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August 2014 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - AUGUST 2014 Archive


OPENINGS

Adjacent to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market is Field Trip at the Farmers Kitchen, offering brunch and lunch built around whatever is fresh and in season. Chefs Minh Phan (Beachwood Café, Gaji) and Sarah Lange (The Hart & the Hunter, Flores) have put their heads together and come up with a distinctly California twist. Their menu is an intriguing blend of Asian and Amish, featuring items as diverse as smoked sesame chicken banh mi and croque "monster," on a housemade English muffin with Amish bologna, egg, roasted tomatoes, béchamel and jack cheese. There are decadent pastries (sausage stuffed pretzel, anyone?) and a cold-brew coffee bar. Brunch & Lunch Tues.-Sun. Field Trip at the Farmers Kitchen, 1555 Vine St., Ste. 119, Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-467-7600.
 
New on the nightlife scene is the Gatsby-themed nightclub and cocktail den at The Argyle. Relive those halcyon days of decadence, dancing and drinking as you take a turn on the 1920s-inspired boutique dance floor to DJ-curated songs, and then descend below the club into an underground den for craft cocktails (some served in marshmallows) and small plates. Upscale, fashionable attire is required. The cocktail den is open nightly, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., while the nightclub is open Tues. and Sat., 10 pm.-2 a.m. For reservations, text 310-905-4793 or e-mail reservations@ArgyleHotel.com. The Argyle, 1600 Argyle Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028, 310-905-4793 (text only).
 
The Cardiff Giant hospitality group (The Churchill, Clover Juice, The Hudson) and executive chef Joshua Drew (Farmshop) plan to open Cordoba in Los Feliz. The restaurant will be designed by Sam Marshall of Marshall Projects (Gjelina, Laurel Hardware), and will feature natural wood accents and textures, South American ceramics, along with a traditional Argentinean grill as the focal point of the room. Drew’s Argentinean-inspired menu will also highlight seasonal, local ingredients. Cordoba, 1816 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, no phone.
 
Quinn and Karen Hatfield (Hatfield's, The Sycamore Kitchen) will open Odys & Penelope in January 2015. The meat-centric concept will be influenced by the cooking methods of grilling and smoking. Odys & Penelope, 127 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
 
If you were a fan of the ice cream truck last year, soon you can find awesome “Salty Pimp” and “Bea Arthur” soft-serve at the upcoming Big Gay Ice Cream Shop in downtown L.A., set to open in late 2014. Expect shakes in flavors like ginger-curry, and offbeat ice cream toppings including wasabi pea dust, Sriracha and Key lime curd.
 
Oyster chef extraordinaire Christophe Happillon will open The Oyster Gourmet at the Grand Central Market in downtown L.A. later this fall. Expect oysters paired with wines, and likely other shellfish, too. The Oyster Gourmet, Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
 
Restaurateur/chef partners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun) are rumored to have another Fairfax restaurant coming down the pike this winter, tentatively called Jon & Vinny’s, with a wine program by Helen Johannesen. Jon & Vinny’s, 412 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
 
In conjunction with the upcoming opening of their sophomore restaurant, Mexicano in Baldwin Hills, Jaime and Ramiro will also debut Flautas, their adjacent fast-casual ode to the traditional Mexican dish of crisp-fried Mexican rolled tacos. Not to be confused with the ubiquitous taquito, flautas are larger in size, and as is traditional in the chefs’ native Jalisco, are topped with various sauces, salsas and moles. Look for shrimp with tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, topped with roasted tomatillo sauce; cochinita pibil filled with roasted pork shoulder meat marinated with orange juice and spices; and fish flautas filled with tomato, onion, cilantro and a touch of chipotle chile. Beverages will include a selection of aguas frescas and signature lemonades. Flautas will be located inside the food court at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, adjacent to Mexicano. Flautas, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008, no phone.
 
