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California Questionnaire: Casey Lane

The restaurateur and West Hollywood resident is changing the way Los Angeles eats

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Los Angeles’ vibrant restaurant scene is justifiably celebrated for its variety, quality, and innovation. But most observers agree that late-night dining options are in short supply in L.A.—especially if you’re in the market for a thoughtful, composed meal.

Casey Lane is helping to change all of that. The celebrated chef opened the Venice hotspot The Tasting Kitchen in 2009 and now runs three more outposts that cater to night owls: Viale dei Romani in West Hollywood, and Breva and Veranda at the downtown Hotel Figueroa.

“I’m mad when it’s 11 p.m. and I have a group of six friends and we want to go get great food and we can’t,” Lane told Food & Wine. “I’ve always hurt for that kind of place, where six or seven of us can go after an event. And we can hang there for two hours and actually continue our evening with a polished serviced setting.”

Thanks to Lane’s quartet of late-night friendly restaurants, Los Angeles foodies can enjoy Mediterranean-inspired food long after Lebron James has switched into street clothes and Gustavo Dudamel is out of his tuxedo. Here are a few of Lane’s favorite things to do and places to go in the Golden State.

Where do you live? West Hollywood

Why there? Love the inspiration of the community, love being able to walk in every direction and find new, creative, or classic Hollywood staples. Dining, shopping, shows—all right in your neighborhood.

Who or what is your greatest California love? The freedom and spirit people live with. There is a feeling that you can be creative and explore your sensibility everyday.

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? That no one in Los Angeles reads.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? That everyone is a bit soft when it comes to straightforward discussions.

What is your favorite Golden State splurge? Playing golf at Pebble Beach.

Time for a road trip—where are you going? Driving up the coast with no true destination—just a point at which you decide to stop and stay before you turn around.

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? The French Laundry

How do you define California style? A laid-back originality with so much style it can be the formal version of yourself—or fit in at the beach.

Best California song? “California Love” [by Tupac]

How would your California dream day unfold? Wake up at Shutters on the Beach, go surfing, brunch at The Tasting Kitchen, picnic at the Hollywood Bowl, then late-night fun in West Hollywood.

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