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April 2009 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - APRIL 2009 Archive


OPENINGS

Restaurateur George Ghaby has opened Brix 42 in Pasadena, serving home-style food such as low cooked pot roast with garlic mashed potatoes, beer battered fish and house cut fries, and chorizo basted pork tenderloin with sautéed broccoli. The restaurant also houses its own brewery where Brix's brew master combines German malts with American hops. Dinner nightly. Brix 42, 42 S. De Lacey Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-405-9114.
 
Tavern, the long-awaited new venture from chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (A.O.C., Lucques), has opened in Brentwood. The restaurant provides several distinct spaces, offering a range of dining experiences. In the front is the Larder, ideal for grabbing a croissant or taking home some hand-crafted salumi, imported cheeses, or a bottle from an intriguing boutique winery. Hip Westsiders will adopt Tavern's lounge as a place to gather over cocktails and appetizers, and it's a good spot for solo diners to wander in and sample Goin's cooking. The main dining area, covered in glass, is appropriately called the Atrium, and is warmed up by shady olive trees and dangling chandeliers. Tavern, 11648 San Vicente Blvd., LA/Brentwood, CA 90049, 310-806-6464.
 
La Grande Orange Santa Monica has opened its doors for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu features modern takes on American classics and will utilize ingredients from the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market. Breakfast items range from huevos rancheros to "skinny" pancakes, while lunch and dinner offerings include soft taco platters, burgers and pizzas. La Grande Orange Santa Monica, 2000 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-396-9145.
 
Bottega Louie is downtown's latest culinary hot spot, a cavernous upscale Italian gourmet market and restaurant located on Grand Avenue. Expect shelves of dazzling specialty foods, haute deli dishes and a sit-down menu featuring pasta fagiole, thin-crusted clam pizza, branzino with micro herbs, osso buco with porcini mushroom broth, and braised prime rib-eye with Tuscan black kale. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Bottega Louie, 700 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 866-488-9162.
 
Susan Feniger, of Ciudad and Border Grill, brings her solo venture to Hollywood in the form of Susan Feniger's STREET. An expansive menu celebrating street food of the world includes Vietnamese pho, Cuban stuffed-potato cakes, Egyptian baked fish, Moldavian meatballs, Korean rice salad, and Malaysian black pepper clams. Also find international beers, wine and cocktails. Susan Feniger's STREET, 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-203-0500.
 
Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés made its debut on April 9. This intimate chef's tasting room offers guests 20-plus "tastes" or small courses of dishes from The Bazaar by José Andrés as well as new creations crafted exclusively for Saam guests. The tasting menu costs $120 per person, $170 including wine pairings. Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS at Beverly Hills, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90048, 310-246-5545.
 
Former The French Laundry pastry chef Jamie Cantor has opened Platine Bakery in Culver City. Find seasonal tarts, caramel-covered brownies, baby pot de creme and specialty artisan cookies, each baked with all-natural ingredients. There's even a cookie-of-the-month club. Breakfast & Lunch Tues.-Sat. Platine Bakery, 10850 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-559-9933.
 
A new Tender Greens has debuted in West Hollywood, following the success of the original restaurant in Culver City. Specializing in big, made-to-order salads and sandwiches created from fresh organic ingredients, Tender Greens also offer grilled albacore, flank steak and chicken plates. In addition, this branch will feature house-made cheese, vinegars and salumi. Chef Fermin Arias mans the kitchen. Tender Greens, 8759 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-385-1919.
 
Westside Tavern Chef Warren Schwartz (formerly of Whist and Saddle Peak Lodge) has opened the Westside Tavern near the Landmark Theaters in the Westside Pavilion. The restaurant offers "California Tavern Cuisine" and features seasonal ingredients in dishes like a burrata B.L.T. made with Nueske's bacon and wild arugula; king crab and avocado salad; and a spit-roasted James Ranch lamb sandwich. Complementing the food is a selection of specialty cocktails, California micro- and craftsman brews, and a wine list that includes by-the-glass options. Westside Tavern, 10850 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, 310-470-1539.
 
