News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
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|LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - MAY 2008 Archive|
Mike Zamarripa opened the CT Lounge next to The Coffee Table Bistro in Eagle Rock. Ana Henton of MASS Architecture designed the space, which Zamarripa describes as "American Gladiator meets Eagle Rock," with a blue, purple and red color scheme and gold lighting. A sports bar aspect features two 50-inch monitors and an 8' x 12' projection screen. There are 16 beers on tap, including Chimay, Skyscraper and Peroni. Chef Josh Lewis is preparing bar snacks like Kobe beef hot dogs with homemade mustard relish, Caribbean-style tacos with grilled onions and pineapple salsa and Parmesan basil fries. Open Mon.-Fri. from 5 p.m.-midnight and Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-midnight. CT Lounge, 1954 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041, 323-257-2245.
This September, Erin McKenna plans to open the first West Coast outpost of BabyCakes NYC near The Grove, sharing space with the Earnest Sewn denim design shop. The bakery will feature cupcakes, banana-chocolate chip bread, cookies, brownies, cornbread, crumb cakes and biscuits. McKenna promises her baked goods will be sweetened with agave nectar and free of common allergens like wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs. The space will feature brick walls, high ceilings, wooden floors and patio seating. BabyCakes NYC, 7501 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone available yet.
Jason Michaud, who previously worked at Cobras & Matadors and recently wrote the menu for Three Drunken Goats, plans to open Local in the former Silver Lake home of Eastside Mercantile, an antique store he ran for five years. He promises "super fresh, mostly local, organic" ingredients. Michaud will populate the space with "casual antiques from the store to make it funky and eclectic looking, including old streetlights from New Orleans." Local will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Michaud hopes to debut in June. Local, 2943 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, no phone available yet.
Ariel Graham opened Lot 44 Coffee on the ground floor of downtown's Douglas Building on May 5, specializing in organic, fair trade, and micro-lot coffees. Each cup is brewed to order, by hand, using processes like Chemex, French press and siphon. Expect cups of New Guinea Purosa, Maui Mokka and Guatemalan Huehuetenango. Every cup is available either hot or iced, with steamed whole, non-fat, soy or rice milk. Graham named the coffeehouse after a lot of Ethiopian coffee she bought at auction, and because the plan coalesced once she turned 44. The coffeehouse serves L'Artisan du Chocolat chocolates, pastries and desserts from Essential Chocolate and Ghalia Organic sweets, which are gluten- and dairy-free. There are also two "drinking chocolates"---European dark drinking chocolate and Xocolatl, Mexican hot chocolate with chilies and cinnamon. Lot 44 Coffee, 257 S. Spring St. Ste. 115, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-626-4646.
Conny Andersson, previously a chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and the Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills, a Four Seasons Hotel, plans to debut AK this summer on Abbot Kinney. Andersson promises a "California wine bistro with a Scandinavian thread running through the concept, serving semi-composed main courses with farmers market-driven eclectic side dishes." Ingredients will include hormone-free meats, sustainable seafood and biodynamic and organic wines. AK, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, no phone available yet.
Fellow USC grads Santos Uy and Daniel Kronfli opened Bacaro L.A. on April 5 near their alma mater. Uy, the wine director, was the first Silverlake Wine employee and a sommelier at A.O.C. Bacaro promises a list of "esoteric varietals from all over the world, but focusing on Italy." Cicheti, bite-sized bar snacks, include bruschetta with Tuscan white beans, polenta squares with roasted baby eggplant and crostino with Gorgonzola, empress dates, walnuts and sage honey. At lunch, expect grilled cheese sandwiches with a choice of sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions or ham. Ana Henton of MASS Architecture designed the "rustic meets modern" space. Uy and Kronfli eventually plan to introduce Beefsteak Sundays, patterned after dinners held in New Jersey, featuring all-you-can-eat beef, slices of Breadbar bread and steak-friendly wines. Bacaro L.A., 2308 S. Union Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007, 213-453-1824.
Sommelier Jeff McGrath recently debuted brixwine in Hermosa Beach, touting a portfolio of 800 bottles from around the globe. The wine shop is adjacent to contemporary American restaurant brix@1601. Brixwine offers tastings on Monday evenings at 6 p.m., with flights of 5-6 wines and hors d'ouevres for $25-$40. Open daily from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. brixwine, 1601 Pacific Coast Hwy., Hermosa Beach, CA 90245, 310-698-0833.
