A dapper David Hasselhoff (wearing pink shoes) was seen enjoying the beautiful sunny patio of the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunday.
Toddrickallen dropped by the fantastic new Missoni flagship store in Beverly Hills yesterday to sip a little champagne and nibble strawberries with Angela Missoni, creative director, during their grand opening. The woven white facade and light-filled interior spectacularly showcase their distinctive patterned fashion. Many members of the Missoni family were in attendance as well as some celebs (Quincy Jones) and models, but it was the elegant and delightful Angela Missoni who charmed everyone with her sparkling personality. She confided to us that her luggage had been lost and she had been washing out the clothes she was wearing in her hotel sink! She even took time out to draw us a personal map of the best shopping in Milan and made us promise to email when we got there.
Angela Missoni and Friend
On Saturday night, after a terrible meal of belgian endive salad with an odd fishy taste and oily pasta with over-cooked vegetables at the ridiculously noisy Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills, we happened by the Beverly Wilshire to restore our faith in restaurant industry. And who should I bump into, and I mean bump into, but Oprah Winfrey, who was dining there with Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Gayle King. After I embarrassingly blurted out that I loved her, she graciously took my hand, reassuringly smiled at me, and repeatedly told me, “Thank you!” She even refused to let go of my hand as she was pulled away by the rest of her party. Now, Angelenos work very hard at ignoring stars so as not to appear like tourists. However, I was gob-smacked! I know this sounds cliche, but there is something about her presence and the way she looked at me that made me feel like I was the most special person in the world to her. I’m still basking in after-Oprah glow.
Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills remains one of Toddrickallen’s favorite restaurants for special occasion dining. It just feels like a destination. The food is consistent. As do most, we leave the selection up to the waiter, who usually produces the stock vegetarian menu. They will bring a menu if you insist. We enjoyed the lettuce wraps, noodles, and delicious tofu. But we don’t really go for the food. Eating at Mr. Chow is theatre. When you’ve stepped past the paparazzi, velvet rope, and bouncers, you enter another world. And it is soooo LA. I have to admit, I love the drama; the women who look like walking bilboards for Louis Vuitton, the siliconed and big haired out-of-towners hoping to hook up, the uncomfortable looking men of a certain age sitting across from 20 year old models in mini-togas (in February!), and the stars (and there are always stars). On Saturday night, Stevie Wonder nearly stepped on my feet as he wisked past the crowded entry. What could be more fun on a Sturday night? One note: We had a 45 minute wait for an 8:00 table reservation… plan ahead!
In ‘must-find-the-next-new-thing’ Los Angeles, some of the loveliest old school places get overlooked. At least once a year, Toddrickallen makes a pilgrimage to Beverly Hills. There’s hardly a more beautiful place to sit and listen to jazz on a sunny February Sunday afternoon than the patio of The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The brunch menu is straight forward. (If you ask, they will change the eggs benedict into florentine and add a portobello mushroom.) But there’s something about that combination of sun, and charm, and glamorous people that casts a dreamy spell. It’s also a great place for star watching. We chatted briefly with Dustin Hoffman and his lovely wife. Gene Simmons from Kiss was also there. Absloute magic!
Dinner last night at Nobu Los Angeles (903 N. La Cienega Blvd, LA 90069 www.noburestaurants.com) was sublime. In spite of the fact that Victoria Beckham was dining there as well, our server Sara was flawless and attentive as she ushered us through the delightful Japanese menu. She offered to order for us, but with her suggestions we chose off the menu instead. The baby artichoke salad with inaniwa was a perfect fusion of Asian and Western flavors. The shaved artichokes balanced beautifully off the handcrafted udon and citrusy dressing. (The use of truffle oil in this dish was somewhat unnecessary. It tended to cover up the brighter flavors with its suble ‘petroleum’ flavor.) We continued through the miso glazed eggplant, so delightfully sweet and salty, then perfectly executed tempura of various vegetables (accompanied by a veg-friendly ponzu instead of the usual dashi procured by our thoughtful server), and finally the tofu tobanyaki, a steaming dish of fried tofu, king oyster, inoki, and shimeiji mushrooms, and vegetables in a saki/soy glaze. We thouroughly enjoyed the entire menu and plan on going back soon!
Christmas day brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills was as expected: The usual (but not outstanding) cadre of salads, eggs, desserts, Asian food, made special by the company. Our table however, was sat next to Mark Wahlberg and his beautiful family.