A sister to Magnolia in Hollywood has blossomed at Figueroa and 9th streets. Magnolia downtown serves classic American food like fried calamari with citrus aioli, root vegetable salad, grilled wild salmon, braised short ribs, and prime NY strip steak. The full bar also prepares a variety of specialty cocktails. Lunch & Dinner daily. Magnolia, 825 W. 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-362-0880.
 

NEWS BYTES

Brunch for Chocoholics
Luna Park is serving "Chocolate Brunch" every Sunday, featuring decadent dishes such as chocolate chip pancakes with chocolate maple syrup, chilequiles with mole, and chocolate strawberry crêpes with chocolate sauce. Specialty drinks include chocolate mimosas and dark chocolate mojitos. Luna Park's Chocolate Brunch is offered Sundays from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Luna Park, 672 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-934-2110.
 
Celebrity foodies convene Carnivore! panel
The LA Weekly's LA Weekend event takes place on April 24 and 25, the same weekend as the LATimes Festival of Books, at Nike's Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood. On Saturday, April 25, the noontime panel, Carnivore!, will feature Pulitzer Prize food writer Jonathan Gold and chefs Mark Peel from Campanile and Octavio Bercera from Palate Food + Wine, celebrating all things meaty. Tickets are $20 a day with various art events, drinks, and other panels included. Tickets are $18 for both both days, with free drinks.
 
RH Bar Recession Reprieve
RH at the ANdAZ in West Hollywood is serving complimentary "Cocktail Bites" to accompany its signature cocktails, wine and beer selections. The happy hour takes place at the bar every day from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Bites include prosciutto with ciabatta, roasted forest mushroom tart, shrimp ceviche, homemade foie gras crostini and roasted eggplant. RH, Andaz West Hollywood, 8401 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-785-6090.
 
Simple Suppers at AMMO
AMMO has introduced a new three-course Simple Supper prix-fixe menu for $30 available Monday through Thursday all night, and Friday and Saturday until 7 p.m. Start with seasonal soup or Caesar salad, then choose from entrées like house-made pappardelle with dandelion, sweet onion and pancetta, and poached Scottish salmon with Tamai Farms red beets, roasted pee-wee potatoes, wild arugula and Meyer lemon. Complete the meal with a "build your own" ice cream sundae---three flavors of ice cream or sorbet, finished off with house-made sauces and toppings. AMMO, 1155 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-871-2666.
 
The lobby dining space of The Bazaar by José Andrés New Weekend Brunch at The Bazaar
The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills is now serving brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS at Beverly Hills, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90048, 310-246-5555.
 
Wilshire Restaurant Spotlights Chef Kirschner
Wilshire Restaurant presents nine consecutive evenings featuring the tasting menu Chef Andrew Kirschner will prepare as guest chef for the New York City-based James Beard Foundation on April 30. Dishes include includes morel mushroom dumplings, Dungeness crab salad with green papaya and mango, and Moroccan-spiced spring lamb with piquillo pepper harrisa. Paige 23 Vineyards is the wine partner for both each event. The cost is $50 per guest, plus $25 for the optional wine pairing. Reservations are available continuously from 6 p.m., April 16-25, excluding Sundays. Wilshire Restaurant, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 310-586-1707.
 
Jean-François Meteigner Changes La Cachette Menu
Chef Jean-François Meteigner has changed the menu at French favorite La Cachette to include more affordable bistro items (previewing his upcoming Santa Monica spot La Cachette Bistro), with the entire menu now ranging from $8 to $39. New dishes include tuna burgers with chili, brioche and horseradish; cured trout fillet with fingerling potatoes; and compressed papaya with homemade salted cod brandade. La Cachette, 10506 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 310-470-4992.
 
