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May 2009 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - MAY 2009 Archive


OPENINGS

WeHo's new glam and colorful cantina Mexico Restaurante y Barra (from the owner of Nic's Restaurant & Martini Lounge in Beverly Hills) is dishing up some haute takes on Latin standards like organic gazpacho, wood-fired duck taquitos, kettle-fried red snapper Veracruzana, and roasted duck with guava and habaneros. An expansive cocktail list offers artisan tequila drinks like the Silverrano, made with Corzo Silver, muddled cucumber, serrano chiles and lime sour. Mexico Restaurante y Barra, 8512 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-289-0088.
 
The old lobby of the downtown Millenium Biltmore Hotel has unveiled La Bistecca, a new upscale Italian steakhouse with a native Italian chef duo---Franco Domenicis (Il Buco) and Orazio Parisi (La Terza)---offering six cuts of steak and accompaniments inspired by the cuisine of southern Italy and Sicily. Other regional specialties include tagliolini with lobster ragu, osso buco and seafood representing influences of the Amalfi coast. La Bistecca, 506 S Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-612-1562.
 
The Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is now open at L.A. LIVE. Expect modern "bar and grill" cuisine, including Puck's famous signature smoked salmon pizza with dill crème fraiche and caviar; grilled prime burger with smoked onion marmalade and white cheddar; Maine lobster and crab cocktail with avocado and horseradish flan; and flat iron steak with Maytag blue cheese butter. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., #A-120, Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-748-9700.
 
This summer, sugarFISH will open a branch in Brentwood. The location will be larger than the sugarFISH in Marina del Rey, and the interior will be designed by Glen Bell of Studio DEX of Venice, CA. sugarFISH, 11640 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049, no phone available yet.
 
In case Beck needed a new noshing spot for inspiration, Silver Lake's latest hip, quirky record store-cum-barbecue restaurant Territory BBQ has popped up on Hoover Street. Expect Southern specialties like pulled pork, fried-chicken catfish, pork ribs, collard greens, mac n' cheese and cole slaw. There are daily pie specials and a patio. Vinyl discs on the side. Lunch & Dinner daily. Territory BBQ, 534 N. Hoover St., Los Angeles, CA 90004, 323-662-4100.
 
In Silver Lake, the wine bar Barbrix is now open on Hyperion Ave. A Spanish-tapas and Mediterranean menu features a changing selection of artisan cheeses and charcuterie, along with small plates like garlic-fried sweetbreads and lamb meatballs, and larger plates featuring spring faro salad, grilled Greek sardines, monkfish with chickpeas and chorizo, and wild boar sausage. The beer and wine list features an interesting and varied landscape of boutique labels. Dinner nightly. Barbrix, 2442 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-662-2442.
 
L.A. Live now boasts a boisterous new Trader Vic's, which offers a sprawling bar and restaurant decked out in eye-popping tiki splendor. Celebrating 75 years, the Trader Vic's chain spans the globe but now offers downtown its favorite exotic potions like mai tais and scorpion bowls, with a Cal-Polynesian menu featuring pupus, Chinese specialties, burgers, steaks and sushi. Dinner nightly.
 
Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar is now open in Santa Monica with state-of-the-art enomatic machines that dispense one-ounce pours (with refillable "debit cards") and offer a rotating selection of 40 wines. Peter Birmingham, former sommelier at Norman's, creates unique "tasting tour" flights like "wordly whites" and "Pinot envy." Menu items include warm artichoke mousse, assorted crostini, and artisan salumi and cheese plates. Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar, 104 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-393-7693.
 

NEWS BYTES

Late-Night Happy Hour at Lola’s
Lola's in West Hollywood has extended happy hour to the late night crowd on Wednesday and Thursday nights. From 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., select martinis are $5 and items from the bar menu, such as the spinach artichoke dip and fried calamari, are priced at $5.50. Lola's, 945 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-654-5652.
 
