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March 2009 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - MARCH 2009 Archive


OPENINGS

Shigefumi Tachibe's Chaya Brasserie family has added its newest location with Chaya Downtown, featuring a full bar, lounge, sushi bar and main dining room overlooking a large garden patio. A complete sushi menu accompanies dinner selections that include Tai snapper with kumquats; escargot and mushroom cocotte; pan-seared Hokkaido scallops; tagliatelle with Santa Barbara sea urchin; treviso wrapped orata; and Pinot Noir braised Kobe short ribs. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat. Chaya Downtown, 525 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-236-9577.
 
Jesse Gomez, from Highland Park's El Arco Iris, has opened a stylish new Mexican spot, Yxta Cocina Mexicana, downtown on Central Ave. Expect handmade tortillas, grilled seafood, Mexican sweet shrimp, carnitas, enchiladas and burritos, as well as big margaritas and escabeche martinis. Lunch Mon.-Sat., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Yxta Cocina Mexicana, 601 S. Central Ave.,, Los Angeles, CA 90021, 213-596-5579.
 
Lucques/A.O.C. veteran Gloria Felix has opened the much-anticipated Reservoir in Silverlake. She's dishing up seasonal, rustic fare like panko-fried shrimp in a jicama taco; chorizo and quince pizza; braised beef short ribs with pomegranate reduction; and an open-faced lasagna with slow-roasted pork, braised artichokes and roasted tomatoes. Dinner Tues.-Sun.. Reservoir, 1700 Silverlake Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 323-662-8655.
 
The Lab Gastropub, a stylish, science-themed spot at USC, is showcasing 40 artisanal beers---the draft beer in glass beakers, no less---accompanied by food from chef Thomas Moran (Shutters on the Beach) featuring grilled lime and garlic shrimp, proscuitto and fig pizzette, seared tuna and turkey pot pie. Lunch & Diner nightly. The Lab Gastropub, 3500 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90089, 213-743-1843.
 
In Sherman Oaks, the elegant and intimate Simon's Café has opened, offering haute Moroccan dishes including house-made merguez sausage, bestila pastry with duck, couscous royale, lamb tagine, poached pears in wine and crème brûlée. Lunch Tues.-Fri., Dinner Tues.-Sun. Simon's Café, 4515 Sepulveda Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403, 818-783-6698.
 
Corkbar is downtown's newest wine bar. Inspired by California wines, Corkbar serves 40 by the glass and more by the bottle. It also offers artisanal beers and two patios, with a menu featuring bacon gougères, shredded duck and brussels sprouts salad, a rib-eye steak sandwich with piquillo peppers, striped bass with romesco sauce and siz-hour braised short ribs. Lunch & Dinner daily. Corkbar, 403 W. 12th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-746-0050.
 
Cole's modern-day "speakeasy" has arrived courtesy of Cedd Moses (Seven Grand, Golden Gopher) in Varnish, an intimate cocktail spot at the back of the restaurant behind an old oak door. The space features a leather-lined bar, vintage lamps and live piano music. Handcrafted cocktails follow the fashion of New York's infamous Milk and Honey, stirred and shaken by some of L.A.'s top mixologists including Marcos Tello and Eric Alperin. Varnish, 118 E. Sixth St., Los Angeles, CA 90014, 213-622-4090.
 
In East Hollywood, Zoltan's Transylvanian Bakery has expanded into Transylvania restaurant, featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner items with an emphasis on Romanian and Hungarian specialties. Also featured are live music and entertainment, and a bit of Dracula-themed decor. Chef/owner Zoltan Imre offers an expansive menu including Hungarian breakfast crepes with walnut or apricot, lamb shanks, Hungarian sausages, chicken paprikish, stuffed cabbage, Transylvanian moussaka, and Dobosh torte. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Transylvania, 5615 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-466-2508.
 
Adolfo Suaya (Geisha House) and chef Andre Guerreo (MAX, The Oinkster) are opening BoHo at Hollywood's ArcLight, with a "sharable" plates menu inspired from the adjacent Hollywood Farmer's Market that includes quinoa salad, baked fennel with roasted shallots and bacon, pulled pork and smoked mozzarella pizza, roasted marrow bones, oxtail Catalana, the BoHo burger deluxe, and Scottish salmon with sunchoke puree. Dinner nightly. BoHo, 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, n/a.
 
Chef Tom Colicchio and chef de cuisine Matthew Accarrino have turned the front lounge and terrace of Craft Los Angeles into Craftbar. Serving an array of small dishes priced $10 or under, the menu's categories include snacks, salads, small plates, in a jar, pasta, pizzettes, cheese and sweets. Dishes include lamb sliders, hushpuppies with bacon-tomato jam, and steamed short rib buns. The list of drinks features $5 beers, $8 cocktails and $7 wine pours. Craftbar, 10100 Constellation Blvd., Century City, CA 90067, 310-279-4180.
 

NEWS BYTES

Kids Eat Free at La Grande Orange Café
At La Grande Orange Cafékids eat free everyday from the kids' menu before 6 p.m. The menu includes plenty of favorites like grilled cheese, mac 'n' cheese and pb&j rolls. The offer extends to weekend brunch, allowing kids to sample selections like Belgian waffles, pancakes and organic bacon & eggs at no cost. For more information, please call 626-356-4444. La Grande Orange Café, 260 Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-356-4444.
 
SuzPree Cuisine Presented at Jar
Jar has begun featuring SuzPree, a cuisine born out of the long-term collaboration between Jar chef/owner Suzanne Tracht and Preech Narkthong, the chef de cuisine at Tracht's in Long Beach. Inspired by Southeast Asian flavors and aromas that balance sweet and sour, hot and soothing, each SuzPree selection presents bold flavors and a nuanced harmony of East and West. SuzPree is presented in small bites every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Jar's bar and lounge, while SuzPree appetizers and entrées are offered as specials there throughout the week. Jar, 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-655-6566.
 
La Grande Orange Café Rewards Metro Riders
Pasadena's La Grande Orange Café is currently rewarding all LGO diners who are lessening their carbon footprint by offering $1 cocktails to public transit riders presenting a current metro stub. This deal, available only for the first cocktail, includes signature cocktails, beer, wine and the famous LGO white wine sangría. LGO is housed in a renovated Sante Fe train depot in Pasadena and adjacent to the Del Mar Gold Line station, so it's a great choice for metro commuters. Pairings with those dollar cocktail include homemade deviled eggs topped with bacon, ahi tacos, and new style sashimi in green chile-ponzu sauce. La Grande Orange Café, Del Mar Station, 260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-356-4444.
 
Ciro Marino with granddaughter Mariasole Ciro "Mario" Marino: A Restaurateur with Hollywood History
The Los Angeles restaurant industry lost one of its iconic restaurateurs on March 25. Ciro "Mario" Marino died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with lung cancer. He was 76 years old. Ciro Marino was born in Naples, Italy, and in 1952 moved to Los Angeles, where five years later he opened his restaurant, Via Veneto on Sunset Plaza. His other restaurant projects---Martoni's, Martoni Marquis and Marino Ristorante---have attracted some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, from Frank Sinatra to John Wayne to Brad Pitt. Marino leaves behind wife Maria, sons Mario and Salvatore, daughter Rosanna, son-in-law Stefano Ongaro (All' Angelo), daughter-in-law Maja Guldener Marino, and granddaughter Mariasole. Mario (Jr.) remains today at Marino and is co-owner of La Bottega Marino trattorias with partner/brother Sal, also chef/owner of Il Grano.
 
Sophie Gayot with the chefs from 2008 Flavors of Los Angeles Culinary Gala to Benefit American Liver Foundation
On May 17, the Greater Los Angeles Division of the American Liver Foundation will hold the third annual Flavors of Los Angeles culinary gala, with Sophie Gayot of GAYOT.com acting as honorary chair. Held at City National Bank Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, the event begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Afterwards, some of Los Angeles' premier chefs will prepare a five-course feast with wine pairings for their personal tables of 10 guests. Confirmed chefs include Celestino Drago of DRAGO Centro, Shigefumi Tachibe of Chaya Downtown, Andy Cook of Gordon Ramsay, and John Sedlar of Rivera. to name a few. A limited number of individual seats are available for $250 by contacting the Greater Los Angeles Division of the American Liver Foundation at 310-670-4624 or tfantini@liverfoundation.org. For more information, please visit www.liverfoundation.org. City National Bank Plaza, 555 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 310-670-4624.
 
