Hungry for news? From taco trucks to hipster hangouts with a buzzy Hollywood vibe to top-toque-helmed, world-class establishments, you can find an eatery that hits the spot for every kind of mood and occasion in L.A. Tap into what's happening with new restaurants, find out what your fave chefs are up to, and learn everything else you need to know on the Greater Los Angeles food landscape.
Watch this video for Sophie Gayot's interview with mixologist Devon Espinosa of The Church Key
NEW RESTAURANTS IN LOS ANGELES
Santa Monica’s Bamboo Izakaya has been transformed into 41 Ocean Restaurant. While the adjacent Club 41 Ocean is for members only, the restaurant is open to the public. 41 Ocean Restaurant, 1541 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-879-4141.
A high-end omakase sushi spot called Q Sushi has made its debut in downtown Los Angeles. Chef Hiroyuki Naruke relocated from Tokyo to L.A. to helm the restaurant. Q Sushi, 521 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90014, 213-225-6285.
A new full-service restaurant/bar in Nordstrom at The Grove, Bar Verde, is now open. The farm-to-table menu features wild mushroom flatbread pizza, saké-marinated black cod and oven-roasted salmon. There’s a full bar, and a kids' menu with turkey sliders and a grilled cheese sandwich. Lunch & Dinner daily. Bar Verde, The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-900-1610.
Brickworks Roasthouse & Grill has opened in the South Bay shopping destination of Manhattan Village Mall. Chef Scott Raczek (Mr. Stox, OC) utilizes a cherry wood-burning smoker, a mesquite wood-burning wheel grill, and an almond wood-burning oven for his menu of meats, seafood and vegetables. Dishes include woodfire-roasted oysters, espresso-cured roasted brisket, roasted duck with plum sauce and Szechuan pancakes, and Mongolian lamb sirloin with ratatouille. Also find salads, sandwiches and burgers, a large bourbon menu, and an outdoor bar with a fire pit. Lunch & Dinner daily. Brickworks Roasthouse & Grill, Manhattan Village Mall, 3212 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-545-9600.
Coming to Pasadena this winter is the second edition of restaurateur Steven Arroyo’s Escuela Taqueria concept, currently a favorite on Beverly Boulevard. The innovative Mexican eatery will be located at the One Colorado complex in Pasadena, where Sushi Roku, Il Fornaio and aka An American Bistro are situated around a central courtyard. The menu will feature tacos stuffed with intriguing fillings like responsibly raised duck, lobster, pork belly or branzino, accompanied by pickled nopales, habanero coleslaw and pumpkin seed gremolata. Exotic-flavored aguas frescas will be offered to wash down the tacos, and for dessert, churros. Escuela Taqueria, 24 E. Union St., Pasadena, CA 91003, no phone.
A new Lebanese spot, Open Sesame, which has two other Long Beach locations, has landed on Beverly Boulevard in the former Eva space. Expect Lebanese pizza, shawarma, falafel and soups and salads, in addition to specials like okra and lamb, baby squash stuffed with rice and ground beef, and Molokhia (garden mallow leaves) simmered with garlic, lemon juice, roasted chili and shredded chicken. Lunch & Dinner daily. Open Sesame, 7458 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-525-1698.
Highland Park boasts a new French café and creperie, Chez Antoine. It was opened by former Café Figaro chef Guillaume Sabbadin, who hails from Toulon, France. Expect authentic savory crepes filled with ham and cheese, sunny-side-up eggs, seafood and mushrooms, as well as sweet versions with nutella and fruit. Other classics include onion soup, escargots, boeuf Bourguignon and profiteroles. A liquor license is in the works, but for now find imported French fruit ciders. Break, Lunch & Dinner Sat.-Sun., Dinner Tues.-Sun. Chez Antoine, 5511 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042, 323-982-9480.
Echo Park Lake’s multi-million dollar rehab includes new lotus beds, paddleboats and the cute new café Square One at the Boathouse, an offshoot of East Hollywood favorite Square One Dining. Offering breakfast and lunch daily, menu items feature a breakfast sandwich with bacon on brioche, a breakfast burrito with squash blossoms, assorted baked goods, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Breakfast & Lunch daily. Square One at the Boathouse, 751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026, no phone.
