One of our favorite patios in town remains at the Sofitel hotel and thank goodness they have just added a spectacular new menu for the summer months: Cattle & Claw. This means that you will be sampling not only juicy burgers but everything from lobster salads to beignets and aioli. We’ve actually never had so many lobster variations all in one meal but if you have a party of four or more, try one of the towers that feature layers of burgers, lobster rolls, whole half shells and claws for crackin’ our favorite crustacean. Of course, you will need one of the potent jar cocktails to pair with the meal so just make it a lobster bloody Mary and call it a day.
Also, be sure to arrive early to grab a seat (no reservations) and for the new happy hour at adjacent bar Riviera 31. You had us at $5 rosé. https://www.cattleandclaw.com/
If you’ve recently driven by this Third Street staple, who just celebrated three years in business, you might mistake it for a nightclub with a velvet rope, especially on popular nights that offer specialty food and drink themes. Here are a few of our favorites not to be missed on your next neighborhood crawl.
Tapas & Beats Mondays – featuring Spanish flavors, guests enjoy happy hour all night long on the rotating menu of chef-curated tapas and specialty cocktails, which includes $8 Sangria (red, white and rosé) and La Bonita margarita or Spanish Fly cocktail for $10 with live entertainment and DJ sets by Awsumo.
Toca Tuesdays – On this signature night, 2-for-1 tacos rule the menu along a selection of craft cocktails and cervezas at happy hour prices all night long. Guests enjoy live DJ sets and theatrical performances throughout the evening as well.
Sunday Brunch – Toca Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. features signature dishes including the chicken & churro waffles, avocado toast, stuffed French toast, Toca charcuterie, vegan cheese board and chilaquiles.
In addition, this brand is responsible for the upscale fast casual spots Tocaya Organica popping up all over the city (we covered the first one on Sunset) and now you can enjoy some of the same flavors and quality in a more low-key environment. www.tocamadera.com
Terra on the roof of Eataly
Our favorite Italian marketplace and eatery, recently opened a massive roof top terrace lounge with an expansive view of the city and neighborhood hills. Mingling amid the botanical gardens and fire pits of Terra were Kate Bosworth, Sophia Bush and Bailee Madison who attended the opening event along with founders Lidia and Joe Bastianich.
The full-service wood-burning Italian grill serves simple and seasonal California ingredients presented in shareable meals, whole-grilled vegetables, rotisserie dishes, and more – all paired with a unique beverage program highlighting gins from around the world.
So, after your next visit to Eataly to stock up on Italian staples for your home kitchen, head upstairs for a little respite. They also offer an indoor dining and an enclosed circular bar where you can graze and people watch until long after the sunset. https://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/
Brunch at Rossoblu
The jewel of the industrial City Market South now has an epic weekend brunch to add to the Italian menu at Rossoblu by acclaimed Chef Steve Sampson (Sotto.)
While the open-air kitchen is staged with a custom coal grill and chefs table area, by night, tortellini in brodo or Nonna’s bolognese is a menu staple. By day, the bolo burger with cabbage slaw, fontina and ragu bolognese on a milk bun rules. It’s the perfect anecdote to being torn between a burger and pasta and it’s large enough for two people. For a lighter option, the eggplant frittata parmigiana with mozzarella, tomato, basil and a side of salad is your best bet and has all the ingredients of a crust-less pizza. If you really want to indulge, the caramelized banana French toast with Nutella, hazelnuts and whipped cream is a standout and worth a drive downtown. Drink favorites include the Bee’s Kiss with spiced rum, cream, nutmeg, cinnamon and honey comb. There are twists on the classic mimosa, Pimm’s cup, Campari and a Brodo Mary with tomato water. For a caffeine kick, the Russa Bianca tasted more like an iced coffee than the White Russian we were hoping for but no one was complaining. www.rossoblula.com