Joan’s on Third has introduced a second location in Studio City, on the site of an old post office on Ventura Place. The 4,000-square-foot site shares the original location’s airy feel, with marble counters and accented with Joan’s signature Holstein black and white cows, alongside antique community-dining tables. The kitchen offers comfort food ranging from omelets to turkey meatloaf and Chinese chicken salad. Gourmet items found in the marketplace include jams, Champagne, barrel-aged balsamic vinegar, cheeses, olives and smoked nuts. Joan's on Third, 12059 Ventura Pl., Studio City, CA 91604, 818-201-3900.
 
Josh Goldman (Church & State) and Julian Cox (Rivera) are the masterminds behind Brilliantshine, Santa Monica’s latest entrant in the cocktail-and-small-plate arena. The drink menu features not only craft cocktails and spirits, but also wine, sherry and beer, while edibles include short ribs, shrimp tartare and lamb sausage. Paiche veteran executive chef Richie Lopez has developed a menu that pairs with the bar’s offerings. Brilliantshine also has a late-night menu and serves weekend brunch on its spacious patio and cozy interior space. Dinner Tues.-Sun., Brunch Sat. & Sun. Brilliantshine, 522 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-0045.
 
Taking over the former MEZZE space is The NICE GUY, a project from h.wood.group (Bootsy Bellows, Hooray Henry's, SHOREbar). Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto, most recently of Michael's, has crafted an Italian-influenced menu that includes several pizzas. The NICE GUY, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048, 310-360-9500.
 
Gadarene Swine will open in Studio City in September Chef Phillip Frankland Lee (Scratch Bar) will open The Gadarene Swine in Studio City in September. Lee will offer a chef’s counter with an innovative all-vegetable omakase menu; an a la carte menu (also all vegetables, despite the restaurant's moniker, which is a Biblical allusion) will be available at tables. Expect beer and wine. The Gadarene Swine, 11266 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, 818-508-5500.
 
Sherman Oaks’ Hamburger Hamlet has reopened, revived by new owners. Longtime Hamlet fans can expect the same burgers, fries and shakes as in days of yore. Hamburger Hamlet, 4419 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403, 818-784-1183.
 
Tsujita LA owner Takehiro Tsujita has partnered with veteran sushi chef Shigeru Kato on Sushi Tsujita, now open on Sawtelle. Expect upscale classic Japanese omakase, with Edomae-style sushi, along with cocktails, sake and Japanese beer. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Sushi Tsujita, 2006 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 310-231-1177.
 
David Cooley (The Abbey Food & Bar) and sbe have announced that they are under construction with Cooley’s, a 10,000-square-foot gastropub in West Hollywood, with a large patio that abuts West Hollywood Park. Cooley's, 8936 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
 
Nightlife impresario Johnny Zander (Green Door, Teddy’s) has opened Grandpa Johnson’s, a glamorous deco-styled cocktail bar on Cahuenga. Signature cocktails created by Alex Straus (Bon Vivant) include the Crockard (Atlantico Reserva, Cardamaro, Cognac, curacao and black walnut bitters) and the T-Bizz (Angel's Envy Bourbon, ginger syrup, apple cider, amaro, lemon juice and bitters). Grandpa Johnson's, 1638 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, no phone.
 
On Ocean Park in Santa Monica, Carvery Kitchen brings together traditional deli fare with a healthy, farmers' market twist. Roman Shishalovsky (Roman’s) offers a menu with a variety of French dip sandwiches including chicken, roast beef, pulled pork and fish sandwiches, as well as wraps, plates and “farm salads” like the “new Mediterranean” with quinoa pilaf, falafel puff, greens, flax seeds and tahini-basil dressing. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat. Carvery Kitchen, 3101 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-450-0880.
 
Spacecraft Group and designer Kris Keith announce their latest project Trejo's Tacos, a new modern Mexican cantina and restaurant that will open this fall in an old Taco Bell location. The 1,000-square-foot space will feature Mexican-themed murals made from custom tiles and will include outdoor seating. Trejo's Tacos, 1048 S La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019, no phone.
 
