guests into its Tenderloin neighborhood for authentic Bangkok-inspired eats.

 

Photo: Kin Khao San Francisco

Photo: Kin Khao San Francisco

Little Creatures

While known to be more of a brewery than a restaurant, this Australian brand brings a delicious menu of pizzas, mussels and more giving bar food a unique, Aussie twist. Pair a flight of beer with an order of lamb ribs to experience this new addition to Mission Bay, just a short stroll from the Chase Center.

 

Photo: Little Creatures San Francisco

Photo: Little Creatures San Francisco

Angler

This spacious, waterfront restaurant thrives in offering Soma guests delectable, family-style plates ranging from a full raw bar to dishes roasted over an open, wood fireplace. Whether you prefer your protein from land or sea, Angler’s menu includes both with roasted octopus, hot chicken-style rabbit and antelope tartare bringing exotic flavors straight to your table.

 

Photo: Angler San Francisco

Photo: Angler San Francisco

Octavia

A neighborhood restaurant with a Michelin-starred menu, Octavia boasts a casual elegance perfect for a night of dining in the city’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. The evolving menu of charming plates brings in guests to enjoy the relaxed, welcoming environment.

 

Photo: Octavia San Francisco

Photo: Octavia San Francisco

Beretta

This San Francisco classic is a must-try during your stay, with delectable pizzas and pastas along with finger food to accompany seasonal cocktail creations. Open until 1am, a rarity in the city, dinner can easily shift into a night of toasting drinks at this local favorite in the Mission.

 

Photo: Beretta San Francisco

Photo: Beretta San Francisco

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For more information on restaurant reservations and travel accommodations in San Francisco, contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire in the chat box below.

 

Enjoy a Summer Sunset at The Bungalow Santa Monica’s Night Market

The Bungalow is known to Santa Monica citizens as one of the most populated bars on the Westside. Its brand built on surf culture, Baja California and a quality sunset over the Pacific leads locals and visitors alike to keep coming back to the inviting venue attached to the Fairmont Hotel. With summer just around the corner, The Bungalow has a new draw with the launch of their Night Market—a weekly event featuring a selection of LA’s best food trucks. Learn more about The Bungalow’s plans for a bustling, beachside summer event.

The Bungalow Santa Monica Night Market

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Night Market Launches May 16th

For those looking to get their weekend started early, Thursday nights at The Bungalow are the place to be with their Night Market launching on May 16th and running through fall. The free KCRW-sponsored event will stake its claim on what is currently the Bungalow’s parking lot, which normally houses valet cars along with a line of people that snakes through the space on weekends. The unstoppable Bungalow crowds are sure to appreciate a new reason to stop by and take advantage of an additional space to hang out along the iconic Ocean Boulevard.

 

 

The Bungalow Santa Monica Night Market

Photo: The Bungalow Santa Monica Night Market

Street Eats & Casual Bites

Running each week from 5-10pm, the Night Market will take on a different tone than the bar to attract foodies of all ages craving street eats and families searching for a fun summer activity. Picnic tables will be set up throughout as guests can try different tastes from some of the best food trucks in the city. Buzzed about Mexican food favorite Tacos 1986 will be a part of the menu along with popular vegan food truck ManEatingPlant. Opening night will include a special acoustic performance by Grammy Award-winning singer Macy Gray, with further live music performances expected to be announced in the future. DJs from KCRW’s schedule will also be playing hits as guests enjoy casual bites in front of an LA sunset.

 

tacos-1986

Photo: Tacos 1986

Brent Bolthouse & The Bungalow

Bungalow visionary Brent Bolthouse joined designers Studio Collective to open up the now iconic indoor-outdoor space in the summer of 2012. Since then, the beloved brand has expanded to include another location in Huntington Beach with additional venues in La Jolla and Long Beach scheduled to open by the end of the year. Guests flock to both of the current locations to take in the quintessentially Californian vibe while sipping drinks in a welcoming, beachy environment.

