Artful Dining

Here are four great ways to satisfy your hunger for culture and cuisine in a single day.

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  • Written by
    Pauline Adamek

Skirball Cultural Center

With its exhaustive collection of multimedia installations, rare artifacts, photographs and interactive computer stations, the kid-friendly Skirball Cultural Center is considered one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions.

Now showing is Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open, an exhibition that illustrates the fantastic world of artist, illustrator, animator and toy designer Gary Baseman.

This fun exhibit, which has everything from vibrant paintings to sketchbooks to toys, runs through mid-August.


No need to travel. On the Skirball grounds, enjoy a sit-down lunch of innovative gourmet sandwiches, salads, fresh fish, pasta and pizza at Zeidler’s Café. The eatery offers a kids’ menu. Or, grab a quick bite from Zeidler’s Cart and munch away while strolling though the exquisite gardens.

Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles Open Tuesday through Friday, 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Closed Mondays Admission: $10

Leonis Adobe Museum

Visiting the 1844-built Leonis Adobe transports visitors back in time to early 19th-century ranch living. The two-story, mud-brick home has furnished rooms and portraits of the Leonis family, a wealthy, self-made, Mexican-and-Chumash couple.

Check out their ancient kitchen and quaint pantry. Then stroll the grounds, exploring the well–preserved if slightly ramshackle barn, blacksmith’s workshop, outdoor oven and various farming tools.


Maintain a “south of the border” vibe by grabbing a bite nearby at the hot spot  Sagebrush Cantina. There is outdoor dining, great Mexican fare, killer Margaritas and live bands on the weekends. From bikers to babes to B-list celebrities—there’s great people watching to boot.

Leonis Adobe Museum 23537 Calabasas Road, Calabasas Open Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $4 (suggested donation)


The Autry National Center

Established in 1988 by singing cowboy Gene Autry, The Autry National Center in Griffith Park focuses on the American West, including cowboy attire exhibits and gun displays.

A new exhibition, though, has another theme. Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic explores how a growing Jewish community settled, prospered and helped shape the economy, politics and culture of LA. Using historical artifacts, vintage photography, video, audio and music, this groundbreaking exhibition tells the story of neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights and Fairfax, and luminaries such as filmmaker Billy Wilder, cosmetics innovator Max Factor and architect Frank Gehry.


Head to the nearby Alcove Cafe & Bakery. Housed in two historic bungalows and surrounded by garden patios, the Alcove serves updated versions of American classics, artisan-baked goods and homemade chocolate. Disclaimer: There can be a long wait at peak dining hours.

The Autry National Center 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles Open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays, Free parking Admission: $10

Pasadena Museum of California Art

Pasadena has the Norton Simon Museum with its fine collection of Impressionist works and amazing 20th-century sculptures in extensive botanic gardens. Lesser known is the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), dedicated to the exhibition of California art, architecture and design from 1850 to the present.

On view now through late July is the evocative exhibit California Scene Paintings from 1930 to 1960. Part of the larger Regionalist art movement of the mid-20th century, the exhibit describes representational art that captured scenes in California: people going about their everyday lives, the factories, a growing car culture, ranches and agrarian communities.


Jump in the car and head south for two miles to quaint San Marino, where you’ll discover the formidable culinary pleasures of Julienne. Part gourmet market and part restaurant, diners can sit outside along the sidewalk and devour classic French bistro fare. Don’t leave without buying a take home container of their top-notch Caesar saladdressing.

Pasadena Museum of California Art 490 E. Union St., Pasadena Open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Free parking Admission: $7