Let’s start at Magnolia House, a bar nestled in an old craftsman bungalow in Pasadena, where the Gus’s BBQ guys are serving kickass cocktails from a Woodsman mixologist. Try the Lumberjack, a crazy concoction of Scotch, Applejack and syrup that’ll warm your timbers. Order some ahi sashimi so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach.
492 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
If she likes sushi and glamour, you’re going to Yellowtail. The chef comes from Nobu and the management from Pearls. The gold and wood interiors are classy, but you want the roof patio overlooking the Sunset Strip. Standouts: big-eye tuna pizza and the baked crab hand roll.
8768 W. Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, CA
Salads are the way to test a restaurant’s mettle. The dressing shouldn’t drench the leaves, the chop should be easy to fork, and every bite should be flavorful. That’s the asian chicken salad at Freds, the new rooftop spot at Barney’s, your new go-to for power lunches. Pro tip: order the ricotta and truffle pizza to share, and ask for a side of tomato sauce for dipping.
9570 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor, Beverly Hills, 90212
The nightlife maestros known for sly speakeasies (No Vacancy) and a '70s house party (Good Times at Davey Wayne's) just opened their first restaurant, Butchers & Barbers. It’s a handsome bistro plating meaty meals and hearty veggies (menu) late into the evening. Expect potent whiskey drinks (menu) and a house-ground burger encased in gruyere.
6531 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028