Archive for the ‘Dining in LA’ Category
Why a Private Tour in Calabasas
We’ve written here about Dash and the Los Angeles Memorial Pet Cemetery and now we want to get you to Calabasas for the 7th Annual Calabasas Malibu Wine & Food Festival. Set aside either Friday June 21st or Saturday June 22nd for a very special evening. Held atop the Mercedes-Benz dealership you will enjoy the opportunity to drink local wine, beer and spirits as well as taste local food from dozens of participating wineries, breweries and restaurants. Too many fine businesses to list here so click this link to see for yourself all the fine choices and samples you will have available on either of the two evenings of the festival.
Visitors asking us for suggestions for their private Los Angeles tour will certainly hear us suggest heading up to Calabasas, perhaps exploring a Malibu canyon road and Mulholland Drive, and arriving at the festival in time for dinner.
Pumpkin Bread for Our Hollywood Tour Guests
The Monastery of the Angels is a Dominican cloister that has been in Hollywood since 1924. The nuns now occupy a 1947 Wallace Neff designed building on Carmen Drive in the Beachwood Canyon area of Hollywood.
This is just one of the many “off the beaten path” destinations we seek with our private Los Angeles tour guests. This particular location has an important architectural pedigree, beautiful gardens in an urban setting and, most important, a gift shop that sells divine (truly!) homemade pumpkin bread and candies. We are always mindful of keeping our guests from getting hungry (always plenty of snacks aboard our vehicles) but stopping for something extra special to eat or drink is just a part of our touring philosophy.
Private Los Angeles Night Tour at Citywalk
Los Angeles may not be known as the City of Lights but it certainly competes with Paris in that regard. A good example of some of the nighttime photography we do on a private Hollywood tour after sunset is this image of the tribute to rock ‘n roll in front of the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Citywalk. An homage to Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat this giant illuminated artwork brings the milling crowds to where the music can be heard (and the food is served). There is much to see and do at Citywalk all year long but warm summer nights are the best time to enjoy all it has to offer.
A Special Tea Service for our Private Beverly Hills Tour
For those of us who wish there was an elegant tea service more directed to men who enjoy afternoon tea, the Montage Beverly Hills has a solution to this minor issue. A Gentlemen’s Tea. Scotch, sliders, pie and cake. It is a delightful alternative to scones and crème fraîche that so often accompany a fine tea service. The traditional tiered servers can be filled with crustless sandwiches and delicate cakes so enjoyed by tea drinkers over time but now there is a menu selection that will more likely appeal and is specifically created to appeal to the men who accompany their ladies to tea. Tea service is special at any time and anywhere you go but we like to suggest tea at the Montage Beverly Hills because it is different. This means they are thinking about how everyone feels when they have their late afternoon snack. Just as we strive to make every luxury private Los Angeles tour special for all our guests that means we pay close attention to what our guests want and see that they get it. Great hospitality businesses think alike.
The Polo Lounge is Back — Lunch for our Private Los Angeles Tour
From the air the hotel and the grounds surrounding it pop right out to our private helicopter tour guests circling over Beverly Hills. The Pink Palace — also known as the The Beverly Hills Hotel. And from the ground it is even more splendid. For more than 100 years this grand hospitality center has entertained movie stars, hosted royalty, and treated all its guests with the aplomb and consideration expected of one of the finest hotels anywhere. This is a jewel of the Dorchester Collection of elegant hotels around the world. Not only do we bring our guests on their custom tour with us to see the hotel, we encourage them to enjoy a meal at the fabulous Polo Lounge. With us at your side we can share many stories of just the restaurant. The restaurant is newly reopened after renovations that updated the decor while still preserving the original design and ambience that is a welcome tradition at this home away from home for so many of Hollywood’s elite over the years. We are talking about Charlie Chaplin and Marlene Dietrich. We have eaten beside Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Billy Crystal and Thomas Haden Church. And they have enjoyed their meals near us. When you dine there we recommend the McCarthy Salad named for famed entertainment attorney Neil McCarthy.
