On my recent trip to California, I spent a day on Rodeo Drive, and then met friends for lunch at Villa Blanca, the restaurant made famous by its owner, Lisa Vanderpump, a lead character in the TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The food is tasty, not exquisite, but plays a secondary role to the scene that goes on here. During my lunch, Paula Abdul sauntered in to dine with So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lithgoe. You're pretty much always guaranteed a celebrity sighting at Villa Blanca.
Chicken Lettuce Cups:
In butter lettuce cups topped with grilled sweet corn, red onion,
toasted pine nuts, avocado and finished with a lemon dijon vinaigrette
The Blanca Chopped Salad:
Organic greens & romaine in a balsamic dressing, with red onion, Point Reyes blue cheese,
toasted pine nuts, sweet corn, chicken, avocado, seasonal tomatoes and egg
The Villa Blanca Burger:
Certified domestic kobe beef with Wisconsin white cheddar and aioli on a brioche bun
Happy with our celebrity sighting for the day, we strolled down Rodeo Drive and then made a dessert stop at Sprinkles, the establishment that claims to be the world's first cupcake bakery and the progenitor of the gourmet cupcake craze.
We ordered half a dozen so we could sample a few different flavors ...
... and made it roughly halfway through before saving the rest for later:
And for those of you who pull up to Sprinkles after hours, fear not, their 24 hour Cupcake ATM will serve you whatever your sweet tooth desires: