Los Angeles Restaurant News
A rarified Japanese restaurant from NYC restaurateur Reika Alexander (EN Japanese Brasserie) has opened at Château Marmont in a secluded bungalow located on the property. Chateau Hanare (“cottage set apart”) is accessed from a separate entrance on Selma. Chef Abe Hiroki's kaiseki and à la carte menus include seasonal sashimi, uni toast with cherry blossom smoked uni, grilled lobster with yuzu miso sauce, Wagyu beef, foie gras hand rolls, and uni ice cream. Look for high-end cocktails and select saké and wine lists. Dinner nightly. Chateau Hanare, Château Marmont, 8097 Selma Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-963-5269.
Chef Matt Molina has partnered with the folks at Silverlake Wine to open a stylish new neighborhood spot in Highland Park called Hippo. The menu features crispy squash blossoms with ricotta and warm cranberry, hamachi crudo with kumquat relish and chervil, guinea hen ravioli, and barbequed pork country ribs. There’s a delightful list of wines by the glass, and an equally compelling cocktail collection with specialties like “Paris is Burning” mixed with bourbon, Italicus, lemon, blackberry, aquafaba and saffron. Hippo, 5916 1⁄2 Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042, 323-545-3536.
New York City’s famous Greek restaurant Avra Madison Estiatorio has opened a west coast outpost named AVRA Beverly Hills. Designed to evoke an open-air villa in Greece, the 11,000-square-foot restaurant features plenty of stone, glass and lemon trees. Expect some traditional Greek fare with a strong emphasis on fresh seafood. Dishes include Chilean sea bass soup, ouzo mussels, sashimi, and fresh caught whole fish by the pound – including Mediterranean white snapper, loup de mer, royal dorado, sinagrida and scorpion fish. There’s also a $115 porterhouse steak, grilled lamb chops, many Greek sides, and a good selection of Mediterranean wines. Lunch & Dinner daily. AVRA Beverly Hills, 233 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-734-0841.
In Venice, Rose Avenue is now home to Makani, a stylish spot for tiki rum drinks and a sleek menu from executive chef Kevin Lee. Lee’s dishes explore his Korean roots with a contemporary California spin – look for cured ocean trout, mung bean jeon, skirt steak ssams with horseradish turmeric cream, braised short rib and crispy duck confit. The rum list boasts over 80 varieties from around the globe, and some go into impressive artisanal cocktails. There’s also a progressive list of natural wines and grower Champagnes. Makani, 512 Rose Ave., Venice, CA 90291, 424-645-5410.
Chef Charles Olalia (ex-Patina) transforms the former Bar Angeles in Silver Lake into a casually hip and modern Filipino spot called Ma’am Sir. There’s a long, lively bar, colorful tables and chairs, bold, artsy wallpaper, and vines romantically cascading from wooden beams. Olalia’s menu includes the likes of lumpia with shrimp and uni, baked coconut mussels, pork sisig with sweetbreads and calamansi, lobster inihaw with taro leaf curry, and rib-eye salpicao with citrus brown butter and pimenton. Expect creative craft cocktails with some tropical twists, beer and wine by the glass. Ma'am Sir, 4330 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029, 323-741-8371.
Now open in Hollywood is Spoonfed, an all-day dining restaurant with a garden oasis setting. Breakfast kicks off with pineapple lemon ricotta pancakes, avocado toast and steak and eggs, while lunch and dinner items include salads, flatbreads and sandwiches. Spoonfed, 959 Seward St., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-347-7000.
LA restaurateur Bill Chait, chef Raphaël François, pastry chef and bread maker Sally Camacho and wine director/managing partner Jordan Ogron are behind Tesse in West Hollywood. The cuisine is definitively French, bien-sûr, but with modern revisions. We await the opening of the adjacent wine store Bouteiller. Tesse, 8500 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-3866.
Chef Wes Avila first started Guerrilla Tacos in 2012 as a street food cart, then truck, and now his fully realized flagship restaurant is landing in DTLA’s Arts District in August. Look for haute modern Mexican fare like artichoke tacos with red pepper escabeche, a hamachi tuna tostada, and mushroom quesadilla with yuzu and tomato confit. Guerrilla Tacos, 2000 E. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90021, no phone.
The ever-booming Arts District keeps ’em coming, this time with Top Chef Season 12 winner Mei Lin’s new restaurant Nightshade. Look for a sprawling, elegant space with a globally influenced, innovative Cal-Asian menu that includes dishes like beef tartare, razor clams with passionfruit sauce, and a mapo tofu lasagna. Expect an August opening. Nightshade, 923 E. 3rd St., Ste. 109, Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
The Arts District downtown will welcome an LA location of Chicago’s famous Girl & the Goat restaurant, overseen by Iron Chef champion Stephanie Izard. Look for an opening next summer, with a menu featuring some of the more popular dishes like escargot ravioli, duck tongues with piri piri, and wood oven roasted pig face. Girl & the Goat, 555 Mateo St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
A massive, 8,400 square foot restaurant and brewpub has come to La Brea. 6th & La Brea features an onsite brewery from the Artisanal Brewers Collective (Beelman’s, Bluebird Brasserie) and offers fresh, seasonal craft beer and California-driven cocktails. A menu from chef Jihee Kim focuses on forward-thinking Cal-Asian dishes. 6th & La Brea, 600 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-998-8565.
Below the O Hotel on Flower Street, down stairs and behind a rustic metal door, a new speakeasy has opened, The Burrow Bar & Kitchen. Look for high-end seasonally focused craft cocktails, punch by the bowl, and a curated beer and wine list. There are select artisan cheese and charcuterie plates, salads and gourmet sandwiches like a rustic baguette with smoked duck breast, provolone and fig spread; Italian prosciutto with Brie and apple; a muffuletta; and burrata with house-made red pepper pesto on focaccia. The Burrow Bar & Kitchen, 821 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-784-3050.
In Palms, Mee & Greet is an airy, casually elegant spot featuring a variety of Southeast Asian specialties. There are leather banquettes, white subway tile and a sleek white bar that serves up a dozen draft craft beers, including many seasonal ones. Look for crispy turmeric fried chicken, garlic noodles, pho with sliced filet mignon, Vietnamese salt and pepper tiger prawns, and an Angus burger with sambal aïoli and acar pickle. Lunch & Dinner daily. Mee & Greet, 3500 Overland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034, 310-876-0838.
A second location of DTLA contemporary Indian restaurant Badmaash has opened on Fairfax in the former 88 Chinese space. Look for old favorites and some new dishes, including flaky catfish Punjabi fish fry, chicken tikka poutine, spiced lamb burger on brioche, creamy black lentils and ghost chili lamb vindaloo. Opening hours are limited to dinner in June, but lunch will be added mid-summer. Badmaash, 418 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
Punta Cabras, formerly one of the Westside’s most inventive taco spots, has re-launched 2.0 in a new Santa Monica location just a few blocks west on Broadway. The sleek space includes a taqueria community table, banquette seating, a big colorful bar and patio tables. Modern Mexican and coastal cuisine is crafted by chef Daniel Snukal. Expect elegant renditions of baked oysters with uni, lobster tacos, pig’s head with cilantro pesto, grilled Manhattan steak, and a raw bar featuring a seafood tower. Lunch & Dinner daily. Punta Cabras, 930 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-917-2244.
In Sherman Oaks the airy, sprawling new 7Fusion is the creation of Edu Obasi, whose menu is inspired by travels to all seven continents. Look for dishes including grilled octopus salad with fresh pineapple, rib-eye with purple yam, and chicken with red curry. Hotpot options range from beef to mushroom, lobster and blue crab. 7Fusion, 14235 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-465-3177.
TŪMBI Craft Indian Kitchen has opened in Santa Monica. The restaurant, which features ocean views from its patio, puts a modern spin on traditional Indian staples such as curries and dosas. TŪMBI Craft Indian Kitchen, 115 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-829-7200.
This summer, inventive mixologist/chef Matthew Biancaniello will launch Mon Li, a bespoke 12-seat bar-restaurant in Malibu at the Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club. The venue will open three nights a week, Thursday through Saturday, with a 12-course omakase “liquid tasting” menu based on Biancaniello’s signature seasonal foraged and garden creations alongside other dishes such as an uni roll with passion fruit and nasturtium, wild cactus salad, and perhaps goose barnacles. Mon Li, 26025 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265, no phone.
French-inspired Barbette has emerged in West Hollywood’s former Tinto space. Owners Jared Meisler and Sean MacPherson (The Pikey, Jones) have brought on an April Bloomfield protégé, NY chef Robert Flaherty (The John Dory), to create a casual, seasonally driven bistro menu. Expect a noteworthy bar with craft cocktails, too. Barbette, 7511 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-850-8888.