Tom Kaplan, Leslie W. Brenner and Rich Brenner, co-owners of Hugo's, plan to open a second Hugo's Tacos in Atwater Village in summer 2008, building on the success of their Studio City original. Expect a similar roster of chicken, steak, grilled fish and soy chorizo, plus a variety of salsas and aguas frescas. Hugo's Tacos, 3300 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039, no phone available yet.
Govind Armstrong, Chris Heyman and Joshua Woodward closed their market-driven California restaurant, Table 8, and will re-open in the former Chocolat space, located on Melrose avenue, by early fall. In the original location, the trio will debut, mid-July, 8 oz., a burger bar specializing in a wood-grilled blend of Black Angus sirloin, tri-tip, short rib and chuck. 8 Oz., 7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-782-8258.
RED Restaurant & Bar has opened at the Pacific Palms Conference Resort in Industry Hills. Guests can choose from a variety of dining areas---from the main room decorated in earthy tones to fireside seating on the patio overlooking Celebration Lake and the San Gabriel Mountains, plus a bar area with a stainless steel pool table and a lounge with individual plasma televisions. Executive chef Simon Volante's menu focuses on steaks, offering 100% Midwest corn-fed prime beef, as well as seafood dishes like king crab legs, striped bass, and crispy Pacific snapper. The restaurant's "Wok Du Jour" offers specialty Asian dishes such as orange peel steak, mushroom crusted tofu, and the chick lobster Cantonese. RED Restaurant & Bar, 1 Industry Hills Pkwy., Industry Hills, CA 91744, 626-854-2496.
Inspired by trips to his family's home in Umbria, Andreas Krankl opened Press Panini on April 11 in Tujunga Village, down the block from mother Gail Silverton's Gelato Bar. (Yes, his aunt is Nancy Silverton.) The small space, with a covered back patio and an interior with a large granite bar, dates back to 1963. Everything on the expansive menu of internationally inspired sandwiches, salads and soups is made fresh. Expect panini like the Olive All-Over (Brie and Parmigiana cheese with kalamata and black olives, portabella mushrooms, spinach and mayo); Big Salads such as Candied Pecan & Spinach (spinach, cranberries, candied pecans, Asiago and onion in raspberry vinaigrette); and Tasty Soups like Spicy Italian Sausage (spicy sausage with bacon, potato and kale in a creamy broth). Krankl gladly refers customers down the block for dessert. Assuming the year progresses as he imagines, Press Panini and Gelato Bar will partner on a two-for-one location in either Sherman Oaks or Burbank. The current location's hours are Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Press Panini, 4389 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, CA 91604, 818-487-2564.
SBE has opened Katsuya Glendale in The Americana at Brand, Glendale's newest dining and shopping development. Conceived by Philippe Starck to resemble a Japanese pagoda, the restaurant's design features an indoor hemlock wood roof and giant granite boulders etched with the Japanese character (or kanji) for "Katsuya." The menu includes chef Katsuya Uechi's signature classics like albacore sashimi with crispy onion, baked crab roll, and spicy tuna on crispy rice, as well as select family-friendly items for guests dining with children. Katsuya Glendale, The Americana at Brand, 702 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91204, 818-244-5900.
Chef Rolando Gonzalez has brought a taste of Cuba to the San Fernando Valley with his new restaurant, Casa Don Rolando. Previously, chef Rolando partnered with Jennifer Lopez on her restaurant, Madre's, in Pasadena, and also prepared the food at Lopez' wedding to singer Marc Anthony. Casa Don Rolando's menu reflects the chef's childhood in Cuba and includes traditional dishes such as paella al estilo Cubano, arroz con pollo a la Chorrera, and flan Cubano. Live salsa music and Latin dancing are featured every Friday night. Casa Don Rolando, 8755 Parthenia Pl., North Hills, CA 91343, 818-920-2272.
Alfredo Diaz relocated Kokomo Café from the Farmers Market to the former home of his Eat Well Beverly coffee shop in late April. The redesigned space features a purple, blue and chocolate brown color palette, Philippe Starck "ghost" chairs and a sapphire blue awning. For breakfast, expect dishes like Catfish & Eggs, with catfish fillets rolled in flour, cornmeal and cayenne before being pan-fried; and Red Eye Pancakes---buttermilk pancakes with a shot of espresso and chocolate chips. At lunch, Diaz has retained favorites like the Lime Curry Chicken Salad---roasted chicken breast, golden raisins, mango chutney, cashews and lime curry dressing, served on a bed of romaine; and the Applewood Chicken Sandwich---smoked chicken breast grilled and served on a sesame seed bun with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, cilantro and mayo. Diaz plans to add dinner service, but the hours are currently 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Kokomo Café, 7385 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-933-0773.
