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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
February 2009 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - FEBRUARY 2009 Archive


OPENINGS

A sister location of Manhattan Beach's ROCK'N FISH has opened downtown at L.A. LIVE. Expect beachy martinis, an oyster bar, and dishes including giant coconut prawns, Angus burger, grilled swordfish, seafood jambalaya, Kapalua rib-eye and king crab legs. Lunch & Dinner daily. ROCK N' FISH, 800 West Olympic Blvd. Suite A-160, Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-748-4020.
 
Pastries at Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery Huckleberry Café & Bakery is a sister restaurant to nearby Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen, both owned by Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan. Nathan has been the executive pastry chef at Rustic Canyon since 2007, and will now also serve as both the executive chef and owner of Huckleberry. The menu features a wide range of options, from handcrafted breads, pastries and desserts, to sandwiches, salads, rotisserie meats and pizzas. Selections from the breakfast menu include house-made old-fashioned doughnuts, and "Green Eggs and Ham" with La Quercia prosciutto on house made English muffin. Huckleberry Café & Bakery, 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-2311.
 
Cecconi's has opened in the former Morton's space, which previously hosted Vanity Fair's famous Oscar party. This is Cecconi's second location and the first outside of London. The restaurant offers simply cooked Venetian fare featuring fresh, quality ingredients. We were surprised to hear that Mirko Paderno will be the executive chef since he has a tendency to change restaurants quite often. Cecconi's, 8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-432-2000.
 
Adam Fleischman (ex-BottleRock) has opened Umami Burger on La Brea, in another savory salute to the gourmet burger craze. Creations include Sonoma lamb with harissa yogurt, truffle burger, turkey confit burger, pork and stilton sliders, and a chili burger, which will be accompanied by triple-cooked fries and roasted garlic potato salad. Lunch & Dinner daily. Umami Burger, 850 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-931-3000.
 
Santa Monica Seafood has moved to a bigger location on Wilshire Boulevard and added a restaurant to its renowned retail space, which features 70-plus varieties of fish ranging from kampachi to Tasmanian trout, Belize shrimp and farmed sturgeon. Dine at the oyster bar or the indoor/outdoor seafood café, helmed by ex-Gordon Ramsay sous-chef Scott Leibfried, on Italian dishes like cioppino, steamed mussels, pan-roasted striped bass, and caviar with blini. Lunch & Dinner daily. Santa Monica Seafood, 1000 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-393-5244.
 
On PCH in Malibu, Charlie's has opened in the former Allegria space. An upscale Italian-leaning Cal-Med menu features rosemary skewered shrimp, assorted pizza and pastas, Wagyu rib-eye, roasted Australian lobster tail, and duck in bourbon peppercorn sauce. The wine list offers over 100 labels, with two dozen by the glass, overseen by wine director (and former Bastide head waiter) Tom Laret. Lunch & Dinner daily. Charlie's, 22821 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, 310-456-3132.
 
In Beverly Hills, The Cabbage Patch has opened with chef Samir Mohajer, formerly of Rustic Canyon Seasonal Kitchen & Wine Bar and The Little Door, dishing up fresh local, organic and sustainable fare that includes wild arugula salad, a Niman Ranch BLT, seared tofu bowl, French green lentils, and homemade falafel. They're serving lunch at the moment, but dinner and brunch will be added soon. The Cabbage Patch, 214 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-550-8655.
 
Via the Good Ole Lower Eastside of NYC (and the bayou), Two Boots pizzeria now has an Echo Park location on Sunset Boulevard. The thin crust Cajun-style pizzas include variations like the Bayou Beast with crawfish, barbecue shrimp and andouille sausage, and the Cleopatra Jones swathed in sweet Italian sausage, roasted peppers and onions. Two Boots, 1818 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 213-413-2668.
 
Caffe Primo's Tony Riviera has opened Tony's Steakhouse in the former Crudo and Norman's space in West Hollywood. The kitchen is turning out moderately priced steaks under $25 and Italian specialties including garlic saffron mussels, prosciutto and fig salad, white truffle shrimp fedelini, chicken marsala and veal picata. Dinner nightly. Tony's Steakhouse, 8570 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-289-1145.
 
