Restaurant Review: Mattei’s Tavern

matteis-tavern-4Restaurant Name: Mattei’s Tavern
Location: 2350 Railway Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★★
Halfsies Bank: $$
Genre: American
Great for: Brunch / Your wedding / Living here forever

This place is a little magical getaway in the middle of Los Olivos. It’s perfect for brunch because outdoor seating is plentiful. There’s a huge grassy outside area with bocce ball, live music, and lots of space for dancing and frolicking in the sunshine! Plus, the food is amaaaaazing. So is the coffee. Do you really need anything more?? #heaven

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Brunch was followed by a fun little photo shoot around the grounds! We were all soooo over caffeinated after 4 cups of coffee each… the stuff was just so damn good and they kept refilling our mugs!!

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How fun is this little chalk board cabana?? It’s literally a cabana on the grounds and the walls are all chalk… pretty sure it’s there for little kids to doodle on while their parents brunch. We’re kids. That’s why we love it.

Drooling yet?? Visit the website here 

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&& “WRITE DRUNK, EDIT SOBER.” Words of wisdom, blogger friends. Never let that wine leave your hand. JK! But only kinda…

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Restaurant Review: Church & State

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Restaurant Name: Church + State 
Location: 1850 Industrial St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★★
Halfsies Bank: $$$$
Genre: French Great for: Date night

This place is fantastic for a glass of wine and some appetizers. If you’re going all-out, its great for full on dinner as well, but trust me when I say you won’t be able to move after a full meal at Church + State. 

The ambience is simply magical: with rustic wood, artsy lights, and a flare of French decor, the dimly lit restaurant is small and cozy enough to have you feeling that you jetted off to Europe, just for dinner. On spring and summer nights (or heck, pretty much any night in LA), long tables are set in the outside area to allow for dining under the stars.

I advise getting here early if you don’t have a reservation, because if you show up past seven you’ll be standing in the doorway, tortured by the delicious aromas that won’t be yours until you’ve long been salivating.

Another plus of getting here early: the chef loves passing out goat-cheese puff pastry, and boy am I a sucker for anything bread and cheese. Follow that with the standard bread board (served warm with a butter so thick and creamy that even French natives won’t be unphased), and you’ll be full before you’ve even put in your order.

For the cultured wino – this is your place. I’m a happy camper on any night that = a glass of pino noir (there are so many good ones to choose from) and an order of escargot. Don’t make the mistake of thinking appetizers are meant to be just that – apps can go a long way and completely fill you up! 

My go-to items: Escargots de Bourgogne en Croûte (or breaded escargot for you non-francophiles), Os à Moelle (roasted bone marrow), and one of their many “tarts” which are basically fancy french pizzas. 

For the less adventurous, not to worry: there are plenty of more mainstream options, like mac&cheese, french onion soup, salads, and various chicken, salmon, and duck entrees. 

Near the up and coming arts district of DTLA, when you’re done with your meal you can stroll the surroundings of the restaurant and stop in one or more local bars/boutiques! Date night at it’s finest. 

OR, just stay at the bar (below). It’s.so.freaking.cute!!!! ♥

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Restaurant Review: Panaria Panaderia

Restaurant Name: Panaria
Location: Calle Ancha 23, Cadiz, Spain
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★☆
Halfsies Bank: $
Genre: Coffee shop / pastries
Great for: Pastries, fresh bread, breakfast, dessert

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What we loved: The huge assortment of delicious pastries and freshly baked breads. Everything melts in your mouth!!

What we’d improve: The service is quite slow, and if you show up at the end of the day you’ll have limited options!

What we’d recommend: I’m a sucker for chocolate croissants, so that’s my definite go-to. I’m also obsessed with boules de berlins, little donut holes filled with custard that remind me of childhood summers at the Belgian seaside! I may have had a bag to myself while sitting on the beach with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc! Perfection!

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We’re headed home from the splendors of European bake shops, but we’ll be back soon Panaria! What are some of your favorite bakeries, world-wide or closer to home?? Share below!

Restaurant Review: Hiatus Urban BBQ

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Restaurant Name: Hiatus
Location: 1292 S. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★★
Halfsies Bank: $
Great for: Lunch, taco tuesday

What I loved: That the amazing slow-cooked BBQ is also healthy! It’s the best of both worlds!! Not to mention the amazing menu that is super straightforward (think Chipotle assembly line). Don’t forget to try the sauces and slaws (I love the Horseradish Sauce and the Kale/Apple Slaw)!

What I’d improve: I wish this badass space was bigger so that I could bring everyone I know!

What I’d recommend: A plate with pulled pork, spicy sauce (if horseradish isn’t your thing), and any of the slaws! You CANNOT leave without a smoked chocolate chip cookie! **They’re so good, mention Halfsies anytime through 8/1/14 to get a free cookie!!

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Think the food looks bomb? The place is also amazingly decorated with rustic art-inspired pieces!

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We even got to hang out with the owner / head chef! Thanks for hosting us Hiatus… my mouth is still watering!

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