Chef Ludo Lefebvre has expanded his culty strip mall bistro Petit Trois into a much larger sister location in Sherman Oaks. Petit Trois la vallée features many of Lefebvre’s popular dishes plus some new menu items, as well as a full bar. Petit Trois la vallée, 13705 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-989-2600.
Halo Top Scoop Shop is open in the Westfield Century City mall. Look for stevia-sweetened scoop and soft serve ice cream with flavors ranging from classic vanilla, chocolate and strawberry to pistachio and red velvet. The new location is debuting its “Stardust Sundae” which features vanilla bean soft serve with holographic sugar-free vanilla sauce, cosmic star sprinkles and a geode crystal candy inside a waffle cone. Halo Top Scoop Shop, Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067, no phone.
Ari Taymor’s (Alma) weekend brunch pop-up project Little Prince in Santa Monica has made renovations that welcomed a permanent menu and dinner service Monday through Saturday. Expect seasonal farmer’s market-focused dishes in Taymor’s contemporary style, and a cocktail and wine list. Little Prince, 2424 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405, no phone.
Vive la France Burger!
French chef Daniel Boulud (of Daniel in New York City, one of GAYOT's Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.) pioneered the "Gourmet Burger Revolution." So, it’s only natural that on Bastille Day, July 14, 2018, he launched "THE UMAMI FRENCHIE" with the famous UMAMI BURGER chain. (The timing was lucky as France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup the next day!) Discover the tasty burger, presented by Boulud himself, in this video. Then, go try it for yourself at UMAMI BURGER locations throughout the Los Angeles area, as well as Orange County, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York. Part of UMAMI BURGER's Artist Series, "THE UMAMI FRENCHIE" ($18) will be available until September 14th. One dollar from each burger sold will benefit charitable organization Citymeals, which provides a lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly. Umami Burger, The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., Ste. C-10, Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-954-8626.
New Brunch Dishes at Toca Madera
The upscale modern cantina, Toca Madera, presents Summer Saturdays, including weekend brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy a chicken and churro waffle, avocado toast and carne asada and eggs, along with new dishes such as tres leches french toast. Toca Madera, 8450 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-852-9400.
Burritos Join Plan Check's Burgers
The popular El Monte Burritos La Palma has opened a mini location inside Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on Fairfax. Look for tacos and burritos with birria de res (spiced shredded beef), chicken tinga and chicharron. To drink there’s Mexican beer, specialty margaritas (including pitchers), a mezcal watermelon paloma and a Mexican Mule. Burritos La Palma x Plan Check, 351 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-591-0094.
New Summer Cocktail List Debuts at Le Petit Paris
Le Petit Paris debuts a new summer cocktail list perfect for leisurely sipping amidst the historic El Dorado Building’s turn-of-the-century décor in DTLA. Look for cocktails inspired by Prohibition-era classics, including “Le Provencal” featuring fresh lavender, lime juice and egg white; “Le Parfait Paris” mixed with tequila, Cognac, fresh blueberry and lime juice; and “Le Good Thyme” with bourbon, black tea syrup and Mandarin orange liqueur. Le Petit Paris, El Dorado Building, 418-420 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-217-4445.
Anniversary Prix-Fixe Menu at Mélisse
Mélisse is celebrating its 19th anniversary with a special menu from chef Josiah Citrin's kitchen. The four-course prix-fixe menu ($99) is available Tuesday through Friday and includes classic Mélisse dishes such as egg caviar ($25 supplement) and lobster Bolognese, along with other options like Wagyu beef tartare and zucchini blossom-crusted salmon. Chef Josiah Citrin has announced that there will be changes coming to the restaurant (either in its current Santa Monica location or in a new venue, as the current lease ends in 2019), so we encourage diners to experience Mélisse once again in its present incarnation. To reserve your space, call 310-395-0881. Mélisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-0881.
Burbank’s Castaway Reopens
Burbank’s hillside The Castaway restaurant has officially reopened after extensive renovations. Chef Perry Pollaci (The Royce) creates a seasonally inspired, steak-forward menu offering prime meat from the in-house dry-aging room, a raw bar and build-it-yourself charcuterie boards. A 10-top chef’s table allows guests to interact with Pollaci. The beverage program is directed by sommelier Paul Coker (Stonehill Tavern, Studio at Montage Laguna Beach), who also oversees a fully functional wooden wine cellar. The new design driven space has sweeping views of the valley; so does the large multi-level patio that sports fire pits, secluded nooks and teak furniture for lounging with craft cocktails. Castaway, 1250 E. Harvard Rd., Burbank, CA 91501, 818-848-6691.
