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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
August 2008 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - AUGUST 2008 Archive


OPENINGS

Five Guys Burgers and Fries has made the jump to the West Coast, opening a location in the Southbay Pavilion in Carson with plans for more branches on the way. Five Guys takes pride in using fresh ingredients---never-frozen patties, potatoes shipped from Idaho, and buns delivered overnight from the Five Guys bakery in Virginia. Kosher style hot dogs and "veggie" grilled cheese sandwiches are also available. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 20700 Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA 90746, 310-515-7700.
 
Ivan Kane, creator of Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce nightclubs, has opened Café Was near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood. The restaurant features a piano lounge and a menu of French bistro fare including classics like moules frites and onion soup au gratin. Café Was, 1521 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-466-5400.
 
Apple Restaurant & Lounge Chef Bryan Ogden has opened Apple Restaurant & Lounge in West Hollywood. This is the first project from Ogden, who previously helmed the kitchen at his father's restaurant Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Ogden's contemporary American menu features sustainable and organic ingredients and offers dishes like seared blue fin tuna sashimi with hearts of palm, spicy basil ice cream and ginger-dusted crispy rice; Northern California porcini tartlet with poached egg, wild arugula and English pea salad; and Santa Barbara spot prawns with Haas avocado, crunchy lime tapioca and organic soy. Apple Restaurant & Lounge, 665 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-358-9191.
 
Andrew Steiner, the former fromager from Patina and general manager of The Foundry on Melrose, has opened Andrew's Cheese Shop in Santa Monica. The store specializes in artisanal and farmhouses cheeses, ranging from soft to hard, cow's milk to sheep's milk. Specialty foods such as coffee beans, caviar, chocolates and breads, as well as cheese-related products like fondue kits and books are also available. Andrew's Cheese Shop, 728 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 310-393-3308.
 
The Stork has been born in a space behind Hollywood's Kodak Theater. The supper club comes from nightlife entrepreneurs Loyal Pennings (LAX), John Terzian and Grace Fernandez and boasts DJ AM as among its investors. Chef Steven Arroyo of Cobras & Matadors created the menu, which offers dishes like sweet corn agnolotti, roasted marrow with herb salad, fish and chips and steak frites with chive aioli. The Stork, 1738 N. Orange Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-462-3663.
 
Hans and Patti Röckenwagner have opened Röckenwagner Bakery SM. The space is located near the Third Street Promenade, and is custom-made using sustainable materials. Expect a similar complement of baked goods to Rockenwagner's Mar Vista bakery, items like ham and cheese croissants, bacon and cheese twists, jalapeño pretzels and blueberry corn muffins. Röckenwagner Bakery SM, 311 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-394-4267.
 
Doug Zell signed a lease on a second L.A. location for Intelligentsia, in Venice. The space will be twice the size of the Silver Lake location. Expect two separate coffee bars, a high-volume bar similar to what you'll find at Sunset Junction and a more specialized bar with single-origin espresso drinks and no milk. At the slower-paced bar, baristas will make coffee by hand using manual methods like vacuum pots, Eva Solo, French press and Chemex. Cuppings (the coffee equivalent of wine tastings) will also be available. If the coffee gods shine their light on the Chicago-based company, the Westside branch will debut in October.
 

NEWS BYTES

The HOPE Program in the Childrens Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Childrens Hospital Los Ang Club Culinaire Announces Donation
Club Culinaire of French Cuisine has chosen The HOPE Program in the Childrens Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles as the recipient of a $30,000 donation. This gift will help the program promote health, wellness, and culinary and lifestyle education for patients and their families. The Club will also conduct cooking demonstrations at the hospital, and will provide healthy recipes to be posted on The HOPE Program website. Club Culinaire of French Cuisine, whose members include French and French-influenced chefs such as Jean-François Meteigner of La Cachette, Neal Fraser of Grace, and Josiah Citrin of Mélisse, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about French cuisine and products. For more information about Club Culinaire, please visit www.clubculinaire.org.
 
Prix-Fixe for All
For the value-oriented diner, Cézanne's executive chef Desi Szonntagh now offers daily-changing prix-fixe meals for lunch and dinner Mon.-Thurs. The three-course lunch is priced at $25 and may include items like a Cobb salad; a New York steak sandwich on baguette with Maui onion crisps, arugula salad and french fries; and a daily dessert special. For the three-course dinner, priced at $35, the menu may feature dishes such as shrimp and wild mushroom spring roll; organic salmon served with cilantro pesto, fresh egg noodles and a hoisin glaze; and a chocolate mocha torte. Cézanne, Le Merigot a JW Marriott Beach Hotel & Spa, Santa Monica, 1740 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-9700, 800-323-7500.
 