Bolthouse is also known for creating exciting events and is recently coming off the heels of the success of the annual Neon Carnival Coachella after party. The 2019 event included an encore with a second round of festivities occurring after Goldenvoice’s other desert festival, Stagecoach. Bolthouse plans to make Night Market a staple in the Santa Monica summer scene alongside the first ever Santa Monica LGBT Pride festival arriving in June and the return of the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concerts in August.

 

Photo: Brent Bolthouse and Alessandra Ambrosio at Neon Carnival – by Just Jared

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The all ages Bungalow Night Market is free and open to the public each Thursday evening from 5-10pm beginning on May 16th, 2019, and will last through the end of the summer.

For more information on table reservations at The Bungalow, contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire in the chat box below

 

Photo: The Bungalow Santa Monica

Photo: The Bungalow Santa Monica

The Bungalow Santa Monica

Photo: The Bungalow Santa Monica

Photo: The Bungalow Santa Monica

 

Satisfy Your Cravings at LA’s Finest Mexican Restaurants

Great Mexican food is almost like a birthright for Los Angeles, considering the area used to be part of Mexico. With such a strong cultural influence still present in the city today, Mexican restaurants are plentiful, including menus of upscale Mexican cuisine. With Cinco de Mayo filling the city with cravings for tacos, quesadillas and the like, what better way is there to celebrate than by grabbing a bite and a margarita at one of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Gracias Madre

In a city known for its availability of vegan food options, Gracias Madre quickly rises above the competition. Their secret is to take traditional Mexican dishes that are already close to being vegan and push them over the edge. Gracias Madre is widely known for its tasty guacamole, mezcal, and cashew-based cheese. They also serve an agave-heavy cocktail menu that won’t have you feeling guilty in the morning.

 

Photo: Gracias Madre

Photo: Gracias Madre

Toca Madera

An extensive cocktail menu and expertly-crafted Mexican cuisine classics make Toca Madera an all-in-one package. For a night out, look no further than a drive to West Hollywood where you can lounge at Toca Madera all night and never get bored. Celebrities, locals, and visitors alike flock there each day for high-quality dishes and one of the most lively dining atmospheres in Los Angeles.

 

Photo: Toca Madera

Photo: Toca Madera

Broken Spanish

Located a few blocks from the Staples Center, Broken Spanish should be your go-to spot for a night out before or after the big game. Whether you’re looking for an upscale restaurant or a place for drinks and dancing, Broken Spanish has it all. Crowds from all over the city congregate here for some of the best modern Mexican food in the city.

 

Photo: Broken Spanish

Photo: Broken Spanish

Petite Taqueria

Petite Taqueria in West Hollywood boasts a menu of Mexican classics with a twist. The prime La Cienega location in the heart of the neighborhood’s bustling nightlife scene makes it the perfect pre-party destination for enjoying a mouth-watering dinner. Fans of savory Mexican dishes and flavorful cocktails are sure to enjoy the Petite Taqueria experience.

 

Photo: Petite Taqueria

Photo: Petite Taqueria

Coni Seafood

If seafood is what you seek, Coni’Seafood has what you’ve been looking for. Beginning in the owner’s backyard in 1987, the restaurant has been fueling the larger LA community with Nayarit-style seafood for decades. Widely considered one of, if not the best seafood restaurants in Los Angeles, everything from ceviche to tacos de Marlin is served up with care and precision at both of their LA locations.

 

Photo: Coni’Seafood

Photo: Coni’Seafood

La Casita Mexicana

Heading south of Downtown lies La Casita Mexicana, a colorful Dia de Los Muertos themed restaurant that has been serving up some of the area’s best Chile En Nogada for years. The two head chefs of La Casita Mexicana are absolute rockstars when it comes to cooking up Mexican food, and they have quickly turned their restaurant into a Southern California institution.

 

Photo: La Casita Mexicana

Photo: La Casita Mexicana

Red O Taste of Mexico

The Red O culinary team prides themselves on using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients in their classic Mexican dishes, as well as their steaks and seafood dishes. The restaurant, located in Santa Monica, houses a friendly and inviting interior that makes guests want to sit and have just one more glass of wine.

