Choice Hospitality Group and former Top Chef contestant Dakota Weiss tapped Santa Monica, CA, design firm Studio Collective to create a hippie retreat setting for Estrella, their new restaurant on Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip. The 1970s bungalows of nearby Laurel Canyon, where musicians like Mama Cass Elliot, Joni Mitchell and other artists lived and worked, served as the inspiration for Estrella, which was named for a character in Mitchell's song “Ladies of the Canyon.” The restaurant, according to Choice Hospitality, “evokes a time when food, music, artistry and community all coexisted under one canopy.”
Weiss’s eclectic all-day menu includes the “Rolling Stone,” a poached egg in an avocado, wrapped in bacon, baked and served with sliced tomato and queso fresco; green tomato gazpacho with golden balsamic and coriander; and sour orange molasses-rubbed lamb chops with white beans and slow-roasted San Marzano tomatoes.
The majority of the restaurant’s seats are located on an expansive, L-shaped outdoor patio. It is lined with a wood trellis and features colorful glass pendants, twinkling lights and lush plants. An eclectic collection of furnishings and accessories includes vintage finds and custom pieces that come together to create a time-worn, indoor-outdoor feel that evokes the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Studio Collective principles Adam Goldstein and Leslie Kale showed us around.