All the ingredients for greatness

By Richard Foss

As far back as the 1930s, dining in California was noted for a casual blending of indoor and outdoor spaces. The emphasis is on the casual – movie stars showed up in fancy dress at restaurants on the Sunset Strip, but their home entertaining was more likely to be a barbecue on a covered patio, with ties and gowns shed in favor of shorts and Hawaiian shirts. That informality was ridiculed by New York critics, but envied by Midwesterners who…