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 Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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