Hollywood Bowl "Baskets" at Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s
Ivan Kane's Café Wa s, the bohemian Hollywood bistro, offers two different menus for Hollywood Bowl picnics, packed in their signature brown paper bags. The first, at $14 per person, offers a choice of sandwiches (e.g. 24-month cured prosciutto with brie, heirloom tomato and imported butter), side dish and dessert. The second option, at $26 per person, includes a choice of salad, entrée (e.g. poached white seabass with green jasmine rice) and dessert. A bottle of wine can be included for just $11. Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s, Sunset + Vine, 1521 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-466-5400.
 
Petrossian Paris Completes Remodel
Petrossian Paris Boutique & Café, a name practically synonymous with the indulgence of fine caviar, has completed a major renovation of its West Hollywood location, just in time to celebrate the company's 20-year anniversary in California. The remodel results in an expanded space for both shopping and dining. L.A. designer David Davis created a casually sophisticated environment inspired by Petrossian shops in Europe and Manhattan, and has added a prominent new marquee on Robertson Boulevard. Petrossian Paris Boutique & Café, 321 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048, 310-271-0576.
 
Two-martini Lunch at Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s
The great American tradition of the two-martini lunch is back at Ivan Kane's Café Wa s, available daily during lunch service from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A mere $5 buys you two martinis (whether it be a classic rendition, dry or shaken, or a flavored version like a lemon drop or cosmopolitan. Those martinis can be paired with a three-course prix-fixe lunch. For just $12, diners begin with a soup du jour before moving on to a half baguette sandwich, grilled or pressed, with sides, and finishing with a dessert crêpe. Hopefully, not too much work awaits back at the office! Ivan Kane’s Café Wa s, Sunset + Vine, 1521 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-466-5400.
 
Sunday Summer BBQs at Katana
Katana's Red Sun BBQ will warm up the patio every summer Sunday from 5:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Special soju, sangria and signature cocktails priced at $5.75 accompany a "garden menu" featuring Kobe beef with shiitake mushroom skewers, Wagyu steak with Alaskan king crab legs, sushi, and popular dishes like chilled spinach noodles with shrimp. The full Katana menu, including the $5 happy hour menu, is also available all night on Sundays. Katana, Piazza del Sol, 8439 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-650-8585.
 
Weekly Tapas and Champagne Specials at Shutters
The Lobby Lounge at Shutters on the Beach now offers Tapas Tuesdays, from 5 p.m.-10 p.m., featuring live guitar and $7 tapas, with $7 wines by the glass. They also host Champagne Wednesdays from 5 p.m.-midnight, with a flight of five luxury bubblies for $25. Shutters on the Beach, One Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-458-0030, 800-334-9000.
 
Saddle Peak Lodge Salutes Malibu and Calabasas
The rustic Saddle Peak Lodge is offering a new three-course menu created by chef de cuisine Adam Horton (named one of our Top 5 Rising Chefs) to celebrate the communities of Malibu and Calabasas. Dishes include wild white tuna sashimi, grilled Jidori chicken breast, roasted salmon, wild mushrrom agnolotti and seasonal fruit beignets. The cost is $55 per person, and includes a selected glass of wine. The menu is available throughout the week, with the exception of Saturday evenings. Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302, 818-222-3888.
 
Maison 140 Offers Unique Tequila And Cheese Tastings
Every Wednesday in May, Bar Noir at the chic Maison 140 in Beverly Hills expands their signature Vin et Fromage wine and cheese pairing to offer a more unusual combination of tequila and cheese. Taste three flights of Casa Noble organic ultra-premium, triple-distilled tequila paired with artisan cheeses, including the Spanish goat cheese Queso Leonora, Gabriel Coulet Roquefort and British Stilton. The cost is $35 per person. Bar Noir at Maison 140 Beverly Hills, Maison 140 Beverly Hills, 140 S. Lasky Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-281-4000.
 