To begin April, Mama Lu opened Lu Dumpling House, specializing in dumplings made fresh daily, including the skins, in the former home of Heavy Noodling. Think juicy pork and crab dumplings (steamed), pan-fried pork dumplings, and shrimp, napa cabbage and pork dumplings (boiled). You can also find Shanghai rice cakes with cabbage and pork, roast beef noodle soup and fried green onion pancakes. The space features canary yellow walls lined with framed Chinese pottery, burgundy booths and orange tables. Open Thurs.-Tues. from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Lu Dumpling House, 153 E. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91755, 626-307-5700.
THIS RESTAURANT IS CURRENTLY BEING SUED BY WOLFGANG PUCK, WHOSE SUIT CLAIMS MISTAKEN IDENTITY. Building on the success of his restaurants in Manhattan (Murray Hill and TriBeCa), Wolfgang Zwiener has brought a branch of his traditional New York steakhouse to Beverly Hills. Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener will offer USDA Prime, dry aged porterhouse steak for two, three or four; bone-in New York sirloin and rib-eye steak; lamb loin chops; and filet mignon. All meat is dry aged on the premises for 28 days in its own custom designed, temperature/humidity controlled aging box. In addition, a selection of seafood is available including wild king salmon, Chilean sea bass, and three-pound Maine lobsters, as well as side dishes like German potatoes, creamed spinach and sautéed mushrooms. Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, 445 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-385-0640.
The company behind the restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory will debut RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen this spring. Occupying a 7,500-square-foot space in the Westfield Century City mall, the restaurant will offer a full bar and a menu featuring Southeast Asian cuisine from countries like Thailand, Vietnam, East India, Malaysia and Indonesia. RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen, Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067, no phone available yet.
New Venue for Dining in the Dark
Opaque: Dining in the Dark is moving from the Hyatt West Hollywood to the Espada Room on the mezzanine of the Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica. Expect the same sensory experience on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring a three-course gourmet meal in a pitch-black dining room, guided and served by blind or visually impaired individuals. The cost is $99 per person, including tax. For more information, call 800-710-1270. Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica, 530 W. Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-399-9344, 888-627-8532.
Local Artist Featured at Breadbar
Continuing its art foundation event series, Breadbar is showcasing local artist Talia Wabnig's new "Notebook" collection of watercolor, oil, acrylic, and ink pieces. Wabnig works at The Cheese Store in Beverly Hills where she has created original artwork for the labels of the store's house wines. Her work, which is available for purchase, is now displayed throughout Breadbar. Past art foundation events have included pieces from chef Ludovic Lefevre during his "Ludo Bites" guest chef appearance, Marshall Roemen, and Minoru & Echiko Ohira. Breadbar, 8718 W. Third St., West Hollywood, CA 90048, 310-205-0124.
Cupcakes that Take the Cake
On May 18, thirteen of the area's cupcake bakeries squared off at the LA Cupcake Challenge at the Montmartre Lounge. Each vendor displayed mini-cupcakes for guests and a panel of judges (including Sophie Gayot of GAYOT.com, who also recently appeared as a guest judge on "Hell's Kitchen") to taste and compare. The red velvet varieties from Vanilla Bake Shop, Yummy Cupcakes and Hotcakes took top honors for Best Traditional. The Best Original award was given to Sugar Jones' "Paradise," The Oinkster's "Peanut Butter and Jelly," and Essential Chocolate Desserts' "Blood Orange Fudge," while the "Strawberrilicious" cupcake from Leyna's Kitchen was rated Best Overall.
Summer of Sangria
Every Sunday this summer, Café La Bohème is hosting Sangria Sundays on the outdoor patio, featuring red and white fusion sangrias, a live DJ, and in house Cuban cigar rollers. Executive chef Christine Banta's small plates menu offers dishes like salt and pepper calamari with lemon basil aoli; shrimp toast with chili dipping sauce, and the La Bohème burger. Sangria Sundays will take place every Sunday 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Café La Bohème, 8400 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-848-2360.