The Sunset Strip’s former XIV space has become sbe’s glamorous new Hollywood nightlife hot spot, HYDE Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails, with former "Top Chef" contestant Chris Crary (formerly of Whist) helming the stoves. Dishes include sweetbread caponata, bone marrow with uni and pistachio on brioche toast, squid ink linguine, local black cod and braised beef cheek with celery root purée. Signature cocktails, courtesy of Ryan Magarian, run from a whisky ginger to a raspberry maple sour; the boutique wine list is global, but leans towards Napa; and a long list of bubbles is crowned with a $1600 Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades rosé. Dinner nightly. HYDE Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails, 8117 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-940-1650.
 
Known for its California "comfort food," chef Alan Jackson's Lemonade, which has other locations around Southern California and beyond, opened inside a remodeled Burbank building. On offer are the signature marketplace salads, slow-cooked braises, artisan sandwiches and soups. All menu items, including the various flavors of lemonade, rely on seasonal ingredients. Lemonade, 4400 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91505, No phone.
 
Sprinkles Americana has opened at The Americana at Brand, serving up its popular cupcakes, and now features cookies and ice cream, too. A cupcake ATM provides a sugar fix 24/7. Ice cream comes in red velvet waffle cones or sundaes, with house-made sauces and toppings. Lunch & Dinner daily. Sprinkles Americana, The Americana at Brand, 889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210, 888-220-2210.
 
COMMISSARY has opened at The Line Los Angeles in Koreatown Located in a poolside greenhouse on the second floor of The Line Los Angeles in Koreatown, COMMISSARY is a vegetable-centric concept from chef Roy Choi (POT, Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go, Chego, A-Frame, Sunny Spot). COMMISSARY, The Line Los Angeles, 3515 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010, 213-368-3030.
 
Venice Whaler has been reopened with a chic new design from Kelly Patry (Seven Grand) and a revamped menu from chef Nick Liberato. Food offerings include homemade corn and clam chowder with bacon, tuna poke with microgreens, Kobe-style beef sliders, and asparagus and burrata. NYC’s Balthazar alum Anthony Settecase has debuted a new cocktail program, and there’s more than a dozen craft beers on tap. Lunch & Dinner daily. Venice Whaler, 10 W. Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292, 310-821-8737.
 
Lou Amdur, former owner of LOU wine bar and current owner of Lou Wine and Provisions on Virgil Ave., has opened Lou Wine Shop & Tastings. Lou Wine Shop & Tastings, 1911 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-305-7004.
 
Korean eatery Tang is now open in Little Tokyo on the third floor of Weller Court, serving up rice bowls, noodles, tempura and traditional items like bulgogi and a variety of savory Korean soups. Lunch & Dinner daily. Tang, Weller Court, 123 Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka St. Ste. 302, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-346-9709.
 
In Atwater Village, Alex Sarkissian has opened a second location of his popular Beverly Hills Mediterranean eatery Momed. Set in the Atwater Crossing complex, the 7,000-square-foot restaurant encompasses an indoor Moroccan-styled dining room and a sprawling courtyard patio dotted with olive trees. Consulting chef Jeremy Strubel (formerly of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen) offers a menu with many of the flagship’s favorites, but also an expanding menu of small plates. Expect duck schwarma, kebabs, a lamb burger, kale tabbouleh and golden beet tzatziki, alongside pide flatbreads and tagines. To drink, find Mediterranean wines and craft beers. Momed, 3245 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-522-3488.
 
The Southern California chain Burger Lounge has set up shop in Larchmont Village. The menu is short but satisfying: beef, turkey, albacore and veggie burgers, salads, fries, onion rings and milk shakes. Burger Lounge, 217 Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004, 323-462-2310.
 