A modern Asian nose-to-tail restaurant in Little Tokyo has opened, called B.o.s. (pronounced "boss" --- which comes from the Latin word bos, meaning cow, ox or bull). Co-owner Jun Isogai (Men Oh Tokushima Ramen) and chef David Bartnes express a mélange of Asian influences in dishes that range from roasted bone marrow with gochujang, crispy curried calves brain and back cheek risotto to Thai beef tataki, Hunan short rib and bone-in rib eye. Look for a small six-seat chef’s counter and a five-course omakase menu priced at $55. Dinner Tues.-Sat. B.o.s., 424 E. Second St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-700-7834.
Restaurateur Bill Chait (Rivera, Bestia) and chef Walter Manzke (Bastide, Church & State, Petty Cash Taqueria) have opened their new bistro Republique in the former Campanile space. Manzke also plans to open a bakery-cafe with his pastry chef wife in the connected storefront, which was Nancy Silverton’s original flagship La Brea Bakery. Republique, 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 310-362-6115.
Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi has opened The Factory Kitchen in the Arts District. The stoves at this regionally inspired trattoria are helmed by chef Angelo Auriana (Valentino). His upscale traditional Italian fare is complemented by a wine list created by sommelier Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi. The Factory Kitchen, 1300 Factory Place, Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-996-6000.
In Griffith Park, the Autry National Center of the American West has launched Crossroads West Cafe, offering an upscale, moderately priced dining experience that pays homage to some of the dishes of the American West. Specialties include a Baja California salad, fry bread tacos, chicken lettuce wraps and cowboy chili, alongside a full breakfast menu of eggs, pancakes, sandwiches and soups. In partnership with the cafe, the Autry is developing several new programs, including "Cowboy Lunch at the Autry" every third Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., in which Autry members and visitors can participate in casual discussions with Western filmmakers and stars. Breakfast & Lunch Tues.-Sun. Crossroads West Cafe, Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Wy., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-495-4370.
Fin has opened on Washington Boulevard in Culver City, serving up craft cocktails and Asian-inspired cuisine. Expect yuzu yellowtail sashimi with diced jalapeño; baked crab hand rolls; seared steak carpaccio with Japanese vinaigrette; seared scallops with kiwi; and rock shrimp tempura in ponzu. Cocktails include the "Empire of the Sun," made with plum wine, sake and yuzu. Dinner nightly. Fin, 12223 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, 310-398-8611.
Former food truck breakfast fave Eggslut has opened a brick-and-mortar location in downtown L.A. at the Grand Central Market. The long counter space serves up gourmet egg sandwiches on a fresh-baked brioche bun, featuring the likes of the “Fairfax,” with soft scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar, caramelized onions and Sriracha mayo; also look for the signature specialty of a coddled egg on potato purée in a glass jar. Breakfast & Lunch daily. Eggslut, Grand Central Market, 317 Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
Taiwanese dumpling legend Din Tai Fung has opened a large branch of its global franchise in the Americana at Brand. Expect the trademark soup dumplings, steamed dumplings, potstickers and noodles that are much beloved at the American flagship Arcadia location, along with a pricey set of truffle dumplings found only here, as well as a full bar. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Din Tai Fung, The Americana at Brand, 171 Caruso Ave., Glendale, CA 91210, 818-637-8982.
Former "Top Chef" contestant Alex Reznik (La Seine, FigOly) is opening a contemporary American restaurant, Ditmas Kitchen and Cocktails, in December. It will be located at Pico and Robertson in the old Bocca Steakhouse space. Ditmas Kitchen and Cocktails, 8731 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035, 310-888-8874.
Chef and restaurateur Dean James Max has opened James Republic, the new hotel restaurant at the Courtyard Long Beach Downtown serving “modern coastal California cuisine.” Expect a farm-to-table menu that changes daily, featuring dishes like wahoo poke and kimchi-braised pork with radish and Fuji apple. The bar program takes a seasonal approach with hand-crafted cocktails, house-made bitters and syrups, small-batch and locally distilled spirits. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. James Republic, Courtyard Long Beach Downtown, 500 E. First St., Long Beach, CA 90802, 562-901-0235.
"Top Chef" contestant Antonia Lofaso (Black Market Liquor Bar) has opened a new restaurant called Scopa Italian Roots in Marina del Rey, CA. Scopa Italian Roots, 2905 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey, CA 90292, no phone.
Steven Fretz, formerly of Michael Mina's now-shuttered XIV, serves up Modern American cuisine at The Church Key in West Hollywood. Dishes like pig ear "Cheetos" are served dim sum-style from carts that are rolled around the restaurant. The Church Key, 8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 424-249-3700.
