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October 2009 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - OCTOBER 2009 Archive


OPENINGS

Los Feliz welcomes the second outpost of owner Adam Fleischman's (formerly of BottleRock and Vinoteque in Culver City) Umami Burger, taking over the old Cobras and Matadors space on Hollywood Boulevard. This larger sister spot of Umami Burger offers the original's signature gourmet burgers---the mysterious "fifth taste" umami, turkey confit, roasted green chile, truffle cheese and triple pork---as well as unusual Japanese craft beers and artisan cocktails. Lunch & Dinner daily. Umami Burger, 4655 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-669-3232.
 
WeHo's new restaurant and lounge The Hudson resides in a vintage former train station, featuring lots of dark wood, a large patio and 50-foot trees growing through the dining room. Expect artisanal cocktails, West Coast boutique-label wines and more than 30 beers. A gourmet "bar menu" features the likes of grilled calamari with olives and arugula, jalapeno mac n' cheese, pork chop with warm apple compote, and grilled mahi mahi. Lunch & Dinner daily. The Hudson, 1114 N Crescent Heights Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046, 323-654-6686.
 
In Santa Monica, the former Riva has morphed into Fraîche Santa Monica, a second location of the Culver City favorite formerly helmed by Jason Travi (who has left both locations and plans to open a new restaurant). The Santa Monica spot dishes up Fraîche classics like the ever-popular boudin noir lentils; expect new dishes, too, including foie gras terrine with prosciutto and black fig purée, and tagliatelle with lobster, as well as a revamped cocktail menu. Fraiche Santa Monica, 312 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-7482.
 
Joe Pytka's Bastide has re-opened with a bookstore inside purveying Assouline books. Chef Joseph Mahon, a Sona alum, is offering a bistro menu. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-651-5950.
 
A new casual dining venue called Boxwood Café has expanded Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood, transforming the front dining area into a chic and social all-day spot. Gordon Ramsay's first-and-only other Boxwood Café is at The Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge, London. Expect a classic English breakfast, roasted corn tortilla soup with Cojito cheese, sausage pizzette with house-smoked mozzarella and fennel, hamachi carpaccio, gnocchi with crisp prosciutto, chicken paillard with brown-butter sage, and steak au poivre with pommes frites. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily. Boxwood CafĂ©, The London West Hollywood, 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310- 358-7788.
 
In Los Feliz, the rustic Rockwell is a new sprawling 6,000-square foot restaurant/lounge attached to the back of vermont restaurant and centered around a giant underlit coral tree. A casual menu created by vermont chef Stephane Beaucamp features burgers, salads, flatbreads and small plates like almond-pesto-marinated shrimp skewers and ginger chile calamari; expect handcrafted cocktails, craft beers and boutique wines by the glass. Dinner nightly. Rockwell, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-669-1550.
 

NEWS BYTES

Muse Now Reserved for Private Events
Muse, the elegant upstairs dining room at the Montage Beverly Hills, is currently being used exclusively as a private events venue, until further notice. However, executive chef John Cuevas is responsible for the culinary program at Parq, the spacious main floor restaurant clad in Portuguese tiles. The dinner menu at Parq features items such as a LaBelle Farms foie gras slider with onion soup, tagliatelle with shaved white truffles, blackened short rib with onion jelly, and halibut with charred greens and cranberry pesto. Parq is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Muse, Montage Beverly Hills, 225 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-860-7800.
 
Mad Men "Three Martini Lunch" Offered at The Palm
The Palm in downtown L.A. introduces its "Mad Men" "three-martini lunch," featuring a three-course meal for only $23.95. Inspired by the AMC series of the same name, the promotion brings back the glamour of breaking bread with business associates, rather than grabbing a sandwich on the run. The first course consists of a mixed green salad, Caesar salad or soup of the day, followed by a second course of twin tenderloin filets, blackened steak salad, chicken Parmigiana or Atlantic salmon, served family-style with cottage fries and fried onions. The final course offers a choice between New York cheesecake and Key lime pie. Guests are on their own regarding martinis. Complimentary valet parking is available during lunch. The Palm, 1100 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-763-4600.
 
Brats, Beer & Football at Rush Street
On Saturdays and Sundays, Rush Street is celebrating Brats & Beer by offering German bratwurst and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer with a choice of french fries, tater tots, sweet potato fries or truffle fries for $10. This special is available all day long and in accordance with the brunch menu which is served from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and features bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for $20. Diners can watch Northwestern football games in the upstairs lounge every Saturday morning as well as Bears games on Sundays. Rush Street, 9546 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-837-9546.
 
"One-Buck Colorado" Menu at Kabuki
Kabuki in Old Town Pasadena is offering a reverse happy hour "One-Buck Colorado" menu. From 9 p.m.-close, Monday-Thursday, and 8 p.m.-close on Sunday, guests that choose from the select menu of regularly priced sushi, rolls or appetizers will get a second order for only $1. Dishes on the "One-Buck Colorado" menu include mixed tempura, dumplings, and spicy tuna, yellowtail and dynamite rolls. In addition, a variety of sake, beer and wine will be priced at $1 for each second order. Kabuki, 88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-568-9310.
 
Chef Ludovic Lefebvre and Sophie Gayot LudoBites Returns
Chef Ludovic Lefebvre is bringing back LudoBites, a limited engagement where diners can enjoy his modern and creative cuisine. LudoBites was previously held at Breadbar, but this time Lefebvre will be cooking at Royal/T in Culver City. The dates are December 2-4, 9-10, 13-17 and 20-22. Royal/T, 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-559-6300.
 
