Tag Archives: dining outside in Los Angeles

Dining Outside at The Girl & The Goat, Los Angeles

When at a restaurant named Girl & the Goat, the goat mousse is a must-order.
When at a restaurant named Girl & the Goat, the goat mousse is a must-order.

Of all the many victors through all the many seasons of “Top Chef,” arguably the most successful has been Stephanie Izard.

On Season 4, she not only triumphed but became the first woman to do so. Since then, she’s been off to the races, opening a slew of acclaimed restaurants including the Girl & the Goat in Chicago and then in Los Angeles; as well as the Little Goat Diner, the Chinese-American-influenced Duck Duck Goat, the rooftop Peruvian concept, Cabra, and the dessert shop, SugarGoat, all in Chicago.

Along the way, she nabbed the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Great Lakes” in 2013 and was named a 2011 Food & Wine “Best New Chef.”

So, when my plans to travel to Chicago to dine at Girl & the Goat got foiled in 2020 — you can guess why — I did the next best thing: My husband and I dined at the Los Angeles locale instead on a recent road trip to Southern California.

How cute is this beer glass?
How cute is this beer glass?

The brick building is easily recognizable by the playful goat mascot sign on it. There’s a spacious outdoor seating area right outside, which is where my husband and I dined.

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Dining Outside at Birdie G’s, Santa Monica

The "World Famous'' Rose Petal Pie at Birdie G's.
The “World Famous” Rose Petal Pie at Birdie G’s.

You can tell the impact a chef has made when even after departing Northern California years ago to decamp to Los Angeles, Bay Area diners still rhapsodize about the unforgettable meals they enjoyed at his hands.

Such is the case with Jeremy Fox, former chef de cuisine at Manresa in Los Gatos, who went on to head the groundbreaking Ubuntu, the Napa restaurant that became the world’s only Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant.

Because the moment I posted a photo of a dish I relished recently at his Birdie G’s restaurant in Santa Monica, the comments started flooding in from folks about how much they miss and respected his cooking in the Bay Area.

Despite the torrent of praise for Ubuntu, diners didn’t consistently flock to this unique combination yoga studio/fine-dining restaurant at at time when the term “plant-based” had hardly become fashionable yet. That never-ending stress took its toll on Fox, who suffered through ADHD and depression. Finally, it became too much, and he left.

The plentiful outdoor seating at Birdie G's.
The plentiful outdoor seating at Birdie G’s.

He eventually made his way to Southern California, to become chef of Rustic Canyon in 2012, leading to acclaim again, plus a fresh start in life. In 2019, he added to that, opening Birdie G’s, also for the Rustic Canyon Family group of restaurants.

Named for his young daughter, Birdie, and for his grandmother Gladys, it couldn’t be a more of a personal project. As Fox describes, the casual, fun restaurant embodies exactly who he is: An Eastern-European Jew who grew up in the Midwest and the Deep South, and then settled in Southern California.”

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