Los Angeles Restaurant News
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.
NEW RESTAURANTS IN LOS ANGELES
Carson House in Beverly Hills opens its doors to the public on May 28, 2013. The restaurant will feature American fare from chef Johnny Messina. Carson House, 8635 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211, 310-289-2800.
Restaurateur Bill Chait and chef Walter Manzke have collaborated with Guillermo Campos Moreno (Tacos Kokopelli, Baja) to open Petty Cash Taqueria in John Sedlar's former Playa space on Beverly Boulevard. Signature tacos include "The Kraken," with grilled octopus, charred chile de arbol and peanuts; duck gizzard; and beer-battered wild striped bass. Also expect pork belly pozole, an unconventional pork ceviche, and Manzke's famous fried pig ear nachos. Sophisticated Latin-tinged cocktails are created by Julian Cox. Petty Cash Taqueria, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-933-5300.
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.
Blue C Sushi, a Seattle-based Japanese sushi chain, will open its newest restaurant at the Dome in Hollywood this August. Inspired by the Tokyo subway system, the kaiten (sushi on a conveyor belt) spot will feature 12 feet of video walls, a musical playlist created by Gray V sound design, and culinary offerings from Jeffrey Lunak, former corporate chef for "Iron Chef" Morimoto. Blue C Sushi, 6374 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, no phone.
The owners of Monterey Park's Duck House have opened Tangerine, a Cantonese restaurant and tea house in Little Tokyo's Weller Court. Expect dishes like orange chicken, popcorn chicken and stir-fried beef, as well as an assortment of boba tea drinks. Lunch & Dinner Wed.-Mon. Tangerine, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-620-0588.
Downtown Urbano Pizza Bar has morphed into the new Sixth St. Tavern, an American pub from ACME Bar Group (Laurel Tavern), featuring an airy patio and a casual menu from executive chef Greg Bernhardt (Church & State). Expect elegant signature craft cocktails, 24 rotating beers on tap, and dishes like chicken and waffles, clams with chorizo and chickpeas, steak frites, and a duck confit club sandwich. Lunch & Dinner daily. Sixth St. Tavern, 630 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-614-1900.
A hipstery Indian gastropub, Badmaash, has opened in downtown L.A., featuring Indian street food and fusion dishes like curry poutine, along with samosas, masala fries, tandoori wings and other savory fare that complements more than a dozen craft beers. Badmaash, 108 W. 2nd St., #104, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-221-7466.
In Santa Monica, the new Cafe Demitasse (a sister spot to the original Little Tokyo location) brews up its house-roasted beans for coffee geeks at a state-of-the-art siphon bar on a giant Alpha Dominche Steampunk machine. Find pastries from Farmshop and sipping chocolate as well. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Cafe Demitasse, 1149 3rd St., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 213-613-9200.
Osawa, a venture of Sayuri Tachibe, whose husband is the executive chef for the Chaya group of restaurants, has opened a Japanese restaurant in Old Pasadena. Occupying the former space of Shaab, a primarily shabu-shabu bar, Osawa continues the shabu-shabu tradition, as well as offering sushi and otsumami (snack specialties) such as wonton-wrapped seafood cigars, baked oysters in seaweed and soy-butter sauce, and black sesame panna cotta for dessert. Lunch & Dinner Tues.-Sun. Osawa, 77 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103, 626-683-1150.
The Anaya brothers have opened a branch of Pinches Tacos in Larchmont Village. Tacos, burritos, sopes, tortas and enchiladas are all represented on the menu, and family recipes are the inspiration for homemade salsas, mole sauce and carne asada marinades. There are also a few selections of "not authentic Mexican food" including a hard shell corn tortilla filled with shredded beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato and chipotle cream. Pinches Tacos, 203 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004, 213-281-5471.
A new Indian fusion spot in Hollywood, Spice Hollywood Bistro, is serving up savory dishes on its patio, including vegetarian flatbreads, chana masala wrap, Punjab tikka sliders, Mumbai masala wings, and desserts like guava mango cheesecake. There's a full bar with specialty cocktails, and Friday and Saturday it's open until 4 a.m. Lunch daily; Dinner Mon.-Sat. Spice Hollywood Bistro, 1644 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-572-4646.
