You've heard that it's the journey, not the destination -- but when you're driving in style to an equally stylish dining and shopping destination, you can have the best of both worlds.
Below, three of the most alluring dining experiences around Los Angeles worth braving the freeways and bi-ways for.
Whisper Lounge at The Grove
An intimate, low-lit eatery tucked away behind The Grove, Whisper's a perennial scene favorite due to its speakeasy-ish decor (dark mahogany bar, plush high booths), its quiet, away-from-the-shopping ambiance, and top-notch eats. Not your everyday mall restaurant, Whisper Lounge plates solid, upper crust renditions of American and steakhouse fare like kobe beef sliders, chicken slathered with maple-bourbon, and lamb bolognese. Get all the delicious details at whisperloungela.com.
Dining at The Americana at Brand
A rambling 15-acre behemoth of an outdoor shopping experience -- jazzy stucco fountains, ritzy high-end retailers, you get the idea -- The Americana at Brand boasts dining assets fit for every appetite. The latest/greatest additions are Chi Dynasty, which offers modern'd up Asian decor (red wall art, latticework partitions) and contemporary Asian fare with Chinese influences, and Frida Mexican Cuisine from Beverly Hills. But the real gem's Katsuya -- designed by Philippe Starck, the 3rd location of the popular sushi resto offers two floors in a Pagoda-style setting. Get all the dining details at americanaatbrand.com.
Dining at Irvine Spectrum
An intricately designed, ornate and upscale family-friendly shopping paradise, the Spectrum offers some of the best full service dining around. Mainstays like PF Chang's, Cucina Enoteca, and Ruby's Diner offer an array of cuisine options, while popular joints like Dave and Buster's and The Cheesecake Factory provide light-hearted fare and fun. Learn more at shopirvinespectrumcenter.com.