Where's this place been hiding? Or more apparently, where have I not been seeking? My girls and I have been to The Grove more times than should be legal, and always without a slam-dunk dinner spot. Those days are done. Caruso's corralled a new spin on a familiar planet. Buckle up.
Perched above Dylan's Candy Bar (guard your children) and across from American Girl Place (guard your wallet), Planet Dailies solves your "Marmalade's not much and Cheesecake makes me pay in the morning" conundrum. You want a little comfort food fix, maybe a little cocktail, you don't want to have to take it inside and you don't want to have to hire a sitter to take the kids. Up the stairs my friends. Answer's right this way.
Pass through Mixology (mentally noting to return sans monkeys) over to Planet Dailies. Hello, where did you drop from? The steel veranda is the only break between you and the open sky, and it's softened by a cradling canopy of windy vines and a ballet of purple blooms, surrounded by a border of white cushioned banquettes. We took a table for four. We would be there for the next two hours. Relax. It was by choice.
The girls were immediately adorned with crayons, a placemat to color, and kiddie cups. I ordered up a Greyhound, some sort of vodka and fresh squeezed grapefruit blend that made me rethink that Mixology visit. (I'm just so happy here . . .). We started with a spinach and artichoke dip, extra chips were delivered without our request (love that) as we were quick to polish off the first batch (it's a gift). We moved onto the Watermelon and Feta salad, spinach leaves dressed in lemon, a summer day in a salad bowl. Just like my salmon teriyaki that followed. Omegas CAN taste like candy.
But the real treat was what was happening at the kiddie end of the table. Guess what I learned? If you call a turkey dog and broccoli Trees and a Log, magic, they get gobbled up like they forgot they weren't fries. Creative wording. Why didn't I think of that?
We capped the night with what has to be one of the worlds best dessert concepts. Restaurant owners, if you're not serving a hot chocolate chip cookie in a skillet beneath vanilla ice cream, please do. Because that, four spoons, and your family, it's got to be one of the best things on the Planet.
For Farmer's Marketing you know where to go. For an afternoon treat, I'm all over the Short Cake scene. But alas, The Grove finally landed a dinner spot worth sticking around for. The menu's a party and the ambiance a pleasure. Have a 20-minute appetizer or have dinner for two hours. Either way, have that cookie in a skillet.
6333 West 3rd Street, Suite O20
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Written by Jolie Loeb