LudoBites is Back
Chef Ludovic Lefebvre is bringing back his LudoBites menu to Breadbar in West Hollywood for a special engagement. Through August 22, diners can enjoy Lefebvre's interpretations of classic French dishes in a casual setting. The menu offers three appetizers, three entrées and three desserts that will change often but might include dishes like lobster gazpacho with Parmesan marshmallow and exotic fruits. LudoBites, 8718 W. Third St., West Hollywood, CA 90048, 310-205-0124.
 
New Ice Cream Offerings at Compartes
Brentwood's chic boutique Compartes Choclatier is introducing artisanal ice creams and sorbets to savor on their new patio, just in time for summer. Expect flavors like espresso gelato, lemongrass and Cabernet-blackberry sorbet, and vanilla ice cream with cracked black peppercorn. Compartes Chocolatier, 912 S. Barrington Ave., Brentwood, CA 90049, 310-826-3380.
 
Barn Burner Texas Barbeque offers "Buckburner" Menu
Texas Barn Burner Barbecue is offering its "buckburner" menu all day on Thursdays, with select items including pulled pork sandwiches, barbecue chicken, and fresh grilled corn for only $1 each. The special also includes $1 draft beer and wine, and, occasionally, live music. Texas Barn Burner Barbecue, 1000 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-403-7427.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Craft Los Angeles Chef de cuisine Matt Accarrino and pastry chef Catherine Schimenti have left Tom Colicchio's Craft Los Angeles. A new chef de cuisine has not been announced yet; Shannon Swindle of Craft Dallas will take over as pastry chef. Craft Los Angeles, 10100 Constellation Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067, 310-279-4180.
 
Craig Strong has left his position as chef de cuisine at The Dining Room at The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa. The restaurant will close at the end of August for renovations and is scheduled to re-open in the winter. Strong will become the executive chef of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach in June. The Dining Room with chef Strong was a Gayot Top 40 Restaurant in the U.S. in 2005 and 2006. Studio under chef James Boyce was on the Top 40 list in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The Dining Room, The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa Pasadena, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106, 626-568-3900.
 
Michel Richard, the latest chef to guide the kitchen at Jeffrey Chodorow's Citrus at Social, has now left the restaurant. During this transition, the bar at Social Hollywood remains open and offers a casual menu Thurs.-Sat. Citrus at Social, Social Hollywood, 6525 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-337-9797.
 
Kevin Meehan, formerly of Paperfish, has replaced Gypsy Gifford as the executive chef at Café Pinot. Café Pinot, 700 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-239-6500.
 

CLOSINGS

After 20 years, Crown City Brewery, a Cheers-like institution in Pasadena, served its last beers on May 31, after losing its lease. The owners hope to reopen elsewhere in Pasadena. The bar has not brewed its own beers in several years, but has enjoyed a fiercely loyal clientele. Crown City Brewery, 300 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, no phone.
 
After more than a dozen years as Beverly Boulevard's beloved neighborhood French bistro, Pastis, has closed its doors. It will be replaced by a café called House. Pastis, 8114 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-655-8822.
 
After a long, storied run as one of L.A.'s most beloved French bistros, Mimosa has closed its doors. Chef/owner Jean-Pierre Bosc continues to cook his bistro favorites at Hollywood's Café de Artistes. Mimosa, 8009 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, no phone.
 
In Hollywood, Red Pearl Kitchen is now closed. Red Pearl Kitchen, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, no phone.
 
Chef Laurent Quenioux closed Bistro K in South Pasadena and will open his new restaurant, BISTROLQ, on Beverly Boulevard near Fairfax in mid-July. Bistro K, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030, no phone.
 
Chef/owner Jean-François Meteigner will close La Cachette on July 31, and the space will be used for private events. However, diners will still be able to enjoy Meteigner's French cuisine at La Cachette Bistro, which will open at 1733 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica on August 1. La Cachette, 10506 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 310-470-4992.
 
In Hollywood, chef Alberto Lazzarino's pretty Italian spot Melograno has closed. He will be re-opening the restaurant in a new, yet undisclosed, location. Melograno, 6541 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, no phone.
 

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