Chengdu Taste has opened in Alhambra, quickly becoming recognized as one of the premier Sichuan restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, which has one of the highest concentrations of Chinese eateries in the nation. Specialties include a diced rabbit dish popular back in the city of Chengdu; sliced beef in chili oil; and a deep-fried, sweet sauce-glazed lion fish, an off-the-menu specialty very rarely found in this country. Lunch & Dinner daily. Chengdu Taste, 828 W, Valley Blvd., Alhambra, CA 91803, 626-588-2284.
Recently opened in Brentwood Gardens is Elaine’s Bakery & Café, a boutique restaurant offering seasonal dishes incorporating local, organic ingredients. Lunch options include a chicken and pesto panini, a French dip sandwich and a black kale Caesar salad, while breakfast fare features waffles, crêpes and breakfast sandwiches. Among sweets are French macarons, brownies, cupcakes and bread pudding. The café is open daily until 4:30 p.m. Elaine’s Bakery & Café, 11677 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 317, Los Angeles, CA 90049, 310-442-2233.
A Spanish restaurant named smoke.oil.salt. is slated to open in November in the Melrose Avenue space that formerly housed Angeli Caffe. A venture of Adam Fleischman, Stephen Gelber and Jason Berkowitz, it will feature the cooking of Perfecto Rocher, who cooked briefly at Lazy Ox Canteen last year. He is anxious to introduce authentic Spanish flavors in dishes like fideuà, grilled seafood and suckling pig. smoke.oil.salt., 7274 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, no phone.
A major trend right now in the L.A. dining scene is the upscale Chinese experience, evidenced by places like Chi Lin and Hakkasan. After a year-and-a-half hiatus, Philippe, a posh Melrose Avenue Chinese restaurant, is resurfacing under new management in Beverly Hills. The 5,000-square-foot space is decked out in black, red and white, the signature of the original Philippe. The new restaurant, which showcases the cuisine of chef Philippe Chow, offers dumplings, noodles and scallion pancakes, as well as red king crabs and the restaurant’s famous Peking duck. Philippe, 8620 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211, 310-289-3500.
The latest fast-food DIY trend Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen has added a second L.A. location (the first is in Hollywood) in Santa Monica at the Third Street Promenade. Diners order custom rice or noodle bowls with meat, veggies or tofu, laced with the Southeast Asian flavors of chili, Thai basil, tamarind, lime and ginger. Lunch & Dinner daily. Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, 1401 Third St. Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-382-2028.
Owners Jonathan Parada, Steven Cardenas and Stephen Kooshian have opened a small local brewery and taproom in Monrovia, Pacific Plate Brewing Co., serving up growlers and pints of craft beers like Mango IPA, Horchata Stout, Cardamom-Ginger Saison and Sour Cherry Agave Wheat. Food is available to order in by local eateries. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Pacific Plate Brewing Co., 1999 S. Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016, 626-239-8456.
In Chinatown, Peking Tavern offers Beijing-style street food and craft cocktails from Cari Hah (The Varnish). Northern Chinese dishes include pork and seafood dumplings, potstickers, scallion pancakes and hand-pulled noodles. Expect cocktails mixed up with Chinese baijiu, bourbon and vodka, and beers ranging from Yanjing to Black Market Hefe. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Peking Tavern, 806 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90014, 213-988-8308.
Bestia chef/co-owner Ori Menashe is planning to open a Middle Eastern restaurant in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles by the end of next year. Partnering with Bestia co-owner Bill Chait (Rivera, Picca), the Israeli-raised chef looks to dish up tagines, Middle-Eastern charcuterie and house-made cheeses, while his wife, Bestia pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, will offer desserts. Both the name and exact location are TBA.
M Cafe, known for contemporary macrobiotic fare, with locations in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, has opened its third location, in Brentwood. Healthy options for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner include a breakfast burrito with fresh kale, tempeh salad, big macro burger and spicy yuzu miso noodles, as well as fresh-pressed juices. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. M Cafe, 11678 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, CA 90049, 310-207-1122.