Extended Eating Options
The Beverly Hills location of Kate Mantilini has launched a late-night menu, available on Friday and Saturday nights, beginning at 10 p.m. Selections include sautéed sand dabs with lemon caper sauce, a blue-cheese bacon burger with beer-battered fries, frogs' legs with "plenty of garlic," and meatloaf with mashed potatoes, gravy and "the almighty kale." If you prefer breakfast, there are pancakes and smoked salmon Benedict. The restaurant also features a live DJ. Kate Mantilini, 9101 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-278-3699.
 
Downtown Dining Deal
Blue Velvet executive chef Jonathan McDowell is offering a three-course prix-fixe dinner. The courses consist of Santa Barbara spot prawn ravioli with pea tendrils, asparagus, and Oro Blanco and Ruby Red grapefruit and blood orange-sherry glaze; hormone-free veal with summer corn succotash, corn milk and tomato water soufflé, mint and basil pistou; and blueberry yogurt parfait with a honeydew shot, watermelon granita and lemon sorbet. The meal is available Monday-Thursday evenings for $45 per person, plus tax and tip. Blue Velvet, The Flat, 750 Garland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-239-0061.
 
Olympics Menu at Darren’s
In recognition and celebration of the Olympics, chef/owner Darren Weiss of Darren's in Manhattan Beach is offering a special menu that pays tribute to a variety of the countries participating in the Games. The countries are each represented with a signature dish----a selection of charcuterie and Manchego cheese for Spain, fried calamari rings with marinara sauce for Italy, and spicy ahi tartare over sweet rice cake for Japan, just to name a few. This menu will be offered in lieu of Darren's regular menu just for the duration of the Olympics, and during happy hour (Mon.-Fri. from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) the items will be offered at half price. Darren's, 1141 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-802-1973.
 
While Away Sundays at Whist
A new à la carte brunch menu has been unveiled at Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica. The menu offers a few twists on traditional brunch items, such as the "Green Eggs and Ham" made with poached organic eggs, Canadian bacon and green chive hollandaise, along with other sweet and savory options like roasted vegetable and shrimp enchiladas, and sourdough pancakes with organic plum butter and Tahitian vanilla whipped cream. Whist has also expanded their brunch cocktail selection, which now includes a ‘Green' Bloody Mary blending Absolut Vodka with green tomatoes, cucumber, tomatillos, green onions and jalapenos. Brunch is served Sundays from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-8711.
 
Governor Tackles Trans Fats
The state government is stepping in on behalf of the health of Californians and banning trans fatty acids, which are believed to raise cholesterol and contribute to heart disease. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on July 25 prohibiting the use of trans fats in restaurants beginning in 2010, with California bakeries following suit in 2011. Cities such as New York City and Philadelphia have already adopted similar legislation, but California is the first to enact this ban statewide.
 
Dim Sum Debut
Asia de Cuba has added a new dim sum menu to their regular offerings. Dishes include "Steamed Shrimp and Pineapple Shiu Mai" with a mango ponzu sauce; "Crispy Thai Chicken and Coconut Sesame Dumpling" accompanied by a sweet chili sauce; and "Rum and Honey Glazed Crispy Pork Dumpling" with sesame mustard aioli. For vegetable lovers, the dim sum menu also provides an "Asian/Latin Vegetable Mushu Summer Roll" with a spicy plum sauce. Asia de Cuba's dim sum menu is offered at dinner only. Asia de Cuba, Mondrian, 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-848-6000.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Check back soon for more news.

CLOSINGS

Talesai in West Hollywood has closed with plans to re-open in November in time for its 25th anniversary. The Thai restaurant will revamp its kitchen, wine storage, décor and menu. Talesai, 9043 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
 
Perhaps its hidden location on the backside of the Lake Avenue shopping district was the source of the demise of Radhika's Cuisine of India. The Pasadena restaurant has closed its doors. Radhika's Cuisine of India, 140 Shoppers Ln., Pasadena, CA 91101, no phone.
 
San Gabriel's Sam Woo Seafood, a spin-off of Sam Woo Chinese BBQ, has closed. Sam Woo Seafood, 140 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776, no phone.
 

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