 

Photo: Red O Santa Monica

Photo: Red O Santa Monica

El Compadre

If there’s one thing that can get you ready for the weekend, it should be margaritas and dinner at El Compadre in Hollywood. Flaming drinks, an all-night mariachi band, and authentic Mexican food come together to create the perfect atmosphere to have a party. Experience this Los Angeles outpost for a menu of delicious dishes made from family recipes that won’t disappoint.

 

Photo: El Compadre

Photo: El Compadre

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For more information on restaurant reservations in Los Angeles, contact concierge@zochagroup.comor inquire in the chat box below.

 

Savor the Flavor at the Best Fine Dining Restaurants in South Africa

South Africa is a country full of culture that goes back nearly to the beginning of recorded time. If you’re not busy hiking beautiful waterfalls or snorkeling off the coast, you’ll want to taste the variety of dishes served at the historic country’s fine dining locales. Their unique location provides a variety of ingredients that are used to put fresh new spins on classic favorites or create new dishes altogether. Take a bite of some top picks for the best fine dining in South Africa for the next time you head to Mzansi.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

The Restaurant at Waterkloof

Situated on top of Schapenberg mountain, The Restaurant at Waterkloof is an internationally-renowned and multiple award-winning eatery that turns a meal into a whole experience. Revered chef Gregory Czarnecki has gained global recognition for his gift of creating elegance and luxury in simplistic but artistic ways.

 

Restaurant at Waterkloof

Photo: The Restaurant at Waterkloof

The Test Kitchen

An elaborate and extraordinary menu, along with world-class service, has put The Test Kitchen on the map for fine dining. Owner and head chef Luke Dale-Roberts knows how to surprise and excite diners with some of the most inventive and creative food in the country.

 

The Test Kitchen

Photo: The Test Kitchen

La Colombe

La Colombe serves as one of South Africa’s most recognizable names in the fine dining circuit and continually ends up near the top of every list of the world’s best restaurants. Located on the grounds of the picturesque Silvermist Organic Wine Estate, La Colombe serves a mix of classical French and Asian cuisine that pairs perfectly with anything off of the wine menu and the breathtaking views.

 

La Colombe Restaurant

Photo: La Colombe Restaurant

Restaurant Mosaic

Restaurant Mosaic, inside the famous Orient hotel, has quickly risen to fame along with its head chef. Chantal Dartnell, who recently won the award for ‘Best Female Chef in the World.’ She crafts an ever-changing but always top-tier menu that leaves guests’ jaws on the floor. From your first arrival to final departure, not a single detail is missed.

 

The Orient Restaurant Mosaic

Photo: The Orient – Restaurant Mosaic

Wolfgat

Wolfgat rests inside an unpretentious, white-washed fisherman’s cottage that only seats 20, making it tough to get reservations during peak travel months. Chef Kobus van der Merwe works miracles in the kitchen, creating ethereal dishes from ingredients that can be found right outside the restaurant. Some of the dishes at Wolfgat take months to prepare, which shows the dedication to perfection that comes from van der Merwe and his team.

 

Wolfgat South Africa

Photo: Wolfgat

The Camphors at Vergelegen

This South African signature restaurant takes its name from the ancient giant Camphor trees planted in 1700 that sit at the front of the property. The restaurant’s seating overlooks these beautiful trees and the rest of the expansive lawn, adding something special to your dining experience. Their seasonal menu is crafted around their signature wine list in order to complement the wine, and not the other way around like you may be used to seeing. Although The Camphors is quite a highly-awarded eatery, the experience is genuine and the staff does a wonderful job at educating their guests about the wines and foods offered.

 

Camphors at Vergelegen

Photo: The Camphors at Vergelegen

Greenhouse

Discover the complexities of South African cuisine in this modern conservatory that offers breathtaking views of the historic Cellars-Hohenort Hotel. Chef Farrel Hirsch serves up high-end but playful dishes that complement the local ingredients of South Africa like none before him.

 

Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort

Photo: Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort

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For information on accommodations in South Africa, contact concierge@zochagroup.comor inquire in the chat box below.

