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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
July 2013 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - JULY 2013 Archive


OPENINGS

CaCao Mexicatessen has added a wine bar called Vinos Del Valle, specializing in craft beers from Tijuana and wines from Baja that reflect Mexico's improving wine industry. Flights are available, and Mexican-owned wineries in California are also featured. Vinos Del Valle, 1576 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041, 323-478-2791.
 
Toronto-based Terroni has opened its new Los Angeles flagship in the historic National City Bank headquarters on Spring Street, a 6,000-square-foot space that showcases the 1924 building's grand architecture, as well as some modern art. A similar menu to the popular Terroni on Beverly Boulevard is served, including more than 30 pizzas. Lunch & Dinner daily. Terroni, 802 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90014, 323-954-0300.
 
The international Chinese restaurant group Hakkasan will open Hakkasan in Beverly Hills on September 19, 2013. Hakkasan made its debut in London in 2001, and has recently opened U.S. locations in Miami Beach, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Hakkasan, 245 N. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, no phone.
 
Four Oaks, once a rustically elegant French restaurant, has been vacant for years, but the Beverly Glen property has now been leased by landscape architect/farmer Robert Walsh and restaurant designer Sandra Costa. The proprietors expect to open under the Four Oaks name in six months and describe their concept as Italian/Mediterranean. Most of the vegetables, as well as their own olive oil, will be produced on the property. Four Oaks, 2181 N. Beverly Glen Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90077, no phone.
 
Truxton's American Bistro has opened in Santa Monica. Expect an American menu featuring burgers, salads, pizzas, chicken and fish dishes, and the kitchen's signature 11-spice beef brisket. Also, find craft beers and California wines. Lunch & Dinner daily. Truxton's American Bistro, 1329 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404, 310-393-8789.
 
A second location of downtown LA's iconic seafood restaurant Water Grill has opened in Santa Monica in the former Ocean Avenue Seafood space. The space includes a raw bar and a station for shucking oysters. Water Grill, 1401 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-394-5669.
 
Little Tokyo’s popular Daikokuya has soft opened at a new location on Sawtelle in the former Ramen Jinya space. Expect tonkotsu ramen, rice bowls and small Japanese plates. Daikokuya, 2208 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, 310-575-4999.
 
Chef/owners Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts (Hudson House, The Tripel) are taking over the now defunct Tower 42 in Playa del Rey to open a new concept tentatively named Playa Provisions. Playa Provisions, 119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey, CA 90293, no phone.
 
Chef/owner Phillip Lee (D’Cache, Hatfield’s) has opened Scratch Bar on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row. Talent in the kitchen includes chef de cuisine Joel David Miller (Cleo) and sous chef Ryan Duval (Animal), while the cocktail program comes courtesy of Dave Fernie (Pour Vous). Lee will be unveiling a five-seat tasting bar soon, but meanwhile a la carte items include puffed smelt and bone marrow, oven-roasted oysters, warm hamachi with sweetbreads, and a dry-aged hangar steak. Lunch Tues.-Fri., Dinner Tues.-Sat. Scratch Bar, 111 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, CA 90211, 310-289-8010.
 
A high-end omakase sushi spot called Q Sushi will debut in downtown Los Angeles. The proposed plans are for the 1,900-square-foot restaurant to seat 42 patrons, including eight seats at a sushi bar and another eight on the patio. Q Sushi, 521 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90014, no phone.
 
Former Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen and Milo & Olive chef Evan Funke has opened a pasta-based concept called Bucato Restaurant in the former Beacon space at Culver City's Helms Bakery complex. Bucato Restaurant, Helms Bakery, 3280 Helms Ave., Culver City, CA 90034, 310-876-0286.
 
Del Frisco's Grille has expanded to downtown Santa Monica in a corner space adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier and features ocean views and a local neighborhood vibe with communal tables and a full bar. The menu from executive chef Daniel Tiger puts a California twist on American comfort food with a focus on local flavors. In addition to a selection of prime steaks, hearty salads, sandwiches and entrées, shareable items including wood-oven baked flatbreads, cheesesteak eggrolls and ahi tacos complement the Grille's ambience. A brunch menu is also available with dishes like red velvet Belgian waffle and chicken fried steak and eggs with chorizo gravy. Del Frisco's Grille, 1551 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-7333.
 
Taking over the former Yujean Kang’s space in Old Pasadena is Osek, a new Korean restaurant --- it’s name means “five colors” in Korean --- serving traditional dishes like bibimbap and galbi. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Osek, 67 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103, 626-644-1299.
 
