Lesley Balla

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Another One Down in Old Town: Dish Bistro & Bar Closes

Much to the chagrin of us locals, Old Town Pasadena continues to be a gamble for independently owned restaurants, something we desperately need. You'd think with all of the high-end and trendy stores now lining Colorado Boulevard, at least some shoppers would want -- dare we say demand -- a......
Credit: L. Balla

Now Open: Ray's and Stark Bar at LACMA

It's rare when a restaurant debuts on time in this town; it's even more remarkable when one opens ahead of schedule. But the stars -- or perhaps the "Urban Lights" -- aligned for Ray's and Stark Bar, the new Patina-owned, Kris Morningstar-helmed machine, which opened at LACMA on Saturday. Designed......
Credit: Crust Bakery

Pop-up Today at The Golden State: Pie, Beer and Scoops Gelato

Whatever the trend spotters say, pie has never been out of style. Sure it's enjoying the spotlight right now, with everyone calling it the new cupcake (another dessert that might wane in popularity but will never actually go away) and the must-have dessert for 2011. But this is America: We'll......
Credit: Fig + Olive

In Praise of Olive Oil: Fig + Olive Opens in March

Some people would look at the former Republic (or Bliss, depending on your timing) space on Melrose Place and think: nightclub. It's a huge two-level space, and most former tenants had a relatively short shelf life. But Laurent Halasz glanced once and said: olive oil. That's the focus of his......
Credit: L. Balla

Mezze: Opening Next Month in the Former Sona Location

There should be a show like Moving Up for restaurants, where the former tenants of a space get a peek at what the new tenants have done, and comment on it. Mezze would be at the top of our list for screen time. The new Mediterranean restaurant, slated to open......
Credit: L. Balla

Intelligentsia Pasadena Update: Gnocchi, But No More Lasagna Cupcakes

When Intelligentsia opened in Pasadena last year, coffee geeks and foodies rejoiced: Not only could you finally get a decent macchiato in Old Town, but also charcuterie, lasagna cupcakes and Matthew Kaner-selected wines to boot. Now, six months later, almost all of that is still true. The biggest news is......
Baking Whoopie/We Heart This

Whoopie Pies: Maine Can Claim Them, We'll Just Eat Them

While Michelle Obama pushes to bring more healthful food to the masses, and Jamie Oliver fights to get more vegetables into Los Angeles schools, across the country, it's a different kind of food fight: Mainers are trying to make their beloved, sweet whoopie pie the state dessert. And it's causing......
Credit: L. Balla

Make Your Reservations Now: Sang Yoon's Lukshon Opens

If there's one thing Sang Yoon knows how to do, it's build anticipation. After months of preparation, rampant media speculation, publicist road blocks, and a few days of preview dinners last week, he finally debuts his new Culver City restaurant, Lukshon, tomorrow. It's safe to say, it was probably worth......
Credit: L. Balla

More Italian for Brentwood: Villetta Debuts in February

It seems that Brentwood just can't have too many Italian restaurants. The newest on the horizon: Villetta, slated to open next month in the former Chez Mimi space across from the Brentwood Country Mart. Locals were saddened when Chez Mimi shuttered (the owners are still looking for a new location),......