Mother's Day Dining deals [Updated]
It's time to celebrate your mom again. Not that you ever stopped celebrating her in the first place, just that Mother's Day offers a fresh excuse to say, "Thanks Mom, for cleaning up after my many messes -- both literal and figurative -- over the years." Unless you have kids of your own, it's unlikely that you know what that kind of self-sacrifice feels like.
So don't mess this up! A recent survey by the online dining reservations service OpenTable found that 50% of moms made their own reservations on Mother's Day. Don't let your mother belong to that segment of the population; make a reservation now. After the jump: a few great choices to help you get started.
Fraiche, Santa Monica: The second location of this California-Mediterranean restaurant features a larger bar, a new cocktail menu and new dishes such as tagliatelle with lobster and a foie gras terrine with prosciutto and a black fig puree. On Mother's Day, Fraiche is offering a three-course brunch -- including a Bellini or glass of Prosecco -- for $45 per person. Choices include faro salad, steak and eggs, and spring vegetable frittata. 312 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 451-7482; www.fraicherestaurantsm.com
Akasha: This bakery, restaurant and bar are all about sustainability. Even the cocktails are made with fresh juices, and the proprietors have tried to source organic beer and wine. Chef Akasha Richmond is a spokeswoman for Silk soy milk and has written a book called " Hollywood Dish." For Mother's Day, chef Richmond is offering a luscious a la carte menu including fresh and healthful options such as Greek yogurt, Akasha's mom's granola and market fruit ($8); Bellwether ricotta pancakes, Pudwill Farm blackberries and lemon curd ($11); and Niman Ranch steak and eggs with grilled ciabatta ($16). Also on offer: customizable Bloody Marys garnished with unique items such as asparagus and McGrath carrots. 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City. (310) 845-1700; www.akasharestaurant.com
Checkers Downtown: Tucked into a charming downtown boutique hotel is this delicious restaurant, a pleasantly sedate refuge from the hassles of city life. The restaurant recently underwent extensive renovations and emerged as a more modern and hip version of its former self. Take your mother here on her special day and she eats free (up to $30 worth, alcohol not included). Chef Todd Allison's a la carte menu includes buttermilk pancakes filled with strawberries, blueberries or bananas and walnuts, an open-faced fried-egg sandwich on grilled sourdough with prosciutto, stewed tomatoes and arugula, and Maine lobster risotto. Also, if you want to leave your mom at the hotel, you can do so for a special Mother's Day rate of $129. 535 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 624-0000; www.checkersdowntown.com
Maria's Italian Kitchen: A "children-welcome" attitude attracts families to this chain, which offers all the Italian standards you grew up on -- with the convenience of not having to cook them at home. Black-and-white checkered tablecloths add to the old-fashioned atmosphere, and seven locations scattered in and around L.A. make it easy to find a table near you. Maria's also might be one of the only restaurants in the city to offer a gluten-free Mother's Day menu that includes a wide variety of risotto, chicken and seafood dishes. All Mother's Day brunch entrées are served with coffee cake and a mimosa. Options include Italian toast, eggs bruschetta and calzones. Also, dine at Maria's on Mother's Day and receive a $15 gift certificate toward your next visit. The gift certificate and brunch menu are available at all locations except Brentwood and downtown L.A. www.mariasitaliankitchen.com
Vertical Wine Bistro: Small plates and top-notch wines are the highlights here. This tucked-away spot on the second floor has hundreds and hundreds of bottles of wine available for your sipping enjoyment. So if Mom knows vino, bring her to Vertical, where she'll be given a complimentary glass of Gruet Rose sparkling wine. Next treat her to chef Doug Weston's three-course dinner menu with wine pairings by General Manager Manuel Mesta . It includes starters such as white corn soup; arugula orange salad with goat cheese and walnuts (paired with a 2006 Les Chailloux Sancerre from France); and entrées including pan-seared sea bass with baby artichokes and chive-laced crème fraîche; and farro risotto with asparagus and fava beans (paired with a 2007 Cep Pinot Noir from the Sonoma coast). The cost is $49 per person; add an additional $26 for wine pairings. 70 N. Raymond Ave., second floor, Pasadena. (626) 795-3999; www.verticalwinebistro.com
The London West Hollywood: This posh hotel, with two restaurants by "Hell's Kitchen" overlord Gordon Ramsay, is offering a special "Queen Mum" package that includes suite accommodations, a Champagne toast in your room on arrival, a chocolate welcome treat, a continental breakfast in Ramsay's casual Boxwood Café and a choice of manicure or pedicure in the Alex Roldan Salon. Packages start at $399 per night. 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 854-1111; www.thelondonwesthollywood.com
RH at the Andaz West Hollywood: Los Angeles is a city rife with symbols of cultural evolution or, if you prefer, gentrification. But nowhere is the contrast between L.A.'s anarchic rock 'n' roll past and its slick, upscale present thrown into starker relief than on the Sunset Strip, where the onetime Continental Hyatt House, a.k.a. the Riot Hyatt, has reemerged as the Andaz West Hollywood. On Mother's Day, the hotel's well-reviewed French restaurant is offering a free Bellini to each adult guest as well as a complimentary meal to first-time mothers and grandmothers. To eat: a choice of slow braised beef cheek, roasted veal chop, or seared halibut served family style at each table with artichokes, roasted potatoes, or green beans. The cost is $55 per adult and $20 per child. 8401 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 656-1234; www.westhollywood.andaz.hyatt.com
Patina at Descanso Gardens: Enjoy a day in the garden with your mom. Visitors can stroll or hike through 160 acres that include forests of oak trees and camellias, a native California plant section, an International Rosarium, a lilac grove, a Japanese garden and tea house, a bird sanctuary, and an art gallery inside the historic Boddy House mansion. It's a great way to work off a decadent Patina Restaurant Group-catered Mother's Day buffet that includes fresh fruit salad, lemon fettuccini, hand-carved cherrywood-smoked ham, free-range chicken and bacon, and potato-and-chive tart. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. (818) 790.3663; www.patinagroup.com
Lazy Dog Café: Family-friendly dining with reasonable prices, a nice selection of beer and wine and a full menu featuring American, Italian and Asian cuisine make this a great all-purpose place to visit. The outdoor patio is cozy and relaxing when the weather's good. And dogs are welcome on the patio. On Mother's Day, moms receive a free Bellini and a custom-made interactive card featuring mom-centric games for the whole family's amusement. Think mom-style Mad Libs with fill-in-the-blank answers that test family members on how well they know their favorite matriarch. There are six Lazy Dog locations around the Southland. For locations, go to www.lazydogcafe.com [For the record, 12:49 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that the website for Lazy Dog Cafe was www.lazydog.com. The website is actually www.lazydogcafe.com.]
The Belvedere at the Peninsula Hotel: The Belvedere has all that you might expect from an upscale Beverly Hills eatery: impeccable service, a unique menu and quiet inside and outside seating. On Sunday, the restaurant is offering a three-course Champagne Brunch menu, which features free-flowing Piper-Heidsieck Champagne. Entrées include pan-roasted walleye pike filet, squash blossoms filled with red-pepper polenta; and grilled Angus beef tenderloin with spinach gnocchi, cherries and black pepper pommes boulangére. For dessert? A decadent pastry buffet. Cost is $105 per person. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 551-2888; www.peninsula.com
Photo: Monbazillac gelee at RH at the Andaz West Hollywood. Credit: Axel Koester / For The Times