 

Get a Taste of LA with the Best Food Trucks in Los Angeles

One of the best developments in Los Angeles’ restaurant industry over the past decade is the emergence of food trucks–and they are everywhere. Food trucks are a fun and convenient way to enjoy a quick meal in the fast-paced city as they offer creative dishes that would put even your favorite restaurants to shame. Since they’re so popular, you’ll have plenty of options to embrace a taste from these unique mobile menus. Take a bite of our choices of the very best food trucks rolling around Los Angeles.

Photo: Jakob N. Layman

 

Tacos 1986

This up-and-coming taco stall is the perfect way to get your siesta on after a long day or start your fiesta for a really good night. Tacos 1986 offers perfectly crafted, authentic tacos with homemade tortillas and a side of sweet and smooth horchata. With a revolving location that has called Hollywood, Koreatown and Venice home, you’ll never go wrong tracking down this mouth-watering menu.

 

Photo: Tacos 1986

The Lobos Truck LA

Offering a truly mouth-watering variety of California-style comfort foods, The Lobos Truck LA is a hot spot for Angelinos looking for a top tier, quality meal. Along with a full menu of tasty lunch and dinner options, they also offer a full line of their very own sauces including BBQ sauce, hot sauces, and ranch-based sauces.

 

Photo: The Lobos Food Truck

Gs Taco Spot on Wheels

G’s Taco Spot on Wheels continually attracts customers from far and wide who are dying to try this renowned food truck’s traditional gourmet Mexican cuisine. With everything from whopping breakfast burritos to plenty of vegan dinner options, this food truck is sure to give you the perfect Mexican food experience.

 

Photo: Zocha Group – Tacos

Richeeze

The only thing better than the food at Richeeze is the smile you’ll have on your face for the rest of the day. Richeeze, which operates all over Downtown LA, creates some of the cheesiest and delectable dishes in the city. Fresh ingredients and experts behind the grill make Richeeze one of the best places to get your favorite childhood sandwich.

 

Photo: Richeeze

Hustle N Dough

Hustle N Dough is a Santa Monica-based donut shop on wheels that would give the famous Voodoo Donuts a run for their money. Crazy concoctions like sweet lavender, vanilla, and honey make Hustle N Dough a perfect place to start off your morning and satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

Photo: Zocha Group – Doughnuts

Cousins Maine Lobster

Cousins Jim Tselikis and Saban Lomac joined forces in 2012 to bring their vision of owning a restaurant to reality. Seven years later, and the pair are bringing the country some of the freshest Maine lobster you’ll ever taste. They have 21 food truck locations in 15 states, with three here in Southern California. Seafood-loving Angelinos know to head to Cousins Maine Lobster for a delectable dinner.

 

Photo: Cousins Maine Lobster / Good Food Pittsburgh

Hungry Nomad

If you ever find yourself lucky enough to stumble upon the Hungry Nomad food truck, you’ll find yourself treated to some of the best Lebanese/Armenian street food you may ever have in your life. The recipes Hungry Nomad uses have been passed down through generations of family chefs and are largely influenced by their family-owned and operated bakery, which has been open for over 50 years.

 

Photo: Hungry Nomad

Mariscos Jalisco

Known to Eastsiders as a local favorite, this taco truck has steadily built its reputation with almost twenty years serving up Mexican eats in Los Angeles. Whether you’re in the mood for ceviche, shrimp tacos or the perfect tostada, your Mexican seafood craving is sure to be satisfied when you stop by this LA institution.

 

Photo: Mariscos Jalisco

Ragin Cajun

Tantalize your taste buds with some of the best spicy Southern food in all of Los Angeles. Ragin’ Cajun creates the perfect blend of spicy and savory that will transport you right to Bourbon Street and satisfy the rumble in your stomach. With their large menu packed with great options,  you’ll enjoy bringing some heat to your food truck dining experience.

 

Photo: Ragin’ Cajun

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For more information on dining and accommodations in Los Angeles, contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire in the chat box below

 

The 9 Best Farmers’ Markets Around Los Angeles

Farmers’ markets are a great place to go for locally-sourced, organic produce, handmade products, and other great commodities. With the vast number of markets in Los Angeles, it’s easier here than anywhere else to buy groceries that support the city’s variety of local businesses. Consider taking your next shopping trip to these options for the best farmers’ markets around Los Angeles.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

South Pasadena Farmers Market

There are quite a few farmers’ markets to choose from in Pasadena, but out of all of them, the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market rises to the top. Held every Thursday from 4-8 pm, this market offers a large selection of vendors no matter what your diet, ranging from vegan wheatgrass to locally raised beef. Located right next to the Gold Line’s South Pasadena station, it’s an easy destination for anyone to get to for a quality shopping trip.

