Cliff’s Edge: Great Food & Drink on Silver Lake’s Top Patio

Corn Agnolotti

Silver Lake is an anomaly of sorts. It’s known as one of the hippest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, though some easter-siders might argue that its time has past and has already gone by way of the tourist. Take, for example, that there are many movie settings that tout Silver Lake, but not Echo Park, Mt. Washington or Boyle Heights.

Sunset Junction, to be specific, is the site of the Los Angeles coffee resurgence, but the quality of Silver Lake’s new restaurants haven’t really kept the pace of the other burgeoning neighborhood’s eateries. Instead, it continues to be stocked with local favorites in lieu of destination restaurants with nearby residents regularly filling covers – and Silver Lake definitely prefers it that way.

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Pingtung Brings Pan-Asian Café Favorites to Melrose

Neighborhood Hot Spot

It’s curious that Pingtung is called an “Eat-in Market,” the “market” designation perhaps being a way of propping up the Asian goods that lie on overhead (to me) shelves along the sides of the deep-drawn cafe. Though I have a few guilty snack pleasures such as Yan Yan, Shrimp Chips, that clear, Japanese soda with the swingy little ball, Calpico and the like, I’d make the trek to 99 Ranch, Mitsuwa or Zion if I wanted to go Asian grocery shopping. (I’m trying to cut down on the snacks, much less MSG-laden ones, anyway.)

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RivaBella: Where Bold Flavors Lend Themselves to Lush Spaces

Polibo con Patate e Olive – Roasted Octopus with Potatoes, Taggiasche Olives, and Salsa Verde

There’s a trace amount of apprehension I try to temper when I find myself dining in oversized spaces. The fear stems from the likelihood of spending time and money dining in a space that is less likely to feel personalized – whether in terms of physical sense of space and/or the quality of service enjoyed during the meal.

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Delicious Bites and Top-Notch Cocktails in Elegant Sadie, Hollywood

The Lounge at Sadie

I was at Sadie last night with some good girlfriend-bloggers – about a week past its official opening. It was a belated discovery that the cocktails at Sadie, curated by Giovanni Martinez, are pretty tasty. Having known Giovanni is a cocktail sleuth behind the bar thanks to his extensive travels, I was definitely not disappointed by the range and execution of the drink menu.

The Sadie Float

Although the crust on the flatbreads were overcooked and tough, the main entrees were way better than I might expect from a Hollywood Boulevard spot. (I’m truly enjoying each time I’m surprised by my own neighborhood, by the way.) Dave Schmit’s Scottish Salmon, Jidori Chicken (with delicious spätzel) and Spinach Pasta were all enjoyed by my dinner companions and myself.

But on those cocktails. My favorite of the night was the White Monk, made with white pepper & cardamom-infused Dolin Blanc Vermouth, silver tequila, Castilian bitters and Benedictine rinse. I love tequila, but this is the cocktail to erase all those college Jose Cuervo memories that have soured some drinkers towards tequila forever. It’s beautifully fragrant and extra smooth going down.

Black & White

But there’s nothing like a secret cocktail menu to spice up a stint at the supper club. Off Giovanni’s public list is “The Badger,” a unique drink made with reposado tequila, egg white and Miracle Mile bitters. But my favorite off this secret menu was definitely The Sadie Float. It’s made with Campari-flavored soda, Peychaud ice cream and, of course, Campari.

Looking at it, you’d think it was the typical, sweet cocktail made sweeter by the fact that it also has ice cream. Once you taste it, you discover pure Italian genius. It’s fizzy, slightly bitter and yet creamy. And it’s pure heaven. Hint: Don’t get it if you don’t like Campari.

Sadie Courtyard

While you’re there, you have plenty of perspectives to choose from as far as seating as the entire interior is pleasing. Sit in the front foyer bar area, dubbed the Parlour, for some darker hues and modern angles. The middle Lounge provides more of a speakeasy feel while the stone effaced Courtyard in back is probably one of the most beautiful patios I’ve seen in all of Hollywood. (Heat lamps are plentiful, if not in overabundance, back here.)

But you’d be committing a crime if you were to leave Sadie without having dessert. Their Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich is out of this world, as is their Black & White, or flourless chocolate cake complete with white chocolate ice cream on the side. The “clutch” dessert, however, at this spot is the Homemade Donuts and Irish Coffee Cream.

You won’t visit Sadie for the bargain, but like most places in Hollywood, for the atmosphere which thankfully is not a detractor from the food and cocktails, but instead an enhancement. The food has the potential to stand all on its own while the cocktails make Sadie a destination. Forget Les Deux I, II and IX; hopefully Sadie, with its multi-faceted interior and approach, is here to stay.

All food and cocktails were hosted.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Dinner:

Tue -Wed: 5:30 – 11 PM
Thur – Sat: 5:30 PM – 1 AM

Bar:

Tue – Wed 5:30 – 11 PM
Thur – Sat 5:30 PM – 2 AM

Sadie
1638 N. Las Palmas Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323.467.0200

Bastide: Great Food, Beautiful Atmosphere

Squid, Cucumber, Fennel, Olives, Chickpeas, Chorizo Butter

Welcome to the real Melrose Place. Aaron Spelling is nowhere to be found, and sure, Area – an SBE nightclub – is just a block away, but you’d never have guessed it from inside Bastide’s enclosed, quaint and olive tree and garden lined patio. In fact, dining at Bastide is somewhat like dining at someone’s artistically appointed home, complete with a top personal chef. If it really were someone’s home, you’d leave the dinner party while vowing to get that raise so you could buy the house with the patio that everyone else would envy.

Outdoor patio

You can come to Bastide early on a Monday for their $15, 5 – 7 PM special, when you’ll get to enjoy the patio over passed bites that are perfectly executed. Their yellowtail tartare is refreshing, the pork rillettes topped with cashews and pickled cherry are savory and their corn soup has a surprising twist thanks to curry oil. But since I’m prejudiced against all soju martinis, their wine or bubbly will accompany my bites just fine, thanks. I also enjoyed all the wine pairings that came with each course at dinner. Dario Dell’anno, who doubles as the manager and sommelier of Bastide, has a nice touch.

Watermelon Salad | Fried Chicken, Tomato, Feta, Mache, Aged Sherry Emulsion

When we sat down for our meal at our table, which was appointed not with just salt and pepper, but with Fleur de Sel de Guerande and a peppercorn grinder, I found the house-made butter that accompanied our warm bread so indulgent and yet so light. It was practically gone before our first dish came. The watermelon salad with fried chicken was ever season-appropriate with its tomato, feta, mache and aged sherry emulsion. I never considered fried chicken to be a starter, but here it was. It was paired with a delicious 2008 Éric Texier Condrieu Opâle, which was refreshing with melon notes that went perfectly with our first few entrees.

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