Tag Archives: LA

J. Paul Getty Museum – Los Angeles

3986628266_27a3dc5946_o J. Paul Getty Museum  -  Los Angeles California Los Angeles  Los Angeles cool LA Garden Art

J. Paul Getty Museum

(1) 310 – 440-7330
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049-1687

www.getty.edu

OPEN HOURS:
10:00 am –  5:30 pm   Tuesday – Friday
10:00 am –  9:00 pm    Saturday
10:00 am –  5:30 pm    Sunday

At the J. Paul Getty Museum lives a fine collection of European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, European and American photographs aside rotating special exhibits.  However, they all take a bit of a backseat to the wonderful Platinum LEED certified, modernist complex that highlights both nature and culture.  Designed by Natural light architect Richard Meier, the “Getty” is a as much a park as it is museum.  A haven in the sprawling expanse that is Los Angeles.

Admission to the Getty Center and to all exhibitions is FREE.  This is such a wonderful  opportunity for people young and old to connect to art, architecture and nature.  The building and grounds are such a stunning park, we enjoyed our time outside as much as inside.

The adventure begins as you descend into the underground bond-like parking structure- spiraling down level after level. Then you ascend via tram to the high overlook, floating your gaze over the city- breathing air fresh blown from the sea.  Meandering the inviting pathways, there are scattered bins with sun-umbrellas to protect against the strong sun.

One wanders in and out of the relaxed buildings; never feeling hurried or watched.  The staff is helpful and polite.  Photo taking is encouraged (no flash please) and the experience is one of wholeness. The collection is not about volume, but about experience.  The complimentary colored galleries fill with natural light to create a bond between viewer and art; a bond that I didn’t know I was missing until I found it at the Getty Museum.

3986629802_cb3f292fa7_o J. Paul Getty Museum  -  Los Angeles California Los Angeles  Los Angeles cool LA Garden Art

3985875403_7ee5feedb7_o J. Paul Getty Museum  -  Los Angeles California Los Angeles  Los Angeles cool LA Garden Art   Lawrence Alma Tadema: Spring
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Venus Reclining on a Sea Monster with Cupid and a Putto by John Deare

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3985873627_6fcf3c07c7_o J. Paul Getty Museum  -  Los Angeles California Los Angeles  Los Angeles cool LA Garden Art

3985873977_71624b4ee7_o J. Paul Getty Museum  -  Los Angeles California Los Angeles  Los Angeles cool LA Garden Art

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For more images of the Getty Center, please see our Flickr page.

CafeLuxxe Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Caffe Luxxe – Santa Monica, CA

3930160445_ff464276da_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee
Caffe Shakerato

Caffe Luxxe

Coffee shop
(1) 310 – 394. 2222
925 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90403

www.caffeluxxe.com

OPEN HOURS:
6:00 am –  8:00 pm   Monday   – Friday
6:30 am –  8:00 pm   Saturday – Sunday

Caffe Luxxe was by far the best coffeehouse we visited whilst in LA.  Their glittering Italian coffee machine creates wonderful cups of cafe bliss under the hands of their knowledgeable baristas.  Los Angeles, as compared to NY or SF, seems a bit behind the café curve.  A theory could be do to the lack of pedestrian neighborhoods where these types of specialty shops thrive, rather then the palate of the citizenry.  One of the few neighborhood type places is Santa Monica- and that is where we found Caffe Luxxe.  (There is a second location in Brentwood which we did not visit).

3930160997_e912ea5eb8_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Tall ceilings top white walls which are covered with beautiful, framed coffee photography by Tom Benedek.  A few tables with silver chairs seat about 20.  The main L shaped counter is home to a display of pastries, chocolate bars and croissants.

The cappuccino was quite smooth, while the Caffe Shakerato (hand shaken espresso with milk and ice) was extremely yummy on a hot day!  The Caffe Nico (espresso, candied orange and steamed half&half) was quite strong and made a great dip for the light, airy macaroon.    I sampled an excellent drip coffee as well to complete the test trifecta.

