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September 2013 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - SEPTEMBER 2013 Archive


OPENINGS

Hakkasan Beverly Hills is now open. The international Chinese restaurant group Hakkasan opened Hakkasan in Beverly Hills on September 19, 2013. Hakkasan made its debut in London in 2001, and has recently opened U.S. locations in Miami Beach, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Hakkasan, 245 N. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-888-8661.
 
Eric Greenspan’s restaurant The Foundry on Melrose has been closed since spring for remodeling, and now rumor has it that it will reopen in December as two separate venues --- a restaurant under Greenspan’s current team, and a craft cocktail bar from Key Club/Bagatelle folks that will serve up gourmet grilled cheese sammies from Greenspan’s next-door sandwich shop, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese (due to open this fall). The Foundry on Melrose, 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-651-0915.
 
Pearl's Liquor Bar is a two-story, 1920s-themed bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in the former Duke’s space. Amid marble, wood and chandeliers (or on the rooftop patio), expect craft cocktails and small plates including tuna crudo, burrata and grilled peaches, lollipop lamb chops, truffled mushroom flatbread, and Boulder Valley hangar steak with turnip purée. Lunch & Dinner daily. Pearl's Liquor Bar, 8909 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-6800.
 
Chinatown’s new stylish Italian spot, 643 North, is featuring salads and pastas from chef Oz Ramuco (Faux Pas, J Lounge) and a custom cocktail program courtesy of Far Bar's Adam Acuff. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat; Brunch Sat.-Sun. 643 North, 643 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 323-225-9991.
 
Chef Frank Fermin (Pizzeria Mozza, Church & State) and partner Mario Vollera (Hostaria del Piccolo) have opened South End, a new Italian wine bar/restaurant in Venice on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, expect baked goods and espresso, house-made salumi and mozzarella, flatbreads and rustic pizzas. Vollera has curated a large global wine list, and there are also rotating beers on tap. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. South End, 2805 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 424-228-4736.
 
Restaurateur Jack Huang has converted his former Villa Sorriso space in Old Pasadena into 168. The kitchen offers modern California dishes inspired by Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisines, created by veteran chef Hisashi Yoshiara. Menu options include spicy ahi tuna tacos, an albacore spring roll, miso-glazed Alaskan black cod, crispy chicken with orange-makrut lime sauce, and bo ssam (slow-roasted pork for six to 10 people requiring an advance order). Lunch & Dinner daily. 168, 168 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-793-8008.
 
Taking over the West Hollywood space once occupied by BLT Steak is Rare by Drai's, a modern and sexy take on the steakhouse from Victor Drai and ESquared Hospitality. In addition to aged steaks, the menu features mains like whole roasted loup de mer with lemon thyme and fennel. Rare by Drai's, 8720 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-360-1525.
 
Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi is opening The Factory Kitchen in the Arts District this fall. The stoves at this regionally inspired trattoria will be helmed by chef Angelo Auriana (Valentino). His upscale traditional Italian fare will be complemented by a wine list created by sommelier Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi. Lunch & Dinner daily. The Factory Kitchen, 1300 Factory Place, Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
 
Former Lukshon pastry chef John Park, who has also done pastry at Father's Office, Providence, XIV and Water Grill, has opened Quenelle, a bakery and ice cream parlor in Burbank. Find bon bons, pastries and cookies, in addition to ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and popsicles in flavors ranging from kaffir lime and hibiscus watermelon, to caramelized pineapple and mocha almond fudge. Open Tues.-Sat. Quenelle, 2214 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91506, 818-843-1035.
 
Le Ka’s new sister restaurant, Bunker Hill Bar & Grill, is open on Grand Avenue in downtown L.A. Replacing the former La Salsa in the One Bunker Hill office building, the 3,400-square-foot restaurant is now open for lunch until its liquor license is in full swing. Expect a truffle burger, short rib sandwich, fried chicken and fish tacos, along with larger plates of rainbow trout and tenderloin steak. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Bunker Hill Bar & Grill, One Bunker Hill, 601 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-688-2988.
 