In West Hollywood, V. Wine Room is now pouring boutique California wines, as well as specialty beers. Bites include berries with champagne and vinegar; Buffalo mozzarella with basil oil; puff pastry with beef; and a variety of pastries. Lunch & Dinner daily. V. Wine Room, 903 Westbourne Dr., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-339-9202.
In Redondo Beach, Meg Hall's tiny new Made by Meg café has opened with a menu of gourmet sandwiches, salads and plates, including grilled asparagus with scallions, burrata and dandelion greens, a Black Forest ham panini with grilled pears and shaved Parmesan, and grilled steak with chile glaze and Tahitian vanilla bean sweet potatoes. Lunch and Dinner Mon.-Sat. Made by Meg, 234 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277, 310-999-8770.
A new cutting-edge Latin restaurant has opened in Bell called Corazón y Miel, with former Animal chef Eduardo Ruiz creatively helming the stoves, and mixologist Christian Pulido shaking up craft cocktails. Dishes include pig skin two ways, crispy chicken feet with poblano dumplings, mushroom mole with hominy, mescal-marinated flank steak, and a Salvadorean whole turkey leg sandwich. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Corazón y Miel, 6626 Atlantic Ave., Bell, CA 90201, 323-560-1776.
The Lettuce Entertainment Group and Stella Rossa Pizza Bar chef Jeff Mahin have opened Stella Barra in the former BoHo space next to the Arclight on Sunset. Mahin's market-driven, Cal-Italian menu features big salads, pizzas, sandwiches and house-made pastas, as well as larger plates. A sprawling bar anchors the dining room, with a cocktail menu created by Proprietors LLC and an expansive wine list. Stella Barra, 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-301-4001.
An airy new two-story eatery/bar/artisan coffee shop/bike shop in Calabasas has opened called Pedalers Fork. There's creekside outdoor dining, while inside the décor includes antique fixtures, reclaimed wood and vintage bicycles. Chef Dan Murray offers a contemporary California menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner with all local-grown ingredients featuring flatbread with wild boar sausage, miso-glazed black cod, and many vegan and vegetarian choices. Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest (Seven Grand, The Edison), have created a knockout cocktail list. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Pedalers Fork, 23504 Calabasas Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302, 818-225-8231.
Umami Restaurant Group will open Roadhouse L.A. this summer at the Improv in Hollywood. Chef Robbie Richter (New York's Hill Country and Fatty ‘Cue) will create an upscale global barbeque menu with dishes like smoked lamb neck, jerk chicken and short rib fajitas, and poutine with curried goat. Roadhouse L.A., 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-651-2583.
Chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern and The Larder at Maple Drive) opened The Larder at Burton Way on April 22, 2013, at developer Rick Caruso's new luxury residential development at the gateway to Beverly Hills, 8500 Burton Way. It offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, including takeaway and delivery throughout the Beverly Hills area. The Larder at Burton Way, 8500 Burton Wy., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 310-278-8060.
Kazunori Nozawa's SUGARFISH has opened its sixth location in Beverly Hills. Expect the chef's three famous "trust me" prix-fixe menus along with à la carte choices of sushi, sashimi, hand rolls, plus sake, beer and wine. Lunch & Dinner daily. SUGARFISH, 212 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310 276-6900.
The popular Israeli burger chain Burgerim has launched its first U.S. location on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Expect three-inch burgers made with Kobe-style beef, merguez, lamb, ahi tuna, turkey, and veggies, with toppings like harissa and tahini. Israeli salad and onion rings round out the menu. Lunch & Dinner daily. Burgerim, 8593 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-854-0234.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump (Sur Restaurant) will open a new venue called P.U.M.P. Lounge in West Hollywood. It's currently under construction with no opening date set. P.U.M.P. Lounge, 8948 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
M.B. Post chef-owner David LeFevre's has opened Manhattan Beach seafood restaurant Fishing With Dynamite. The former Water Grill chef revisits the East Coast fishing nostalgia of his childhood with a raw bar menu including oysters, crab and sea urchin, as well as cooked seafood such as miso Alaskan black cod with gingered eggplant and Thai basil. Fishing With Dynamite, 1148 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-893-6299.
