Food & Drink

12 badass tableside carts that make everything in front of you

Published On 04/29/2014 Published On 04/29/2014
Faith & Flower
Jeff Miller
Carole Dixon/The Carat Diet
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1. The Church Key 8730 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

The Church Key gets aggressively inventive with its Asian-influenced interpretations of modern American cuisine. Waiters push dim carts around the dining room featuring small plates that are familiar enough for you to recognize (sweet potato gnocchi, curried chicken pot pie) but exciting enough that some will only appeal to the most adventurous of eaters (pig ear cheetos). Signature cocktails continue to challenge expectations: Negronis come in a can and boozy popsicles are a common sighting.

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2. Kate Mantilini 9101 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (Beverly Hills)

Even after more than 25 years, this power-lunch powerhouse in Beverly Hills is still going strong, serving upscale diner classics in its prime Wilshire location. No matter what you're after, KM's got you covered with a menu that includes martinis, a Muenster-topped turkey burger, dry-aged steaks, and an amazing tableside-made guacamole. For that last one, ask for Pablo -- he's been mashing 'cados for more than 20 years.

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3. Bourbon Steak 237 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204 (Glendale)

Brought to you by Chef Michael Mina, Bourbon Steak is a traditional, yet contemporary steakhouse featuring not only tremendous cuts of meat, but also tasty libations.

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4. Faith & Flower 705 West 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Downtown)

A beautiful Downtown restaurant -- from a Michelin-award winning chef and the guys who founded the Pebble Beach Food & Wine fest -- Faith and Flower serves up a menu of seasonal dishes, classic staples, and a raw bar. The aphrodisiac seafood, vintage touches, and romantic décor, including hand mirrors and candles throughout the eating area, establish this as a prime date night spot.

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5. The Strand House 117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (South Bay)

The Strand House is a Manhattan Beach-based eatery, drawing crowds of LA's affluent with four floors of patio dining, with a menu from the team behind Grace and Gjelina. The food is veggie- and seafood-centric, there are thin-crust pizzas, charcuterie plates, and protein-heavy entrees like spiced New Zealand lamb rack and prime beef filet that are perfectly complemented by fire-roasted baby root vegetables, a glass of Napa Valley Cabernet, and a stunning view of the sprawling beach down below.

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6. BOA 9200 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

This high-end steakhouse on the Strip is known for delicious steaks, sleek decor, and a glamorous clientele. Each cut of meat is perfectly juicy, and though you're undoubtedly here for the 40-day dry-aged New York strip or center-cut filet mignon, the mac & cheese side, made with smoked gouda and cheddar, is worth a trip in itself. And since this is LA, BOA has an entire menu dedicated to gluten-free food (thank god steak is GF).

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7. RivaBella 9201 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Hollywood)

From the dudes who brought you Katana and Boa comes a totally-enormous Italian trattoria, which, like Ari Gold, has taken over the Hollywood Hamburger Hamlet.

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8. Cecconi's 8764 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

This London transplant's an upscale Italian bistro (glass chandeliers, plush tufted leather banquettes) with subtle hints of '50s ice cream parlor (stationary purple barstools). The food is delicious, but the real star of the show is the build-your-own-but-they'll-still-make-it Bloody Marys at brunch, with tons of house-picked veggies, spices, and boozes to choose from.

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9. The Bazaar by José Andrés 465 S La Cienega, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Beverly Hills)

The Bazaar by José Andrés delivers a whirlwind series of culinary concepts and fantastically designed spaces, all wrapped into the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. A duo of wine bars are the opening act: Rojo embodies the traditional with textbook Spanish tapas (Catalan bruschetta, Iberian ham) while Blanca acts as the playful contemporary sister with avant-garde small plates like foie gras cotton candy. The creativity continues on the mixology-forward menu at Bar Centro, where classics are aggressively reimagined with liquid nitrogen and emulsifications (order a dirty martini and it will be topped with olive brine espuma). There’s more still: the bakery branch Patisserie turns its focus to elegant pastries in a fantastical tea house atmosphere, where afternoon high tea is defined by wanton bonbon consumption. Whatever you go for (not that you have to stop at one venue), expect dramatic furnishings and an adult playground experience.

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10. Pearl's Liquor Bar 8909 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

This WeHo American bar has got a host of delicious 'tails, innovative eats, and a prime people-watching crowd.

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11. Skylight Gardens 1139 Glendon, Westwood, CA 90024 (Westwood)

Soft-opening today right by U-clap-clap-C-clap-clap-L-clap-clap-A, Skylight Gardens is a date-or-parental-visit-friendly Italian trattoria in the old Gardens on Glendon space, maintaining the previous tenant's circular feel and now-namesake skylight, while adding tons of foliage, extra rustic brick walls, and a rotunda-hanging chandelier that appears to be made of antlers -- oh, deer!

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12. Patina 141 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

This French-inspired Downtown eatery is located on the side of the Disney Hall -- making it that much more magical (sorry, we had to). Indulge in the fish or one of many delicious desserts.



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