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November 2008 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - NOVEMBER 2008 Archive


OPENINGS

The lobby dining space of The Bazaar by José Andrés At the new luxury SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, renowned Spanish-born Chef José Andrés creates a group of conceptual lobby dining spaces in The Bazaar by José Andrés. Designed by Philippe Starck, Bar Centro features a caviar menu, raw bar selections and cocktails crafted with seasonal ingredients. Rojo y Blanca offers traditional and modern tapas dishes, and the Patisserie is an entertaining open pastry kitchen. The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS at Beverly Hills, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90048, 310-246-5555.
 
Gourmet and exotic grilled sausages can be found at the new modern-styled Wurstkuche on Third Street in Downtown L.A. Featured sausages are buffalo with chipotle, rattlesnake and rabbit with jalapeno, duck and bacon, and alligator and hickory-smoked pork andouille. There's also sweet and hot Italian, bockwurst, bratwurst and knockwurst for traditionalists. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat. Wurstkuche, 800 E. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-687-4444.
 
A second location of wine bar and retail shop BottleRock will open in January on the street level of the Met Lofts downtown. This site will be a larger version of the Culver City location, with a larger menu and wine list, plus outdoor seating, and a private dining room. BottleRock, 1050 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, no phone available yet.
 
A Japanese pastry shop, Fulfilled, has opened in Beverly Hills on Santa Monica Blvd, serving ima, the traditional filled pancake-like comfort food dating back to the Edo period. The menu includes savory versions with proscuitto, Parmesan and fresh basil, as well as sweet varieties like banana nutella, and the original azuki bean, all made hot to order. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily.
 
Chef Jason Travi, of Culver City's Fraiche, has opened Riva in Santa Monica in the large space that was formerly Scarboni. The menu features rustic coastal Italian fare via the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, with an emphasis on wild-caught and sustainable fish, and specialty wood-oven pizzas like potato with crème fraiche and rosemary. Lunch & Dinner daily. Riva, 312 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-7482.
 
Downtown's newest hipster haunt Nickel Diner is dishing up upscale diner eats like salmon-and-leek scramble, cinnamon brioche French toast, stuffed avocado with quinoa salad, spicy pulled-pork sandwich and a BLT with arugula. Décor is nostalgic, and breakfast and lunch prices are all under $12. Breakfast & Lunch Wed.-Fri. Nickel Diner, 524 South Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-623-8301.
 
Westwood's new Espresso Profeta (that replaces West Burton Coffee and Tea) is a family-run espresso bar devoted to the worship of haute coffee, helmed by co-owner Mitch Hale, formerly of Seattle's Café Vivace, and Caffe Luxxe in Santa Monica. Vivace beans are the basis of artistic cappuccinos and other unique espresso-based concoctions. Pastries come from Buttercake Bakery and sandwiches are made on Breadbar breads. Breakfast & Lunch daily. Espresso Profeta, 1129 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-208-3375.
 
In Echo Park, Restaurant 15 has re-opened as more of a small plates and wine bar concept with new owners and a stylish revamp, though within a few weeks the name will change to the Allston Yacht Club. The menu features frico (Parmesan crisp) with shallots, Merguez sausage and chayote squash with saffron sauce. A full bar mixes up signature drinks and a global wine list---offering a big selection by the glass---leans toward the Old World. Restaurant 15, 1320 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 213-481-0454.
 

NEWS BYTES

Pasadena Roy's Starts Lunch Service
Roy's in Pasadena will be open for lunch on Fridays through December. Menu offerings will include sushi rolls, sashimi, Island-inspired salads and a bento box of beef short ribs, Chinese chicken salad, ahi poke and misoyaki butterfish. A three-course prix-fixe menu, available for $25, offers options like roasted corn and sweet potato chowder, Roy's roasted macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi, and coconut haupia puffs. Roy's, 621 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101, 626-356-4066.
 
WEST Restaurant & Lounge WEST Offers "Flu Shot" Cocktail
WEST Restaurant & Lounge's bar manager James Politis is putting a positive spin on one of the not-so-nice necessities of the winter season with his "Flu Shot" cocktail. Available through January, the drink costs $12 and is made with Ketel One Citroen Vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and Chambord black raspberry liquor. WEST Restaurant & Lounge, Hotel Angeleno, 170 N. Church Ln., Los Angeles, CA 90049, 310-481-7878.
 
The Rat Pack’s Back…In Cocktail Form
Santa Monica's Casa del Mar hosts Rat Pack Thursdays from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Guests at the Veranda Lobby Lounge can enjoy ocean views while sipping on cocktails inspired by the legendary entertainers---Dean Martin (Plymouth Gin with dry vermouth plus a choice of garnish), Frank Sinatra (Maker's Mark, Angostura bitters, lemon, simple syrup and Lucid Absinthe) and Sammy Davis Jr. (Courvoisier VS Citronage, lemon juice and simple syrup). In addition, oysters, shrimp and lobster are available from the raw bar. Casa del Mar, 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-581-5533, 800-898-6999.
 