TINGA Santa Monica has opened in the former space of Renee's Courtyard Café in Santa Monica. The restaurant features Mexican fare, such as the signature tacos with chipotle steeped shredded chicken, shredded lettuce, crema and pickled red onions, plus handcrafted cocktails by Joel Black (Comme Ca). TINGA Santa Monica, 522 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-9341.
Allumette has opened in the former Allston Yacht Space in Echo Park. Expect an eclectic menu with dishes including pink snapper crudo, fried oyster with kimchi ranch dressing, Szechuan pork dumplings, short rib cooked in pho, boneless whole sea bream for two and cheesecake mousse. Allumette, 1320 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 213-935-8787.
Eastside restaurateur Baba Ji (Cowboys & Turbans) turned his hipster juice bar Silverlake Juice into the Sprouted Garden Café. The cleansing juices will stay, and are joined by chef Aline Fiuza's Ayurvedic menu including kelp noodles with pesto, raw green curry avocado soup, a tofu mushroom burger, vegan quiche and many fancy salads. There's an organic beer garden, too. Sprouted Garden Café, 2813 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, no phone.
Three's a charm for chef Josef Centeno, who's following up his successes downtown with Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá with an Italian small plates eatery called Orsa & Winston, next door to Bar Amá in the space of a former pizza joint. Expect a late summer/early fall opening. Orsa & Winston, 122 W 4th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
At the Metlox Plaza in Manhattan Beach, Thierry Perez (Fraiche, L'Epicerie Market) has opened the sprawling Chez Soi with Mark Gold (Eva) helming the stoves. Expect a New American menu with dishes including burrata with charred "sprouting" broccoli; roasted Maine lobster with fava beans; and wild duck with toasted buckwheat, plum and "puffed" kale. Beachgoers will appreciate the patio and classic cocktail menu, as well as weekend brunch. Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Chez Soi, Metlox Plaza, 451 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-802-1212.
Silver Lake hipsters have a new breakfast/lunch haunt at Sqirl, a tiny eatery at Virgil and Melrose. Chef/owner Jessica Koslow (who's done a stint at Bacchanalia in Atlanta) is a local cult jam maker who now offers her canned summery goodness (blueberry with thyme, Santa Rosa plum chutney) on toast, as well as items like fried eggs with greens and tomatillos on brioche, and pork sausage salad. Breakfast & Lunch Thu.-Tues. Sqirl, 720 North Virgil Ave. #4, Los Angeles, CA 90029, 213-394-6526.
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun) have teamed up with Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites) on a new restaurant called Trois Mec. In lieu of traditional reservations, meals must be paid for in advance on the restaurant's web site. The five-course prix-fixe menu costs $75, excluding tax and a service charge. Trois Mec, 716 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, no phone.
B Grill by BOA Steakhouse, a more casual spin-off of Innovative Dining Group's modern steakhouses in West Hollywood and Santa Monica, has opened in Terminal 7 at LAX. B Grill by BOA Steakhouse, Los Angeles International Airport, 700 World Way, Terminal 7, Los Angeles, CA 90045, 310-646-5252.
Casa Martin is now open on Ocean Avenue, in Santa Monica. Expect Mexican favorites including chicken soup with chayote, menudo, steak ranchera tostada salad, stuffed poblano chile, spinach enchilada, pork chile verde, fish tacos and shrimp fajitas. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Casa Martin, 1654 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-663-1732.
The former Larchmont Grill has now become The Larchmont. The bungalow-style restaurant offers a seasonal farmer's market Californian menu from consulting chef Don Gragg (Chez Panisse) and executive chef Cody Diegel (Magnolia). Expect duck confit with lentils, braised pork belly with king oyster mushrooms and sherry, chicken "under a brick," and sophisticated salads and sides. The cocktail program comes courtesy of Steve Livigni (Harvard & Stone, La Descarga). The Larchmont, 5750 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-464-4277.
EVELEIGH owner Nick Mathers has opened a new restaurant on West Third Street named Goldie's, in the former Chado Tea House space. Chef Thomas Lim (Duke Bistro, Sydney Australia) serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner, with dishes featuring West Coast shrimp salad; grilled flatbread with crushed peas, smoked fish and oregano; and Boulder Valley beef coulotte with green tomatoes. Lunch & Dinner daily. Goldie's, 842 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-677-2470.
Restaurateur Jean-Louis De Mori and executive chef Antonio Tommasi are behind Maccheroni Republic in downtown L.A. Tommasi prepares such dishes as fritto di calamari, fettuccine and Venetian duck sauce, and tagliolini with green lentils, spinach and roasted tomatoes (all pastas are homemade). Maccheroni Republic, 332 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-346-9725.
The Morrison, a Scottish-themed gastropub, has opened in Los Feliz. Starters include items like Scottish eggs with venison sausage, and scallop salad with brown sugar vinaigrette. Entrées include fish and chips, black pudding, Scottish salmon, and a burger. More than 40 craft beers are on tap. Lunch & Dinner daily. The Morrison, 3179 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-667-1839.
Seasons 52 opened a location in Santa Monica in March. (The first L.A. branch of the national chain Seasons 52 opened in late 2012.) Expect contemporary American dishes like wood-roasted pork tenderloin, mesquite-grilled garlic shrimp and lemongrass king salmon. As at the other locations, no dish on the menu exceeds 475 calories. The wine list offers 100 selections, with more than 50 available by the glass. Seasons 52, 1501 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-1152.
Innovative Dining Group (Sushi Roku, BOA Steakhouse, Katana, etc.) has partnered with Cecile Tang (Joss Cuisine/Traditional) on Chi Lin. This Chinese restaurant, located in a compact space adjacent to RivaBella, opened May 13, 2013. Chi Lin, 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-278-2068.
Oprah's former private star-chef Tal Ronnen has opened an upscale vegan restaurant on Melrose named Crossroads, replacing the former Philippe Chow. Expect haute vegan dishes like risotto-stuffed banana peppers; biscuits with morel gravy; kelp caviar; and carrot cake ice cream. Pastry chef Serafina Magnussen (Palate Food + Wine) whips up desserts, and Jeremy Lake (Playa, Rivera) offers an organic cocktail program and a biodynamic wine list. Crossroads, 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-782-9245.
State Social House Restaurant and Lounge is replacing Red Rock Eatery and Isla Cantina on the Sunset Strip sometime in May. Expect a global small-plates menu from chef Vernon Cardenas (Matsuhisa, Katana, Pink Taco), specialty cocktails, as well a long draft-beer list. State Social House Restaurant and Lounge, 8782 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
Husband-and-wife owners Laski and Laila Abddaim, along with pastry chef Nicolas Rançon, have opened a neighborhood French eatery, the Chaumont Bakery & Café, in Beverly Hills. Baked goods range from croissant and crusty baguettes to chocolate éclairs, tarte Tatin and other fancy creations; a longish lunch menu features a multicultural array of sandwiches, including Scottish smoked salmon, pastrami, and banh mi. Also, expect kale salad, French toast and various organic egg dishes. Breakfast and Lunch, Mon.-Sat. Chaumont Bakery & Café, 143 S Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-550-5510.
The original Katsu-ya, master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi's unpretentious sushi bar concept --- before he joined forces with SBE to create flashier Katsuya restaurants --- is expanding to Northridge. The chef/restaurateur already runs Katsu-ya sushi bars in Studio City and Encino, along with his Kiwami in Studio City and three Izakaya by Katsu-ya around L.A. The new restaurant will take over a space previously occupied by Kabuki. Katsu-ya, 9701 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, CA 91324, no phone.
Recently opened in the Valley is Peasant Wine Bistro, where chef Marcel Vinson turns out a farm-to-table menu that includes small plates like cheese and charcuterie boards, deviled eggs with prosciutto di Parma, plus pizzas, pastas and a lamb burger with harissa aioli. An inviting, modern interior includes touches of whimsy and luxury. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Peasant Wine Bistro, 19100 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA 91356, 818-708-7081.
A second location of downtown L.A.'s iconic seafood restaurant Water Grill will open later this summer in Santa Monica in the Ocean Avenue Seafood space. Water Grill, 1401 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, no phone.
The rustic, Italian Aventine Hollywood has opened near Cahuenga and Selma, featuring a large outdoor patio with olive trees. Chef Adolpho Veronese's Northern Italian menu of pizza, pastas and salads are rounded out with big entrees of whole-grilled branzino, osso buco and grilled rib eye. Aventine Hollywood, 1607 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-500-0969.
