If you miss the day-to-night action in the City of Beverly Hills along with the shops, restaurants and local people of the community, here is an update on a few things that have transpired during the Safer at Home order.
Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura opened its long-awaited alfresco dining room weeks before the shutdown mandate hit. Executive chef Mattia Agazzi had moved to L.A. from his home just outside Milan to run the restaurant and then suddenly found himself without a kitchen.
Giacomino Drago, who has kept Villa Alloro open for takeout orders, (and is cooking for the Hollywood Food Coalition), provided a much need outlet for Agazzi and his pastry chef partner, Tamara Rigo. Agazzi has been practicing his “no waste recipes” from three-Michelin-star chef Bottura, along with eggplant parmesan, risotto, ravioli and gnocchi all while producing cooking videos in the borrowed kitchen space. “He showed me such hospitality and charity from the beginning,” said Agazzi of Drago. “We have been building a strong friendship.” While the hope is to re-open the Gucci restaurant with Agazzi back at the helm at the end of May, until that day, you can catch his cooking videos at https://www.gucci.com.
DJ Zen Freeman, who is responsible for the programming in the basement club Sunset at the West Hollywood EDITION, has also found himself without a home base and has gone digital. Freeman, who worked previously with Chanel, Tesla, LACMA, Vogue and Calvin Harris, will live broadcast his exclusive Sunset sets on his Instagram @ zenfreeman on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until the club reopens. His mixes were inspired by live performances at the venue that included Chaka Khan, Janelle Monae, Blond:ish, Questlove, James Murphy, Q-Tip and Samantha Ronson among others.
Mainstream design and décor website One Kings Lane co-founder Susan Feldman has been busy running her new site, “In The Groove.” Tagged as a lifestyle destination for age-defying women, this flourishing space is where Feldman shares here personal recommendations from quarantine beauty to chic maxi floral dresses or home improvement tricks that won’t break the bank. “This was born because all around me, women somewhere in the vicinity of their 50th year, were describing that somewhere in the middle of a mostly joyful life they began to experience feelings of invisibility,” said Feldman. “I decided to help my sisters in a call to arms to stay ‘In The Groove.’ We are turning #WeAreNotInvisible to #NowYouSeeUs and we are having a lot of fun.” https://getinthegroove.com/welcome-to-the-modern-age/
And, one person’s groove is another’s coffee addiction. “Alfred’s success hinges on providing our customers with a consistent, daily escape from their daily grind,” Alfred’s Coffee owner Joshua Zad told the Courier. “With this core mission in mind, we have adjusted our social model to provide our visitors and followers alike with an eclectic offering of old favorites that were previously in-store only but now in “take away” form.
This includes merchandise from their recent fundraiser in which they designed “I’m a Friend of Alfred” hoodies and donated proceeds to the UCLA Health COVID-19 Patient Care Fund.
The brand has also launched an app with fun memes. “If we can’t distract our customers at the cafes with specials and awesome customer service like we used to, this approach is sure to keep folks on their toes and keep Alfred top of mind, daily, in another way,” said Zad.
Nicolas Bijan Pakzad from Bijan menswear has been busy focusing all of his efforts on creating the brand’s new face shields and supporting first responders on the front lines. All proceeds from the Bijan AcuShield Face Protector will be donated to Los Angeles first responders and medical professionals. However, Bijan is also looking to the future. “Once the travel ban is lifted, I’m keen to get my wedding plans back on track with my fiancé at Villa d’Este in Lake Como. Not only will we be putting money back into the Italian economy which of course was one of the first ones that was hard hit, but it will also be one of the most special days of our lives,” he told the Courier.
And, if nostalgia is what you’re looking for, download a copy of Robert S. Anderson’s historical tome “Beverly Hills: The First 100 Years,” which he has generously donated for free viewing during this time.