Chef Ricardo Diaz (Bizarra Capital, Guisados) has opened Colonia Taco Lounge in La Puente. More than a dozen tacos on the menu include braised lamb barbacoa, chayote succotash, spicy pollo tesmole, and seared queso fresco with bacon and hatch chiles. Expect handmade specialty cocktails and a local craft beer list as well. Dinner nightly. Colonia Taco Lounge, 13030 E. Valley Blvd., La Puente, CA 91746, 626-363-4691.
 
At Pork Belly’s stand on Abbot Kinney, a 300-pound smoker turns out Kansas City-style sandwiches with meatballs, brisket, chorizo and fried egg, as well as the namesake dish, pork belly, served on baguette, sourdough or brioche. Also expect grilled cheese, fried pickles and sweet potato tater tots. Lunch & Dinner daily. Pork Belly's, 1146 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 424-777-8875.
 
The team behind City Tavern and Rush Street in Culver City has opened Roadside Eats, a southern-style sandwich shop, in Hollywood at the Arclight complex at Sunset and Vine. Chef/partner Dave Northrup offers up slow-cooked brisket and barbecue chicken; sandwiches ranging from applewood-smoked tri tip, pecan-fried chicken, Cajun-glazed shrimp po-boys and fried green tomato on Texas toast; as well as salads like baby kale with roasted butternut squash. Lunch & Dinner daily. Roadside Eats, 6374 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-364-0060.
 
A second location of Sweet Rose Creamery has opened in Santa Monica. The new ice cream shop from prolific restaurateurs Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, features a menu from executive chef/partner Shiho Yoshikawa and also offers soft-serve ice cream, coffee from local coffee roaster Caffe Luxxe and pastries from sister restaurant Milo & Olive. Open daily. Sweet Rose Creamery, 826 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-260-2663.
 
Rao's, the Italian restaurant with locations in New York and Las Vegas, opened a branch in Hollywood on September 17, 2013. The menu offers Rao's classics like meatballs and lemon chicken, plus more contemporary dishes unique to this location. Rao's, 1006 Seward St., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-962-7267.
 
In the former Faux Pas space on Third Street, restaurateur Jesse Gomez has opened a second outpost of his Santa Monica Mexican restaurant, Mercado. Designer Ana Henton (Lukshon) revamps the space with a modern airy look, and chef/partner Jose Acevedo’s menu, mostly similar to the Santa Monica one, features some upscale dishes like crab-stuffed shrimp with Serrano béarnaise and chile-rubbed rib eye with jalapeño horseradish cream. Agave aficionados will find a tequila room and refined tequila-based cocktails. Dinner nightly. Mercado, 7910 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-944-0947.
 
Replacing Dillon's Irish Pub on Hollywood Boulevard, 33 Taps is a sports bar featuring American pub food, 40 HD TVs and (you guessed it) 33 taps of draft beer. 33 Taps, 6263 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-962-1400.
 

NEWS BYTES

Dinner Duo: Wolfgang Puck & Daniel Boulud on October 23, 2013
Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Boulud are joining forces to create a one-of-a-kind dinner at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air on October 23, 2013. The event is in celebration of Boulud’s cookbook, Daniel: My French Cuisine, and the 20th anniversary of Daniel restaurant in New York. Guests will enjoy a five-course menu featuring farmers’ market ingredients selected by the chefs. The cost is $220 per person, excluding beverage, tax and gratuity. Optional wine pairing is available for an additional $85. For additional information and reservations, please call 310-909-1644. Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077, 310-909-1644.
 
Chef Jason Mattick's Pop-Up at Canelé
Former Milo & Olive chef Jason Mattick presents a pop-up called Mongrel at Canelé in Atwater Village. Held on the first Monday of each month, the theme is a gastronomic journey through the Middle East. Dinner is $25 per person; expect dishes like spicy meatballs with bulgur, and desserts ($7 extra) like pistachio cake with rose water and passion fruit. Mongrel, 3219 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-666-7133.
 
Wirtshaus' New Sunday Brunch Buffet
German gastropub Wirtshaus has introduced a charming and bountiful new Sunday brunch buffet, complete with a made-to-order omelet station, and hot and cold offerings including freshly baked croissants, cold cuts, salads and hearty goulash. German crepes with house-made jams or stuffed with apple are a specialty. Bottomless brunch mimosas are $12, and unlimited champagne is $8. Wirtshaus, 345 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-931-9291.
 