Koreatown will soon be host to a new restaurant from Gary Menes (marche L.A., Palate Food+Wine), Le Comptoir (which means “the counter,”) in the refurbished Hotel Normandie. The modern, intimate space will seat just eight diners for a chef’s tasting menu five nights a week, and is expected to open in April 2014. The Le Comptoir pop-up, which has roved around the city for more than two years, resides currently at Glendale’s Wine Vault through the fall and early winter, and focuses on an all-vegetable tasting menu with meat and seafood supplements. Dinner Tues.-Sat. Le Comptoir, Hotel Normandie, 605 S Normandie Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005, no phone.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band KISS, restaurateur Michael Zislis (ROCK'N FISH, Shade Hotel, Circa), and music industry vets Dave and Dell Furano have opened a branch of Rock & Brews in Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport. The restaurant offers American fare and a selection of craft beers. Rock & Brews' other Southern California locations can be found in El Segundo and Redondo Beach. Rock & Brews, Los Angeles International Airport, Terminal 5, Los Angeles, CA 90045, 424-702-1619.
Sushi Zo, the downtown cousin of the Culver City sushi bar, has opened in the Old Bank District. The restaurant features an omakase-only bar for dedicated sushi connoisseurs, presided over by chef Keizo Seki, plus tables in a sleek, modern space. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat. Sushi Zo, 334 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-935-8409.
Tom Bergin’s Tavern, which originally opened in 1936 and closed last July, following an extensive renovation and introduction of a new menu by chef/co-owner Brandon Boudet, has reportedly been purchased by a longtime regular customer. The new owner is dedicated to revitalizing the legendary Irish pub, which is expected to reopen around December 2013. Tom Bergin’s Tavern, 840 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-936-7151.
Downtown’s Millennium Biltmore Hotel has introduced Bugis Street Brasserie, named after a street in Singapore. Located in the former space of Sai Sai Noodle Bar, it features Singaporean, Malyasian, Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Dishes might include salt and pepper squid; Singapore laksa; and fresh seafood, chicken, pork, beef and vegetables served with fried rice. This is the first U.S. location for a concept that has been successful in the chain’s hotels in Great Britain. Lunch and dinner are served daily. Bugis Street Brasserie, Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-624-1100.
Three’s a charm for chef Josef Centeno (Baco Mercat, Bar Ama), who’s opened a third eatery downtown. Orsa & Winston is located next to Centeno’s Tex-Mex Bar Ama, with a menu featuring Italian small plates. Orsa & Winston, 122 West 4th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-687-7000.
LudoBird, Ludo Lefebvre’s new fried chicken stand at Staples Center, is now open. Fans will find a menu similar to the chef’s LudoTruck, with the main focus on his Provençal chicken (white or dark), plain or as a sandwich. There are also garlic-honey wings, potato salad, chips, honey lavender biscuits, and a new sweet and salty ice cream sandwich on a brioche bun. Dinner nightly during events. LudoBird, Staples Center, 1111 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, no phone.
The international Chinese restaurant group Hakkasan opened Hakkasan in Beverly Hills on September 19, 2013. Hakkasan made its debut in London in 2001, and has recently opened U.S. locations in Miami Beach, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Hakkasan, 245 N. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-888-8661.
Eric Greenspan’s restaurant The Foundry on Melrose has been closed since spring for remodeling, and now rumor has it that it will reopen in December as two separate venues --- a restaurant under Greenspan’s current team, and a craft cocktail bar from Key Club/Bagatelle folks that will serve up gourmet grilled cheese sammies from Greenspan’s next-door sandwich shop, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese (due to open this fall). The Foundry on Melrose, 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-651-0915.
Pearl's Liquor Baris a two-story, 1920s-themed bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in the former Duke’s space. Amid marble, wood and chandeliers (or on the rooftop patio), expect craft cocktails and small plates including tuna crudo, burrata and grilled peaches, lollipop lamb chops, truffled mushroom flatbread, and Boulder Valley hangar steak with turnip purée. Lunch & Dinner daily. Pearl's Liquor Bar, 8909 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-6800.
Chinatown’s new stylish Italian spot, 643 North, is featuring salads and pastas from chef Oz Ramuco (Faux Pas, J Lounge) and a custom cocktail program courtesy of Far Bar's Adam Acuff. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat; Brunch Sat.-Sun. 643 North, 643 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 323-225-9991.
Chef Frank Fermin (Pizzeria Mozza, Church & State) and partner Mario Vollera (Hostaria del Piccolo) have opened South End, a new Italian wine bar/restaurant in Venice on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, expect baked goods and espresso, house-made salumi and mozzarella, flatbreads and rustic pizzas. Vollera has curated a large global wine list, and there are also rotating beers on tap. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. South End, 2805 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 424-228-4736.
