So Danny Meyer has finally listened to public outcry and decided to drop a West Hollywood Shake Shack on Los Angeles? Wonderful. Now listen up.
Despite being one of the most popular burger chains yet to hit L.A., this new location may not immediately be the slam dunk it seems, thanks to what could be some traffic / pedestrian access woes along that stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard. Add in some serious in-state burger loyalty and the city’s penchant for going gluten-free, and all of a sudden Shake Shack seems like it might need an assist before scoring with the locals.
Jason Eisner likes to pour big — and often. The Gracias Madre bar manager pushes out north of 1,000 margaritas a night sometimes, and is always ready to put on a show for waiting customers. Not that anyone waits long at the all-organic bar. Eisner’s batch cocktail program is among the most progressive in the city, ensuring that quick drinks can make their way to thirsty customers out on that beautiful patio.
Still, there’s a lot of craft that goes into Eisner’s work. From rigorous staff training to teaching the inevitable crowds about the beauty of mescal, he’s always doing something.
Despite what you may think of this slice of town, where West Hollywood bleeds into Beverly Hills and the rich folks crawl along Robertson, there’s no denying the impact of Cecconi’s. An international success by every measure, this globe-trotting upscale Italian stronghold is at once leafy and refined, relaxed and upkept. Even when you couldn’t spot a notable face inside, there’s likely to be paparazzi out front — mostly just wishing they could sneak inside for a bite.
Not that it’s hard, actually. All it takes to gain entry to the marble-flecked front patio is a wallet. But during Cecconi’s five-night-a-week happy hour, you might not even need that; just grab a couple of bucks off the side table on your way out the door, and be prepared to dine surprisingly well.
“I can’t say for sure, but I think this place might be heaven.”
That, from an early 20s production assistant fresh out of USC, trying to make his OKCupid date laugh, as they stood in a line that stretched out the front door of Glazed Donut Bistro in West Hollywood and threatened to choke the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk. She did laugh, and then they both looked down at their iPhones until something else funny came up.
You’ve got to admit this much when it comes to L.A.’s latest over-the-top, simple-but, you know, DIFFERENT, man eatery: Glazed Donut Bistro does hyperbole well.
If you’ll pardon the foul language for just a moment, there’s something important that needs to be said:
We f*cking did it.
Guys, WE DID IT. After years of monkeying around in space, sending James Cameron to the depths of the ocean to find his old goatee, we humans finally pulled back, took a good hard look in the refrigerator, and realized what was missing. We needed a gas station convenience box that prepares, heats and serves burritos, with optional sides, in under three minutes. And now it’s here.
When last we left the Irv’s Burgers saga way back in June, the West Hollywood burger shack run by Sonia Hong was facing eviction at the hands of their pesky landlords, who were looking to double the rent on the space. Well, for a time, it seemed that Hong might be able to stick around at her location on the corner of Sweetzer and Santa Monica Blvd., given the site’s protected historical status by the city. A 30-day vacate notice came and went, meaning — for a time — the Irv’s crew could get back to doing what they loved most: flipping burgers and drawing adorable messages on paper plates.
Now, the end has come — for real this time. After coming to an agreement with the family that owns the property, the Hongs must officially close up their Route 66 burger operation as of Oct. 30.
Strip malls come in all shapes and sizes; some can even be a little scary. That’s certainly not the case at Crescent Heights Plaza, the West Hollywood strip mall that comes complete with its own valet. The space, which abuts the soon-to-be-open Connie & Ted’s, is actually quite nice. There’s lots of parking, and all of the attached restaurants have entrances that abut right onto the street. There are no hidden Mexican spots found tucked away, just some hip sushi, non-buffet Indian dining and one of L.A.’s most well-known Russian restaurants.
Ever notice that squish of small Russian restaurants on the corner of Sunset and Fuller? Probably not, considering all the oddball people watching you can do at the Rock N’ Roll Ralph’s across the street. Well, the next time you’re crawling along Sunset (say, on your way to Cochon 555 at the House of Blues), swing your eyes into the parking lot strip mall that sits at the corner. You’ll find a few curious-looking Russian spots (one dine in, one casual and one that’s basically a takeaway joint), an Indian food place and a relatively new ramen bar. It’s an eclectic mix, but then again you are on Sunset Boulevard.