L.A.'s legendary Conga Room, backed by celebs including Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Smits, is now open at L.A. Live, with its Boca restaurant serving lunch and dinner daily. Executive Chef Alex Garcia dishes up Pan Latin cuisine like chipotle-chicken soft tacos, lobster three ways, classic ropa vieja, jerk pork chop and free-range tenderloin with wild mushroom picadillo. Conga Room, L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Stes. A160 & A260, Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-749-0445.
 
John Sedlar, popularly known as the father of modern Southwest cuisine (and formerly of St. Estephe and Abiquiu) has opened Rivera, a contemporary Latin eatery, across from L.A. Live downtown. There's a hip tequila bar, a lively communal table and a more formal dining room. Menu items include grilled quail with black beans, seared black cod with Serrano ham, and pork shoulder slow-cooked in banana leaves. Rivera, 1050 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-749-1460.
 
Beverly Hills now boasts another swank Italian eatery in the Drago empire, Via Alloro, this time from brothers Giacomino and Tanino Drago, with former Valentino chef Giacomo Pettinari at the helm. A dazzling list of artisanal cocktails offsets a luxe menu of dishes like swordfish carpaccio, grilled langoustine, handmade burrata ravioli, branzino baked in sea salt, and steak fiorentina. Lunch & Dinner daily. Via Alloro, 301 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-275-2900.
 
In Hollywood, Locali has opened on Franklin, offering localistas a green, "sustainable" version of 7-11, stocking healthful-gourmet prepared foods and groceries of the local, organic, vegan and fair-trade variety. No high fructose corn syrup here---but find organic microbrews, biodynamic wines, wild organic teas, along with food products from La Guera Tamaleria, Carmela ice cream, the Coffee Cellar and M Café de Chaya. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Locali, 5825 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-466-1360.
 
FIG at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows FIG, located in The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, has opened for dinner service. Chef Raymond Garcia helms the restaurant, which is conceived as a California bistro showcasing ingredients from local farmers markets. The menu features dishes such as curly endive salad with soft poached duck egg, crispy pig's ear and cider vinaigrette; sablefish brandade with tomato fondue; and Muscovy duck leg with baby savoy cabbage. FIG, The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-319-3111.
 

NEWS BYTES

Afternoon Tea at The Bazaar
At the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, The Bazaar by José Andrés' Patisserie is now serving afternoon tea on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for $25 per person. Ten different teas are offered, accompanied by the likes of scones, foie gras brioche, goat cheese macarons, cucumber bites with tomato caviar, saffron gum drops and green tea cookies. The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS at Beverly Hills, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90048, 310-246-5555.
 
Luau and Il Sole Offer "Recession" Cocktails
Rolling with the times, Luau and Il Sole are introducing a signature "recession cocktail" at each restaurant that will be calculated daily based on the Dow Jones index. Using a baseline of $14, the "recession price" was calculated according to the Dow's percentage change from one year ago (-37.72 %), which makes the current price of each cocktail $8.72. At the close of business each day this price will be adjusted to reflect the percentage change of the Dow. Luau, 369 N. Bedford Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-274-0090.
 
Late-Night at The Little Door
Every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m., diners can experience the Little Lounge at The Little Door. A late-night menu is available, and DJ Stephanie provides tunes. The Little Door, 8164 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-951-1210.
 
Joe's Introduces New Prix-Fixe Menu
Joe's in Venice has introduced a value priced prix-fixe dinner of three courses for $45. The offerings change nightly, but a sample menu might include almond crusted St. Maure goat cheese with watercress, pomegranate gastrique and apple purée; braised lamb shank with snap peas, baby turnips and fingerling potatoes; and dark chocolate tart with pink peppercorn ice cream and white chocolate curls. In addition, a flight of three wines is priced at $25. Joe's, 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-399-5811.
 
Dining Deals at BOA, Katana and Sushi Roku
Innovative Dining Group's restaurants are featuring new Appetite Stimulus menus available for dinner Sunday-Thursday. BOA Steakhouse (in Santa Monica and West Hollywood) offers a three-course menu for $40 person that includes smoked salmon and caviar as well as filet mignon medallions. Albacore tataki, robatayaki and sushi are served with Katana's four-course menu ($35), while Kobe beef tataki and a selection sushi or jidori chicken teriyaki are available at Sushi Roku (priced at $30 for the Santa Monica and West Hollywood locations, $25 at Sushi Roku in Pasadena).
 
Wino Wednesdays in Hollywood
Ivan Kane's Café Wa s keeps the alcohol flowing with "Wino Wednesdays," offering select half-price bottles of wine from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Weekend brunch also features bottomless champagne, mimosas, Bloody Marys and screwdrivers. Ivan Kane's Cafe Wa s, Sunset + Vine, 1521 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-466-5400.
 
Restaurants Continue DineLA Specials
The second annual dineLA Restaurant Week proved to be such a success that more than 100 participating restaurants (including The Bazaar by José Andrés, Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood and Grace) are extending their three-course prix-fixe specials. Meals will still be available in three price categories: Deluxe Dining is $16 for lunch and $26 for dinner; Premier Dining is $22 for lunch and $34 for dinner, and Fine Dining is $28 for lunch and $44 for dinner (beverages, tax and gratuity are not included). Specific details about the extensions can be found under the "notes" section of each individual restaurant on www.dinela.com/restaurantweek.
 
More than Just Gelato
The popular Studio City Gelato Bar has upgraded its coffee program to complement its artisanal dessert selections, introducing the highly acclaimed Ecco Caffé coffee roasts and espressos, which are prepared with a new state-of-the-art coffee brewing system from Synesso. Ecco premium roasts include Taste of the Harvest reserve, an heirloom variety from Gabriel Carvalho Dias, coffee producer and owner of the Fazenda Cachoiera farm in Brazil. Gelato Bar, 4342 ½ Tujunga Ave., Studio City, CA 91604, 818-487-1717.
 
Wine and Jazz for The Children's Nature Institute at Caf
On Saturday, February 7 from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Café del Rey hosts an afternoon of global wine discoveries, live music and appetizers created specially by Executive Chef Jason Niederkorn. An eclectic wine selection from California, France, Italy and beyond will be featured, and live jazz will be performed by the Maple Drive Jazz Trip. Admission is $70, and all proceeds benefit The Children's Nature Institute's Outreach Program.         Cafe del Rey, 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, 310-823-6395.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Chef Roy of the famous roving Kogi BBQ truck is putting down roots in the kitchen at the Alibi Room in Venice. He'll be dishing up Korean-fusion dishes like taco platters with short rib and spicy pork, kimchi-sesame quesadillas, tofu and citrus salad, pork belly tortas and a Kogi dog with kimchi sauerkraut. Alibi Room, 12236 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, 310-390-9300.
 
After helping owner Mario Del Pero open CASA in downtown LA, chef Kris Morningstar is moving on to start another project. He will remain as a consultant for a few months during the transition to a new yet-to-be-named chef. CASA, California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-621-2249.
 
Jared Levy has been named executive chef of BottleRock. He will lead the kitchen at the downtown BottleRock location, scheduled to open in March, while also overseeing the original Culver City BottleRock. Levy has previously worked with chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence and chef Kris Morningstar, formerly of Blue Velvet. BottleRock, 3847 Main St., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-836-9463.
 

CLOSINGS

On Pico Boulevard, the Santa Monica Bar and Grille has officially closed its doors. Santa Monica Bar and Grille, 3321 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, no phone.
 
Michael Sutton's swank steakhouse The Lodge is now closed. The Lodge, 14 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211, no phone.
 
Venice's popular Meditrina Café, on Abbot Kinney, is now closed. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Meditrina Cafe, 1029 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-396-5000.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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