Patina Restaurant, Los Angeles

Pricey. Pompous. Petite portions. These are all words that could be associated with Patina Restaurant, located right at the foot of the breathtaking Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. However, after a wonderful experience at Ray’s, which is one of the restaurants belonging to the Patina Restaurant Group, I was excited to try the famous LA establishment that is the namesake of the internationally renowned restaurant empire. The aforementioned adjectives can be used to critique fine dining in broad strokes, but Patina Restaurant allows you savor not only each delicious morsel of food, but also each careful pause in the warm, enthusiastic service from the waitstaff, and every word in the dinner conversation as a result of a relaxing, quiet restaurant environment.

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Nobhill Tavern, Las Vegas

Having driven past Michael Mina’s XIV several times while on the Sunset Strip, I was disappointed to hear that the space is now for many private events and is no longer a fully functioning restaurant. Of course, I say this as though it happened yesterday, but it’s actually been almost a year. Thankfully, Stephen and I tried out one of his Las Vegas establishments, Nobhill Tavern, and had a delicious meal with excellent service. Unlike XIV, which was supposedly marred by an identity crisis in menu (and service), Nobhill Tavern shines in its creative interpretations of classic American fare.

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Tuna Salad Pita

With a few weeks left in the quarter, it’s time to pull out the finals week meals. Meals that are easy, tasty, and can provide more nutrition than a package of spicy ramen. After walking back from class in the hot midday sun the other day though, I just wasn’t in the mood for a steamy bowl of noodles and soup. I craved something fresh, crunchy, and light, but also substantial and flavorful.
A well-composed tuna salad on a lightly toasted pita is absolutely the way to go.

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