Blackboard Prix Fixe at BLT Steak
BLT Steak has introduced a new "Blackboard Prix Fixe" which highlights seasonal and local ingredients in a three-course menu for $60. A sample menu might feature chestnut, apple and celery soup with sage croutons before a main course of grilled Niman Ranch pork chop with a side of brussels sprout hash, followed by house-made doughnuts with coconut cream and caramelized pineapple. BLT Steak, 8720 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-1950.
 
Grilled Cheese & Beer Dinners
Andrew's Cheese Shop is hosting monthly grilled cheese and artisanal beer dinners. Sandwiches such as Wisconsin gruyere on walnut raisin bread, or provolone and Parmesan on pesto olive bread, are paired with beers like Allagasch Curieux, Fuller's Vintage Ale and Dupont Moinette Blonde. The dinners are offered several times a month but sell out quickly. Andrew's Cheese Shop, 728 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 310-393-3308.
 
La Grande Orange Cafe Offers $1 Anniversary Special
Raymond Avenue's La Grande Orange Café is celebrating its one-year anniversary on March 23 and March 24, giving diners the special opportunity to buy one entrée and get the second entrée for $1. The offer applies to both lunch and dinner. La Grande Orange Caafe, Del Mar Station, 260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-356-4444.
 
Happy Hour & More at BondSt Beverly Hills
BondSt Beverly Hills is offering happy hour in the lounge from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The selection of $7 drinks and appetizers includes saketinis, a lychee martini, spicy tuna roll and beef teriyaki skewers. In addition, a $44 per person prix-fixe tasting menu is available in the dining room every evening excluding Saturday. The menu features spicy tuna on crispy rice; Fuji apple and artichoke salad; choice of miso cod or New York strip steak; a selection of sushi; and Fuji apple sorbet, apple soup and apple chips. BondSt Beverly Hills, Thompson Beverly Hills, 9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-601-2255.
 
One-Dollar Drinks and Dishes at Luckyfish
To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Luckyfish is offering every dish on the conveyor belt and all drinks, including beer and cocktails, for $1. Dishes are regularly $3.50 to $7.50. The celebration will last all day March 19, from 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., and the restaurant may extend its hours depending on how busy it gets.         Luckyfish, 338 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-274-9800.
 
Whist's Brunch is Back
At the Viceroy Santa Monica, Whist has brought back its Sunday buffet and champagne brunch, including bottomless bubbly, tax and gratuity for $39. The brunch features a seafood, shellfish, and raw bar spread, along with house-made charcuterie, a made-to-order egg station and eggs Benedict. Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-8711.
 
Tuesday $1 Wine Bargain at One Sunset
At the lounge-y One Sunset in West Hollywood, diners can purchase a select bottle of wine for only $1 when they order the "one of almost everything" tasting menu on Tuesday evenings. The 10-plate tasting is $45 per person, and highlights the kitchen's signature dishes from executive chef Jason Ryczek. One Sunset, 8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-657-0111.
 
Trefethen Wine Dinner at Darren
In the South Bay, Darren's Restaurant will host Trefethon Family Vineyards for a special wine dinner March 23 at 7 p.m. Winery owner John Trefethen will join guests to discuss his wines. Chef Darren Weiss' dishes will include specialty hors d'oeuvres, seared Arctic char salad, braised pork two ways, medallion of filet mignon, and Nutella-stuffed Bartlett pears. The cost is $98 per person. Darren's Restaurant, 1141 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-802-1973.
 
Afternoon Tea at The Langham with a Chocolate Twist
To the delight of chocoholics and tea-lovers alike, The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa is now serving Chocolate Afternoon Tea every Sunday. Among the offerings are fruit tarts, mousse torts, crème brûlées, a chocolate fountain, chocolate sculptures, drinking chocolate, Champagne and fine teas. The Chocolate Afternoon Tea is offered in the Lobby Lounge, and costs $59. The Langham's Signature Afternoon Tea is still available Thurs.-Sat. for $39 per person. For more information, or to make reservations, please call 626-568-3900. The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106, 626-568-3900.
 