 

Photo: South Pasadena Farmers Market

Silver Lake Farmers Market

If you’re looking for a great farmers’ market that offers more than just produce, this is the place for you. The neighborhood farmers’ market in Silver Lake offers locally-grown produce as well as vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, books, crystals, and a variety of other lifestyle products.

 

Photo: Silver Lake Farmers Market / Sexy Food

Mar Vista Farmers Market

Along with produce, this market offers tables and tables of prepared food, with many vendors offering free samples. Brands such as Decadently Raw, Homeboy Bakery and Aris Natural Foods make this a great stop for anybody who needs an excuse to leave the house. After you pick up some groceries, go listen to the live music playing in the dining area and grab a freshly made meal.

 

Photo: Mar Vista Farmers Market / Del Mar Times

Atwater Village Farmers Market

This longtime Sunday morning market is a staple for Los Angeles Eastsiders. Locals continue to come back every week for this market’s great selection of grade A produce, friendly employees, and unique and tasty treats that are offered by a variety of vendors. Along with produce, you can expect to find gardening tools, flowers, and freshly-brewed coffee to help get your day started.

 

Photo: Atwater Village Farmers Market / Time Out

Hollywood Farmers Market

There are California-grown fruits and vegetables abound at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. Here you can find a variety of locally-sourced foods such as freshly-grown avocados, seafood, free-range poultry and beef, fresh honey, and much more. Along with food vendors offering produce, the market also hosts book signings, music performances, and live professional chef demonstrations.

 

Photo: Hollywood Farmers Market

Altadena Farmers Market

Every Wednesday afternoon you can expect to find dozens of booths offering a variety of artisanal foods and wares that are all locally-made. Started by the head of the Institute of Domestic Technology, a center for culinary arts and technologies, the Altadena Farmers’ Market is a great place for a family outing, a date, or just somewhere to spend some time with friends.

 

Photo: Altadena Farmers Market / Power Couple Life

Brentwood Farmers Market

Known for having a surplus of free samples, the Brentwood Farmers’ Market draws huge crowds every Sunday where locals (and local celebrities) grab their groceries, fresh pastries, and other organic goods. Make sure to arrive early and come hungry, as the free parking fills up fast but the free samples last all day!

 

Photo: Brentwood Farmers Market / Daily Bruin

Santa Monica Farmers Market

The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is where LA’s elite chefs go to grab their astonishingly fresh produce and get ideas for new dishes. As such, the market is more catered to dealing with large orders, so if you ever find yourself needing 10 lbs of fresh carrots or 20 jars of organic hummus, this is the place to go.

 

Photo: Santa Monica Farmers Market

Beverly Hills Farmers Market

With over 60 farmers and vendors contributing to the Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market, there is a large selection of options for you to choose from. Fresh fruit, crepes, live music, and even a petting zoo for your kids are all things you can expect to see on an average Sunday at the Beverly Hills market.

 

Photo: Beverly Hills Farmers Market

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For information on accommodations in Los Angeles, contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire in the chat box below

 

7 of the Best Food and Drink Festivals in Los Angeles

Everybody knows that delicious food and a quality drinks are good for the soul, but both are even better when enjoyed with others. Food and drink festivals are a great way to get out into the community and enjoy some great eats at the same time. There are a variety of events highlighting different areas of the food universe around the city, so here are some of the very best food and drink events for you to taste something new.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Santa Monica Wine Fest

Wine novices and sommeliers alike are welcomed to come to the Santa Monica Wine Festival happening in the beachside city of Santa Monica. The festival prides itself on bringing wines from all over the world under one roof along with live music and wine education.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Smokefest 2 Barbecue Festival

This barbeque festival hosted at LA Ale Works in Hawthorne celebrates everything grilled, smoked, and slathered in sauce. The event is free to the public, with each individual booth setting their own prices per dish. The festival is also family and dog-friendly, with giant games of Jenga and Connect Four happening all day long.