BLT Steak Opens for Lunch
BLT Steak is now open for lunch, offering items like Laurent Tourondel's signature "BLT" made with soft shell crab, sriracha mayonnaise, pea shoots, bacon and tomatoes and a pressed pork belly and speck sandwich with gruyere cheese and butter pickles. New salads include an "Asian style" grilled Kobe skirt steak salad, olive oil confit tuna Nicoise salad and smoked duck prosciutto with mixed greens and a Humboldt Fog "beignet." Lunch is served Mon.-Sat. from 11:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. BLT Steak, 8720 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-1950.
Whist Hosts "Tastes of Tuesday"
Every Tuesday night through Labor Day, Whist chef Warren Schwartz offers "Tastes of Tuesday" poolside. Market-driven small plates might include shrimp ceviche with Serrano chile, grapefruit and tortilla strips; cedar plank salmon with a soy and mirin glaze; grilled Pacific oysters with smoky barbecue sauce; Harry's Berries strawberry shortcake; and "Fresh Bar" cocktails like the candied kumquat margarita. Exclusive poolside cabanas are available at a cost of $200, by reservation only, and each cabana accommodates up to 10 people. The evening runs from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., with each item costing $5. Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-434-2855.
New Desserts Debut at Park Grill
A new dessert menu has made its debut at Park Grill in the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City. Creations from chef Vincent Cachot and pastry chef Orlando Maldonado include a flaky open face apple tart, decadent Valrhona chocolate cake, and a trio of crème brûlée (chocolate, praline and honey ginger). Park Grill, InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, 2151 Ave. of the Stars, Century City, CA 90067, 310-284-6536.
Dakota Al Fresco
This summer, Dakota in The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel will offer al fresco dining on the Dakota Bridge, a semi-private seating area overlooking the Tropicana Bar and the David Hockney pool. After enjoying the restaurant's modern steakhouse fare, diners are also guaranteed entry to the hotel's Tropicana Bar to cap off the night. Individual reservations are available Thurs. 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 6 p.m.-11 p.m.; while larger groups can be accommodated Sun.-Wed. 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Dakota, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-466-7000.
More Time for Small Bites
Ingredients chef Michael Ruiz has expanded the availability of his small bites to Tues.-Fri. from 4 p.m.-9 p.m. and Sat. from 12 p.m.-9 p.m. The seasonal menu includes items like deviled eggs with sea salt, radish, smoked paprika and bacon; duck confit with pears, reggiano, almonds and quince vinaigrette; and smoked pork shoulder confit with cara cara oranges, roasted green pepper and apple smoke. Ingredients, 3521A N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale, CA 91208, 818-249-4971.
"Table One" for Eight
The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air offers a private, in-kitchen chef's table called "Table One." Chef Bruno Lopez custom designs a seven-course menu for eight guests, including wine pairings from the hotel's award-winning cellar. The package is available to four couples at a cost of $5,000 and includes accommodations in four deluxe guest rooms, breakfast in the privacy of a guest room or The Restaurant, and a specially selected bottle of wine delivered upon arrival, with fresh fruit. The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air, Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077, 800-648-4097.
Cost-conscious Dining at Larchmont Grill
In response to the recession, Sean Bates and Mark Donofrio are introducing two cost-conscious dining options at Larchmont Grill. Beginning May 14, the American restaurant will offer "Gourmet burger night" on Wednesdays, with a selection of burgers made from Kobe beef, salmon and vegetables. On Sunday nights, expect a "Chef's 3-Course prix-fixe menu," a different menu every week. The cost is $35 per person, including a complimentary glass of wine. Larchmont Grill, 5750 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-464-4277.
Come On, Get Happy
Weekdays from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m., NeoMezē now hosts Happy Hour, with 50% off cocktails, beer and wine, plus $5 meze. Dishes include tempura onion rings with blue cheese dressing, smoked pork ribs with jicama mango salad and Boddington's beer-battered fish & chips. Complimentary marinated olives and house-made potato chips are available at the bar. NeoMezē, 20 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-793-3010.
