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Arroyo Chop House 536 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena, 626.577.7463 Cicada 617 S. Olive St., downtown, 213.488.9488 Faith & Flower WaterMarke Tower, 705 W. 9th St., downtown, 213.239.0642 Little Beast 1496 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, 323.341.5899 Oliverio Avalon Hotel, 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.277.5221 The Raymond Restaurant 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 626.441.3136 Oliverio, in the Avalon Hotel. Bottom right: The Restaurant at The Standard, Downtown L.A.

owner Sean Lowenthal, previously of Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard, is well worth discovering. Welcoming wife Deborah handles the front of the house, and the restaurant’s moniker reflects a term of endearment for their energetic young son. The staff tends to be warm and friendly, and the rooms of this old home, as well as its rambling, woodsy patio, match the attitude. For starters, Lowenthal might send out a Mason jar packed with velvety chicken liver mousse capped with onion marmalade or tempura-battered, deep-fried asparagus spears, while main events involve a flat iron steak as satisfying as more expensive cuts of beef, a serious burger or salmon laid on a bed of curry-spiked French lentils. Finish with a pot de crème and wash it all down with an affordable bottle of Viognier or Côtes du Rhône. Midcentury modern is another prominent era of residential architecture in L.A., and despite its origins in the 1940s, the style is so timeless that many 50-year-old homes look recently minted. Contemporary architects in L.A. continue to emulate such midcentury masters as John Lautner, Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler, who were captivated by L.A.’s unique topography. Some of their structures have a futuristic, Jetson-esque quality about them that 21st-century interior designers keep alive and fresh. A prime example of this aesthetic is the sunny-yellow dining room of The Restaurant at The Standard, Downtown L.A., where all of the furniture and lighting fixtures reflect the midcentury era. The food has always

République 624 S. La Brea Ave., L.A., 310.362.6115 The Restaurant at The Standard, Downtown L.A. 550 S. Flower St., downtown, 213.892.8080 Traxx Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown, 213.625.1999

been underappreciated at this eatery, which accommodates cravings after the clubs close or before most people hit the snooze button. Breakfasts like brioche French toast or fried chicken and waffles attract a loyal following, but the kitchen also offers quality burgers and a lobster-shrimp roll, while rare ahi tuna is folded into a steamed Chinese bun with Sriracha aioli. A place with a sexier, more sophisticated midcentury vibe is Oliverio at Beverly Hills’ Avalon Hotel (Marilyn Monroe once lived on this site). The entire property fully celebrates its architectural heritage. The best seats are in the alcove-like cabanas situated around the glittering hourglass-shaped pool, whose aqua hues are reflected in circular vintage mirrors. Champagne feels like a natural beginning while you nibble on Gorgonzola dolce with marinated artichokes or a salad of heirloom beets and burrata before moving on to thincrusted pizza or branzino al forno. Since the founding of the California missions in the 18th century, Spanish-themed architecture has been a major part of the aesthetic tapestry of L.A., and Spanish Mission Revival design appears in homes, schools and city halls. Union Station, although it also incorporates art deco and moderne elements, is one of the most prominent examples of Spanish Revival on a grand scale. For 17 years, a restaurant called Traxx has been serving solid California cuisine just off the main concourse, plus cocktails at a bar located in the station’s former telephone room. Chef/owner Tara Thomas sets the stage

with such dishes as venison carpaccio with horseradish-Dijon sauce, or a modern take on Waldorf salad before presenting striped bass with caramelized fennel or steak frites with whiskey-peppercorn sauce.Traxx sorely tempts commuters to take a later train back home to the suburbs and enjoy a great meal while watching harried travelers hustle off to their platforms. République, the relatively new entry from chef Walter Manzke and his pastry chef wife, Margarita, is housed in a 1929 landmark that was once home to Charlie Chaplin’s studio. The building has always been an intriguing mélange of Mediterranean architecture, including a glass-covered, piazza-like courtyard and a campanile after which the previous restaurant tenant was named. Gothic arches and terra cotta tile give the place a romantic, slightly exotic air, but some longtime Angeleno diners might object to how the structure has been stripped down and modernized for République. The signature tile fountain has been moved onto the sidewalk to make room for rows of communal tables in the main dining hall. The name of the restaurant—République is a trendy neighborhood in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement and a busy Métro stop—hints of French cooking, and Manzke’s mastery of the cuisine doesn’t disappoint. A veteran of fine-dining venues, the chef hits a more casual note at République with a menu filled with bistro classics: beef tartare or escargots

en croûte to start, followed by duck confit or steak frites, all deftly prepared. With a traditional European rotisserie, Manzke even turns a humble roasted chicken into a glamour girl. And Margarita’s inspired fruit tarts remind us why she’s considered one of the best pastry chefs in town, a woman worthy to inherit the kitchen of baker extraordinaire and former Campanile co-owner Nancy Silverton.




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8/15/14 12:01 PM

Profile for SoCalMedia

WHERE Los Angeles Magazine September 2014  

Where Los Angeles Magazine gives visitors and locals a portal for essential, immediate and accurate information on the best things to do in...

WHERE Los Angeles Magazine September 2014  

Where Los Angeles Magazine gives visitors and locals a portal for essential, immediate and accurate information on the best things to do in...