Taking over the West Hollywood space once occupied by BLT Steak will be Rare by Drai's, a modern and sexy take on the steakhouse from Victor Drai and ESquared Hospitality. In addition to aged steaks, the menu will feature mains like whole roasted loup de mer with lemon thyme and fennel. The opening date is set for early December 2013. Rare by Drai's, 8720 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-1950.
Former Lukshon pastry chef John Park, who has also done pastry at Father's Office, Providence, XIV and Water Grill, has opened Quenelle, a bakery and ice cream parlor in Burbank. Find bon bons, pastries and cookies, in addition to ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and popsicles in flavors ranging from kaffir lime and hibiscus watermelon, to caramelized pineapple and mocha almond fudge. Open Tues.-Sat. Quenelle, 2214 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91506, 818-843-1035.
Le Ka’s new sister restaurant, Bunker Hill Bar & Grill, is open on Grand Avenue in downtown L.A. Replacing the former La Salsa in the One Bunker Hill office building, the 3,400-square-foot restaurant is now open for lunch until its liquor license is in full swing. Expect a truffle burger, short rib sandwich, fried chicken and fish tacos, along with larger plates of rainbow trout and tenderloin steak. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Bunker Hill Bar & Grill, One Bunker Hill, 601 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-688-2988.
Chef Ricardo Diaz (Bizarra Capital, Guisados) has opened Colonia Taco Lounge in La Puente. More than a dozen tacos on the menu include braised lamb barbacoa, chayote succotash, spicy pollo tesmole, and seared queso fresco with bacon and hatch chiles. Expect handmade specialty cocktails and a local craft beer list as well. Dinner nightly. Colonia Taco Lounge, 13030 E. Valley Blvd., La Puente, CA 91746, 626-363-4691.
At Pork Belly’s stand on Abbot Kinney, a 300-pound smoker turns out Kansas City-style sandwiches with meatballs, brisket, chorizo and fried egg, as well as the namesake dish, pork belly, served on baguette, sourdough or brioche. Also expect grilled cheese, fried pickles and sweet potato tater tots. Lunch & Dinner daily. Pork Belly's, 1146 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 424-777-8875.
The team behind City Tavern and Rush Street in Culver City has opened Roadside Eats, a southern-style sandwich shop, in Hollywood at the Arclight complex at Sunset and Vine. Chef/partner Dave Northrup offers up slow-cooked brisket and barbecue chicken; sandwiches ranging from applewood-smoked tri tip, pecan-fried chicken, Cajun-glazed shrimp po-boys and fried green tomato on Texas toast; as well as salads like baby kale with roasted butternut squash. Lunch & Dinner daily. Roadside Eats, 6374 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-364-0060.
A second location of Sweet Rose Creamery has opened in Santa Monica. The new ice cream shop from prolific restaurateurs Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, features a menu from executive chef/partner Shiho Yoshikawa and also offers soft-serve ice cream, coffee from local coffee roaster Caffe Luxxe and pastries from sister restaurant Milo & Olive. Open daily. Sweet Rose Creamery, 826 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-260-2663.
Rao's, the Italian restaurant with locations in New York and Las Vegas, opened a branch in Hollywood on September 17, 2013. The menu offers Rao's classics like meatballs and lemon chicken, plus more contemporary dishes unique to this location. Rao's, 1006 Seward St., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-962-7267.
In the former Faux Pas space on Third Street, restaurateur Jesse Gomez has opened a second outpost of his Santa Monica Mexican restaurant, Mercado. Designer Ana Henton (Lukshon) revamps the space with a modern airy look, and chef/partner Jose Acevedo’s menu, mostly similar to the Santa Monica one, features some upscale dishes like crab-stuffed shrimp with Serrano béarnaise and chile-rubbed rib eye with jalapeño horseradish cream. Agave aficionados will find a tequila room and refined tequila-based cocktails. Dinner nightly. Mercado, 7910 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-944-0947.
In fall 2013, chef Neal Fraser will be opening Redbird, a much-awaited sequel to his former restaurant Grace, in the old rectory building at the historic St. Vibiana Cathedral in downtown L.A. Fraser, wife Amy Knoll Fraser and restaurateur Bill Chait currently operate Vibiana, a special events venue at the cathedral. Fraser reports Redbird will be casual and fun, but sophisticated. An outdoor dining area with fireplace will be provided, sharing a circular bar offering cocktails from mixologist Julian Cox. Redbird, St. Vibiana Cathedral, 214 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 90012.