Good for Your Body and Wallet
Highlighting heart-healthy dishes on menus has already been a dining trend, and Crustacean in Beverly Hills is putting their spin on this by labeling dishes with immunity-enhancing ingredients that are supposed to help fight disease. Registered dietician Ashley Koff consulted on the menu, which is also free of MSG and transfats. Meanwhile, diners can also look after the health of their wallets by taking advantage of the restaurant's two-course business lunch priced at $16. Menu choices include grilled beef steak salad, Saigon sweet and sour prawns, and Parmesan cheese crusted filet of sole with bell pepper coulis. Crustacean, 9646 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-205-8990.
 
Brown Bag It
Ivan Kane's Café Wa s puts a "bohemian hobo" twist on bottle service with its new Flask Service. Guests can choose from spirits like Bacardi Light, Cuervo Gold, Dewar's White Label, Jack Daniels, Tanqueray, Smirnoff, Southern Comfort and Wild Turkey 101, which arrive alongside half carafe mixers and are appropriately placed in signature Café Wa s brown bags. Flask Service ranges from $58-$72. Ivan Kane's Café Wa s, Sunset + Vine, 1521 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-466-5400.
 
Tuesday Truffle Fix at Wilshire
Every Tuesday until the end of the white truffle season Wilshire Restaurant is offering a four-course prix-fixe menu based on the delectable fresh fungus, with dishes like white truffle pizza with soft scrambled eggs and truffled chicken with porcini risotto. Dinner is $95 per person; with wine pairings add an additional $30. Wilshire Restaurant, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 310-586-1707.
 
The Turkey Sushi Roll at Takami Sushi & Robata Takami Gets Festive for Thanksgiving
Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant + Elevate Lounge is getting in the Thanksgiving holiday spirit by offering Takami's Turkey Sushi Roll, made with roasted turkey and rice wrapped in soy paper with avocado, asparagus, cucumber and Daikon sprouts. The roll is then drizzled with gravy and served with cranberry sauce, grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes, and a shot glass of pumpkin soup. Takami's Turkey Sushi Roll costs $20 and is available through Thanksgiving. Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant + Elevate Lounge, 811 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-236-9600.
 
Little Dom's Monday Night Suppers
In Los Feliz, Little Dom's is featuring a $15 prix-fixe supper on Monday nights featuring seasonal dishes like fried green tomatoes with sun dried tomato pesto, white corn polenta with wild mushrooms, and Mexican chocolate budino. Bottles of Dago Red or White are $10, and Peroni beer is $2. Little Dom's, 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-661-0055.
 
Falcon's Market Crash Menu
Falcon's "give and get Thursday" offers a "market-crash menu" that includes gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with Kahlua and milk, mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato gazpacho, and mac 'n' cheese for $5 each. Signature cocktails like the "stockbroker blues" are also $5, and Falcon's homemade "bathtub gin" is $1. There's also a SOVA food bank donation and live jazz. The event runs every Thursday from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. through December 18. Falcon, 7213 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-850-5350.
 
Citizen Smith Offers Monday-Tuesday Deals
Hollywood's Citizen Smith is featuring a "friends and family" special on Mondays, with 50 percent off all food all day long. Jazz Tuesday offers half-off bottles of wine and live music through the evening. Citizen Smith, 1600 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-461-5001.
 
A Fond Farewell
Jay Fiondella, the owner of Chez Jay restaurant in Santa Monica, passed away on November 6 at the age of 82 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Chez Jay, which opened in 1959 and has hosted celebrities such as Sean Penn, Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra, is now managed by co-owner Michael Anderson. Chez Jay, 1657 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-1741.
 
BLVD 16 Participates in the Red Ribbon Campaign
BLVD 16, at the Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Westwood, announces its participation in the company-wide Red Ribbon Campaign to benefit AIDS charities. During the months of November and December, a portion of the proceeds from three new specialty cocktails at BLVD 16 will benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles. These include Rouge on the Rocks (Milagro blanco tequila, Grand Marnier liqueur, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, mint leaves, and raspberries); the Scarlet Night (Bacardi Rum, white peach puree, fresh lime juice, orange wedge and Campari); and the Ruby Sparkle (Grey Goose vodka, Grand Marnier, pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, and sparkling wine). BLVD 16, Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Westwood, 10740 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-474-7765.
 
Charlie Palmer's Happy Hour
In Costa Mesa, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza has a luxe new happy hour, which takes place every day 4 p.m.-7 p.m., and again from 7 p.m.-12 a.m., in the lounge. All wines by the glass, beer and cocktails are half-price. With the most expensive glass of Cabernet at $40, it's a good deal. Cocktails like the Cougar Cosmo usually run $12. The singular food special is Kobe beef sliders and fries for $9. Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza, Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-352-2525.
 