NEWS BYTES

Barbershop Ristorante pop-up restaurant by chef Walter el Nagar Barbershop Ristorante Returns with "Project Transition"
Chef Walter el Nagar's Barbershop Ristorante returns with "Project Transition" (5220 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016) from September 10-October 3, 2014. The cost for the tasting menu is $75 per person. Seatings are available Wednesday-Friday at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Reservations are required. For tickets, please visit www.eventbrite.com
 
Delphine at the W Hollywood hotel has introduced a new happy hour menu New Rosé Happy Hour at Delphine
Delphine at the W Hollywood hotel has introduced a new Rosé Happy Hour menu available in the bar and lounge Mon.-Fri. from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. On offer are $6 glasses of rosé wines from France, Italy and California, plus $7 mixed rosé drinks like rosé sangria. There’s also a selection of $7 market-inspired small plates like carrot “tartare” and duck rillettes. This happy hour will be offered through October 31, 2014, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the fight against breast cancer. Delphine, W Hollywood Hotel & Residences, 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-798-1355.
 
Fifty Seven Debuts Brunch
Fifty Seven, the downtown Arts District restaurant that presents a rotating roster of chefs from around the country, has started brunch with signature items from chef Josh Drew. Bakery items featuring a rosemary sticky bun with pine nuts and plum preserves; brunch dishes include smoked king salmon with pickled red onion, Drake Family Farm goat cheese and cucumbers, and steak and eggs served with two sunny side up eggs, tomato persillade, watercress and salsa criolla. Bottomless rosé is available for $16 per person, and there’s also a build-your-own michelada kit that serves two people and includes Pacifico, tomato juice, Sal de Gusano, Worcestershire, fish sauce and house-made hot sauce. Fifty Seven, 712 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021, 213-816-8157.
 
Northern halibut, one of the new dishes at Acabar New Dishes & Cocktails at Acabar
Acabar chef de cuisine Kevin Luzande has added new dishes to the Mediterranean-inspired menu, including northern halibut with verbena broth, pistachios, forbidden rice and summer squash. In addition, mixologists Josh Goldman and Julian Cox have also created new seasonal cocktails like the Tequila Por Mi Amante made with strawberry infused tequila, Vermouth di Torino, lemon and acid phosphate. Acabar, 1510 N. Stanley Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-876-1400.
 
Celebrity Cruises’ “Top Chef at Sea” Features LA Chefs
“Top Chef” alum Brooke Williamson (The Tripel, Hudson House, Playa Provisions) will be among the participants on Celebrity Cruises’ “Top Chef at Sea,” departing August 15th for a week-long adventure in Alaska. Meanwhile, chef Chris Crary will be one of the "chef'testants" on the September 19th cruise in Europe. For more information, visit www.celebritycruises.com
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Firefly in Studio City welcomes executive chef Paul Shoemaker Firefly in Studio City welcomes executive chef Paul Shoemaker, whose culinary résumé includes Water Grill, Alain Ducasse, The French Laundry, Providence, Bastide and Savory. Expect seasonal creations like "Chilled Maine Lobster Bloody Mary Salad" with heirloom tomatoes, celery sorbet and caviar. Firefly, 11720 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, 818-762-1833.
 
Upscale French restaurant Patina at the Walt Disney Concert Hall has reopened with a new executive chef. Expect dishes like crispy scale black sea bass, mushroom, violet potato, savoy cabbage and a citrus chamomile broth. Patina, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-972-3331.
 

CLOSINGS

Chef Paul Shoemaker's Juicy Lucy, a burger joint at TASTE at FIGat7th in downtown, has closed. Juicy Lucy, TASTE at FIGat7th, 735 S. Figueroa St., Ste. #120, Los Angeles, CA 91107, no phone.
 
The Palm in West Hollywood will close its doors on September 30, 2014, after nearly 40 years in business. The steakhouse chain will open a new location of The Palm in Beverly Hills at 267 North Canon Drive in November 2014. The Palm, 9001 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-550-8811.
 
Chef Fabio Viviani's North Hollywood restaurant Firenze Osteria closed after service on July 31, 2014. The restaurant will undergo renovations and re-open with new ownership in late fall 2014. Viviani will create a new menu of seasonally focused Italian cuisine, and there will be a focus on live music. Firenze Osteria, 4212 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91602, 818-760-7081.
 

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