When thinking about new restaurants in Los Angeles, a very clear establishment comes to mind. It’s a rectangular space with a higher-than-normal ceiling. There are chairs and not really any booths and likely a communal area, be it a bar or community table or both. There’s some art on the walls and maybe even a silent movie abstractly playing on a dark wall as environmental music accompanies it. There is virtually no place for you to wait to be seated that isn’t either a part of the dining room, at the host stand, or outside (most people opt to stay inside, though). The kitchen is somewhat exposed and there is a fluidity in design between front of the house, back of the house, costumer, employee, food, and drink. These new restaurants are normal and even expected. They’re post modern and small and intentionally casual.
An interesting food occurrence happened in late June: a restaurant concept was entirely funded in the course of a day. This Kickstarter success story caught our attention and put a lot of foodies on high alert. The story intrigued and put a lot of eyes on Ari Taymor, the lauded chef behind the restaurant. Just weeks after his campaign began, we heard from Taymor via a Tweet that they were open for business: Alma had arrived. As time moved too fast, we realized nearly two months had past and we still had not investigated the new Downtown food stop. Friday we were looking for a dinner venue as we headed East and Alma popped into our heads: we had to go and check it out.
I would assume that Downtown is brimming with breakfast options. Every visit to a restaurant inspires the question of how that place and its neighbors would fair in a breakfast or brunch situation. We spent the weekend Downtown for FYF and awoke Sunday morning very excited for our breakfast possibilities. The options were demolished quickly: The Standard’s diner is always very OK, KTCHN DTLA was not taking walk-ins, Bottega Louie was on too long of a wait for a noon walk-in, Nickel Diner was closed for repairs, and everything else looked severely lackluster. As we walked from one place to another and had been romanced with the idea with moving Downtown, the phrase, “Fuck Downtown: there is no place to get breakfast.” slipped our lips. We wandered Northeast on Main, angry that we’d have to settle for some coffee shop whatever–but then we got to the sexy good Bäco Mercat, a place we had no idea could do breakfast. With blurry skepticism we decided to take Bäco’s breakfast spin.
As we mentioned in our FYF recap, Brazilian sunglasses brand Chilli Beans owned the festival. They were the biggest sponsor and they absolutely did not hold out. There were Chilli Beans misters, Chilli Beans sexy girls, Chilli Beans floating bubble beans, Chilli Beans giant sunglasses, and even a Chilli Beans hot air balloon. If that isn’t dedication to putting on a show, then we have no idea what is. One literal Chilli Beans take away that was a great marriage of both brands was a collection of FYF sunglasses made for the event, which are available in stores now.
While in New York City earlier this Summer, we met a reader of LAIY at the TFIB get together. While surprising that to learn that people in New York are reading about what’s happening in Los Angeles (We’re sure it’s because they covet living out West.), it was more shocking that so many are such talented creatives. One that stood out and appeared to keep up with the site most was Matthew Orley, a clean cut bearded guy who was super nice. After chatting over several cocktails, we discovered that Matt recently launched a super fantastic knitwear label: Orley. The brand is from him, his brother Alex Orley, and Matt’s girlfriend Samantha Florence. They have an incredibly creative, artistic, and somewhat psychedelic take on sweaters and cardigans and other knits that instantly are covetable. The three designers are in Los Angeles this week for a special Fashion’s Night Out Event at La Brea’s Union. While in town, we asked them about what they think about LA, what they’re looking forward to while in town, and why they are in LA of all places for Fashion’s Night Out. See what they have to say and get a glimpse at their wears after the jump!