Boe Debuts New Cocktail Menu
boe, the restaurant at The Crescent hotel, has unveiled a new cocktail menu. Expect concoctions using fresh herbs, including the English Quat---Hendrick's gin, fresh mint and kumquats; Victoria's Secret Garden---St. Germain elderflower liquor, fresh garden flowers and Hangar 1 citrus vodka; and the Salad Toss---Veev açai liquor, cucumber, fresh basil and blood oranges. Boe, The Crescent, 403 N. Crescent Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-247-0505.
Handmade Chocolates at Providence
Providence pastry chef Adrian Vasquez has introduced a series of 12 handmade chocolates, available for sale at the restaurant. Offerings include coffee urfa, milk chocolate whiskey, white chocolate passion fruit mint and milk chocolate banana. A dozen chocolates cost $28. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-460-4170.
"Crudobar" Nights at Breadbar
Following up on the success of Ludobites at the 3rd Street location, the Century City branch of Breadbar is hosting chef Noriyuki Sugie through May 15, where he mans the "Crudobar" on Mon.-Sat. from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Sugie, who was previously executive chef at Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental, New York hotel, marries Japanese and Spanish flavors in dishes like cherry leaf-marinated snapper with green papaya, pomelo salad and blossom emulsion; black cod sliders with wasabi tartar sauce; and monkfish liver with foie gras terrine and kumquat miso. Expect plenty of saké and wine as well as electronic beats from New York-based DJ Kensington. Reservations are recommended. Breadbar, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067, 310-277-3770.
Canelé Starts Weekend Brunch
Chef Corina Weibel and General Manager Jane Choi are now offering weekend brunch at Canelé from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. "Eggs and taters" are available scrambled, in a hole, en cocotte, in a quiche or in an omelet. There are also stirred eggs, salads, sandwiches and "kinda sweet" options like french toast and house-made cobbler. Canelé, 219 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-666-7133.
Saddle Peak Lodge has appointed Adam Horton as the restaurant's new chef de cuisine. Horton, a 2004 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu California in Pasadena, enjoyed a brief apprenticeship at Saddle Peak Lodge before heading abroad to work in Gordon Ramsay in London, as well as French establishments Le Moulin de Mougins, Le Palm d'Or, and Troisgros. Chef Horton then spent several months at Mélisse in Santa Monica before returning Saddle Peak Lodge as sous chef. Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302, 818-222-3888.
James Overbaugh, previously with the Windsor Court Hotel's New Orleans Grill Room and Erna's Elderberry House near Yosemite National Park, is the new executive chef of The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Overbaugh will oversee all aspects of the hotel's dining experience, including room service, catering, special events, the Roof Garden restaurant and The Belvedere. New dishes include bouillabaisse with ahi tuna and basil and galantine of squab with king oyster mushrooms, marjoram and sweet potatoes. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-551-2888, 800-462-7899.
Evan Funke is the new executive chef at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen. He brings his previous experience with Lee Hefter and Wolfgang Puck at Spago Beverly Hills. Funke's initial dinner menu includes English pea soup with bacon confit, sugar peas, cipollini and sage; black olive pappardelle with braised rabbit ragù; and wild halibut with roasted baby artichokes and braised leeks. Funke plans to change the menu at least once a month and rely on sustainable ingredients cultivated within 1,000 miles of Santa Monica. Funke makes his pasta fresh daily by hand; for now, he is using a machine but is set to receive a pasta board he purchased on a recent three-month trip to Italy. Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen, 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-393-7050.
Gregory Foos is now the executive chef of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, where he will oversee all of the hotel's culinary operations, including Ocean & Vine. A Johnson & Wales graduate, Foos joins the hotel from Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa, A Loews Hotel, in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-458-6700.
In April, Doug Weston replaced MaryAnn Salcedo as executive chef of NeoMezē, a modern Mediterranean restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. Weston was previously Salcedo's sous chef, with prior experience at Joe's in Venice. NeoMezē, 20 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-793-3010.
Joachim Splichal recently announced that Kevin Meehan has replaced Yianni Koufodontis as executive chef of Paperfish, the Patina Group's seafood-centric Beverly Hills restaurant. Meehan has been working as chef de cuisine of Patina since 2005. The Long Island native previously worked at Los Angeles restaurants L'Orangerie and Bastide and specializes in contemporary French cuisine. Paperfish, 345 N. Maple Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-858-6030.
Another big surprise in the Bastide soap opera. In the latest episode, Walter Manzke has left his position as chef. Paul Shoemaker, formerly chef de cuisine at Providence, has been named the new executive chef. Stay tuned for more. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-651-5950.
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