Not satisfied with five locations of Loteria Grill, passionate chef Jimmy Shaw will be opening another outlet of Loteria Grill in downtown Los Angeles at TASTE at FIGat7th, including a torta concept next door. Later we can expect to find this ever-expanding chain at LAX. For more information, visit www.loteriagrill.com. Loteria Grill, TASTE at FIGat7th, 735 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 91107, no phone.
 
Restaurateur David Reiss (A-Frame, Sunny Spot, littlefork) has opened Salt Air in Venice. The beachy seafood spot on Abbot Kinney sports airy white décor and a menu from chef Greg A. Daniels (Perry St., New York) that includes raw oysters and clams, mussels in coconut curry, a Connecticut-style lobster roll, grilled octopus with chorizo, and fish and chips. For landlubbers, there’s pan-roasted chicken and steak frites. Expect a short wine and beer list, as well as intriguing artisan wine/beer-based cocktails. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Salt Air, 1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-396-9333.
 
Mari Vanna has recently opened in West Hollywood Ginza Project have brought the Old World Russian legend to life with the debut of Mari Vanna, the eatery's third U.S. location, in West Hollywood. Expect home-style Russian cuisine amidst a garden-tea-party atmosphere with four distinct spaces: a fireplace-lit, 30-seat family dining room; a 30-seat sunroom, an intimate 20-seat bar; a 20-seat wine and karaoke lounge; and a 50-seat garden patio. In addition to traditional specialities, the menu presents new items like dragon fruit carpaccio with seafood salad, while classic offerings range from chicken holodets and house-cured herring, to vereniki, blinis and pelmeni. Entrees include beef stroganoff, chicken kotletki and vegetarian golubtsi (stuffed cabbage). Signature cocktails feature the Mors (a Russian berry cocktail), and guests are also serenaded by a full-time entertainer --- the restaurant's very own accordionist who plays alongside dining parties. Mari Vanna, 8475 Melrose Pl., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-655-1977.
 
The folks behind The Park restaurant of Echo Park have opened Monte 52, a new sandwich shop and deli in Highland Park located inside La Tropicana Market. Expect salads, burgers and gourmet sandwiches like an applewood-smoked BLT; barbecued chicken with cheddar and slaw; and a Cuban with ham, roast pork, pickles and Swiss. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Monte 52, La Tropicana Market, 5200 Monte Vista St., Los Angeles, CA 90042, 818-626-0822.
 
Girasol, featuring a market-driven menu from former "Top Chef" contestant C.J. Jacobson, has opened. Interior designer Gulla Jonsdottir has created an environment inspired by the sunflower ("girasol" in Spanish), resulting in a dramatic ceiling of backlit petals. A full bar and predominantly California wine list complement Jacobson's cuisine, which is heavily reliant on local, seasonal ingredients. Dinner is served nightly. Girasol, 11334 Moorpark St., Studio City, CA 91602, 818-924-2323.
 
Nikita is Malibu’s new posh beachside destination restaurant (right next to Nobu), owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. The menu highlights upscale Mediterranean-style cuisine and was created by Massimiliano Blasone (Apsleys, A Heinz Beck in London). Pastry chef Tal Hausen (The Lanesborough, London) is also in the house, joined by wine sommelier Renée-Nicole Kubin, as well as mixologist Greg Seider (Summit Bar, Manhattan.) Dishes include stuffed squash blossoms, lobster salad, crab cakes, fresh pastas, Colorado lamb and Chilean sea bass. Expect a world-class wine list. Nikita, 22716 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, 310-456-3274.
 

NEWS BYTES

Orange zest and oregano scented swordfish steak at Valentino Swordfish Celebration at Valentino
During August, Valentino will feature fresh swordfish and present guests with a gift of a custom commemorative plate with each swordfish antipasto and entrée ordered. Piero Selvaggio and executive chef Nico Chessa have created two dishes inspired by the flavors of Sicily and Sardinia: antipasto of swordfish carpaccio with figs, heirloom tomatoes, olives and capers ($25), and an entrée of orange zest and oregano scented swordfish steak "ai ferri" with peaches, red onions, pomodorini, garbanzo and fava beans sprinkled with bottarga ($45). Valentino, 3115 W. Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-829-4313.
 
Summer’s Monday Night Tasting Menus at The Bazaar by José Andrés
Chef Joshua Whigham has created a new Monday night tasting menu at The Bazaar by Jose Andres. For $55 per person, guests can select three items from more than 15 signature tapas, in addition to snacks that will be served prior to the meal. Featured dishes include the jamón serrano platter; Brussels sprouts with lemon air, lemon purée, apricots and grapes; sautéed cauliflower “couscous;” Ottoman carrot fritters; seared squid and braised Wagyu beef cheeks. The menu is available Mondays during regular dinner hours (6 p.m.-10 p.m.) through the rest of the summer. For reservations, call 310-246-5555. The Bazaar by Jose Andres, SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 310-246-5555.
 
