There’s what we eat — and then there’s what we want to eat. Personally, we prefer the latter. With that in mind, we designed a day’s worth of indulgence that began with a best-case scenario breakfast and ended with the finest in fried foods (the better to sop up more than our share of cocktails), with something salad-ish in the middle. While we stand behind all of our recommendations (a best in show, plus two honorable mentions), you’re on your own if you should mistake this for a meal plan.
Campanile This is bliss: homemade whole-wheat English muffins and applesmoked bacon; a little arugula cuts through the richness. Topped with poached eggs and a light and airy hollandaise, it’s perfect.
Hungry Cat A crispy crab cake instead of a toasted
English muffin, topped with an expertly poached egg and chive-flecked hollandaise.
BLD Flaunts convention with hanger steak and a tart-edged red-wine hollandaise.
La Scala Reliable as a monkey wrench. Chopped iceberg with turkey, salami, mozzarella, garbanzo beans and a Kalamata olive perched on top.
Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills Hotel The McCarthy salad is now relegated to the bottom of a revamped menu, but you can’t keep a good salad down.
M Café de Chaya Smoky tempeh “bacon,” ume-pickled radish, tamari-roasted almonds and tofu-peppercorn ranch dressing: The Trojan horse of chopped salads.
Jar Belly up to the bar for homemade potato chips and a horseradish-sour cream dip that will clear your nasal passages (for better wine bouquet appreciation).
Peninsula Hotel A triple threat of treats arrive at the Club bar before you can contemplate a drink order: briny Sicilian olives, nearly trans-parent potato crisps and roasted almonds served on a dainty silver tray.
Lodge Steakhouse It takes a bar with a big ego to serve peppery slices of crispy bacon to the cocktail set. For the bacon strip-thin women who frequent this hip steakhouse, rosemary-toasted almonds are also on the bill.
Cut Wolfgang Puck found a way to rise above his competitors with an aged bone-in ribeye. Juicy, flavorful and cooked over insane levels of heat, this may be the steakiest steak we’ve ever sliced.
Ciudad Remember when skirt steak used to be a cheap cut of meat? Neither do we —you can blame chefs like Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. To gild the lily, order chimichurri sauce on the side.
La Buca We’re still looking for the perfect tagliata — the classic Italian steak dish served on a bed of arugula. However, we’re enamored with this variation that fans beef over spicy mesclun and tops it with a fresh and creamy cheese. Served with sauteed tricolor peppers, you’ll ask for more bread to sop it up.
||LATE-NIGHT FRENCH FRIES
Bin 8945 Inspired by executive chef Matt Carpenter’s travels through the back roads of Bordeaux, these are deep-fried with sprigs of rosemary and sage in flavorful duck fat. Worth a crosstown drive, day or night.
25 Degrees and Lucky Devils Two burger joints, less than a half-mile apart on Hollywood Boulevard, both open until 3 a.m. on weekends. Which one should get your drunken business? 25 Degrees, if you seek classic fries jazzed with fresh herbs and fancy dipping sauces; Lucky Devils has the edge if crispness counts.