Velvet Goldmine 

Blue Velvet

Wednesday, Dec 13 2006

In the new downtown Los Angeles, you are never more than a few steps from a shot of Pravda, a DJ or a plate of tuna tartare — the only things that seem to be multiplying faster than $800,000 condos in crumbling warehouse buildings are the hyperdesigned lounges. But often where there are lounges, there is food as well. And Blue Velvet, fitted into an old, deserted-neighborhood Holiday Inn that has been converted into a luxury apartment building, is not only a restaurant but an excellent one. Its glass-and-steel Case Study House interior is fashioned from eco-friendly materials, and its position by the complex’s swimming pool turns every vista into a personal David Hockney painting. A menu, supervised by Patina/A.O.C. veteran Kris Morningstar, has light, global, garden-oriented dishes that are as accomplished as anything downtown: a beautiful salad of roasted quail and curried chickpeas; crisp, feather-light flatbreads topped with things like puréed salt cod and organic arugula harvested from the restaurant’s rooftop garden; a delicious hanger steak with a savory apple tart; and the inevitable take on what has become L.A.’s signature cheeseburger, in the patented upscale Father’s Office style. I try to imagine Miss Destiny from John Rechy’s City of Night stumbling into one of her old downtown hangouts and plotzing from the halogen and the Belgian-beat house, but the times they have a’changed and Blue Velvet, open late, is a great place to stop by after a concert at Disney Hall or a Lakers game. 750 S. Garland Ave., L.A., (213) 239-0061.

—Jonathan Gold

Location Info

Related Stories

  • Free Rent Linsanity

    It looks like NBA star Jeremy Lin, who was reportedly traded to the Lakers by Houston, picked the right place to ply his trade. See also: Linsanity Comes to L.A. Not only does Los Angeles, arguably the American metropolis with the most people of Asian heritage, have a massive fan base...
  • Linsanity Comes to L.A.

    Point guard Jeremy Lin is reportedly coming to the Los Angeles Lakers.  Even if the news turns out to be false, the prospect of getting the 6 foot, 3 inch point guard's electric smile to L.A. set off a round of so-called Linsanity on social media. The Houston Rockets star...
  • The Clippers Lose to the Thunder, But Still Make History 2

    Forget obligatory press game conference quotes. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, seen saturnine above, capture enough condensed melancholy to have paid a post-game vigil to the Elliott Smith wall in Silver Lake. One picture is worth a thousand sad-faced emojis. It didn't happen this year for the Clippers. They were out-goofed...
  • Allison "Hueman" Torneros: The Mad Muralist

    One of the fascinating Angelenos featured in L.A. Weekly's People 2014 issue. Check out our entire People 2014 issue. Allison Torneros prefers to go by her art moniker, Hueman. Like a lot of street artists', her nom de spray is afraid of a good pun (hue as in color) nor gender-specific...
  • Jeff Weiss' Best Albums 4

    In a recent New York radio interview, producer DJ Mustard offered simple advice to his East Coast brethren wondering how to regain relevance: All you need is a producer to develop a new sound. The wisdom is easier uttered than enacted, but it helps explain why West Coast gangsta rap...

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending


  • Daw Yee: Mission of Burma
    L.A. has a very small pool of Burmese restaurants; among them, Daw Yee does not boast the most extensive menu. Nonetheless, Daw Yee, in Monterey Park, is fascinating for one big reason — namely, that it gives L.A. something unusual: a Burmese restaurant that caters to younger diners.
  • The Year in L.A. Food (So Far)
    We've got so many restaurants, you could eat at a different joint every day of the year -- and probably the rest of your life -- and never go to the same place twice. It would be impossible (both physically and financially) to try them all, but luckily, you have us. Check out The Year in L.A. Food (So Far).
  • Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores
    At Ladies Gunboat Society, the new operation out of the restaurant that used to be Flores on Sawtelle Boulevard, the Hoppin’ John is served as an appetizer or a small plate rather than a side, and the price is the stuff of comedy.