Each month we share five unmissable things to see and do in the Golden State. You heard it here first.



The Italo-Californian Collaboration We’ve Been Waiting For

The luxury giant Zegna, overseen by creative director Alessandro Sartori, is known for its deep, generation-spanning expertise with wool. And yet the tony Italian label seems to be in the thrall of Southern California cashmere, tapping the L.A.-based brand The Elder Statesman, known for its way with soft, pliable cashmere and run by easygoing surfer Greg Chait. Both men are textile obsessives, and their output marries Italy’s dapper style with L.A.’s more freewheeling attitude. The result is a genderless, effusive collection of bright, cozy knit tailoring; bohemian tie-dyed coats; textured waffle-weave collared polos; and plaid jackets that are urbane, whimsical, and just a touch woo-woo — in the best possible way. Available at Zegna’s Beverly Hills boutique and a curated selection at Maxfield. elder-statesman.com. M.B.

A Little Slice of Tokyo in the Heart of Hollywood

PHOTOS: Ryan Miller.

Next to the Dolby Theatre sits a restaurant quite unlike anything else in Los Angeles. Walking into the serene space — hued in charcoal and warm wood accents, with lantern-style lights and bonsai trees — it’s as though you’ve crossed a portal into Japan. But peer through the picture windows and you’ll notice the glow of the Boulevard below and the towers of downtown in the distance. UKA is a little slice of Tokyo, but in the heart of Hollywood. The name is inspired by Ukanomitama-no-Kami, the ancient Japanese god of grain and fertility, and the restaurant observes the kaiseki tradition that involves a multicourse meal, presenting each dish as though it were a work of art. Indeed, the hairy crab dumpling, delicate sashimi tower, and grilled plate of Washugyu beef ribeye and a Wagyu filet mignon are a sensorial feast, delighting the eyes almost as much as the taste buds. Under the guidance of chef Yoshitaka Mitsue, the kitchen applies his time-honored aging and curing methods — skills he honed in the fish markets of Japan — to its premium seafood. Alongside Mitsue is chef Shingo Kato, whose experience in French cuisine makes him a master of sauces and sweets. Ingredients are as premium as they come, sourced from both California and Japan. The concept is omakase, so the chef decides the dishes on the menu and the attention to detail is felt throughout the experience, from the seamless service to the photogenic presentation. Even the hand-picked tea leaves are sourced by Mitsue’s wife, and the sake sommelier can guide you through the extensive selection. 6801 Hollywood Blvd.; ukarestaurant.com. A.B.

This Century-Old Inn Has Had a Head-to-Toe Makeover

PHOTO: Christopher Stark.

Nick’s Cove, the sleepy hotel and restaurant on the banks of the Tomales Bay, has long been a favorite post-beach spot for freshly shucked oysters on the dock and an escape for overworked Bay Area denizens looking to relax and recharge. This month, the property is shaking things up with the arrival of Chris Cosentino, who has overhauled the seafood-centric culinary program. The celebrity chef grew up clamming and fishing in Newport, Rhode Island and now returns to his roots with new and nostalgic dishes that also pay tribute to Nick’s Cove’s history as a herring curing facility and smokehouse. The inn also has tapped Sam Levy, owner of the award-winning Fern Bar in Sebastopol and former bar manager of The Restaurant at Meadowood, to reimagine the bar offerings, and Aaron Keefer, former garden manager of The French Laundry, to beautify the culinary bayside garden. Following recent renovations to the cozy waterfront cottages by San Francisco–based design firm IDF Studio, the 93-year-old property is ready for its next chapter. 23240 Highway One, Marshall, 415-663-1033; nickscove.com. K.M.

St. Helena Has Stylish New Emporium of Wonders

PHOTOS: Katie Newburn.

Most of Backen & Backen’s high-profile projects (think The Napa Valley Reserve and the private residences of vintner Bill Harlan) are hidden from view at the end of long driveways. But Ann Backen, who works side by side with her husband, architect Howard Backen, has lent her discerning eye to a shoppable new concept on St. Helena’s Main Street. Within a renovated 1920s building, N.O.M.A. House Café & Collective (N.O.M.A. stands for North Main) offers globally sourced and hard-to-find artisanal fashion and home goods from the likes of TREKO Chile and Ethnicraft, and it is the only U.S. outlet to offer Marfa Stance. Backen has handpicked an assortment of vintage and midcentury pieces from the likes of de Sede and Børge Mogensen. The café offers simple yet elevated dishes, like grilled cheese with kimchi and mushroom and prosciutto tartines — and, yes, there’s wine, too. 1429 Main St., nomahousecafeandcollective.com. K.M.

Sean Scully’s Abstract Art Comes to L.A.’s Most Exciting New Gallery

Sean Scully: LA Deep, Exhibition view. 1037 N. Sycamore Avenue, Los Angeles. September 23–November 4, 2023. © Sean Scully. Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Like a Jackson Pollock or an Ed Ruscha painting, the work of Sean Scully is almost instantly recognizable. His signature calling cards are bold yet delicate cross-hatchings of colors woven together in Tetris-like geometric grids and meditative stripes of gradated hues. Now, almost 50 years after the artist made his U.S. debut in Los Angeles, the 78-year-old creative juggernaut, who is often hailed as one of the greatest abstract artists of our time, returns with an exhibit at Lisson Gallery’s newly opened space. LA Deep juxtaposes some of Scully’s earliest grid paintings, which were first shown in Santa Monica in 1975, with large-scale pieces from 2023. (Scully, who was born in Dublin and grew up in South London, now lives and works in New York and Bavaria.) There are also photos of a California road trip Scully took in 1976. From a life of poverty and homelessness to the heights of the contemporary art world, the extensive exhibit is, most important, a celebration. Through November 4. 1037 N. Sycamore Ave., L.A., 213-224-7550; lissongallery.com. K.M.


October 2023.

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