Only in LA: #SoCalSummer Outrageous Food Experiences


Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found in playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” In keeping with the idea of finding the most glorious celebration of life, I have teamed up with to share three dazzling and dramatic food experiences found only in Los Angeles.

When people ask me where to have a memorable anniversary, birthday or party, these are my top recommendations around Los Angeles:

In West Hollywood on La Cienega, dining at Barton G feels like a theatrical experience as every one of your senses is delighted by the outstanding food, incredible presentation and top level service. Often I find that when the food is presented as art it does not taste very good. At Barton G, it tastes even better than it looks and it looks breath taking. I will never forget the sliders that were served with a regulation sized bat, mitt and a baseball hat that my dad wore throughout dinner and home to continue his birthday celebration. This whimsical restaurant will surprise and delight every guest, with Lobster Pop Tarts served in a giant blue toaster, Blooming Sea Bass with flowering potatoes and popcorn shrimp in a large theater style popcorn machine.

“Everything at the restaurant is calculated to inspire, tickling one’s intellect and appealing to all the senses,” says Barton G. Weiss. “We are bringing out the spirited side of fine dining — color, sound, texture, aroma and the stimulation of feeling as if transported far from anywhere you have ever been — to create an awe-inspiring style of eating and drinking unlike any other. It’s something that Los Angeles has yet to see.”

Lisa Barton G

The Mouse Trap Mac & Cheese is served on an over-sized wooden mouse trap and the chocolate indulgence comes with a shovel, giant chocolate treasure chest and we ate the 24-carat gold dust spoons. I absolutely loved the cotton candy dessert which appeared as pink hair for a lovely mermaid.

VideoBarton G: A restaurant and Theater of Food


In Downtown LA at The Ritz-Carlton, you expect the food at Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 to be outstanding and it is. The location feels like you are flying over Los Angeles with stunning panoramic views over the city. WP24 Restaurant, which houses the Nest, is the fine dining restaurant on the 24th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, next to the Staples Center. Options include the shrimp and lobster spring roll and pork belly bao bun, and main course favorites include jumbo prawns, jidori chicken stir fry and lap chung sausage fried rice.

wp24 sept 2014Do you like to see your dinner first? Your evening begins with a table-side presentation of the live crustacean in the traditional Asian fashion, which is also to guarantee the freshness of preparation as your five-course menu gets underway. One king crab will generally feed four to six guests. After four seafood courses, your fifth course includes the Red Cooked Pineapple Cheesecake with lemongrass, passion fruit and coconut.

WP24 Restaurant showcases Wolfgang Puck’s award-winning modern Chinese cuisine. Klaus Puck, Wolfgang’s brother, is the operations partner at Bar&Grill and WP24 Restaurant of this location. More than 400 labels of wine complement the intricacies of the food and the fresh herbs from the garden.

Video#DTLA: LA Live, Ritz Carlton Spa, WP24, The Nest

Do you want your summer to simmer in Santa Monica?  The renovated Bungalow One Presidential Suite at Fairmont Miramar provides an opportunity for a luxurious meal and stay. Whether you are looking for a staycation by the beach or a place to visit in Santa Monica, from the 127 year old Australian Fig tree to the brand new wood fire oven, this property will capture your heart and you will find yourself returning again and again.

Your party can reserve several bedrooms or one bedroom as well as the living room with a dining table. Prefer to dine outside? Enjoy your meals on your private deck above the pool just a block from the Pacific Ocean.

Fairmont Miramar BreakfastMy breakfast experience included nearly one of everything on the menu and my invited guests were impressed with the food, service and location. You can dine at FIG, in your bungalow or by the pool with so many options you may find you need to extend your stay to continue enjoying all the options.

VideoBreakfast at Fairmont Miramar Jan 2015

None of us know how many more meals we will share together. Do not live your life small, use every opportunity to be passionate in your choices from what to do and where to eat.

I was invited to these experiences in order to share my honest opinion with you.  Make sure you are celebrating early and often and let me know where you choose to have your next festive meal!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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