W Los Angeles in Westwood Offers a Taste Of Switzerland in Los Angeles The W Los Angeles in Westwood kicks off the 2013 winter season with Après, the new annual fête with winter chalet décor, fire pits, s’mores and fondue stations. Taking place at the transformed WET deck, the hotel poolside has been transformed into a Veuve Clicquot Après Ski Chalet, featuring specialty Veuve Champagne cocktails. Guests may reserve an Après cabana ($100) for a holiday gathering, and can also snap pictures at the on-site photo booth, and play foosball on the Veuve table. Après, 930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-208-8765, 877-946-8357.
Road Trip? Ricardo Zarate to Open Restaurant in Santa Barbara Chef Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica, Picca, Paiche) and business partner Stephane Bombet are branching out beyond the Los Angeles area with Blue Tavern in Santa Barbara. This restaurant will open in November 2013 at the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara at the State House and feature a Peruvian spin on California cuisine. Blue Tavern, Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara at the State House, 121 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, 805-845-0989.
Curtis Stone To Open First Restaurant in Beverly Hills Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stonewill open his first restaurant in Beverly Hills. It will be named Maude and will be located in the former Pici Enoteca space. Maude, 212 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, no phone.
Chef Scott Conant's The Scarpetta Cookbook Try your hand at making chef Scott Conant’s creative Italian cuisine at home with The Scarpetta Cookbook. Read more on GAYOT's blog.
Picca’s New One-Hour Happy Hour Daily Chef Ricardo Zarate has introduced a daily cocktail hour at Picca showcasing four of Julian Cox’s handcrafted cocktails, available daily from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. The new libations ($8-$9) include a Pisco Sour (Pisco bitters, egg white, citrus, simple syrup), the "Crush Groove" (grape-infused Pisco, lemon, simple syrup), the "Peruvian Maid" (cucumber pisco, lime, simple syrup, mint) and the "Anejo Honey Sour" (anejo tequila, lemon, honey, grapefruit essence.) Signature anticuchos and ceviches feature miso black cod or fresh uni scallop tiradito with leche de tigre and oba. Picca, 9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035, 310-277-0133.
Pitfire Artisan Pizza WeHo Debuts Craft Cocktails and Late-Night Menu Pitfire Artisan Pizza in West Hollywood has introduced a full bar program by mixologist Steve Garcia (Pie Society) featuring signature cocktails and a special late-night menu with pizzas and other snacks. Garcia's new WeHo creations include “I Got Beet” with Ford’s Gin, house-made beet simple syrup, lime juice, Peychaud’s Bitters and an orange peel garnish, as well as a selection of cocktails on tap, such as the "Cold Toddy" with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, lemon juice and honey. The late-night menu will be served until midnight Sundays through Thursdays, and until 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Pitfire Artisan Pizza, 801 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-544-6240.
La Botte Ristorante Debuts New Wine Lounge, LAperitivo In Santa Monica, Italian favorite La Botte Ristorante has debuted a new wine lounge, LAperitivo, featuring a seasonal, four-course tasting menu and a selection of local and international wines procured by chef-owner Stefano De Lorenzo. The lounge’s tasting menu incorporates organic ingredients from local farmer’s markets and costs $20; featured items include classic lasagna, Luna oysters and mushroom gelato with a choice of red or white wine. La Botte Ristorante, 620 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-576-3072.
Temporary Food Truck for La Brea Bakery Café While the La Brea Bakery Café undergoes renovations at its new location, it’s launched a temporary food truck behind the building that will serve pastries, sandwiches, salads and coffee drinks Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. The new café and bakery should open in early winter. Breakfast & Lunch Mon.-Fri. La Brea Bakery Café Truck, 468 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
Chef Jason Mattick's Pop-Up at Canelé Former Milo & Olive chef Jason Mattick presents a pop-up called Mongrel at Canelé in Atwater Village. Held on the first Monday of each month, the theme is a gastronomic journey through the Middle East. Dinner is $25 per person; expect dishes like spicy meatballs with bulgur, and desserts ($7 extra) like pistachio cake with rose water and passion fruit. Mongrel, 3219 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-666-7133.
