UNDER APPRECIATED BRUNCHwe were invited to the LA Opera, and decided to begin with brunch. smeraldi's / the biltmore are one block over from my office and a reasonable walk from the Opera.
we had an 11:30 reservation, they open at 11:00 and enjoyed a relaxed, meal, so were there 1 1/2 hours or more. they never came close to 1/4 full, perhaps due to that, the service was very attentive, yet not intrusive.
the bread tray was super fresh and yummy. we had 2 entrees among the 3 diners. the fritata was very good, however the lobster benidict was AWESOME, and well worth the upcharge. bread, entree and desert are included in the fixed price.
$5 cocktails, particularly the bloody mary were also good and a good value.
very noisy even when mostly empty.5/26/2013 12:00:00 AMSmeraldi's / La Bistecca is great!I'll admit it: for years I mourned the loss of Bernard's and refused to consider anything that replaced it. However, I wanted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a life-changing event my wife had participated in at the Biltmore in 1973, so last Saturday night we had dinner at Smeraldi's, which was featuring their "La Bistecca" menu. Basically the same menu but with steak added. The chef is Sicilian, and the place definitely has an Italian flair. Since we had just come back from a couple weeks all over Italy, we said to ourselves, "hah! We'll see how authentic this place is." Verdict: VERY AUTHENTIC. Everything was fresh, great tasting, and Diego was the perfect waiter. We couldn't believe how empty the place was on a Saturday night. Go!!5/4/2013 12:00:00 AMWe went for a late breakfastWe went for a late breakfast before going up the hill to MOCA. I had the blueberry pancakes...they were FANTASTIC...no really...blueberry pancakes can be either mundane or ordinary, and these were really fantastic! Perfectly full of blueberries and really yummy. My husband had the oatmeal with all three fruit choices on the side - and he loved his too. I gave him one of the three pancakes - they were big enough. Also, the surroundings and ambience were wonderful, and the service was great too. We really enjoyed this start to our day. (Also, the espresso was perfect).12/23/2012 12:00:00 AM