Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

Category Archives: Food

Firefly Studio City

This past weekend I attended a press brunch at Firefly in Studio City. A Valley institutions since 2002, Firefly recently added brunch to the menu, so they invited me and some fellow bloggers to check it out.. The restaurant features a magnificent ambiance, covered in vines and outdoor greenery on the cozy covered greenhouse-like patio. The overhead natural light was perfect for taking brunch pics.

Firefly Studio City

We started off with a taste of the berry smoothie and an assortment of pastries. My favorite was the sticky bun, with roasted pecans and sweet cinnamon. We then moved on to avocado toast. It was some of the best avocado toast I’ve had, and there are a lot to taste here in LA. The next course was the steelhead salmon, which was beautifully presented with cabbage and a side of creme fraiche. It looked like a piece of art.

Avocado toast

The next item on the menu were the scrambles, lobster and a farmers market fresh veggies. I’m not a big fan of lobster, which is shocking to most people, so I dove into the veggie scramble. It had the best seasoning. A scramble with actual seasoning that wasn’t just salt and pepper.

salmon with creme fraiche

I ended breakfast with the thick cut brioche French toast. Dusted with powdered sugar and served with slices of warm cinnamon apples, I couldn’t pass it up. I washed it all down with a tasty cocktail.

Brioche French toast

Note: Did you happen to see the brunch on my Instagram Story? Make sure you follow to catch it all.

Topanga Table

If you’re looking for a romantic restaurant for Valentine’s Day that’s off the beaten path, then you have to stop by The Topanga Table. Located in Topanga Canyon, one of my favorite areas in Los Angeles, it serves all organic and locally sourced food. The rustic restaurant is only open until 4pm, so you will have to make it a Valentine’s breakfast or lunch. Or, grab a warm tea and head to the beach and make a day out of it. Be sure to keep your eye out when you’re driving, because you might just miss it. It’s not located in the main area of Topanga Canyon.

Romantic Topanga Table

This hidden gem plays old records from behind the bar, which brings you back to another time when life was slow and simple. Here you can have a relaxing leisure day with your loved one and enjoy just being together.

The Topanga Table

Note: If it’s nice out, take a seat on the patio and surround yourself in nature.


Located on the idyllic Malibu Pier, Malibu Farm is a romantic seaside restaurant where you can watch the sunset and children fish off the pier, while enjoying your meal or morning coffee. At the start of the pier is Malibu Farm Restaurant. This is a sit down restaurant with a large patio. There are two sections to the restaurant, one is the main indoor dining and patio, and the other is the walk-up coffee shop, which also has a ton of outdoor seating.


At the end of the pier is Malibu Farm Cafe. A bit smaller, with a smaller menu, but equally as tasty and cute inside. Here you order at the counter and take a seat. Everything at Malibu Farm is organic and locally sourced. There are vegan options and tons of healthy juices and elixirs to choose from.


After, you can take a stroll into the curated shop across the way. This isn’t your ordinary pier souvenir shop. Here you can buy specialty chocolates, soaps, and trendy gifts. Experiencing all three locations on the pier and enjoying the view makes for a relaxing time in Malibu.


Note: It’s also a picture perfect place for Insta pics and Snapchat stories.

Manuela DTLA

The downtown LA Arts District has come a long way. Just a few years ago it became a buzzy neighborhood with art galleries, trendy shops and tasty restaurants. Now, it’s even more so and I see it continuing to grow.

Manuela Los Angeles

One of the latest and already popular restaurants in town, Manuela, is located inside the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art gallery in the Arts District. It’s such an amazing concept that blends together both food and art in an open air setting. Within the space there is a garden with fresh produce, herbs, and chickens that lay eggs for the restaurant. Talk about farm to table fresh. Within the gallery there’s a large courtyard with tables, sculptures, murals and street art. The restaurant also has lots of art on display and a sleek interior design, along with amazing Southern-style food.


Note: This is a definite must see for the food and art lover.



Every time I go to New York City my list of restaurants grow. Depending on the neighborhood I’m in, I do a little research on what I might like to try. I was just there for Thanksgiving and was in several different parts of the city, which made it fun looking for restaurants. Breakfast and lunch was on the fly this trip, but dinners were always scheduled. Here are the spots we tried.


Jams – We stopped into Jams out first night in NYC on a fluke. It looked really cute on the outside with overgrown ivy, so I judged it by the cover and thought it would be good. I have a thing for ivy covered buildings. I loved the ambiance inside, and yes, the food was as good as I thought it would be. And the drinks were nice too.


Quality Meats – If you’re looking for a quality cut of meat, this is a great place to go. The service was phenomenal, with attentive, well informed waiters. The meal is served family style, where you split the delicious sides. My favorite was the Corn Creme Brulee. It was sweet with a brulee flamed top.

The Ritz Auden Bistro – Thanksgiving dinner was at The Ritz. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, and the service was especially disappointing. We had late orders, forgotten orders, slow service. The hotel is amazing for the view of the parade, but I would go somewhere else for dinner.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria – This was my favorite place we dinned. True, top quality Italian food, rustic romantic ambiance and attentive service. The wine list is amazing. The pasta is cooked al dente, which is the only way to cook pasta. On the first floor there’s a bar and market, where you can buy cheese, breads and spreads.

Butter Midtown – The bread. The bread is the best table bread I’ve ever tasted. Flaky, yet soft, with sea salt on top. My mouth waters just thinking about it now. The dessert was also the highlight of my meal. The Raspberry Beignets were a favorite with the group and I loved my Sweet Potato Semifreddo with toasted marshmallows and gingerbread cookies. A unique seasonal dessert.


Note: One of my favorite things about NYC is the food.