Rao's, the Italian restaurant with locations in New York and Las Vegas, will open a branch in Hollywood. The menu will offer Rao's classics like meatballs and lemon chicken, plus more contemporary dishes unique to this location. Look for a late spring/early summer 2013 opening. Rao's, 1006 Seward St., Los Angeles, CA 90038, no phone.
The former space of The Royce at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena has reopened with a new dining concept. The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse features a selection of aged American Prime beef, Australian Wagyu and Japanese Kobe, plus seafood and sides. Chef Anthony Zappola, who was recently chef de cuisine of Craft Los Angeles and Craft in Dallas, oversees the kitchen. The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106, 626-585-6410.
AOC, the popular wine bar owned by acclaimed chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, has re-opened in its new location in Los Angeles. Expect small plates like pork cheeks with polenta, mustard oil and gremolata, along with "platters" of whole grilled fish with tomato rice, fried egg and crispy sopressata. A.O.C., 8700 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 310-859-9859.
Chef Ricardo Zarate (Picca, Mo-Chica) has opened Paiche, a Peruvian izakaya restaurant blending Japanese flavors and Peruvian ingredients, in Marina del Rey. The restaurant takes its name from the Amazonian fish that is featured throughout the menu. Paiche, 13488 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey, CA 90292, 310-893-6200.
Silver Lake's eatery and "community pub," Hyperion Public, dishes up locally sourced contemporary American cuisine paired with craft and local tap beers, wine and cocktails, amid a rustic dining room adorned with reclaimed wood, vintage fixtures and Edison bulbs. Executive chef Paddy Aubrey's menu features fried chicken paired with a spicy blueberry sauce and bacon slaw, a turkey meatloaf with cauliflower purée, a quinoa bean burger and cedar-plank salmon. Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Hyperion Public, 2538 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-761-6440.
Restaurateur Brad Johnson (BLT Steak, Post & Beam) and executive chef Govind Armstrong (Post & Beam) have opened Willie Jane on Abbott Kinney Boulevard. The restaurant is named for Johnson's 100-year-old, Georgia-born aunt, and offers Armstrong's take on southern cuisine with an emphasis on Lowcountry coastal dishes and a selection of large plates served family-style. Bar manager Phuong Tran has created a beverage program that focuses on specialty bourbons and cocktails including seasonal libations and Southern classics. Willie Jane, 1031 Abbott Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-392-2425.
Former Crocker Club owner Vincent Terzian has brought a Parisian-themed, chandelier-laden bistro/bar, Coco Laurent, to Seventh Street in DTLA. Chef Guillaume Jouvet's standards range from French onion soup, beef tartare and salade Nicoise, to fettuccini au pistou, boeuf Bourguignon, lamb burger and steak frites. Expect Champagne cocktails, craft beers, and a select Cal-French-leaning wine list. Weekend brunch features quiche Lorraine and crêpes Suzette. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Coco Laurent, 707 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-623-0008.
The Black Cat brings American Tavern fare to Silver Lake's Sunset Junction, with former Lou Wine Bar chef D.J. Olsen helming the stoves. Owned by the Village Idiot team, expect a good list of craft beers and handcrafted cocktails, along with a menu that includes dishes like lamb riblets, salt cod fritters, duck leg confit and steak frites. The Black Cat, 3909 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029, 323-661-6369.
Ritual Café & Wine Bar has opened at Westfield Topanga Shopping Center, next to Neiman Marcus. The interior is trendy and exotic --- not what you'd expect at a shopping center --- with Asian-inspired design. Dinner is served nightly. Tuna tartare, cheese and charcuterie plates, lobster club sandwiches, salads, and soups are offered, along with craft beers and wine. Ritual Café & Wine Bar, Westfield Topanga Shopping Center, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, CA 91303, 818-712-0349.
The 1920s-themed speakeasy bar Lock & Key is now open in K-town, behind a signless red door at the Stall 239 food window, which is dishing up Taiwanese fried chicken, kalbi kabobs and pastrami sandwiches. Once you're in, a hostess in a roomful of locks and doors ushers you into the dim black-and-gold bar featuring booths and handcrafted cocktails by Christophe Namer (Pastis). Lock & Key/Stall 239, 239 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90004, 213-389-5625.
