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Rodeo Drive is Overrated

February 15, 2010

Rodeo Drive is beautiful.  Probably the most recognizable street in the world.  The shops are amazing, the people are stunning, and the whole scene looks just like it does in the movies.  But just one block over from the glitz and glamour of Rodeo is my absolute favorite street in Beverly Hills – Canon Drive.  


Canon Drive is very understated but still beautiful in its own way, and best of all?  The street is lined with so many of my favorite restaurants!  So when four of my best friends offered to take me out to lunch to celebrate my birthday, I naturally jumped at the chance to visit one of my most favorite places in Los Angeles – Porta Via

Porta Via Restaurant is a traditional California bistro with delicious food.  I have eaten lunch and dinner here numerous times and I haven’t had a bad meal yet.  I especially love the fact that the restaurant uses seasonal organic ingredients, wild caught seafood, and all natural meat.  The freshness of their food absolutely reflects their cooking philosophy. 

Since temperatures were hovering in the 80’s we decided to sit outside. 


Thanks to the great weather the restaurant was absolutely packed so we were lucky to score a great table. 

We ordered the Porta Via chips as an appetizer: 


I am not a big potato chip fan but as far as potato chips go these were good. 

For my entrée I ordered the Gulf Shrimp Salad: 

Gulf Shrimp, Organic Baby Greens, Green Beans, Tuscan White Beans, Avocado, Tomatoes, and Grapes in a Lemon Vinaigrette.

It was delicious and light.  Perfect for the blazing temperatures! 

My friend Maliha ordered the Tuna Nicoise: 

White Albacore Tuna, Organic Baby Greens, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Black Olives, Capers & Toasted Almonds in a Lemon Vinaigrette

White Albacore Tuna, Organic Baby Greens, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Black Olives, Capers & Toasted Almonds in a Lemon Vinaigrette.

Nadia ordered the Chicken Salad Sandwich: 

Porta Via’s Secret Chicken Salad Recipe, Served on Honey Wheat Roll

And my friends Shahbano and Yasmyne ordered the Asian Chicken Salad and the Grilled Salmon.  Sorry I didn’t take pictures but they were sitting on the other side of the table and I had a feeling they wouldn’t appreciate me reaching over to snap a photo. 

Once in a while I pretend I have a few manners. 

Not only was I excited to see a gluten-free dessert with a candle in it, but I was also excited that I didn’t have to fight Maya for it.  

Passion Fruit Sorbet with Whipped Cream and Berries

It only took 34 years and a gluten-intolerance to discover my love for sorbet.  This was delicious.

We stayed at the restaurant for at least 3 hours, just chatting and enjoying the sunshine.  





There is nothing like catching up with good friends.  And my friends are the most loyal, caring, and thoughtful people I know. 

Thank you girls, for an amazing afternoon of great food and good conversation.  You have no idea how much I appreciate all of you!

31 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2010 4:39 am

    Nothing like a get-together with great girlfriends!! Looks like a great lunch!

  2. February 16, 2010 4:44 am

    The venue, food, and all of you ladies look great!! My kind of get together 🙂 Plus, it was warm 😉

  3. February 16, 2010 5:05 am

    I wish I lived near you to be honest 🙂
    Rodeo Drive might be overrated but it looks a lot better than the place I live in…plust the snow and the cold !
    Your shrimp and guac salad looks great. The restaurants there seem so varied and fun!

  4. February 16, 2010 5:38 am

    That gulf shrimp salad looks amazing!

    Glad you had a great time with your girlfriends!

  5. fitandfortysomething permalink
    February 16, 2010 5:54 am

    What a wonderful afternoon with your friends! You are all so beautiful……
    Isn’t this weather amazing?
    Wish I did not have to go back to work today.

  6. February 16, 2010 6:05 am

    I’m so jealous of (1) the weather and (2) that you are so close to your friends!! I miss my long term friends back in MI so much 😦

    Also, I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to eat outside here again… this 30 degree whether with snow is killing me!!!!!

  7. February 16, 2010 6:25 am

    What a great place for a birthday lunch! The food looks so yummy. I’m from South Florida and it has been unusually cold, right now its in the low 40’s. I am not used to the cold, wish I was there!

  8. February 16, 2010 7:22 am

    The weather in the 80s? What more could you ask for?! (Sorry, here in the mid-Atlantic we’re obsessed with anywhere not covered in snow and anywhere above 30 degrees.) It looks like you had a great birthday lunch. I agree: sometimes a girlfriends-only get-together is just what you need.

  9. traynharder23 permalink
    February 16, 2010 7:28 am

    isn’t a girls hangout the BEST THING IN THE WORLD!? =D and the weather is awesome. me thinks we shall not only workout but run together soon! LOL and dude, 3 miles- that’s awesome! i haven’t ran that distance in FOREVER! i feel like a sloth! =D

  10. February 16, 2010 7:34 am

    Happy belated birthday! What a beautiful day… apparently there’s no snow in LA. 🙂

    Those salads looks so fresh and delicious. I’m glad that you enjoyed a girls afternoon!