Discover Spring at Melisse
Join Melisse as the restaurant presents a Spring Discovery Menu, a four-course menu that changes weekly. Dishes may include selections such as sweet pea soup; fricassee of potato gnocchi, broccolini and Eringi mushrooms; beef rib eye and braised short ribs; and passion fruit parfait. The Spring Discovery Menu is available Tuesday through Friday, and the cost is $65 per person. For more information, or to make reservations, please call 310-395-0881. Melisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-0881.
 
Gordon Ramsay Sells LA Restaurant
Gordon Ramsay, celebrity chef and host of television shows "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares," has sold his restaurant Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood. The restaurant will now be operated by The London West Hollywood hotel, but will retain its name. Chef Ramsay will continue his involvement with the establishment as a consultant. Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood, The London West Hollywood, 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-358-7788.
 
LearnAboutWine
LearnAboutWine will host Napa Valley vintners at its annual wine showcase, "STARS of Napa Valley," at the Peninsula Hotel on Tuesday, March 24 from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. The event supports fundraising efforts by the T.J. Martell Foundation and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. You'll find selections of more than 100 world-class wines, an hors d'oeuvres buffet and a silent auction. Opus One, Duckhorn and Viader are among the 30 participating wineries that will be pouring new releases. The cost is $89 for advance tickets; $100 at the door, if tickets remain. n/a.
 
Whist
On Wednesday, March 25, Whist's monthly "progressive wine experience" will feature a seasonal farmer's market five-course dinner from Executive Chef Taite Pearson, paired with selections from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Around the Viceroy Santa Monica's restaurant and poolside cabanas, the winery will be pouring a variety of wines, including Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon and Fay Cabernet Sauvignon. The dinner iis limited to 50 guests and begins with a half-hour champagne reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The cost is $125 per person.         Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-8711.
 
Great Wine Deals at Whist
In Santa Monica, Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica will be offering weekly $25 wine lover's nights on Mondays and Tuesdays. Diners can select any bottle from the restaurant's list (valued up to $100) for only $25. Some bargains on the list include Cakebread's 2007 Napa Chardonnay (normally priced at $100) and Foley's 2007 Rancho Santa Rosa Santa Rita Pinot Noir (normally $90). Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-8711.
 
Catch and One Pico Debut DineETCetera
The signature restaurants at Shutters on the Beach and Casa del Mar in Santa Monica have launched a new DineETCetera program, serving specially priced three-course prix-fixe menus in the spirit of the DineLA promotion. For dinner at One Pico, the offerings are diver scallop crudo or beet salad for an appetizer; shellfish risotto, Sonoma lamb or orata (sea bream) for a main dish; and milk chocolate panna cotta or pain perdu for dessert. Lunch at Catch may feature shaved blue fin tuna, handmade ravioli, and a twice baked chocolate soufflé for dessert, while dinner options include a sushi sampler, dry aged rib-eye, and chocolate brioche french toast. These lunch and dinner menus are priced at $22 and $34, respectively.
 
BottleRock in Culver City Sustainable Sipping
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, BottleRock's locations in Culver City and downtown Los Angeles (opening soon) will present a special list of beer and wine producers that use sustainable, organic, biodynamic or photovoltaic practices. More than 20 selections will be offered to enjoy by the glass and by the bottle throughout the month of April. Highlights from the list include Samuel Smith Lager (organic); 2006 Honig Sauvignon Blanc (sustainable); and 2005 ZD Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (organic). BottleRock, 3847 Main St., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-836-9463.
 
Chef Michael Mina Announces à la Carte Menu at XIV
XIV and Michael Mina have unveiled a new menu for spring, which offers guests an à la carte dining option in addition to the restaurant's signature tasting menu. The new menu includes appetizers and entrées inspired by the modern-American dishes Mina created for XIV, in addition to his classics like lobster pot pie and a Kobe burger. A list of small bites has also been created for The Terrace at XIV, an elegant outdoor space, which features Mina's playful take on casual American fare like lobster corn dogs. XIV, 8117 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-656-1414.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Ryan Bergunio, previously executive chef at La Defence, is now the executive chef of Lola's in West Hollywood. Lola's, 945 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-654-5652.
 

CLOSINGS

After closing its doors on March 14, 3 on Fourth will give diners an opportunity to enjoy the restaurant's Contemporary cuisine one more time. A five-course prix-fixe menu will be offered on the evenings of March 20, 21, 27 and 28 by reservation only. 3 on Fourth, 1432 Fourth St., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-6765.
 

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