Michael's on Naples Launches Happy Hour
Michael's on Naples Ristorante has launched its first happy hour, which takes place Monday through Friday from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. The restaurant offers 50% off selected cocktails, beer and wine by the glass, and guests may enjoy offerings from the more casual enoteca menu of antipasti, pasta dishes, pizzas and small plates for $6-$15 per item. Michael's on Naples Ristorante, 5620 E. Second St., Long Beach, CA 90803, 562-439-7080.
 
Hatfield's Expands Prix-Fixe Menu
Hatfield's is expanding its popular market prix-fixe menu to include items off the restaurant's a la carte menu, so diners can design their own meal by choosing an appetizer, entrée and dessert. The price of the prix-fixe menu remains $49 per person, with small supplemental charges for lamb and foie gras. Hatfield's, 7458 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-935-2977.
 
SiLa Bistro Offers 40% Savings
Responding to a tough economy, Silver Lake's SiLa Bistro is offering a 40% discount on selected items on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Featured dishes include pot roast with turnips, carrots and green beans, scallion-mashed potatoes; duck confit with sweet potatoes and pomegranate gastric; and pepper-seared scallops with parsnip purée and sugar snap peas. Desserts include brandied flan and red velvet cake. Dinner Tues.-Sun.. SiLa Bistro, 2630 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-664-7979.
 
Wine & Cheese Tastings at The Penthouse
The Penthouse at Huntley Santa Monica Beach, together with Andrew Steiner of Santa Monica's Andrew's Cheese Shop, will host a monthly wine and cheese tasting on the first Tuesday of every month, between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Each event will pair a different variety of themed wines with gourmet cheese selections, and will be hosted by Steiner and The Penthouse's resident sommelier. Cost is $40 per person. Reservations can be made by calling The Penthouse at 310-394-5454. The Penthouse at Huntley Santa Monica Beach, Huntley Santa Monica Beach, 1111 Second St., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 310-393-8080.
 
Wednesday Wine Tastings with Silverlake Wine
The Standard downtown and Silver Lake Wine are partnering to host weekly wine tastings every Wednesday in the hotel lobby from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Guests can enjoy a three-glass flight of boutique wines from around the globe, along with snacks and live DJ performances, for $20 per person. The Standard, 550 South Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-892-8080.
 
La Terza Becomes Minestraio
Gino Angelini's The Orlando hotel restaurant La Terza is changing its name to Minestraio Trattoria, and offering a new, more casual trattoria menu focusing on handcrafted pastas and regional Italian dishes. A select, moderately priced Italian wine list will also debut. Chef Angelini and co/chef-owner Gianluca Sarti will remain in the kitchen. Minestraio, The Orlando, 8384 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-782-8384.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Chef Nick Albrecht is the new executive chef at CASA downtown. Included in his spring menu are seasonal dishes such as the Pescado con Flores de Calabaza (sautéed rockfish topped with squash blossoms on a bed of cilantro rice with grilled avocados). Albrecht was formerly chef de cuisine at Brasa in Seattle. CASA, California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-621-2249.
 
Brian Moyers has left The Blvd and is now the chef at BLT Steak on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. The Blvd, at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, will continue to serve a menu of American cuisine. BLT Steak, 8720 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-1950.
 

CLOSINGS

Gardens at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills will close at the end of July, with a new restaurant concept to open in the space by the end of 2009. We have to say that it was about time---not for the cuisine of chef Ashley James---but for the décor. In the meantime, diners will still be able to experience James's cuisine at Windows Lounge. Gardens, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 300 S. Doheny Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 310-273-2222.
 
Hamasaku on Melrose Avenue has temporarily closed. The restaurant plans to re-open during mid-summer with added outdoor seating. Hamasaku, 8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90069, 323-651-5866.
 
David Myers' stylish La Cienega bakery and confectionary Boule, beloved for its signature macarons, has closed. It will be replaced a few doors down by Myers' new Comme Ca Bakery, which will focus on artisan breads. Boule, 408 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048, no phone.
 
The popular Wilshire spot Zu Robata has closed, with rumors that it may eventually re-open with new ownership. Zu Robata, 12217 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, no phone.
 

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