sixth + mill [yes, all lower case] is the latest addition to Factory Place Hospitality Group’s growing restaurant collection. Seeking to be the ‘casual’ alternative to neighboring sister eateries Factory Kitchen and BRERA Ristorante, sixth + mill unquestionably upholds group’s home-cooked Italian nature with a ‘very LA’ vibe. And of course, with a location on 6th Street, the place continues the group’s minimalist naming scheme.
Culinary Director Angelo Auriana, whose pastas are some of the best in the city, continues to showcase his prowess with a limited but well-executed menu. Red and white pizzas, a sprinkling of entrees, salads, small plates and—of course—pastas stay true to Italian nature with simple, rich, high-quality ingredients. Case in point with the coppia, a heavenly compilation of buttery ricotta, bold fennel sausage and arugula that melds together amidst a beautiful crown [read: perfectly-baked crust]. Or the fettuccine al funghi, where that homemade pasta with simply perfect texture meets fresh mushrooms and a light cream sauce for lavish decadence.
Portions aren’t overwhelming like you’d find in a true Italian trattoria, but enough to get by. All the better to have room for some tiramisu or indulgent zeppoline. And of course you can pair anything with a selection from the Italian wine list, as well as a handful of beers and a few craft cocktails.
sixth + mill’s claim as a casual spot may seem a bit far-fetched to some, with a price tag that’s digestible but by no means economical. A loud, but not unbearable, dining room brings out the casual element with large groups of 20, 30 and 40-somethings on a festive night out. And veterans of Factory Kitchen and BRERA Ristorante may either rejoice in ironic nostalgia or reactivate some PTSD with the thought of going back to this particular pocket of the industrial district, where glass shards line the streets from the seemingly endless auto break-ins. Probably a good idea to spring for the valet this time around.
sixth + mill pizzeria and bar is located at 1335 E. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021 . Open 11a – 11p Sun – Thu, 11a – midnight Fri/Sat. Out-the-door price for appetizer, entrée, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$81/person. For more information call (213) 629 – 3000 or visit sixthandmill.com.
Old Vine Kitchen and Bar, an Orange County favorite that began as [the award-winning] Old Vine Café in 2007, has recently reopened with a fresh look. Located in The CAMP in Costa Mesa, right next to its original location, this Italian destination holds an elevated but homey feel, where fine dining doesn’t have to sway guests from being themselves.
The redesigned restaurant features a long bar and adjacent lounge space, with an intimate dining room and heated patio. The open-space concept is tastefully sectioned using custom metalwork from sculptor Mark Gerardi. The walls are lined with paintings by artist Paul Cole, who also hand-painted the restaurant’s menu canvases.
Chef-Owner Mark McDonald has curated breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour menus that integrate Italian favorites, including daily hand-made pastas, with a touch of Latin and Asian influence in various places. Partner Sommelier-Owner Kate Perry completes the experience with an intriguing wine selection as well as a full cocktail program to go with that new bar. The duo comes together with four tasting menus with wine pairings, including dedicated vegetarian and vegan menus.
While the look may be new, Old Vine Kitchen and Bar picks up right where the café left off in terms of community engagement. McDonald and Perry continue to partner with local farmers, participate in nearby food and wine events, and lead twice-annual trips through Italy, known as the Splendors of Italy tours.
Old Vine Café is located at 2937 Bristol St. Suite A-103, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Open daily for breakfast and lunch from 9a – 3p. Open Tue – Sat for dinner from 5p – close. Bar open 9a – midnight Sun – Wed, 9a – 1a Thu – Sat. For more information, call (714) 545-1411 or visit OldVineKitchenBar.com
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is your classic friendly neighborhood steakhouse. White tablecloths, plush booths, servers lad in chef whites and fancy dessert carts put Davio’s on somewhat of an endangered species list in this day and age of modern chic, but with 25+ years of history on the east coast, this place is making big bets on comfort, coziness and iconic charm. Those 25 years, however, were built up with steakhouse grade hormone-free cuts, homemade pastas and a menu that brings timeless and new age dishes together.
Davio’s 3,000-mile journey out west brought it to a business park in Irvine, where needless to say they’re killing it on power lunches and business dinners. But the experience goes much further, with corporate clientele coming back dressed down and with families in tow. The newest offering is Davio’s Sunday Brunch, which is picking up steam as a high-end weekend dining destination.
If you’re looking to make your Sunday afternoon fun and fancy, with a feeling of privacy and seclusion, plus the unbelievably rare opportunity to actually make a brunch reservation, you just got a solid go-to with Davio’s. Ridiculous beef tenderloin Benedict and a crab omelet with crab ‘impossibly everywhere’ are just a preview of how this steakhouse takes brunch to the next level, complemented beautifully with a bloody Mary cart complete with fresh bacon, jumbo prawns and virtually anything else you can put in a morning cocktail.
The full Italian steakhouse experience is readily available at brunch as well, with hand-rolled potato gnocchi, fresh lobster rolls and of course an array of classic steak and seafood options. And whatever you’re craving, you owe it to yourself to start with the spring rolls. Far from your typical Far East dish, these variations are stuffed with Philly cheesesteak, Reuben, chicken parmesan and east coast specialties that allow Davio’s to show off its historic roots.
Davio’s did adapt to SoCal quite well in its ambiance, finding a location with tons of natural light and an expansive patio. It makes it that much easier to enjoy another bloody Mary, glass of wine or craft cocktail. Then that dessert cart comes out and the hardest decision of the day is whether to go with the molten chocolate cake or the panna cotta. Make it easy on yourself and just get both.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is located at 18420 Von Karman Ave, Irvine CA 92162. Open 11:30a – 10p Mon/Tue, 11:30a – 11p Wed – Fri, 5p – 12a Sat, 11a – 10p Sun. Avg. out-the-door price for split appetizer, entrée, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$85/person. For more information and reservations call (949) 477-4810 or visit Davios.com/Irv.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.