Her skills in pastry preparation scored an introduction with now husband Loeb—their mothers were friends and introduced them since Loeb was looking for a pastry chef for his new restaurant. She got the job and the two have become Los Angeles newest restaurant collective, owning two sit-down restaurants, a bakery, and a chain of homemade ice cream parlors.
One of their restaurants is the Italian-inspired Milo and Olive, located on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. Wood-fired pizza made with whole-wheat crust features creative toppings like roasted potatoes and rosemary cream or butternut squash and roasted cippolini onions. Diners order crispy pepperoni or house-made pork belly sausage pizza when in the mood for a classic pie.
Small plates at the restaurant are meant for sharing. The garlic knot, one of the most popular items, is made from a ball of dough filled with garlic cloves that is wood-fired until the garlic is soft and the bread is soft and garlic-flavored.
Two large community tables accommodate guests and result in a noisy, energetic atmosphere. Guests who prefer to sit at the bar are rewarded with a fabulous view of the open kitchen and wood-fire oven. Milo and Olive sources wine and beer from small production bottling companies and rotates the list regularly. The wine menu features helpful descriptions like “busty whites” and “rugged and manly” to identify wine expert Loeb’s selections.
While better known for its dinner menu, Milo and Olive creates bakery-driven breakfast fare as well, which is served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Creamy polenta and poached eggs, served with baby greens and bacon bits, provide a hearty breakfast, while lighter eaters might go for the day’s freshly baked bread with homemade jam.
Diners should make a reservation or expect a long wait at the popular spot.