Il Fornaio Beverly Hills’ Ravioli di Magro Al Limone (Photo Paige Petrone)

Il Fornaio Beverly Hills

  • By Ashley Halverson
  • Photo By Paige Petrone

One of my favorite parts of having worked in Beverly Hills for over twenty years is being steps away from so many fabulous restaurants.  Sandwich shops, steakhouses and everything in between.  My all-time favorite fare is Italian of which there are several stellar choices of course but Il Fornaio has consistently been at the top of the list.  With a prime patio on the corner of Beverly and Dayton patrons can enjoy some excellent people watching while dining al fresco or choose the elegant classic dining room for a more intimate meal. 

We were delighted to discover that Il Fornaio recently added some delectable new items and had to try the Fiori Di Zucca – beautifully battered zucchini blossoms stuffed with ooey gooey delicious mozzarella – #cheesepull – served with a tangy tartar and spicy marinara.  Insider tip – save the marinara to dip the table bread!  The next new standout item was the Insalata Di Pere – delicate baby lettuces with baked pears, grapes, gorgonzola and pecans – Fall perfection!   The Ravioli di Margo al Limone was also new and is something I would get every time. Housemade raviolis filled with rainbow chard and kale in a luscious velvety lemon crème sauce.  I can never pronounce this but Capprocciosa pizza is my jam and Il Fornaio’s is pretty much perfect with salty hunks of ham, artichokes, mushrooms and kalamatas.

Looking for a fun Thanksgiving option?  Il Fornaio will be open and ready to serve you an incredible traditional meal of Roasted Turkey with all the fixins followed by pumpkin pie with vanilla gelato and caramel sauce – Squisito!

For reservations and more, click here.

Bacari Sherman Oaks


  • By Nina Sventitsky

Mediterranean-themed restaurants run the length of Ventura Boulevard; there is more than enough hummus, falafel and grilled chicken to feed every resident west of Lankershim. Bacari Sherman Oaks rises clearly above this din with a flavorful menu that successfully mixes Med with global genres and creates an elevated restaurant masquerading as a casual neighborhood place. 

Chicken shawarma tacos, pan-seared sea bass with corn and shishito peppers, and Oaxacan pasta share space with lamb hummus, little gem Caesar, and shrimp ceviche. Gently roasted beets rest on whipped chevre are a good pairing with the glazed pork belly or petit filet. Plates stand on their own and may be shared. There are enough choices to satisfy a burger and fries craving or a veg-only palate. The drinks menu focuses on hand-made cocktails (and mocktails) and small wine producers. 

This diversity of this menu would be challenging to execute if not for the Bacari team of Daniel and Robert Kronfli and Chef Lior Hillel. Sherman Oaks is the San Fernando Valley’s only location, joining West Hollywood, Silver Lake, Playa Del Rey, Glendale, and West Adams in the group. The Sherman Oaks location has taken over the Rive Gauche complex to allow for outdoor and indoor seating and a lively buzz in charming spaces. The service is excellent, the kitchen is timed well, and the quality of the food is very good.

For more, click here.

Modern Kitchen in Westlake Village

Modern Kitchen

  • By Kymberly Chase

Modern Kitchen recently opened in Westlake Village, a community on the western edge of Los Angeles County that’s emerging as a serious dining destination. Modern Kitchen combines traditional steakhouse elements with eclectic cultural influences and a more contemporary attitude! The suburban-chic dining room features exposed overhead ducts, decorative woodwork, and a prominent bar that dispenses well-crafted, smartly presented cocktails such as the vodka-based Boujee Behavior. A small counter in this casual but upscale eatery provides a view directly into the open kitchen, while some tables spill out onto a patio for alfresco dining.

Small plates include tempura bay scallops, crispy fried calamari strips with roasted jalapeno-citrus aioli, and curry-spiced cauliflower layered over hummus with cashews and golden raisins. For sushi, there is slate roll, filled with tempura shrimp and spicy crab, draped in salmon, and drizzled with eel sauce. The cherry demi-glace added a sweet dimension to a butter-tender USDA Prime filet mignon, while the house-made bearnaise sauce accompanying a New York or rib eye steak was spot on. The pan-seared Alaskan halibut dressed in a lemony beurre blanc with fried capers and caviar further demonstrated the kitchen’s proficiency with classic sauces. For dessert, the fluffy beignets drizzled with chocolate sauce was a delicious treat to finish the delicious night!

For more, click here.

RYLA in Hermosa Beach


  • By Kymberly Chase

Why is the white sesame Caesar salad on almost every table at Ryla in Hermosa Beach for brunch, lunch, and dinner? The addictive heap of Little Gem lettuce, blanketed in a fine snow of parmesan and drizzled with a creamy, anchovy-rich dressing, exemplifies how husband-and-wife chefs Ray Hayashi and Cynthia Hetlinger make a routine dish all their own. Hayashi, a Gardena native, finds inspiration in his Japanese American roots, while Hetlinger draws on her upbringing in Taiwan. Subtle inventiveness is a hallmark of their combined style. They bathe Kusshi oysters in tart coconut milk, adding a few drops of Espelette pepper oil and bright green aloe to achieve briny, creamy harmony with a hint of heat. The Hokkaido milk bread might the best dinner roll you’ve ever eaten, thanks to a buttery, seaweed-tinged spread. As with most restaurants, the small plates are bolder than the mains, but there are seasonally driven options across the menu, like the heirloom tomato panzanella and spring asparagus on a bed of crisp fried potato shreds. Hetlinger and Hayashi have created a beautiful space where every detail — the cocktails, the crane wallpaper, the dark wood accents, the Japanese whiskey program — has been well chosen. The result? A vibe that’s enough fun for a noisy group or an intimate party of two!

For more, click here.