Greetings from The Big Orange


A quick trip out to Los Angeles has yielded an intriguing spot for stressed out New Yorkers, plagued with mass transit issues and general New York weariness.

Before I arrived in LA, I did some serious multi-tasking. While my nails were drying from a hurried manicure in New York, knowing I would be arriving late that evening in the city of angels, I began searching for a place that would be open and serving food.

Most Angelenos go to In and Out Burger or Pink’s Hot Dogs, but I was hoping there might be a place that could accommodate more menu choices, and, of course, offer a good glass of wine.

I googled “restaurants opened late in Beverly Hills” (the area of town I would be staying in), and chuckled, as my search kept coming up with eateries open until 10 PM, or at the very latest, 11.

But then, Wally’s of Beverly Hills came up in my search, and my eyes sparkled when I read that Wally’s is open until 2 am. With outdoor seating.

That was going to be the place.

After flying in to LAX, retrieving luggage, picking up a car at the off-site rental place, and dealing with a problem with the reservation, we did arrive at Wally’s way past 10:30. I was sure this Wally’s place would be empty, but as we drove up to the busy valet, I saw that every table outside was taken, and inside, the massive and attractive space was all abuzz with dozens of people happily chatting, with wine glasses and dishes all around them.

The typical LA hostess (impeccably dressed and impossibly thin) was able to muster a table for two. The unique element of Wally’s is that it is housed within a market, filled with cheese and charcuterie displays, rows of crackers and olives, oil and vinegar, and wines, all for sale.

You can enjoy a late night menu, while shopping at the same time.

If they only sold shoes, I would be in heaven.

The choices of wines by the glass are many, but most are ridiculously priced. You can surely find a $15 glass of wine, but many are priced around $30 or $40 (yes, a glass!) and there are even some at $188, $195, or even $375. So look at the wine menu carefully when choosing.

The late night dinner menu includes burgers, salads, sandwiches and pizza.

We ordered well: a green salad, buffalo mozzarella pizza and Moroccan spiced cauliflower. That food tasting, paired with a Spanish red (that was under $20) made for a perfect off-the-plane snack.

It was an experience seeking out Wally’s, and even more interesting finding it, enjoying the atmosphere, food, and yes, even the wine. www.wallywine.com

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