Restaurateur/entrepreneur Michael Zislis (The Strand House) has transformed his previous Mucho Ultima Mexicana into Circa in Manhattan Beach, with Octavio Becerra (Palate Food + Wine) helming the stoves. Becerra's menu of global dishes features arancini with persimmon marmalade; octopus carpaccio with charred dates and kumquats; bone marrow with kimchi and quail egg, and crispy pork belly with carrots. Julian Cox (Rivera, Picca, Bestia) and Josh Goldman (ink.) create an inspiring cocktail program with house-made ingredients like smoked Coke and violet. Circa, 903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-374-4422.
LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT HEADLINES
Hollywood Bowl Chefs Picnic Club Pairs Food and Music
The fifth annual Hollywood Bowl Chefs Picnic Club offers music fans an opportunity to prepare concert picnics comprised of recipes from famous L.A. chefs. Each week during the Bowl season, from mid-June to late September, a different chef will provide an appetizer, entrée and dessert recipe, delivered via email to club members. This year's chefs include José Andrés (The Bazaar by José Andrés), Suzanne Goin (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) and David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), Susan Feniger (Susan Feniger's STREET), John Sedlar (Rivera), Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites, Trois Mec) and many more. For more information and to sign up for free recipes, visit www.hollywoodbowlpicnic.com.
Stella Rossa is Now Stella Barra Pizzeria
Chef/partner Jeff Mahin and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises have officially changed the name of their Santa Monica restaurant Stella Rossa Pizza Bar to Stella Barra. The decision to change the name was made in an effort to streamline this expanding brand of restaurants, which includes the recent opening of Stella Barra in Hollywood. Stella Barra, 2000 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-396-9250.
RivaBella Launches Rustic Sunday Brunch
Chef Gino Angelini is offering a rustic, Italian-style Sunday brunch on the sprawling patio at RivaBella from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The buffet ($44 per person) features dishes including an entire porchetta, whole salmon cooked in the restaurant's wood-burning oven, specialty charcuterie and cheeses, custom egg dishes and more. Signature brunch cocktails include the Sunday Summer (Atlantico Reserva Rum, fresh lime juice and shiso, topped with champagne.) Also expect live music by guitarist Dan Sistos and friends. RivaBella, 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-278-2060.
One Pico's New Farmers' Market-Inspired Menu
Managing chef Sven Mede is introducing new farmers' market-inspired menus at One Pico. Dishes include red Russian kale salad, English pea soup with shaved fennel, cornmeal-crusted local rock fish with panzanella salad, steamed shellfish hot pot, and braised oxtail maltagliati. One Pico, Shutters on the Beach, One Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-458-0030.
Sunday Champagne Brunch on the Rooftop at Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel
Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel has launched a Sunday Champagne Brunch. It takes place weekly from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. through the summer on the penthouse and rooftop facing Rodeo Drive. The buffet features food stations for sushi, carved meats, omelets, Belgian waffles, desserts and more, plus a Bloody Mary bar. There is also live music. The cost is $55.95 per adult, $29.95 per child (12 years and under). Reservations are required. For reservations, call 310-691-7619 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, 360 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-273-0300.
Select Omakase Bar Comes to SUGARFISH in Beverly Hills
Kazunomi Nozawa's latest SUGARFISH location in Beverly Hills has just opened a 10-seat counter space called Nozawa Bar that will serve a 20-course omakase lunch and dinner. Master chef Osamu Fujita will prepare sophisticated sushi and sashimi, and reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance; lunch is $130 and dinner $150. Nozawa Bar, 212 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310 276-6900.
Unlimited Small Plates Brunch at Susan Feniger's STREET
Susan Feniger's STREET now offers an unlimited small plates brunch for $25 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dishes include kaya toast bites served open face with fried egg and dark soy; Indian spiced sweet potato pancakes with Greek yogurt and chutney; jackfruit banh mi sliders; and an asparagus egg white frittata with Peruvian tomato and aji salsas. Bottomless sparkling cocktails can be added for an extra $15. Susan Feniger's STREET, 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-203-0500.