3956489897_f5f7448990_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   The Caffe Nico
3930942730_d36402ece4_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Caffe Shakerato

3956490023_c1d5fd4749_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Cappuccino

3957267806_75e9853f88_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Cappuccino

3930160623_743b83ac52_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930160715_6e6d667e29_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Macaroons

3930943112_c335218e23_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930942538_147d972a04_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930943186_382c832ce1_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3957267940_8ae9de36bd_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Planet Raw – Santa Monica, CA

3931021560_c0a2c42846_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Kelp Cheezy Pasta

Planet Raw

Organic Raw Food Restaurant
(1) 310 – 587 1552
609 Broadway  (@ 6th St. corner)
Santa Monica, California 90401

www.planetraw.com

OPEN HOURS:
10:00 am – 10:30 pm   Sunday – Thursday
10:00 am – 11:00 pm    Friday – Saturday

We believe the Raw food world can be divided into two distinct camps- both of which have excellent representation in Santa Monica, California.  The first group is focused on the lifestyle of raw and is expressed well by many restaraunts; the second, spearheaded by Planet Raw, is a Culinary perspective.

At Planet Raw, the shakes were phenomenal.  Hands down the best we’ve ever had.   And add in an extra superlative for good measure!  We started with Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonade (lemons, honey, ginger, Strawberries, & electrolytes).  Then continued with the Vanilla Protein Shake (nut mylk, sapote, ice, honey and Juliano’s protein powder which consists of pumpkin & hemp seeds, super enzymes, maca, spirulina, blue & crystal mana, mesquite, tocos, sprouted buckwheat, bee pollen, bio culture and silica).  And then for dessert, the blueberry instant cleanse with blueberries, gogi berries, maca, bee polen  and we added bioculture (lactobacillus micro organisms of L. salivarus, & l. plantarum).  All the shakes we tried where topped with a granola and were just really special!

The Tahini Salad was full of tomatoes , seaweed, buckwheat sprouts, avocado, leafy greens and was topped with an excellent tahini dressing.

The Cheezy Pasta is made with kelp noodles; a nice change from the omni-present zuchinni strings- and much more comforting.  Combining excellently with the nut cheese sauce the dish was a true delight.  We followed the recommendation from our lovely waitress and ordered the side of marinated mushrooms to mix in.  Bliss, just bliss!

Everyone working at Planet Raw shown with the light of health. No gray wasted vegans here, only sun-filled smiles and hearts.  Having been tooling around the health food world for a while, it is easy to see places where the staff is under-nourished.  Here the food gave them all a joy and happiness that you want to tap into.  Our waitress shown with an interior sun that made us delve into the menu!

Juliano Brotman has created a truly delicious oasis of  texture and flavors.  He has also authored  Raw: The Uncook Book and The Complete Book of Raw Food; currently he is in the process of publishing a third.

In retrospective, the food was so good at Planet Raw that it helped us make the decision to return to LA- a trip that was  worth it just for another of the Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonades 🙂

3957038309_76869d19a1_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California   Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla cream
3957816922_35f46a7269_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonade & Mango Tango Shake
3957816782_78759c7444_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Special Mushroom Ravioli in Daikon
3931021234_9541842358_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California   Tahini Salad
3930240001_177002be15_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California   Kelp Cheezy Pasta
3931021612_8039967457_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Maki S&M
3930240393_5896442401_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Vanilla Protein Shake
3930240519_278e1248be_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Vanilla Protein Shake


3930239861_d08d247dff_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California

The Cheese Store – Beverly Hills, CA

3930990070_cc8044d600_o The Cheese Store  -  Beverly Hills, CA California Los Angeles  Los Angeles LA Food Cheese Beverly Hills

The Cheese Store Of  Beverly Hills

(1) 310  – 278 2855
(1) 800 – 547 1515
419 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90210

www.cheesestorebh.com

OPEN HOURS:
10:00 am –  6:00 pm   MondaySaturday
12:00 pm –  5:00 pm   Sunday

The Cheese Store is a lovely specialty food outpost smack in the middle of Beverly Hills.  From the location, one would expect it to be a bit expensive and have an excellent selection of items.  Well, I am quite happy to report I was correct on one account; The many local cheeses stand tall beside those from all corners of the planet while the prices were less then our local Whole Foods.  The Cheese store carries all sorts of excellent cheese companions as well, including honey, nuts, pickles, caviar, cold meats, chocolates, fruit & vegetable preserves, cornichons, truffles, smoked fish, pestos, olives, cookies, pastas, oils, vinegars AND a small but rich selection of wines.