  11. Danielle permalink
    February 16, 2010 8:32 am

    I am SO jealous that you live in CA. Your pics are beautiful 🙂

    I’ve visited my grandma in Cali before and asked what all the hype was about Rodeo (pronounced RHO-DEE-OH) drive…and they just laughed at me.

  12. February 16, 2010 8:38 am

    Happy Birthday again. I agree – some of my best memories were times spent with close friends and eating and chatting. I love my child but we do not want to fight for dessert……

  13. February 16, 2010 9:31 am

    Love your blog so glad to have found it!! I’m drooling looking at that dessert!!

  14. February 16, 2010 10:02 am

    Looks like a lovely lunch! The weather was gorgeous yesterday, wasn’t it? Also, did I say “Happy Birthday” in my last comment? I can’t remember. How rude of me. In any case, happy belated birthday!

  15. whydeprive permalink
    February 16, 2010 10:54 am

    Im totally jealous of your weather!!

    That salad looks freaking amazing!!

  16. February 16, 2010 11:04 am

    What a gorgeous day with your girlfriends! I love whiling away the hours with good food and better conversation. That shrimp salad looks fabulous!

  17. February 16, 2010 11:45 am

    That sounds like an absolutely perfect afternoon with your girls, and I bet the delicious food made it even better. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, Ameena; you deserve it for sure 🙂

    … and I want your beautiful weather so.badly.

  18. February 16, 2010 12:00 pm

    i love your top, you always have the best style! never heard of canon dr, sounds like a fun place to be in LA. i’ll have to check it out when i’m down there next!

  19. February 16, 2010 1:07 pm

    You were hanging out with the movie stars! WOW!! Love hanging out with the girls!! 🙂

  20. February 16, 2010 2:14 pm

    That looks like a fun lunch! The avocado’s on your salad were speaking to me 🙂
    Can you please send us some of your nice warm temperatures.. I really don’t want to bike outside in the cold again this weekend..

    I saw your comment on Kim’s blog and I have to say I agree there is nothing worse than having to fast in the HOT summer months (August 11 this year right?). I stopped fasting 5 years ago because of my constant and on going digestive problems, but when I talk to my mom and sis during Ramadan I can hear their great mood and energy through the phone 😉

  21. February 16, 2010 2:14 pm

    I’m so jealous of that nice weather! Looks great!

  22. February 16, 2010 2:18 pm

    Uh – can you hook me up with a job in this beautiful sunny place?! Pretty please..;)
    That salad looks delish! 🙂

  23. lowandbhold permalink
    February 16, 2010 2:46 pm

    80’s?? Sooo jealous 🙂

    That restaurant sounds great. I love places that make great, simple, fresh food.

    And happy birthday!

  24. February 16, 2010 3:19 pm

    Im glad I dont have to fight with a child over food!!

  25. actorsdiet permalink
    February 16, 2010 4:00 pm

    when i first moved to l.a. i wanted to hit “rodeo drive” b/c of pretty woman. haven’t been back since!!!

  26. February 16, 2010 8:37 pm

    Gulf shrimp salad and passion fruit sorbet- they both sound so fresh and look delicious! What a great restaurant! Glad you had a good time with your girlfriends!

  27. February 16, 2010 9:14 pm

    wow…first lemme say I feel sheltered. second…was that today? because that is WAY to much sunshine for feb. (ducking, if your throwing things) bring on the snow…till April.

  28. February 16, 2010 11:04 pm

    you and your friends are major hotties and i love that about you!! 🙂

    “It only took 34 years and a gluten-intolerance to discover my love for sorbet. “–Amen sista. I hear that!


  29. February 17, 2010 3:12 pm

    What a beautiful looking place! Southern California is my place…we go yearly (sometimes twice or 3 times!) and plan to be there for months out of the year. I just love it!! The restaurants, ocean, warmth…..ahhhh

    So lucky!

    Have a great day!


  30. February 17, 2010 4:57 pm

    the food you guys ordered looked delicious and healthy. i wish we have that kind of weather here, im so sick of the cold winter weather which is always below 40 degrees. :)i have heard of beverly hills and rodeo drive from our celebrities back in my country, havent been there yet but hopefully someday, hehe. the place sure looks classy and high end. btw, u and your friends look gorgeous. i bet you all had fun. thanks for sharing pics.

  31. nadia khan permalink
    February 17, 2010 8:46 pm

    wow meena, i guess i’m def not your biggest fan…i’m totally blown away by all the great commentary….love it! love the pics so much, what lovely memories already…can’t wait for the next, clementine’s next time;) guarantee it’s better quiche than bristol:) loved your beautiful kate spade thank you card, was v touched:)
    your one and only

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