 

Photo: Smokefest Barbeque

Vegan Street Fair

The Vegan Street Fair is an annual celebration that brings plant-based food and good times together in its North Hollywood neighborhood. This free-to-enter event hosts multiple vegan food vendors from all over the city to bring you a smorgasbord of delicious and nutritious eats.  

 

Photo: Vegan Street Fair

Montrose Craft Beer Festival

This event is a celebration of local brewers and craftsman who have perfected their beer creating process. The Montrose Craft Beer Festival is an annual occurrence that along with great beer holds lawn games, a photo booth, and a live DJ.

 

Photo: Montrose Craft Beer Festival

Masters of Taste

This premier food and drink festival is held at the Rose Bowl and unites dozens of Los Angeles’ top chefs, wine and beer experts to all come together for a greater cause. 100% of the proceeds goes to Union Station Homeless Services, which serves to place the homeless in available housing. What could be better than enjoying some delicious food and quality drinks for a great cause?

 

Photo: Master of Taste

ColdXela Homebrewed Craft Beer Festival

The SoCal Cerveceros are host their annual homebrewed beer festival that focuses on celebrating local award-winning homebrew beer makers. The festival also prides themselves on bringing in up and coming Latino bands and music acts that make for an exciting day of fun.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Long Beach Seafood Festival

Seafood lovers from all over California head to Long Beach to enjoy some of the best fish that Southern California has to offer. The festival features amazing dishes from top chefs all over Los Angeles, as well as demonstrations from top celebrity chefs, eating competitions, dances, and much more. Those with a birthday during the month of the festival get to enjoy free entry to take a bite of the fresh seafood selections.

 

Photo: Long Beach Seafood Festival

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For information on event tickets and accommodations in Los Angeles, contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire through the chat box below

 

The Best Fine Dining in Santa Monica

With its unparalleled weather and sophisticated, beachy culture, Santa Monica is a world-renowned destination that serves up a variety of attractions for visitors and locals alike. If you’re looking for a special place to enjoy a fine dining meal, there are plenty of options for you to get a taste of a quality menu. You’ll have an unforgettable experience when you visit any of these Santa Monica fine dining destinations.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Melisse

A favorite in the industry, the cuisine at Melisse is worth the visit with a refined menu of French-American dishes. The world-class service and lively atmosphere have kept guests coming back for more than twenty years, and is sure to see even more success with an upcoming remodel of the classic brand.

 

Photo: Melisse

Photo: Melisse

Elephante

This destination has become a hot spot on the Westside with its menu of coastal Italian dishes. The rooftop view overlooking the ocean adds to the atmosphere with craft cocktails being served up at this indoor-outdoor space. Head there for a trendy crowd who loves to mix and mingle while watching the beachside sunset.

 

Photo: Elephante

Photo: Elephante

Rustic Canyon

If you’re a fan of farm-to-table, Rustic Canyon is the place to visit with a menu of fresh ingredients that make up the variety of comfort food inspired dishes. The shareable small plates pair perfectly with a glass of wine as you refresh your mind and body with a healthy meal.

 

Photo: Rustic Canyon

Photo: Rustic Canyon

Cassia

This critically acclaimed go-to is known for its delicious and unique menu of French-Vietnamese cuisine. You’ll be sure to enjoy the mouth-watering seafood dishes of things like prawns, snow crab and scallops that are served fresh thanks to the Santa Monica location.

 

Photo: Cassia

Photo: Cassia

Michaels

This long-standing Santa Monica destination is known for its seasonal menu with innovative flavors. The outdoor patio with lush greenery provides a nature-filled ambiance as you enjoy the California cuisine nade with ingredients from local farmers’ markets.

 

Photo: Michael’s

Photo: Michael’s

Milo & Olive

This delicious Santa Monica favorite serves up Italian dishes like wood-fired pizzas and appetizing pastas. They even have espresso concoctions and a selection of pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy their creative plates in the simplistic setting that’s sure to keep your mouth watering.