Tortilla Republic Hosts Weekly Pop-up in the Pacific Palisades
West Hollywood's Tortilla Republic hosts weekly pop-up dinners on Thursdays starting at 5 p.m. at Taste at the Palisades. On offer are soju margaritas and a rotating menu of Tortilla Republic's signature dishes, such as duck confit tacos with sour cherry salsita, shaved radish and cilantro crema. Taste at the Palisades, 538 Palisades Dr., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, 310-459-9808.
Las Vegas Location of Valentino to Close
A closing date of June 30, 2013, has been set for the Las Vegas location of Valentino, which will end the 14-year residency of chef Luciano Pellegrini. Owner Piero Selvaggio said The Venetian decided not to renew his lease this summer. Valentino in Santa Monica will remain open. Valentino, The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-414-3000.
littlefork Opens for Brunch in Hollywood
Chef Jason Travi and littlefork have unveiled a new brunch menu, which includes signature dishes like maple eggs with crispy bacon, a lobster roll with house-made sea salt and vinegar chips, a "good morning" burger with red corn pancakes, linguica sausage, runny egg, and maple syrup, and Nutella-stuffed French toast with hazelnut and banana. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with an à la carte menu and $1 Naked Cowboy oysters and a $5 applewood-smoked Bloody Larry. littlefork, 1600 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-465-3675.
New Dining Developments at The Buffalo Club
The Buffalo Club in Santa Monica recently changed its dining format and now offers two different experiences. The sophisticated Iroquois Room features upscale American comfort food along with some French dishes from chef Patrick Healy, while the al fresco Garden Courtyard presents internationally inspired small plates such as oxtail dumplings, Korean BBQ Wagyu short rib, and collards with ham hock jus. The Buffalo Club, 1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404, 310-450-8600.
Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza are Joined by Chi SPACCA
First there was Pizzeria Mozza, then Osteria Mozza, and now chi SPACCA next door to the Osteria. Running the exhibition kitchen is chef Chad Colby, whose charcuterie was showcased at Mozza's Salumi Bar, a limited-edition attraction. In addition to his salumi and terrines, his family-style menu also includes beef-bone marrow pie, Santa Barbara spot prawns, and bistecca Fiorentina. The restaurant offers two seatings for 30 people each night, Monday through Friday, and on Saturday, there is one seating for a nose-to-tail dinner. chi SPACCA, 6610 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-297-1133.
UPDATES ON LOS ANGELES CHEFS
Chef David Nayfeld, former senior sous chef of Eleven Madison Park in New York, will helm a new dining concept from Cardiff Giant (The Churchill, The Hudson). The name has yet to be announced, but the downtown restaurant is slated for an opening in late summer or early fall. Get a preview of his culinary talents at ink. on June 4, 2013. For more information, visit the Los Angeles Food Events calendar.
Buddha's Belly has named Kevin Luzande (Playa) as its new executive chef. Some of his new dishes include a whole red snapper with a Thai dipping sauce (limited quantity available on Friday nights only), Asian paella (Saturday nights only), spicy Korean ramen with duck confit, and Korean rib-eye with kimchi, gochujang, seaweed salad and steamed rice buns. The Beverly location will also soon welcome the new Buddha Lounge space with small plates, craft cocktails and beer. Buddha's Belly, 205 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-458-2500.
Chef Evan Gotanda has left Celestino Drago's Osteria Drago on the Sunset Strip. He is moving to San Francisco. Osteria Drago, 8741 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-657-1182.
Alex Stratta has moved on from Scarpetta in Beverly Hills. Freddy Vargas has returned to the restaurant as executive chef. Scarpetta, Montage Beverly Hills, 225 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-860-7970.
Michael Wilson has assumed executive chef duties at Santa Monica's 31Ten Lounge. Wilson formerly oversaw the kitchens of 5 Dudley in Venice and Wilson in Culver City. Look for a creative menu of elevated comfort food with global touches. 31Ten Lounge, 3110 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-450-5522.
Chef Troy N. Thompson has taken over as executive chef from Guillaume Burlion at Sunset Marquis and The Restaurant. The Restaurant, Sunset Marquis, 1200 N. Alta Loma Rd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-657-1333.
