dineLA Dishes: Seven Restaurants Share Summer 2015 Favorites

dineL.A. Restaurant Week, running from July 13-26, is the perfect opportunity to get out, explore new nabes, and try some of the best in dining that Los Angeles has to offer – all at a delicious discount. You can save with $15, $20 + $25 lunches and $30, $40 + $50 dinners. After perusing the menus and checking in with a few participating chefs, we asked several restaurants to share their summer 2015 dineLA favorites. Read on and start planning your culinary adventures in the coming weeks.

Blue Plate Oysterette, Santa Monica
B.P. Oysterette is known for offering one of the best happy hours in the city, but, with a plentiful menu of small and large plates (not to mention their amazing raw bar), we suggest sticking around for a full course meal featuring the freshest bounty summer has to offer from the sea. Chef Jorge Rivas points diners to the roasted branzino — as well as the luscious lobster roll.

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“The warm toasty brioche and parsley butter combined with chilled fresh Maine lobster and a hint of mayo create the perfect summertime indulgence,” he states.

Fundamental LA, Westwood
Drawing inspiration from the seasons and including it in every dish that is lovingly crafted at this neighborhood eatery, the Fundamental LA team works hard — and succeeds — in creating an atmosphere where “we’d want to dine with good friends.” The bar seating offers a front-row view of the open kitchen in this airy, light-filled space. Chef Philip Pretty suggests the pork belly and sword squid with shell beans, apple, and caper-raisin purée.

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“I wanted to do my California take on the Spanish preparation of chorizo and squid, hence pairing pork belly with sword squid. I then incorporate seasonal ingredients of shell beans and apples and finish the dish with the tartness of a caper raisin purée,” he says.

Hamasaku, West Los Angeles
Take a break from the grind with a relaxing, Zen-like stop at a Japanese-inspired oasis. If you’re looking for a new go-to date-night sushi spot where the rolls are as impeccable as the service, you’ll want to give this serene and elevated experience a try. General manager Jesse Duron suggests the albacore with crispy onion.

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Made with albacore sashimi, fried onions, wasabi-marinated watercress, and ginger soy dressing, Duron notes, “Our albacore crispy onion dish is a crowd favorite — a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and crunch.”

The Little Door, West Hollywood
Does it get any cozier and romantic than The Little Door? We’re not sure. French Moroccan-inspired fare is served in an intimate setting perfect for special occasions or any night of the week. As comforting as it is fresh and exotic, this WeHo gem offers a satisfying break from more run-of-the-mill dining experiences. Chef T. Nicolas Peter highlights the trio of roasted beets with a fresh goat cheese and lavender tart.

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Delicious T-Shirts: 11 Tasty Tees Perfect for Foodies

A t-shirt isn’t just a piece of clothing – it’s a statement. It tells people a little bit about who you are and what you love (and, in this case, what you love to eat). That’s why choosing which ones to wear isn’t a decision you should take lightly. We’ve decided to make it easier for you to let your flavor flag fly by introducing you to our round up of delicious t-shirts with 11 tasty tees perfect for foodies. Avid diners, your wardrobe’s about to get deliciousized.

Acid Trip
You can wear this one to Coachella or the NYC Wine & Food Festival. The tongue-in-cheek tee was inspired by chef Rick Tramonto of R’evolution in New Orleans, who once quipped, “Every chef needs a good acid trip.” Totally, dude.

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Reunited and It Feels So Good
This tee makes us smile. A mother and child together again, just like they should be. But then we start thinking we want to eat them both, which makes us smile in a more sinister way. Mmmm … doughnuts.

Doughnut and Hole

Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Warning: You may want to eat this shirt. This photorealistic tribute to one of the ultimate comfort foods looks like you could dig into it with a giant fork. Don’t. And please remember, it’s not cute if you drool on your clothing either.

Mac and Cheese

 

Wicked Chickens
We’ve always wondered where deviled eggs come from. Now we know, thanks to this clucking awesome t-shirt. Yes, we just went there.

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Secret NYC Restaurant Gardens: The Best Backyard Lairs for Dining in the Big Apple

For urban adventure seekers, few things are as exhilarating as hitting the pavement of the boroughs and seeing where the day takes you. But it can be grueling out there in the summer heat. Fortunately, New York has a deep web of hidden points of delicious respite waiting for you — if you know where to find them.

These are not your sidewalk cafes; these are al fresco urban oases where you can delight yourself with a bit of a breeze and put some distance between you and the grit of the streets. Seeking sustenance and solace from the teeming masses of competitive curb crawlers? Find serenity with our NYC outdoor dining guide to hidden New York secret restaurant gardens.

Barbone
Executive chef Alberto Ibrahimi at Barbone will treat you like family and introduce you to his version of Italian soul food. Fresh ingredients, a full bar, an extensive wine list, and a spacious outdoor dining area make this a one-stop relaxation destination.

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Edi and The Wolf
The executive chef team behind midtown Manhattan’s Michelin-starred (and, sadly, shuttered) Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar opened this casual homage to Austria’s wine taverns. Located in Alphabet City, it features an eye-pleasing menu of wonderfully prepared rustic Austrian best enjoyed beneath the patio’s hanging garden.

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Home
A sustainable restaurant since opening in 1993, Home boasts a menu that showcases the best of New York’s regional agriculture. Beyond the local bounty, the petite eatery boasts an intimate wood-paneled backyard seating area that is guaranteed to ease and please.

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ICI
At Fort Greene’s ICI Restaurant, executive chefs Armando Reyes and Robert Howay prepare du jour bounty with a contemporary French twist (garlic scape soup, anybody?). Whether you go for dinner or brunch, the garden seating that hides behind the 19th-century brownstone is positively transportive.

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La Birreria at Eataly
Atop the bustling hordes of the Flatiron District, perched upon the great piazza of plenty that is Eataly, rests this comforting beer garden where you can sip your Peroni — or better yet, one of many house-brewed ales — accompanied by some mussels, housemade sausage, and other delights. [Photo credit: Virginia Rollison]

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Lunch Break: Meet OpenTable Employee Jessye Strohmeyer

Jesse Strohmeyer blog copyTop-notch engineers are vital to the success of OpenTable — as is the woman who helps recruit them. Jessye Strohmeyer spends her days seeking out the best engineers and (if this one is any indication) eating healthful lunches. The northeast native adores peanut butter, would love to dine (barefoot?) with Ina Garten, and has fond memories of the all-you-can-eat steak frites at Le Relais de L’Entrecôte in the City of Lights. Read on to meet OpenTable employee Jessye Strohmeyer, discover her drinking + dining tips, and find out what she’s having for her midday meal in today’s Lunch Break.

Name: Jessye Strohmeyer

Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts

Job Title: Recruiter

What that means that I do at OpenTable: Tell engineers how cool OpenTable is and convince them to work here.

Years at OpenTable: One  Alma mater: Boston College

I have not worked in a restaurant.

The food I can’t live without: Peanut butter

The one food I’ll never try: Dog

My go-to drink or cocktail: Margarita

The delicious dessert I refuse to share: Mike’s Pastry cannoli

My favorite thing about dining out is: trying a new spin on classics.

If huevos rancheros is on a restaurant’s menu, I almost always order it.

My last best restaurant meal was at: Starbelly

The restaurant I am a regular at: Kells (They have food, right?)Continue Reading