La Bohème to Morph into a Steakhouse in 2019
In West Hollywood, the glamorous La Bohème will flip into a new upscale steakhouse called LB 66. Renovations should start in early 2019 with a possible June or July debut. Look forward to aged steaks and chandeliers. La Bohème, 8400 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-848-2360.
Vespertine Adds New Sunday Hours
Chef Jordan Kahn’s fine dining destination in Culver City, Vespertine, is adding a new day of service, along with earlier hours. Sunday seatings for the full tasting menu will begin at 3:30 p.m., with the last reservation at 7:30 p.m. Vespertine, 3599 Hayden Ave., Culver City, CA 90232, 323-320-4023.
Chef Josiah Citrin (Mélisse) will soon reinvent the eateries at The Line hotel in Koreatown, filling the void left by Roy Choi’s departure from COMMISSARY and POT. Citrin will helm both restaurant revamps; expect elevated French California cuisine, and likely a standout wine list. The Line Los Angeles, 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010, 213-381-7411.
Chef Michael Bryant (The Churchill, Cliff’s Edge) is helming a new neighborhood spot in Westwood named Fellow, currently serving lunch Monday through Friday, with dinner service to follow soon. The menu runs from Cali fare – avocado toast with pine nuts, a burrata tartine, and Chinese cold noodle salad – to Southern tinged dishes including Virginia style crab cakes, a rock shrimp po’boy, and black eyed pea falafel. Plant-based vegan/vegetarian selections are plentiful, like English and snap peas with yuzu hollandaise, Brussels sprouts with green curry, and sumac dusted lemon and dill cauliflower. Fellow, 1071 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-208-1071.
Chef Brendan Collins (formerly of Birch) now oversees Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Sundays feature an English roast with salmon, half chicken, beef roast or veggies served on a wood plank with Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, roast potatoes, cauliflower and cheese, gravy and Yorkshire pudding. This is in addition to Sunday brunch with bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys and margaritas. Wilshire Restaurant, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 310-586-1707.
Chef Chris Ono (Eleven Madison Park, Esters Wine Shop & Bar) is helming the stoves at Paul Hibler’s Fairfax spot Gesso. Look for his new menus to focus on contemporary California cooking. Gesso, 801 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-544-6240.
In Pasadena, the French-Vietnamese restaurant Abricott has closed. A new Mendocino Farms will open later this year in the location. Abricott, 238 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101, no phone.
Au Fudge Los Angeles, the kid-friendly (yet chic) restaurant from Jessica Biel, is now only operating as an event space. Au Fudge Los Angeles, 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
Chef Neal Fraser (Redbird) has closed his casual chicken spot Fritzi Coop in DTLA. The original Fritzi Coop is still open at the Original Farmers Market on Fairfax. Fritzi Coop, 814 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
In Silver Lake, Bar Angeles has closed and flipped into the casually upscale Filipino restaurant Ma’am Sir. Bar Angeles, 4330 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029, no phone.
At the end of July 2018, chef Roy Choi will close his venues at Koreatown’s The Line Los Angeles hotel, including POT Café, POT Lobby Bar and COMMISSARY. The hotel’s managing Sydell Group will announce replacements in the near future. COMMISSARY, POT Lobby Bar & POT Café, The Line Los Angeles, 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010, 213-368-3030.
Belcampo Meat Co. in Santa Monica is temporarily closed for renovations. Belcampo Meat Co., 1026 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-5750.
George Abou-Daoud’s charming modern Middle Eastern eatery in Hollywood, Farida, has closed. No update yet on what may replace it. Farida, 6266 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, no phone.
Chef Andre Guerrero has closed the Hollywood branch of The Oinkster. The original Eagle Rock location of his quality quick-serve eatery remains open. The Oinkster, 776 Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90038, no phone.
Downtown's Cleo at L.A. LIVE has shuttered. Diners can still find the restaurant's Mediterranean fare at Cleo on Third Street. Meanwhile, the original Hollywood location is still temporarily closed for renovations. Cleo, L.A. LIVE, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015, no phone.
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