We love restaurant design as much as we love food, which makes it hard for us to pick a favorite from this year’s Restaurant Design Awards nominees. Luckily the AIA Los Angeles is giving us until 12 p.m. on Monday, June 18 to decide.

At Cucina Enoteca, the recently-opened eatery in Irvine, the parsnip-and-squash ravioli isn’t the only big seller. Guests frequently order the whimsical pendants, sackcloth-upholstered chairs and dining tables with turned wood legs.

While the yo-yo weather of spring threatens to rain on your parade these swanky spots give you reason to rally. Whether you crave sleek designs and striking spaces or smooth wines and succulent bites, get ready to be enthralled by it all.

The Ritz-Carlton rises from the top of Nob Hill like a neoclassical Roman palace. But cross the threshold into Parallel 37, the reimagined restaurant from chef Ron Siegel, and a more modern aesthetic reigns.

San Diego’s Little Italy is having a moment, and it has nothing to do with pizza.

Whichever way you slice it, the modern-meets-rustic design of Mill Valley’s new Tamalpie Pizzeria hits the spot.

Mid-Market, SF An old warehouse in SF’s Mid-Market neighborhood is blooming. AQ is a new dining destination focused on the seasonable and sustainable. In addition to a refreshed menu every few months from chef Mark Liberman, the art, table settings and logo will also change with the seasons.

A bona fide surfer's paradise, Hermosa Beach Pier just got hit with a wave of style and spiced-up bites.

This past weekend my mother was in town, so I've been doing more shopping, cooking and cleaning than usual. The dinner parties were a blast, but it's no wonder I could barely get up for work once Monday morning rolled around. I was beat. So it seemed the patron saint of entertaining stepped in when I was invited to a dinner hosted by KitchIt on Monday evening.

There are two things I've recently promised myself I would do more of: read things that inspire me and aren't the newspaper and go to Oakland.