Wirtshaus' New Sunday Brunch Buffet German gastropub Wirtshaus has introduced a charming and bountiful new Sunday brunch buffet, complete with a made-to-order omelet station, and hot and cold offerings including freshly baked croissants, cold cuts, salads and hearty goulash. German crepes with house-made jams or stuffed with apple are a specialty. Bottomless brunch mimosas are $12, and unlimited champagne is $8. Wirtshaus, 345 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-931-9291.
New Dining Options Opening Soon at LAX The Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX will feature a number of new dining options, including ink.sack, Border Grill, The Larder at Tavern, 800 Degrees, Umami Burger, Short Cake and Petrossian Caviar & Champagne Bar. Meanwhile, Terminal 4 will be home to Mark Peel's Campanile, as well as Real Food Daily and Cole's French dip sandwiches.
Girasol Now Serving Brunch Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson’s Girasol has just added brunch service. Expect Maine lobster eggs Benedict; house-made bread pudding French toast; grilled octopus gazpacho with tomatillo, cucumber, and avocado; and Bellwether Farms ricotta crepes with fresh strawberry coulis and bergamot mint. Girasol, 11334 Moorpark St., Studio City, CA 91602, 818-924-2323.
Starry Kitchen Pops Up at Grand Star Those famous crispy tofu balls are back --- Nguyen and Tri Tran’s funky pop-up Starry Kitchen can currently be found at the Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown from Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Also, look for the likes of saucy Sriracha chicken, Singapore chili crab and buttermilk-beer beignets. Starry Kitchen at Grand Star, 943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-626-2285.
Dog Haus Announces Expansion Plans Dog Haus,which originally debuted in East Pasadena and has spread to Old Pasadena and Alhambra, has announced franchise opportunities throughout Southern California and 36 states. Dog Haus is known for its various dog renditions created from a proprietary all-beef skinless hot dog, and a condiment bar with 40 different ways to customize. Dog Haus, 105 N. Hill St., Pasadena, CA 91106, 626-577-4287.
UPDATES ON LOS ANGELES CHEFS
Waterfront favorite Cafe Del Rey welcomes new executive chef Chuck Abair (formerly of Water Grill and Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro). His just-launched, Mediterranean-inspired menus utilize ingredients from local artisans, farmers and seafood sourced daily from purveyors at the nearby Marina del Rey docks. Cafe Del Rey, 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, 310-823-6395.
Chef Yujean Kang has moved on from Chi Lin and Tyson Wong Ophaso has taken over the position of executive chef. Ophaso, who appeared on "Iron Chef America," has worked under such chefs as Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud. Chi Lin, 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-278-2068.
LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT CLOSINGS
Chef Bernhard Mairinger's BierBeisl in Beverly Hills hosted its last night of regular dinner service on November 9, 2013. After a few months on hiatus, he intends to return with a new concept and new Westside location. BierBeisl, 9669 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, no phone.
The aerospace-themed The Proud Bird near LAX, where watching approaching 747s is part of the ambiance, has announced it will be shutting its doors, unable to negotiate a new lease. The storied restaurant will close December 21, 2013. The Proud Bird, 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045, 310-670-3093.
Susan Feniger's STREET has temporarily closed. Susan Feniger's STREET, 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-203-0500.
The Buggy Whip, the traditional steakhouse established in 1949, has closed its doors. The Buggy Whip, 7420 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045, no phone.
Chef Casey Lane’s (The Tasting Kitchen) stylish downtown gastropub, The Parish, has closed. The Parish, 840 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90014, no phone.
In Los Feliz, Antonio Medina’s charming neighborhood spot Gastronomico has shuttered, but the Gastrobus will still be serving up our favorite Ecuadorian pulled pork sandwich at the Los Feliz farmers’ market on Sundays, and at other venues around town. Check www.TheGastrobus.com or their twitter @TheGastrobus. Gastronomico, 1802 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, no phone.
Sandy Gendel and Peter Garland’s Sirena has closed after being open for less than one year. No word on what will come next for the space that also once housed Pane e Vino for 20 years. Sirena, 8265 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048, no phone.
Lola's closed its doors in September 2013. The West Hollywood spot was known for its selection of martinis. Lola's, 945 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, no phone.
Chef/owner Michael Young has closed his restaurant, Ombra Ristorante, in Studio City, following a two-year run. Final service took place Friday, September 6. Ombra Ristorante, 3737 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, no phone.