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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
August 2011 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - AUGUST 2011 Archive


OPENINGS

In Manhattan Beach, the American Farmhouse Tavern & Dining Hall is now serving farm-to-table meals inspired by the cattle ranching traditions of California's Central coast. Owner Orlando Novoa, a chef, entrepreneur and Manhattan Beach resident who has deep roots in the history of regional Santa Maria barbecue, roasts choice sustainably sourced meats over a red oak fire. The produce at the restaurant also comes directly from California Coastal area family farms. The Tavern offers handcrafted cocktails, a Central Coast-inspired wine list and craft beers. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. American Farmhouse Tavern & Dining Hall, 924 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-376-8044.
 
Seating area at SmithHouse Tap & Grill SmithHouse Tap & Grill has opened in Century City, with former "Top Chef" contestant Angelo Sosa creating the menu as consulting chef. The prominent bar features 120 beers on tap and even a few tables offer their own taps in a pub-like setting with worn brick and vintage-style lighting. In addition to a bone marrow-topped burger, you'll find pineapple-glazed ribs, gazpacho, tuna pastrami, mussels frites and filet mignon. The restaurant is a venture of Curtis Nysmith, who owns The Blue Boar in Hollywood. SmithHouse Tap & Grill, 10351 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 310-432-4360.
 
A new Italian restaurant, Pici Enoteca, has opened in Beverly Hills. Expect antipasti like artichoke fritters and spiced eggplant with paprika oil, and pizzas ranging from lemongrass with ginger to roasted forest mushroom with crispy leeks. Also, find hand rolled Tuscan-style pici pasta with sauces including Bolognese, puttanesca and vodka, while among desserts is a chocolate pudding pistachio tart. Pici Enoteca, 212 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-278-7424.
 
Chef Jose Prado, formerly of The Ivy, has opened Cocina Primavera in Beverly Hills, partnering with his children Lupe Prado Sanchez and Joe Prado. Expect contemporary California cuisine with tropical Latin American flavors in dishes such as crab cakes, ceviche, sweet corn tamales, oven-roasted white fish, grilled swordfish and buttermilk fried chicken. Cocina Primavera, 9111 West Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-550-7834.
 
Hyde has returned on the Sunset Strip, with a new remodel and menu that includes bacon-wrapped honey dates, shrimp and tarragon with crostini, Kobe tenderloin, sliders on toasted brioche, mini-dogs made of Berkshire pork sausage, and chocolate parfait. Signature cocktails include a cucumber watermelon margarita and pineapple passionfruit sidecar. Hyde, 8029 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-525-2444.
 
Pico's newest unique fusion spot, MexiKosher, comes from L.A.'s most inventive Kosher chef Katsuji Tanabe (Mastro's Steakhouse, Shilo's). The all-Kosher menu includes a high-end birria made with lamb, beef and dried chilis, which is braised for 16 hours, as well as traditional favorites like carne asada, burritos, tacos and nachos. Chef's specials change daily. Just don't expect carnitas, and don't show up on Saturday until the end of Shabbat. MexiKosher, 8832 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035, 310-271-0900.
 
Hatfield's chefs and co-owners Quinn and Karen Hatfield will open The Sycamore Kitchen in early 2012. This neighborhood restaurant will offer seasonally focused fare and sweets marked by a wide array of items made in-house, from house-roasted meats to pickled vegetables to breads. A world-class coffee program will complement pastries such as chocolate babka muffins, salted caramel pecan rolls, brown butter and sour cherry scones and lemon polenta cake. Menu items will feature a griddled English muffin with glazed pork belly, poached egg and herbed hollandaise; baked brioche French toast with citrus marmalade; a roast beef sandwich with horseradish creme fraiche, arugula and caramelized onions. The restaurant will be located at 143 South La Brea Ave., and will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and early dinner. Brunch will be served on Saturdays and Sundays. The Sycamore Kitchen, 143 South La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone available.
 
Chef Michael Voltaggio, owner of ink.sack "Top Chef" winner Michael Voltaggio has opened ink.sack, a sandwich spot near his other restaurant ink. Offerings range from a bahn mi with pork cheek, chicharrónes and pickled vegetables to The José Andrés, a.k.a. The Spanish Godfather, composed of Serrano ham, chorizo, lomo and manchego. ink.sack, 8360 Melrose Ave., #107, Los Angeles, CA 90069, 323-655-7225.
 
The fashion district has a new haute haunt in Pattern Bar. Chic cocktails include the Dior, made with Belvedere vodka, Pages Parfait crème de violet and orange bitters. The lunch menu features gourmet salads, fancy toasted panini and Venezuelan arepas (corncakes). Tapas like slow-braised pork drizzled with guava reduction are served from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. There's also Sunday brunch. Lunch & Dinner daily. The Pattern Bar, 100 W. 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-627-7774.
 
Echo Park's stylish new Mohawk Bend is housed in a century-old vaudeville theater, replete with four eating/lounge spaces including a dining room under a cathedral ceiling and a patio. A seasonal menu includes polenta with caramelized leeks and roasted cauliflower; goat cheese and artichoke rolls; Carlsbad mussels with fennel and vadouvan; a duck and pork pub burger; and a slew of gourmet pizzas including the Pig Newton, made with locally cured Serrano ham, goat cheese, fig and rosemary tapenade. For drinks, expect 72 taps of craft beer, artisan and classic cocktails, and stainless steel kegged California wines. Dinner Tues-Sun. Mohawk Bend, 2141 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 213-483-2337.
 