Prix-fixe Lunch at La Cachette Bistro
La Cachette Bistro is offering a $15 prix-fixe lunch menu Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Guests can start with soup or a mixed green salad before selecting a main course from items like a zucchini and herb omelet or baked brioche with béchamel, Swiss cheese and organic ham. Dessert might feature macaroons with chocolate sauce. La Cachette Bistro, 1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-434-9509.
 
At Jar, Second Sundays Combine the Performing & Culinary Arts
At Jar, the second Sunday of each month will feature a dramatic reading and prix-fixe menu immediately thereafter. On Sunday, November 8, highly regarded actors Michael Gross and Monette Magrath will read from Duet for One, a play by Tom Kempinski, inspired by the life of Jacqueline du Pré. The reading begins at 5:30 p.m. The menu from chef/owner Suzanne Tracht will include chestnut and chickpea soup followed by slow-roasted shoulder of Sonoma lamb with potato-leek au gratin and sautéed greens, or sautéed orata with cauliflower purée, haricots vert and Moroccan black olives. Dessert is apple bread pudding with whiskey sauce. The price is $75 per person (tax & gratuity included). Call for reservations. Jar, 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-655-6566.
 
Burgers, Beer & Blues at Firefly Bistro
Firefly Bistro has introduced Burgers, Beer & Blues every Thursday night. Chef Paul Rosenbluh's selections will change regularly but might include a mushroom-oregano seasoned hamburger with crispy shallots and Firefly fries or a tomato and grilled zucchini veggie burger with herbed goat cheese and rosemary mayo. All burgers are $12 or less, depending on the chosen toppings. The beer offerings are artisan-driven, with options like Acme Pale Ale and Abita Amber. While guests dine, Barry "Big B" Brenner plays his mix of Delta, Piedmont and more spirited Texas and Chicago style blues. Firefly Bistro, 1009 El Centro St., South Pasadena, CA 91030, 626-441-2443.
 
Grace Restaurant to Relocate Downtown
Grace restaurant owners Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser have announced plans to relocate from Beverly Boulevard to the historic 133-year-old St. Vibiana Cathedral in Downtown L.A. by the end of next year. Architect Antonio Muniz will work with designers Hermosillo & Ross to turn the Spanish baroque former rectory into a grand space with a 100-seat main dining room, courtyard, wine cellar, bar and lounge, and four private dining rooms. The $2.5 million project will preserve and incorporate original details including hand-painted ceilings, wrought ironwork and a cupola. Grace, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-934-4400.
 
Sona Remains Open Despite Rumors
In response to some rumors in the media that Sona's days may be numbered, chef/owner David Myers released a strong statement to the contrary. Myers reiterated that Sona is open and conducting business as usual. Myers says, "due to the change of the management company at Sona, there has been some confusion about our status during our restructuring. This is all behind-the-scenes and will in no way affect our service, quality of product or dining experience." Sona will be managed by David Myers Group. Sona, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048, 310-659-7708.
 
DineLA Restaurant Week Returns
Taking place from October 3-8 and 10-15, this fall's dineLA Restaurant Week offers diners the opportunity to indulge in specially priced three-course menus from a variety of LA restaurants. Meals will be available in three price categories: Deluxe Dining is $16 for lunch and $26 for dinner; Premier Dining is $22 for lunch and $34 for dinner, and Fine Dining is $28 for lunch and $44 for dinner (beverages, tax and gratuity are not included). In addition, some hotel properties affiliated with participating restaurants will offer special dineLA overnight rates and culinary packages. For more information, visit www.dinela.com/restaurantweek.
 
Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar Showcases Playboy-Inspired Wines
Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar is partnering with Playboy.com's nightlife columnist Dan Dunn "The Imbiber" to present a sexy tasting tour made up of a flight of eight wines inspired by history's most iconic Playboy Playmates. The wines will remain available by-the-taste at Pourtal through the end of October, showcased in the bar's Enomatic machines, which offer one-ounce pours priced from $2.30 to $8.80 per taste. Wines include Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Marilyn Monroe), Paraduxx 2006 (Bettie Page) and Luciano Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba 2007 (Jayne Mansfield). Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar, 104 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-393-7693.
 
Nick & Stef
Nick & Stef's Steakhouse is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a special tasting menu priced at $39.95 through November. First course selections include classic Caesar salad or tomato salad with onion and baby arugula; mains range from oak-grilled filet mignon to pan roasted organic chicken or grilled salmon, and desserts include lemon meringue pie with blackberry honey or a trio of gelato or sorbet with a shortbread cookie. Nick & Stef's, 330 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-680-0330.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Whist's new executive chef, Tony DiSalvo, is revamping the restaurant's menu with coastal Mediterranean stylings. DiSalvo is a former executive chef at Jean Georges in New York. Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-8711.
 
Chef Christopher Ennis has left Essex Public House in Hollywood, with sous chef Matt Couser taking his place. Essex Public House, 6683 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-460-6608.
 

CLOSINGS

In Santa Monica, the Italian restaurant Riva has given up the ghost and metamorphosed into a sister spot of the Culver City eatery Fraiche (with a nearly identical menu). Riva, 312 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-7482.
 
The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air has closed for renovations and plans to re-open in 2011. Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air, Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077, no phone.
 
Culver City's chic spot Wilson is now closed. Wilson, 8631 E. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, no phone.
 

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