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You can find the Eveleigh hidden behind a wooden fence. This former residence was remodeled into a restaurant, and if you want to find it, you have to keep an eagle eye out. If you blink, you can easily miss the entrance to the restaurant’s valet parking ($6), a few feet East of the big florescent green rotund building.

There are two outdoor spaces, so try to come on a warm sunny day when you can enjoy the trees, grass, and climate of Southern California. Since this was a home, this means that the former owners had the unheard of luxury of a front and back yard on Sunset Boulevard!

The offer decent wines by the glass, but because they also offer signature cocktails, I tried the Poor Carlito, made with Milago tequila, fresh lime, honey, and smoked salt for $12. I enjoyed this salty citrusy take on Margaritas and would have had another if I didn’t need to drive home (it was so smooth I didn’t realize how strong it was until I had finished it).

One of the special sandwiches was a Sloppy Joe, made with pulled pork, pickled red onions, and a creamy horseradish mayonnaise on foccacia for $16. The bread was dense and tasty, but I loved the contrast of the rich pulled pork with the pickled red onions. The portion was so big I ended up eating the filling with a fork after eating some of the bread. This was definitely too “sloppy” and big to eat with your hands. Thankfully, the waiter brought me a steak knife to help me conquer this hearty lunch. The chips were good, but were unevenly salted, so I concentrated on the sandwich.

I thought it was an appropriate way to start off St. Patrick’s Day Week-end by getting the ‘bubble & squeak’, made with corned brisket, fingerling potato hash, kale, scotch egg for $14. I LOVED the scotch egg! For anyone who has never had one, get this dish and you will be hooked on the crispy batter fried egg done to a perfect medium (solid white, running yolk). The corned beef was meltingly tender and flavorful, and the kale and onions added a nice change of texture and flavor to the rich egg and meat. My only critique was that it was very greasy (that is oil you see at the bottom of the photo) so do not order this dish if you are counting your calories.

With a wonderful space, unique cocktails, and great meat dishes, this is a place for anyone who wants a tranquil getaway for a brunch or lunch on Sunset.*

*Since tomorrow is the Los Angeles Marathon, this entire strip of Sunset is towaway starting at 4am March 17, so if you want to eat brunch here, plan to park else where and walk (you CAN walk in Los Angeles, especially since so many others will be running:)

The Eveleigh on Urbanspoon

Lucques was last restaurant at the intersection of La Cienega and Melrose that I had not yet tried. I can now say that I have eaten in every one with a smile:) Comme Ca, Taste, and Fig & Olive are all very good, with menus and atmospheres that range from casual (Taste) to hip (Fig & Olive) with a bit of flair thrown in (Comme Ca) for good measure. Ago is the only one I would avoid completely in this mecca for good food.
Lucques has been around since 1998, and the only reason I haven’t been here is because Tavern (also created by Suzanne Goin with her business partner Carolyne Styne) is closer to home, and traffic dictates how far I am willing to travel in Los Angeles! Sometimes it is good to venture out a bit from my neighborhood, and since West Hollywood isn’t that far away during midday traffic, I decided to brave the drive and I am very happy I did.

The space is welcoming both inside and out.

Since it was one of those beautiful 80 degree days we get in Southern California in November, I sat outside in the covered patio. The walls of climbing ivy made this space much more inviting than the indoor tables on a balmy afternoon.
The bread and this small plate of amuse bouche made me smile with delight. The small plate of kosher salt and butter harkens to the Tavern presentation, but the olives and almonds were a nice variation and I am glad I saved room for my meal because I could have easily made a meal of bread, olives and almonds.
My waiter came by to inform me that the market fish today was Salmon, and when he saw the disappointed look on my face, he quickly offered to see if he could substitute another fish for me.  The substitute fish he offered was a Barramundi (one of my favorites), and it was served with farro, caramelized brussel sprouts, baby carrots and haricots verts so fresh they could have been green candy! A nice tapenade and sour cream accent made this Barramundi a perfect lunch for $25. They have a variety of wonderful wines by the glass from $8-$30, and I chose an Entre Deux Mers at $12 to compliment this tender white fish.
The plate was quite large, but I did manage to finish nearly every grain of farro. I wish I had saved some room for dessert because the woman at the next table loved her coupe so much she ordered TWO!
Oh well, that just means I will have to come back for another meal (or maybe just for two desserts:)

Lucques on Urbanspoon

Since I was attending the French Film Festival COLCOA (City of Light City of Angels) all week, there were times when I could not go further than a few blocks for food in between movies. There is The Counter for burgers across the street, and Veggie Grill for vegans, two blocks away, and Trader Joe’s for ready made food, but I opted for the place I had not yet tried, Pizza Fusion, literally right next door.

It was more attractive simply because they advertised specials for Earth Day, they use organic ingredients, give all their employees who work more than 20 hours a week medical benefits, offer free sustainable classes for kids every month, and they even offer gluten free options for pizza, beer, and brownies; I don’t see either Veggie Grill or Trader Joe’s offering these kind of options and benefits.

On one break, I had a large Fusion Salad ($8.99), made with Arugula, romaine, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, basil, shaved carrots and toasted crostini (all the green items are organic and you can omit the crostini for gluten free diets). I chose the balsamic vinaigrette but it was drowned in Italian when it arrived; they switched it out for another one as soon as I tasted it and asked for a replacement with the dressing on the side. Everything was freshly prepared and had the added “feel good” component of being organic, so I knew no pesticides were in my plate of greens.

Because this is after all a pizza place, I had to come back for a pizza, so I opted for personal sized ($8.99) a multi grain crust (you can also choose an organic white) made with sauteed spinach, roasted portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, and Italian sausage (which was hormone & preservative free). They offer several cheese options, from organic Mozzarella to Daiya vegan.The tomato sauce is organic and very tasty and although this is not a classic pizza, I enjoyed the thin crispy crust and the flavors I combined. I would order this again as an alternative to the traditional American “pizza” any day.

I saw the stuffed mushrooms ($6.99) on the appetizer menu and had to try them. They are criminis (mini portobellos) stuffed with sausage, goat cheese, and herbs and they were my favorite of all the things I tried here. They would be perfect paired with a glass of the Malbec ($8) and during happy hour from 4-7pm they offer specials on either their beers (they offer flights of beers), wines, or appetizers.

Convenience is always a good reason to try something, but when it is combined with ethical actions that combine healthy food with happy employees in the community, that is a reason to come back.

Pizza Fusion on Urbanspoon

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