Enjoying Dinner and Art at Stripe Cafe and Palos Verdes Art Center

One of my favorite podcasts is You Can’t Eat the Sunshine from the folks behind the Esotouric tours. Delving deep into Los Angeles culture and history it’s a fascinating glimpse into the region I call home. In fact, in the last episode I listened to the hosts, Richard and Kim, interviewed Alan Hess who recently curated an exhibit all about Aaron G. Green’s mid-century architecture at the Palos Verdes Art Center . I had not heard of the exhibit prior to listening but immediately knew I had to see it. Imagine my surprise when a few days later I was invited by the art center to come visit and have dinner at their onsite restaurant, Stripe Cafe.

Palos Verdes Art Center is located in the heart of the peninsula and offers exhibits, classes and fine dining all in one spot. For a limited time they are open until 8:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays so patrons can enjoy a nice dinner and view the current exhibits Wearable Expressions and Aaron G. Green and California Organic Architecture. Last Saturday I took advantage of the later hours and accompanied by my mid-century loving sister, Shannon, checked it out.

Stripe Cafe is a small, ultra modern spot specializing in well crafted dishes created by executive Chef Brett Hickey. There’s a wide variety of appetizers, a handful of carefully curated entrees and a trio of desserts available. There’s also a range of beer and wine options but as it was the day after St. Patrick’s Day we decided to stick to water. As for the menu it was difficult to choose among the many appetizers and we opted to share the Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Roasted in an apple brandy glaze and accompanied by bacon, crisp granny smith apples and pomegranate seeds it was a perfectly executed dish. It was filled with flavor and the brussels sprouts just melted in my mouth. Shannon and I both loved it and didn’t leave a morsel behind.

For the entree I chose the Duroc Pork Tenderloin while Shannon opted for the 10oz New York Steak.

The tenderloin with its accompanying saffron cauliflower puree sounded delicious but was sadly lacking. The pork was dry, the puree was cold and overall it was a bit bland. I was disappointed as I was really looking forward to it. Shannon’s steak fared better. Accompanied by roasted potatoes and tomato puree I managed to sneak a bite and wished I had ordered it instead. The steak was tender (though a bit overcooked for Shannon’s taste), the sauce was a hearty accompaniment and the potatoes were crisp and flavorful.

For dessert we decided to share the seasonal Blood Orange Creme Brulee.

Topped with crisp caramelized sugar the sweet brulee had just a hint of citrus. It was quite tasty and a deliciously sweet finish to our meal.

We then headed into the art center to check out the exhibits. In the main gallery is Wearable Expressions – a juried exhibition of wearable art from around the world.

As it was neither of our cup of tea we took a quick look around before heading to Aaron G. Green and California Organic Architecture.

An associate of Frank Lloyd Wright, Green was a proponent of Organic Modernism a branch of the architectural movement that drew more inspiration from nature than industry. His work is largely found in the Bay area but there are also structures in Southern California including on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

I must admit prior to the podcast I was completely unaware of Aaron G. Green but after viewing the exhibit I’ll never forget him. A true architectural master his work is exquisite and I can’t wait to learn more about it. The exhibit is a prefect introduction to his work and I’m so glad I had a chance to view it.

I had a lovely evening at Stripe Cafe and Palos Verdes Art Center and can’t wait to see what future exhibits hold.




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