Michelin P-LA-tes in the City of Angels
There's a famous saying that goes "Time and tide wait for no man" which doesn't only apply to mankind, but rather every aspect of life. It's been documented that the quote was first used in 1225. Unfortunately for the Michelin Guide, one of their recent distinctions fell to the same fate. In 2017 Michelin announced a new accreditation, the Michelin Plate, which recognized restaurants that "provide a good meal that is capably prepared with fresh ingredients." I first wrote about the Michelin Plate during a weekend in New York, here. How ever, five years later, in versions of the 2022 guide around the world, it seems as though they retired the recognition, which, to be honest, was met with some controversy when it was originally announced. This post is for those Michelin Plated restaurants I Dined There around Los Angeles in late 2021 who find themselves mentioned, but not accredited with a recognition in the 2022 Guide.
Italian for "the pasta maker", if you don't have a reservation and arrive at peak hours, you'll have to decide whether or not you want to be "one of those people" who wait in line at a restaurant. The authentic & delectable pastas on the menu are all homemade by Chef Giacomino and his team, even the "Paccheri Alla Justin Bieber", earning Il Pastaio a Michelin Plate. Growing up around an array of ever changing fresh ingredients in a small Sicilian village, the three Drago brothers set out to offer seasonal classic Italian pasta dishes to the town of Beverly Hills. Today the Dragos and Il Pastaio celebrate their 25th anniversary and the menu has expanded to offer current favorites including meat & fish dishes to satisfy the requests of their loyal patrons. The restaurant has that "classic Italian interior" decor, but I was all about their wrap around outdoor seating where Rodeo Drive on-lookers can't help but get a glimpse at everyones pasta dish from the corner of their eye.
Rooftop by Jean-Georges
Of the many wonderful things Los Angeles is known for, it's also synonymous with smog. ...but there's no smog in November... and the views at the Rooftop by Jean-Georges can only be described as spectacular. On the 12th floor of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Beverly Hills you'll find the famed Chef's urban oasis, amongst the largest in the city. Sea foam green couches and palm tree pillows set the tone for a relaxed vibe, but the dining is elevated, offering Latin and Southwest Asian fare with New York flare using the best of California's local bounty. Rooftop by Jean George has, nor had, any Michelin accreditation, but the celebrity Chef's name carries grand expectations which are surpassed, and did I mention the view?
Saddle Peak Lodge
Away from all the glitz and glamour, the Saddle Peak Lodge is the furthest thing you could imagine when thinking of LA or Hollywood. That is, unless, you're thinking of old Hollywood. Over 100 years ago the lodge was once a road stop and general store on a rugged trail to service real deal cowboys, fishermen, and miners headed to the gold fields North. In the 1920s the area around the lodge evolved into a summer resort which was soon discovered by Hollywood and became a no frills retreat for movie stars. Erel Flynn and Clark Gable appeared in their Bugattis bringing with them the allure of the silver screen and its said that Charlie Chaplin even modeled his famous New Mexico home from the architecture of the lodge. To this day the romanticism of Saddle Peak Lodge is still a Hollywood draw.
Nestled away in the Malibu Hills, in 1985 the loge would be reimagined into the cabin lifestlye-centric venue that its patrons enjoy today. The warm interior includes a large stone fireplace, unapologetic taxidermy, hunting & fishing accessories and relics of the old west, most of which donated by friends and diners. One would hope for nothing less as guests walk up to the large log cabin.
Los Angeles native and Executive Chef Joey Gibson Riva serves up a game-heavy menu fit for a lodge ranging from New Zealand Elk Tartare to a Mushroom & Bone Marrow Sandwich and Alaskan Halibut. This fresh take on surf & turf dishes earned the Saddle Peak Lodge a Michelin Plate. Chef may be cooking in a traditional environment, but he prides himself on pushing his creativity and delivering innovate takes on classic game meats and fish.