At Bello Mag, we completely understand the importance of Food & Wine so naturally, we were very ecstatic once we received an invitation to attend the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (LAFW) earlier this summer. The LAFW, a four-day food & wine extravaganza brought together a great array of food and wine from restaurants and wineries in the LA area and beyond! 

We know Bello readers loved to be wined and dined, so from the plenty of restaurants, we were able to arrow our favorites to the top 5 places we would like to go on a date as we approach cuddle season!

Writer’s Note: These top 5 were chosen simply by the foods that were tasted, not influenced by the restaurant, the chef present or the event’s table setting. 

1. Location: Pasadena
Restaurant: The Arbour
Dish we Loved: Corn Agnolotti w/ Shaved Summer Truffles

The Arbour
Chef Ian Gresik and his wife Nancy fulfilled their dreams when they opened their first restaurant, The Arbour, Pasadena.  The Arbour is a fine dining farm to table restaurant with a focus on local ingredients and exceptional service. The Arbour is a true Californian restaurant, with locally sourced live wood table and bar tops, white glazed brick tile walls, and candle lit tables with pops of green foliage throughout. Chef Gresik has centered the menu on local farms to create seasonal menus with robust flavors.  The Arbour also offers an extensive California centric wine list and with hand crafted cocktails. The Arbour always delivers exceptional quality in both food and experience.

2. Location:  Century City
Restaurant: Del Frisco’s
    Dish we Loved: Porcini-Rubbed New York Strip w/ Truffled Mashed Potatoes & Bone Marrow Butter 

Del Frisco’s
Created in 1981, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse has carried out a vision to embody the traditional American steakhouse. Their focus on tradition combined with a modern feel make for a unique dining experience.



3. Location:  DTLA
Restaurant: NoMad
Dish we Loved: Scallop Ceviche with Yuzu Vinaigrette, Jalapenos & Toasted Pistachios

This Scallop Ceviche is a classic Nomad Dish that Chef Daniel first served at Nomad NY, which was brought it over to the west coast since is so simple and delicious. For readers that want to stay in, the dish is also a recipe that is featured in their Nomad cook book. After the success of NoMad in New York, Chef DAniel Humm and Restaurateur Will Guidara opened their first restaurant outside of their hometown in the beautiful hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. NoMad is inspired by local ingredients and Los Angeles traditions and offers a variety of options for dining, drinking and socializing in the heart of Downtown LA. NoMad is attentive to both cuisine and excellent guest service, and its world-class wines and innovative cocktails add to the dining experience. 

4. Location:  Santa Monica
Restaurant: FIG Restaurant/Fairmont Hotel
Dish we Loved: Smorgasbord of Meats (Brisket, Quail, Beef,)

– Smoked Beef Brisket
– Barbecued Quail
– Dry Rubbed St. Louis Short Ribs
– Homemade Pork Hot Link
– Hush Puppies with Honey-Lime Butter
– Weiser’s Russet Potatoes with Blue Cheese
– Charred Summer Peppers
– Pickled Scarborough’s Greens
– Lobster Mushroom & Corn Salad 

FIG Restaurant/Fairmont Hotel
This was the first time FIG has participated in LAFW with Jason Prendergast as their Executive Chef (we’ve participated in years past with previous chefs). In solidifying their relationship with Food & Wine and David Bernahl, they were excited to host an exclusive Kick-Off Dinner this year in FIG Restaurant on Thursday, August 22, in partnership with Michael Corvino of Corvino Supper Club and Kosta Browne Winery, in addition to participating in The Great Steakout & BBQ on Saturday, Aug 24. 

Rooted in heritage, harvested in Santa Monica. FIG Restaurant continues its tradition of serving a seasonal and locally-sourced ingredient driven menu in a relaxed Santa Monica setting. The fare at FIG is sourced from weekly trips to the Santa Monica Farmers Market and features hand-made pastas, hearty salads and Italian/Midwestern inspired dishes, all curated to be shared at the table. 

5. Location:  Weekend Getaway (VEGAS!!!)
Restaurant: Esther’s Kitchen
Dish we Loved: Agnolotti w/ Spinach Pesto & Escargot & Purple Basil

Esther’s Kitchen
Esther’s Kitchen is named after Great-Aunt Esther, a “tough, smart, no-nonsense type who cared about people and gave good advice”. After her passing in 2016, she left James, the Executive Chef, the resources he needed to open his own restaurant. So, he did just that and named his restaurant after his Great-Aunt. James always felt at home and cared for with Esther, so he aims to create that same feeling in his restaurant. 

By Ed Solorzano