Brooks' Prix-Fixe Stimulus
In Ventura, Brooks restaurant is offering a special prix-fixe "Gastronomic Stimulus," with a lunch that includes three courses for $23. The menu features chestnut soup; wood-grilled, citrus-marinated chicken breast; and cinnamon roll bread pudding. Dinner is $33, with items such as shredded short rib, Scottish salmon and Maytag blue cheesecake. Brooks, 545 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, CA 93001, 805-652-7070.
 
From the Vine Recap
At the end of October, Los Angeles magazine presented "The Food Event '08: From the Vine," its third annual culinary extravaganza featuring celebrity chefs, top restaurants and, this year, a focus on California wines. The event took place at the Malibu vineyards of Saddlerock Ranch. Master sommeliers gave lessons in the art of pouring and tasting, acclaimed chefs (e.g. Kerry Simon, Neal Fraser, Nancy Silverton) performed cooking demonstrations, and a wide selection of wineries offered their best vintages. A portion of the proceeds benefited the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank and the Concern Foundation.
 
Grace at the Thanksgiving Table
Grace is offering a Thanksgiving to-go meal featuring Neal Fraser's "almost famous" deep-fried turkey (fully cooked, to be reheated), and festive sides including mashed Yukon gold potatoes, sun-dried cranberry and sage stuffing, thyme and black truffle turkey gravy, wild mushrooms and sweet potato pie with toasted marshmallow and orange crème Anglaise. Turkeys serve six to eight people ($120 to $145), and sides come by the quart or piece. Orders must be faxed by 5 p.m. on Nov. 24 and picked up Wednesday, Nov. 26. The order form is available on the website at www.gracerestaurant.com. Grace, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-934-4400.
 
Katsuya’s Ninth Hour
Apparently, even Katsuya is noticing the recession and is offering a new happy hour Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with select specialty cocktails and menu items priced at $9 each. Drinks include the sugarsnap (sweet pea-infused vodka and citrus) and the watermelon cucumber mojito, as well as hot sake carafes and all well drinks. Pair them with Katsuya staples like crispy rice, baked hand crab roll and rock shrimp tempura. Each of the SBE-owned Katsuya locations, Brentwood, Hollywood and Glendale, will be offering the specials.
 
Just Desserts for Election Night
Mrs. Beasley's bakeries have the just desserts for Democrats or Republicans looking for a sugar rush as the swing states get counted. Munch on tasty butter shortbread cookies with a handsome photo of Obama; or a cupcake with Sarah Palin's face might be just the right bite. McCain and Biden also grace these stylish sweets, which are $3.50 each. Find them at seven locations from Beverly Hills to Pasadena at www.mrsbeasleys.com.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Executive chef Greg Bernhardt has left the helm at Steven Arroyo's downtown brasserie Church & State in the Biscuit Company Lofts complex; his replacement has not yet been announced. Church & State, Biscuit Company Lofts, 1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles, CA 90021, 213-405-1434.
 
Chef Troy Thompson has left The Kress, and taking over the stoves is Travis Kamiyama. Kamiyama was previously the executive chef and owner of his own start-up business, the Kamiyama Sushi Group. The Kress, 6608 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-785-5000.
 
Antonio Orlando, formerly of Valentino and chef/owner of popular Italian eatery Fresco Ristorante in Glendale, replaces Don Dickman as executive chef at Matteo's. Matteo's, 2321 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, 310-475-4521.
 
At All'Angelo, executive chef Mirko Paderno has been replaced by Ezio Puccioni, a native of Rimini, Italy, on the Adriatic coast. Puccioni cooked formerly at Bologna's Carracci restaurant and Angelini Osteria in Los Angeles. He's looking forward to introducing the fresh flavors and regional dishes of Emilia Romagna to the menu. All'Angelo, 7166 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-933-9540.
 

CLOSINGS

Joe Pytka has shuttered his West Hollywood restaurant Bastide. The last time Bastide closed (in early 2006), it did not reopen until a year and a half later. There's no news yet on whether it will be resuscitated or shuttered permanently. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-651-5950.
 
In Studio City, Katsu Michite's Tama Sushi has closed, but rumors have it that it will re-open as another Japanese restaurant by the Katsu-ya folks.         Tama Sushi, 11920 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, no phone.
 
Silver Lake's design-heavy, clubby Indian restaurant Tantra is now closed. Tantra, 3705 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, no phone.
 
The Sunset Strip's California Pizza Kitchen at 8000 Sunset Boulevard, following the way of that complex's Virgin Megastore and several other businesses, is now closed. California Pizza Kitchen, 8000 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046, no phone.
 

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