Julia Reed  eats, drinks, and shops her way through Los Angeles.

Pictured above, top row, from left:

There is no better place to stay in Los Angeles than one of the guest rooms in Suzanne and Fred Rheinstein’s house in leafy Hancock Park. The one above, featured in Suzanne’s gorgeous book At Home, has the most decadent bed cover ever—a tufted duvet done up in one of the fabrics she designs for Lee Jofa, Glazed Silk in Spinach. The curtains are in the same silk, while the chair and ottoman in the corner are covered in Suzanne’s Garden Roses in Lime Leaf.

Elle Décor is photographing my house in New Orleans next month and  I knew I’d find some much-needed props is Suzanne’s West Hollywood shop, Hollyhock. These fabulous aubergine glass orchid pots will look great in my mostly green living room and they’re so easy. Ditch the cheap plastic pots from the grocery store or florist, shove the orchids in these (you’ve got to get at least one in each size!), and presto, you have instant tablescape glamour.

Suzanne’s book At Home features both her Los Angeles house and her terrific apartment in Manhattan on the Upper East Side, which graces the cover.

Bottom row, from left:

Suzanne’s husband Fred has invested in some of L.A.’s best restaurants (including Joachim Splichal’s amazing Patina). The latest is Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Beverly Hills. Keller might be a Yankee, but his fried chicken, perfected at Ad Hoc, his casual spot in Yountville, is among the best I’ve ever tasted. Bouchon is beautiful and fun, but one of the best things about it is the fact that you can take the fried chicken home—by the very tasteful bucket full.

My favorite new restaurant in L.A. is Red Medicine, the brainchild of Jordan Kahn, a brilliant young chef from Savannah, Georgia who was he youngest cook ever to work in Thomas Keller’s famous French Laundry kitchen. The menu is reinvented Vietnamese and among the items not to be missed are: the chicken dumplings (insanely delicious chicken meatballs); brussels sprouts with caramelized shallots and fish sauce (so addictive, they should be illegal), and pork belly glazed with malt vinegar and served with lettuce leaves and fresh herbs so you can make your own Vietnamese style wraps. The drinks are as creative as the cooking. In addition to the Pimm’s Cup above, an excellent old fashioned made with cognac, Rittenhouse Bonded Rye, and my favorite Fee Brothers Old Fashioned bitters.

The culinary marriage of Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali at Pizzeria Mozza has resulted in some of the finest pizzas on the planet. Pair one with the tricolore salad and a glass of partner Joe Bastianich’s and you have a perfect lunch.  (If L.A. and Pizzeria Mozza aren’t in your immediate future, there’s no reason to wait on the yummy Italian rosé from Bastianich’s vineyard—it’s available, just in time for the warm weather, from A Wine for All.)

About Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a columnist at Garden & Gun magazine and a contributing editor at Elle Décor. She also contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times, and makes frequent appearances on MSNBC. She is the author of five books, including But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria, Adventures in Eating, Drinking and Making Merry and One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.

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