 

Photo: Milo & Olive

Photo: Milo & Olive

Dialogue

You’d never expect to find this upscale location hidden in the bustling Santa Monica Promenade. The 21-course tasting menu created by James Beard award-winning chef Dave Beran is filled with imaginative dishes creating a meal to remember. The minimalist setting ensures that all the attention goes to the food creating a photo-worthy visual presentation.

 

Photo: Dialogue

Photo: Dialogue

Tar & Roses

Come to Tar & Roses with friends or for a date night to share a meal of charcuterie plates, cheese and wine that will put you in the Santa Monica spirit. The bustling restaurant is known for its fusion of American, Asian and Mediterranean vibes with delectable flavors.

 

Photo: Tar Roses

Photo: Tar Roses

Via Veneto

What better way to get a taste of Italy than by heading to this enjoyable Santa Monica locale. You’ll feel like you’re in the heart of Rome at this destination perfect for a gourmet dining experience. The romantic environment puts a charming touch on your night out along with an Italian staff that creates an authentic experience.

 

Photo: Via Veneto

Photo: Via Veneto

Little Prince

If you’re in need of a brunch destination, head to Little Prince to embrace their airy, Santa Monica setting. The sandwiches and pancakes are sure to hit the spot thanks to their fresh, natural ingredients. You’re sure to find a trendy crowd ready to dish out a taste at this delightful go-to.

 

Photo: Little Prince

Photo: Little Prince

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For more information on booking a reservation or travel accommodations in Santa Monica, contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire within the chat box below

 

The 7 Best Vegan Restaurants in New York City

For many, being vegan requires a bit of planning when it comes time to explore a new city. Luckily, the recent rise in people adopting a vegan lifestyle means there are more and more restaurants opening across the country that cater to a meatless menu. If you’re looking for a bite to eat in the Big Apple, stop by one of these spots to enjoy some of the best vegan food in the city.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Ladybird

This eatery in the East Village offers up comfort food options that make for a great meal after a buzzed night out. With things like deep-fried mac and cheese balls, fried avocado croquettes, and an artichoke-chardonnay fondue platter, Ladybird takes “drunk food” to a new level making it a must try on your night out.

 

Photo: Ladybird

The Cinnamon Snail

This food truck owned and operated by Adam Sobel is locally known for continually dishing out delicious vegan food options. Menu items like Korean barbeque seitan and crème brulee doughnuts are a huge hit at this Midtown West destination.

 

Photo: The Cinnamon Snail

Avant Garden

Avant Garden’s locations in the East Village and Brooklyn boast menus of dishes that are both sophisticated and delicate. The atmosphere says chic tiki bar while the East Village location gives the feel of a rustic wine bar. Stop in to enjoy an elegant menu of plant-based dishes for a dinner to remember.

 

Photo: Avant Garden

Blossom

Blossom in Chelsea is known for its impressive faux-meat dishes, along with egg-free pasta and desserts. The health-conscious brand has also expanded to include two Manhattan locations to satisfy even more plant-based cravings in NYC.

 

Photo: Blossom

Candle Cafe

The menu at Candle Cafe in Lenox Hill is like a training manual for newly-converted vegans. Sandwiches with faux meat and grilled seitan skewers will make you think you’re eating the real thing. Stop into Candle Cafe for the perfect place to ease the transition into a vegan diet.

 

Photo: Candle Cafe

Peacefood Cafe

This Upper West Side gem is one of the few vegan restaurants in the area that truly rises above the competition. Great tasting and healthy dishes like fresh salads and cashew-based ‘goat-cheese’ are exceptional bites to try when you’re in the neighborhood.

 

Photo: Peacefood Cafe

Le Botaniste

Parent restaurant Le Pain Quotidien decided to open a vegan, gluten-free restaurant in New York after finding success in Belgium. At Le Botaniste in Lenox Hill, you can try their signature dishes or customize your own to satisfy your tastes. The dark, rustic atmosphere pairs perfectly with the menu that includes many raw recipes and low-temperature cooking techniques.

 

Photo: Le Botaniste

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For information on dining reservations in New York City, contact concierge@zochagroup.com