The store also makes gift baskets and sells small serving objects, such as fondue pots, serving plates, wooden boards, cheese knives, mini cheese signs, cork screws, picnic baskets, etc.

Selling cheese since 1967, the staff is very knowledgeable and will give you detailed explanations, if you inquire.  We found The Cheese Store an ideal during our day of cookie cutter shopping and it is a great place to pick up some yummies if you are planing on going out for a picnic.


3930990016_9223c24478_o The Cheese Store  -  Beverly Hills, CA California Los Angeles  Los Angeles LA Food Cheese Beverly Hills

3930989910_542e9cd0bc_o The Cheese Store  -  Beverly Hills, CA California Los Angeles  Los Angeles LA Food Cheese Beverly Hills

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3930990228_9970976a51_o The Cheese Store  -  Beverly Hills, CA California Los Angeles  Los Angeles LA Food Cheese Beverly Hills

Border Grill – Santa Monica, CA

3951689152_3758a9ed70_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

Border Grill

Mexican Restaurant
(1) 310 – 451.1655
1445 4th Street
Santa Monica, California 90401

www.bordergrill.com

OPEN HOURS:
Brunch
11:30 am –  3:00 pm   Saturday and Sunday
Lunch
11:30 am –  5:00 pm   Monday – Friday
10:00 am – 4:00 pm   Saturday and Sunday
Dinner
5:00 pm–  10:00 pm   Monday – Thursday
5:00 pm–  11:00 pm   Friday
4:00 pm–  11:00 pm   Saturday
4:00 pm–  10:00 pm   Sunday

Mary Sue Milliken &  Susan Feniger, the ladies of  the well known television show and book series”Two Hot Tamales”, and architect Josh Schweitzer, bring us a more refined take on Mexican food in a funky colorful environment.  Their adventures on the downtown Mexico City street corners of the mid eighties paid off with their learning the recipes and techniques of market vendors and home cooks- giving their food a full array of flavors textures and colors.  The Border Grill is now headed by  executive chef Raymond Alvarez and continues in this tradition of authentic Mexican.

3951688568_55d5258edf_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

3951688900_c05c5965a5_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

Be sure to stop by for the great Happy Hour and the polite, cordial service.  The Santa Monica location is more informal than “Ciudad” , the sister restaurant in downtown LA.  On top of the restaurants in Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas, there is a food truck that wanders around LA and can be found by following @bordergrill on twitter.

The strength of Border Grill really lies in the menu.  As we often do, we rambled through a delectable assortment of appetizers.

As one would expect, the tamales were extremely comforting- and they go great with a Margarita or Tequila.  We really could not decide which we liked best, so we had to keep trying them!
Corn Tamales-  made with sweet corn,  topped with sour cream and  salsa fresca
Chile Cheese Tamale- manchego cheese,  roasted poblano chile,  tomatillo avocado salsa
Chile Cheese Tamale- manchego cheese, roasted poblano chile, tomatillo avocado salsa

We also enjoyed the Poblano Quesadilla with roasted poblano chiles and chipotle salsa.

Another of the great things about Border grill is active sustainable practices.  What we really appreciate is the fact that they just do them, not beat you over the head with the fact that they do them.  Among their ethos is the use of organic long-grain rice, beans, and coffee and ensuring the best possible utilization of local and seasonal ingredients.  They also have biodegradable to go containers and a natural water purification system.  They serve reusable glass bottles instead of bottled water (a major waste as as bottled water is transported from the other end of the world- which in turn avoids waste and transport greenhouse gas emissions!)

3950910941_b16b9fe759_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

Border Grill is part of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program. This ensures that only sustainable seafood is served at the restaurants.  Be sure to pick up the mini booklet with information on what seafood is recommended to avoid and what is safe to consume.  A very tricky subject these days with all the Mercury to be found throughout the marine food chain!  And as a last bit of eco-excellence, as a follower of The Humane Society’s “Protect Seals” Campaign Border Grill does not serve Canadian Seafood.

Santa Monica is a bit of culinary hide-away in sprawling LA.  We found several excellent eateries that will keep us coming back.  Enjoy!

3950911907_fc8cbd6b0e_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

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3951689596_11d03c76d3_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food