Michael Cardenas (Lazy Ox Canteen, Aburiya Toranoko) and chef/partner Hiroyuki Fujita (Hamasaku, Sushi Roku) have turned the former downtown East restaurant into a casual curry/pasta spot, the Fat Spoon.  Expect a short menu under $12 with fusion curries featuring top ingredients (Kurobota pork cutlet and Jidori chicken), and fusion-style pastas. Sides include mini corn dogs. From the bar, there's beer, sake, wine and shochu. Lunch & Dinner daily. Fat Spoon, 329 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-621-7890.
 
Larry's has opened in Venice, led by chef Brendan Collins and operations manager Carolos Tomazos of Waterloo & City. The cuisine features French, Italian and Californian influences, and all dishes are priced under $15. Specialties include barbecued eel and foie gras terrine, halibut and scallop ceviche with nanjim dressing, pizzas and charcuterie, along with 26 draft beers and a global wine list. The indoor-outdoor restaurant is named after famed Venice artist Larry Bell. Larry's is open for lunch and dinner nightly. Larry's, 24 Windward Ave., Venice, CA 90291, 310-399-2700.
 
Chef Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery has opened its doors. It's located in the same Beverly Hills building as Bouchon and features a menu of muffins and croissants, salads, sandwiches, cookies and signature bouchons. Bouchon Bakery, Garden Building, 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-271-9910.
 
Chef David Myers (Comme Ca) will open a restaurant at Hollywood & Vine that will be similar to his Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa. The menu will feature pizzas (with toppings like house-cured pork cheek and fennel pollen) and Italian dishes made with farmers market ingredients.
 
Opening mid-August is Fônuts, a contemporary riff on the all-American doughnut shop, a venture of pastry chef Waylynn Lucas (formerly of The Bazaar by José Andrés and Patina) and partner Nancy Truman. Using innovative steaming and baking techniques, the usual texture of a doughnut is achieved without frying, and even some gluten-free and vegan options will be offered. Flavors include classically inspired salted caramel, nostalgic red velvet or peanut butter and jelly, and avant-garde alternatives like rosemary-olive oil, maple-bacon, and chorizo and cheddar. Guests can linger with premium artisanal coffees from LAMILL in the upscale space. Fônuts, 8104 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-592-3075.
 

NEWS BYTES

THE TASTE Adds Culinary Panel Discussions September 2-5
The inaugural Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine's THE TASTE (see Culinary events listings) has added panel discussions including an interview with chef Ludo & Krissy Lefebvre, led by Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons (September 3); California Pinot and "Bling or Bargain," co-hosted by wine experts Belinda Chang (wine director at The Modern in New York City) and Justin Warner, co-chef/owner of Do or Dine in Brooklyn (September 3-4); and "Food City: The New Language of L.A.," moderated by L.A. Times Deputy Food Editor Betty Hallock, with panelists Roy Choi (Kogi food truck and Chego), Sang Yoon, chef/owner of Father's Office and Lukshon, Jet Tila, chef/owner of Wazuzu in Las Vegas, and Mario Alberto, executive chef of Chimú (September 4.) For more information, including programming and event updates and tickets, visit www.latimes.com/THETASTE.
 
The new patio deck at Lola Lola's Opens New Outdoor Dining Patio
Next time you head to Lola's in West Hollywood for some of their signature martinis and contemporary American cuisine, you'll be able to sip and savor en plein air. Lola's has built a new patio deck onto the back corner of the restaurant, away from busy Fairfax Avenue, with space for six tables. Simply decorated in a modern style, Lola's new patio is the perfect setting for a late weekend brunch or evening cocktails. Lola's, 945 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-654-5652.
 
Custom Gourmet Picnic Baskets Created by The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Going to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl or planning a beach day? Pre-order a custom picnic basket created by The Peninsula Beverly Hills' chef James Overbaugh. Ranging from $39-$49, the three-course meals include freshly baked breads and butter, an appetizer, main and a dessert. Choose from items such as smoked salmon with capers, onions and sliced tomato or jumbo prawns with a creamy cocktail sauce, and roasted chicken breast with cherry tomatoes, potato salad and whole-grain mustard dressing or Cobb salad (shrimp or chicken) with tomato, avocado, egg and blue cheese with a bacon and herb dressing. Finish off with passion fruit cheesecake or assorted cookies. Guests may also order à la carte snacks, bottled wine or soft drinks. Call ahead to organize the meals and have a Peninsula staff member bring the basket to your car complete with cutlery and dishes. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-551-2888, 800-462-7899.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Chef Ben Bailly has left his post at French-Italian restaurant Fraiche in Culver City. Fraiche, 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-839-6800.
 

CLOSINGS

Culver City's modern Korean restaurant MoKo has closed. It was rumored that G2 (Gyenari 2) would take over the space, but those plans are on hold. MoKo, 9540 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, no phone.
 
Chef/restaurateur/caterer Onil Chibás has closed his Elements Café in Old Pasadena, but has incorporated many of its dishes into his more ambitious Elements Kitchen adjacent to the historic Pasadena Playhouse. Prices have been reduced at Elements Kitchen to attract some of the more casual café's loyal customers. Elements Café, 107 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, no phone available.
 
Michael Mina's West Hollywood restaurant XIV has shuttered. It's rumored that a new concept from Sam Nazarian's sbe will take its place. XIV, 8117 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046, no phone.
 
The space formerly occupied by BondSt Beverly Hills in the Thompson Beverly Hills is being transformed for a new dining concept opening in the fall. Rumor has it that the restaurant will be named Caulfield's and will serve American bistro fare. BondSt Beverly Hills, Thompson Beverly Hills, 9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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