Noted Pasadena chef and caterer Claud Beltran, currently at Noir Food & Wine, will be opening Claud & Co., a new bistro on the Crown City's east side, in an unpretentious space previously occupied by Little Britain. An early April opening is expected. Claud & Co., 488 N. Allen Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106, no phone.
Mette Williams (Spago Beverly Hills, CUT) has been appointed as the new executive chef of Culina Modern Italian. She has created a variety of new dishes for the menu including zuppetta di cozze with steamed mussels, roasted tomatoes, fennel and charmoula; bruschetta di sarde with marinated sardines, pickled chili and burrata; and ravioli di ricotta e polpa di granchio with ricotta and egg yolk ravioli in a lemon and crab ragu. Culina Modern Italian, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 300 S. Doheny Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 310-860-4000.
Chef de cuisine Charles Olalia has been promoted to executive chef at Joachim Splichal's flagship downtown restaurant Patina. He has overseen the kitchen since the departure of former Patina executive chef Tony Esnault. Prior to joining the team at Patina in 2010, Olalia trained with Thomas Keller and Corey Lee at The French Laundry and Guy Savoy at Restaurant Guy Savoy in Las Vegas. Patina, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-972-3331.
Sherry Yard has left Spago Beverly Hills to open her own bakery at the old Helms Bakery space in Culver City. Yard plans to open the bakery next September; her replacement at Spago is Della Gossett, formerly of Charlie Trotter's. Spago Beverly Hills, 176 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-385-0880.
LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT CLOSINGS
Eric Greenspan's restaurant The Foundry on Melrose closed May 19 for renovations. It will open again later this summer with a revamped patio and interior. A new bar program will also be introduced. The Foundry on Melrose, 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-651-0915.
The romantic downtown restaurant Kitchen Table has closed less than a year after opening. Kitchen Table, 410 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
Unluckily for West L.A., Roy Choi (A-Frame, Sunny Spot, Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go) has closed Chego on Overland Avenue. But luckily for Eastsiders, he's relocating Chego to Chinatown's Far East Plaza, with plans to open at the beginning of May --- with some new menu items to boot. Chego, 727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, no phone.
A rent increase has forced Venice fave Jin Patisserie to leave its Abbot Kinney digs, but owner Kristy Choo is currently looking for a new location. The last day of operation was March 24, 2013. Jin Patiserrie, 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, no phone.
Mark Gold's Eva Restaurant has closed. Eva Restaurant, 7458 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
After a brief life of less than a year, Towne Food & Drink has closed downtown; the space will reopen in several months with a new name, new chef and new concept. Towne Food & Drink, Watermarke Tower, 705 W. 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, no phone.
On West Third Street, Faux Pas Bistro has closed and will be replaced by an outpost of Jesse Gomez' popular Santa Monica Mexican eatery Mercado. Designer Ana Henton will overhaul the space, and Mercado Santa Monica chef Jose Acevedo is creating the menu. Faux Pas Bistro, 7910 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, no phone.
John Sedlar and Bill Chait's Playa completed its last service March 6, closing March 7, acknowledging that while the restaurant has been critically successful, the concept has not met the "high expectations" they set for it when it opened two years ago. The restaurant will retool and reopen in several weeks with an entirely new concept. Playa, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
Santa Monica gastropub The Yard has closed and will be replaced by The Craftsman Bar and Kitchen. The Yard, 119 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401, no phone.
The iconic New York hot dog stand Papaya King, imported by SBE two years ago, has closed on Wilcox in Hollywood and will be replaced by a new SBE bar that will be part of the company's Sayer's Club brand. The menu will purportedly be created by chefs Danny Elmaleh and Michael Teich from Cleo. Papaya King, 1645 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028, no phone.
True to its moniker, Rolling Stone Los Angeles has gathered no moss and is now closed, leaving its former space in the Hollywood & Highland complex listening to the sound of silence. A new concept is expected to replace it sometime this summer. Rolling Stone Los Angeles, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, no phone.
The original location of Adam Fleischman's Umami Burger has closed. There are several other branches in the Los Angeles area, including Hollywood, Los Feliz and Santa Monica. Umami Burger, 850 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
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Discover the top restaurants in Los Angeles for various cuisines and categories like sushi, steakhouses, pizza, happy hour, romantic dining and gourmet food trucks.