Private Los Angeles Tour Lands at Spitfire Grill
Santa Monica Airport was once Clover Field and a very large aircraft manufacturing facility (Douglas Aircraft: DC-3s, B-17s, B-47s). Today private luxury jets fly in and out of this beautiful airport by the sea. If you are there visiting the Museum of Flying and get hungry then we suggest the Spitfire Grill nearby. Terrific food and a wonderful aviation-themed restaurant to feed and entertain you.
Sitting in the patio enjoying a fine lunch with our private Los Angeles tour guests recently, we talked about the film Spitfire Grill, written by the owner of the restaurant, Lee David Zlotoff. The murals, painting and other artifacts inside and outside the cafe really speak to airplane lovers and make this a great place to go to talk about flying, food and film.
Elite Adventure Tours Stops at Historic Bar
Imagine a bar where they do not serve beer or wine. The Tiki Ti ONLY serves tropical cocktails as they have been doing for more than 50 years. There are 92 different drinks on their menu so who needs beer or wine. Look over the menus from its earliest days and trace the evolution of island cocktails over all these years. Begun in 1961 by Ray Buhen, a master mixologist with roots at Don the Beachcomber, where all the other tiki bars faded into history the Tiki Ti flourished. Intimate (small) and quaint (locals, rum lovers, history buffs), the Tiki Ti always gets looks as we pass by on our private Los Angeles tour through Hollywood on the way to Beverly Hills, it is so tiny next to the hulking KCET television studios. Like the Frolic Room and the One-Eyed Gypsy, there are bars in this city with stories to tell and we not only like to help tell them but are happy to bring our guests in possibly to make a new story.
Where Do All the Actors Go for Margaritas?
We keep track of all the Best Of information that we can for places to eat, drink, dance, shop, stay and do in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Since many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are new to Los Angeles (even new to California) they are likely to ask us, “Where’s the best margarita around here?” The answer to anyone knowing the area as well as we do, even without a Best Of list, is El Coyote. This 80+ year old restaurant that we pass regularly on our custom luxury tour between Hollywood and the Original Farmers Market is a terrific place to enjoy great Mexican food and super margaritas. Frequented by entertainment industry people (it is just up the street from CBS Studios) the restaurant is notoriously known as the last place that Sharon Tate and her friends ate on the night they were attacked by the Manson family. Anyone visiting or new to Hollywood should make it a point to get to El Coyote right away for a great time and a great margarita.
Our Private Los Angeles Tour Stops for Coolhaus
The warm weather is once again here in Los Angeles and will remain for months and months (thank goodness!). What do we like to offer our private Los Angeles tour guests on a fun and exciting day of wonderful sightseeing? Well, besides our usual on-board snacks and drinks or our cold/hot aromatic towel service, we try to stop at unique locations for special treats. If we do not pass the Coolhaus foodtruck (who we follow on Twitter and the web) then we head out to Culver City for a quick pit stop at their storefront at 8588 W. Washington Boulevard.
And what do we stop there to get? 21st Century ice cream sandwiches. Two fresh baked cookies to select and in between them a cold hard scoop of gourmet ice cream. It’s a cold, crunchy, chewy, sweet, mouthwatering delight. Our guests love us for stopping there and we love them for allowing us a chance to enjoy a Coolhaus treat while working. Happy and satisfied it is so much easier to regale our passengers with tales of Hollywood and show them celebrity homes in Beverly Hills.
Modern Italian Dining in Four Seasons Style
Hosting Los Angeles‘ only crudo bar (crudo means raw), CULINA at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills is excellence amid elegance. The menu offers Italian food lovers a spectrum of delicious courses for as extensive a meal as the diner wishes. The “raw” seafood from the crudo bar is one way to begin the repast but the salads and antipastos are exquisite and the entrees worth revisiting the restaurant time and time again. We hear this from our private Los Angeles tour guests staying at the Four Seasons who regale us (since we always ask) mouthwatering descriptions of their dinner delights. If our guests are sightseeing around Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Hollywood, Holmby Hills and Malibu at some of the celebrity homes in the area then Culina and the Four Seasons is a great place to see favorite movie stars enjoying their meals and accommodations.