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After a complete makeover, Viva Hollywood is adding a bit of spice to Hollywood Boulevard.

Located in the original Beso space, Viva Hollywood is large and open. It is bright with white walls and high ceilings. The bar and a lounge area are in the front half of the restaurant and flow through to the dining room. There is a stage at the far end of the restaurant for the nightly live music. Upstairs overlooking the dining room is additional seating as well as a private event area know as the "piñata room." From the dining room floor, you can look up into the private room that is filled with brightly colored piñatas.
Looking for a local escape? Head to The Old Place Cornell for brunch and you will feel like you have entered another place and time. Located in Agoura Hills, The Old Place Cornell was originally in the once established town of Cornell. Started by Tom Runyon and his wife more than 40 years ago, they converted a dilapidated former country store into a restaurant. Today, The Old Place is run by Tom Runyon's son Morgan. The Old Place Whether you head up for brunch or dinner, it's best to plan ahead and reserve a table. It's a small space with a handful of tables and seating at the bar that can accommodate almost 70 people.
When I went to lunch at Spago a few months ago, I saw that a new place was going in next door called Spaghettini. Silly me thought that meant that it was a "little Spago." But it's not. It's actually the second location for a successful restaurant and music venue, owned by Laurie Sisneros and Cary Hardwick, that has been in Seal Beach for 26 years. Spaghettini is a large rectangular space that is wide open. With white walls and dark wood and blue accents, it is rather simple in its décor, but also modernly elegant. Spaghettini Dining Room We started at the bar and ordered a couple drinks to start the evening. We ordered The Home Slice (apple ginger soda, Angel's Envy Bourbon, citrus) and The Duet (El Dorado 12 Year Rum, Rhum JM, honey, Italian sweet vermouth, Angostura, grapefruit peel). The Home Slice was refreshing with the sweetness of the bourbon on the finish. But, I would have liked a bit more acidity or bite on the front of the palate. The apple ginger soda seemed a bit muted. The Duet on the other hand was a well balanced cocktail. Perhaps not the first drink you want for the night on a chilly night, it was perfect. The cocktails range from $15-$18 and are a bit steep.