Coolest places for before (or after) a movie
Mozza (Hancock Park - 323.297.0100) Mario Batali and Nancy Silvertons collaboration has Hollywoods most hungry lined up out the door waiting for one of their sought-after pizzas. The line is even longer and even more worth the wait at the brand-new, neighboring Osteria Mozza, which is even more incredible, with heavenly pastas and rosemary zeppole (Italian doughnuts) with olive oil gelato.
Sushi Nozawa (Studio City - 818.508.7017) This outrageously good sushi joint is close to many of the studios where the movies are made. Located in the middle of Ventura Boulevard, Nozawa has serious competitors, yet people who know raw fish know to wait for the delights that only come from the omakase menu. Be forewarned: dont order a California roll and dont come on a weekend, because they are closed.
Vod Box at Nic's (Beverly Hills) - A little bit of old Vegas inside of the Beverly Hills triangle sums up Larry Nicola's Nic's. His spa cuisine keeps the beautiful people looking beautiful and his sub-zero "Vod Box" offers the most comprehensive selection of vodkas this side of Moscow. They even have faux fur (fur is dead) coats and hats for the patrons.
Bond Street (Manhattan - 212.777.2500) What a scene. If you are in the mood to spend some time with the beautiful people of New York before or after a film or a trip to the theater, Bond Street might just be the answer. The interior is as sexy as the wait staff and the sushi is better than you might expect.
Il Mulino (West Village 212.673.3783) When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards tell you this is the best Italian restaurant in New York believe them. This 16-table hole-in-the-wall features the food from the Abruzzi region of Italy which, despite the huge portions, is so fantastically tasty that you cant help but clean your plate. Expect to wait for your reservations and stay so long you forget about the movie. Il Mulino, with its 45 minutes of goodies brought to your table that you dont even order, is better entertainment than anything you are going to see on the silver screen.
The Stone Rose Lounge (Time Warner Center - 212.823.9769) - Want a cool place to chill in comfy seats after being subjected to another Jennifer Aniston chick flick? The Stone Rose has that Macallan 25 that you need to wash the emotional pain away and a view of Central Park that will keep you captivated. That is, if you can take your eyes off the nouveau Nancy Sinatra-looking waitresses before you get a firm elbow to the ribs from the one you love.
Mix and Mix Bar (Mandalay Bay Hotel 702.632.9500) - The view will win you over, but the interior of this Alain Ducasse restaurant is possibly the most stunning in North America. Built into a two-story space at the top of the property more than 60 floors in the sky, you will be drawn to the view while sipping stylish martinis and nibbling on critically acclaimed grub.
Bloom (Scottsdale) - Gone are days of tacky, overly-Americanized Mexican joints and soulless BBQ steak joints in Scottsdale. Bloom offers new American food with a creative presentation at the level you would expect to get at the cool new place in San Francisco. The dress isnt too formal, but the feel is chic yet fun. They make a special ravioli that needs to be seen to be believed its the size of your entire plate.
Barton G (South Beach - 305.672.8881) Add one part Spago and two parts Disney World and you have the culinary experience at Barton Gs. Drama understates the presentation of the food, including lobster pop tarts that come to the table in an actual toaster. Homemade pink cotton candy served double the size of the biggest afro you have ever seen. Call early, because this South Beach hot spot isnt an easy reservation, but it sure makes for a memorable date.
D'alessandros Steaks (Roxborough) - Forget Jims, Pats and Genos in the world of cheesesteaks, they get too much ink when you consider how much better DAlessandros is in comparison. Order American Wit [meaning with] Onions and be sure to sample some of their marinated cherry peppers. Wash everything down with an iced tea from a paper box and leave happy.