Lunching in Los Feliz:
PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES
Little Dom’s seems like it could have inhabited its Hillhurst corner forever. It’s a Los Feliz local packed with the kind of history – street-side chairs reclaimed from the Philadelphia Civic Light Opera and a bar mixing up classic highballs – that’s inevitably endearing. That the one-year-old restaurant has already become a neighborhood favorite isn’t much of a surprise. At least part of that popularity derives from its vision: Little Dom’s doesn’t pull from a different place so much as it does a different time. It’s a restaurant confident in its embrace of the Italian-American cooking of decades past.
Completely Cuban from this week’s District:
PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES
On a quintessential California day, Habana Café fades right into the sky, a blue box of a restaurant triangulated into an awkward corner just off Downey’s Firestone Boulevard. It’s amazing in some respects that a place so nondescript has endured as long as it has—you need only look to the rubble that remains of Johnie’s Broiler for a clue to our societal priorities. Tropicana Bakery, meanwhile, is unmistakable—you can’t miss all the signs flanking the place. The two share a common Cuban cuisine, but what really binds the restaurants is they both afford you the rare opportunity of Latin American menus unencumbered by Mexican meals. Not only that, but between Habana Café and Tropicana Bakery, there exists an actual Cuban corridor pure in its pursuit of basic island flavors.
Good news for connoisseurs of cheap eats: Tomorrow (Jan. 28th) Panera Bread is giving out free samples of not just coffee (the chain is debuting new light and robust roasts), but also some new breakfast offerings, too. Panera is also inviting each customer to donate $1 to raise funds to support local Los Angeles charities. All funds, up to $250 per cafe, will be matched by Panera and given to a local charity of choice. The goal is to reach $250,000 in one day across all Panera Bread locations. Find your local Panera Bread here.
Full release after the jump:
Per my words in this week’s CityBeat:
Forget that “recessionary” looks to be on the fast track to being named Word of the Year – the second annual dineLA Restaurant Week is coming to ease your empty pockets. The event, which actually spans two weeks from January 25-30 and February 1-6, brings together restaurants throughout the county to celebrate deep discounts. There are three different levels of participation: “Deluxe Dining” is $16 for lunch and $26 for dinner, “Premier Dining” is $22 for lunch and $34 for dinner and “Fine Dining” is $28 for lunch and $44 for dinner. But all that means is that dineLA has nabbed all sorts of restaurants with all sorts of price points, places like Akasha, Bashan, Ford’s Filling Station, La Cachette, Angelli Caffe, Grace, and the Bazaar by José Andrés. With only so many seats (and so much money) to go around, plan your savings now. Visit dinela.com/restaurantweek for more info.
If you like your Chinese cuisine a little closer to the country club, slip down Little Santa Monica Boulevard to Joss Cuisine in Beverly Hills for its Lunar New Year menu. Served from January 25-28, the restaurant is offering dishes like shark fin in a golden pumpkin bisque and sweet and sour lychee autumn fish. Joss also asks that you place your order one day in advance. You can find the menu in its entirety here.