Tempting Tomatoes
Salvatore Marino, chef-owner of Il Grano, is once again offering special tomato dishes on Wednesdays. Expect small plates like a rainbow tomato salad or the "PBT" sandwich made with prosciutto, burrata and tomato. Il Grano, 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 310-477-7886.
 
Tasting Room for Moraga Vineyards?
A public notice of an application to sell alcoholic beverages has been posted at 650 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, an address associated with Moraga Vineyards. Could this mean a tasting room is in the works? The 16-acre Moraga Vineyards estate in Bel Air was recently purchased by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
 
Dog Haus Announces Expansion Plans
Dog Haus, which originally debuted in East Pasadena and has spread to Old Pasadena and Alhambra, has announced franchise opportunities throughout Southern California and 36 states. Dog Haus is known for its various dog renditions created from a proprietary all-beef skinless hot dog, and a condiment bar with 40 different ways to customize. Dog Haus, 105 N. Hill St., Pasadena, CA 91106, 626-577-4287.
 
The Georgian hotel commemorates its 80th anniversary with a new retro dining menu Vintage Cocktails and 1930s Era Dining at The Veranda Restaurant
The Georgian hotel commemorates its 80th anniversary with a new retro dining menu and Prohibition-era cocktails at The Veranda. The tasting menu (available in addition to the regular cocktail, lunch and dinner menus) features steak Diane, pork medallions in a lemon-caper sauce, veggie meatloaf, and a landmark dessert from the era --- a fresh fruit floating island concocted with fluffy baked meringues “floating” in a sea of vanilla crème anglaise topped with blackberry drizzle and fresh berries. Cocktails include the Brown Derby and the Paloma. The Veranda, The Georgian Hotel, 1415 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 800-538-8147.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Chef Franco De Dominicis left his former position as executive chef of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles to open Franco on Melrose. Franco on Melrose, 6919 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-934-3390.
 
Chef Kyle Schutte (formerly of Vu) has replaced Luke Reyes at Culver City’s The Corner Door and updated the restaurant's New American menu. The Corner Door, 12477 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, 310-313-5810.
 
Former MessHall chef Nick Erven has landed at Tart, the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel restaurant, and has added new Southern specialties to a revamped menu. Tart, Farmer's Daughter Hotel, 115 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-937-3930.
 

CLOSINGS

Villa Sorriso in Old Pasadena has shuttered, but the menu is available at its new location, a combined space with its sister restaurant, Bar Celona (46 E. Colorado Blvd). The Villa Sorriso Italian menu is offered there, along with a short selection of Spanish-inspired tapas from the former Bar Celona menu. Villa Sorriso, 168 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105, no phone.
 
After nearly a decade as a Hollywood nightlife hot spot, the Dolce Group’s Geisha House has closed. Geisha House, 6633 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, no phone.
 
Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica is now CAST. The restaurant features a new look and new menu from executive chef Tony DiSalvo, including dishes such as Chinese spiced fried quail with lime-soy-chile dipping sauce; lobster with corn, chanterelles, lemongrass and coconut; and grilled lamb T-bone with heirloom carrots, potatoes and massaman curry. CAST, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-260-7511.
 
The L.A. Live space previously occupied by ESPN Zone will be replaced by three restaurants from Denver-based Consumer Concept Group (CCG): Smashburger, Live Basil Pizza and Tom’s Urban 24. Smashburger is a fast-casual burger chain, Live Basil Pizza specializes in made-to-order assembly line gourmet pizzas, and Tom’s is a 24-hour bar concept with an eclectic menu, from pho to pizzas to lobster tacos. ESPN Zone, L.A. Live, 1011 S. Figueroa St., Ste. B101, Los Angeles, CA 90015, no phone.
 
Tom Bergin’s Tavern, an institution on Fairfax Avenue since its founding in 1936, has closed. This comes about a year after major renovations were completed by its new owners, Warner Ebbink and chef Brandon Boudet (Dominick’s). They reported sales simply did not warrant keeping the doors open, and it appears the old tavern’s charm over the city of Los Angeles has finally faded. But in Hollywood, comebacks are common and fans of this venerable establishment keep their fingers crossed that a new owner revives Tom Bergin’s for another St. Patty’s Day. Tom Bergin’s Tavern, 840 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
 

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