New Dining Options Opening Soon at LAX
The Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX will feature a number of new dining options, including ink.sack, Border Grill, The Larder at Tavern, 800 Degrees, Umami Burger, Short Cake and Petrossian Caviar & Champagne Bar. Meanwhile, Terminal 4 will be home to Mark Peel's Campanile, as well as Real Food Daily and Cole's French dip sandwiches.
 
Girasol Now Serving Brunch
Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson’s Girasol has just added brunch service. Expect Maine lobster eggs Benedict; house-made bread pudding French toast; grilled octopus gazpacho with tomatillo, cucumber, and avocado; and Bellwether Farms ricotta crepes with fresh strawberry coulis and bergamot mint. Girasol, 11334 Moorpark St., Studio City, CA 91602, 818-924-2323.
 
Starry Kitchen Pops Up at Grand Star
Those famous crispy tofu balls are back --- Nguyen and Tri Tran’s funky pop-up Starry Kitchen can currently be found at the Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown from Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Also, look for the likes of saucy Sriracha chicken, Singapore chili crab and buttermilk-beer beignets. Starry Kitchen at Grand Star, 943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-626-2285.
 
Patina's Video Challenge Contest
Patina challenges fans to create a unique, one-minute video --- with the user-friendly Tastemade iPhone app --- demonstrating their take on a classic Patina dish: Splichal’s famous Santa Barbara spot prawns with potato mousseline. Contestants submit their creative Tastemade video with the hashtag #PatinaToastsTen in the episode description and are entered to win a never-before-offered collection of prizes, including a private cooking session with Splichal and executive chef Charles Olalia in the Patina kitchen; a complimentary chef’s tasting for four guests; two complimentary tickets to the October 10 anniversary soirée; and having his or her winning recipe featured on the Patina menu. The contest deadline for submissions is October 9. Full contest details are available at www.patinarestaurant.com/contest/. Patina, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-972-3331.
 
Wine Wednesdays at Tam O’Shanter Inn
In Atwater Village, Tam O’Shanter Inn’s Wine Wednesdays offers 50 percent off of select bottles of wine and the captain's list. The special is available every Wednesday from 5 p.m.-close in the Tam’s Ale & Sandwich Bar and dining rooms. The promotion will run through Wednesday, November 13. Tam O'Shanter Inn, 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-664-0228.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Michael Butler (Jean Georges) is the new executive chef at Hollywood’s Lexington Social House. His revamped menu includes the likes of peekytoe crab cakes, burrata and peach salad with candied wasabi, and sweet pea risotto with crispy lardons. Lexington Social House, 1718 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-461-1700.
 
Perry Pollaci to be the new chef de cuisine at The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena has announced that chef Perry Pollaci will take over as chef de cuisine. He was promoted from executive sous chef, a position he’d held for two years. Meanwhile, chef Anthony Zappola is moving on to be executive chef of Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak in Las Vegas. The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106, 626-585-6410.
 
Chef Yujean Kang has moved on from Chi Lin and Tyson Wong Ophaso has taken over the position of executive chef. Ophaso, who appeared on "Iron Chef America," has worked under such chefs as Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud. Chi Lin, 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-278-2068.
 

CLOSINGS

In Los Feliz, Antonio Medina’s charming neighborhood spot Gastronomico has shuttered, but the Gastrobus will still be serving up our favorite Ecuadorian pulled pork sandwich at the Los Feliz farmers’ market on Sundays, and at other venues around town. Check www.TheGastrobus.com or their twitter @TheGastrobus. Gastronomico, 1802 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, no phone.
 
Sandy Gendel and Peter Garland’s Sirena has closed after being open for less than one year. No word on what will come next for the space that also once housed Pane e Vino for 20 years. Sirena, 8265 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048, no phone.
 
Lola's closed its doors in September 2013. The West Hollywood spot was known for its selection of martinis. Lola's, 945 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046, no phone.
 
Chef/owner Michael Young has closed his restaurant, Ombra Ristorante, in Studio City, following a two-year run. Final service took place Friday, September 6. Ombra Ristorante, 3737 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, no phone.
 

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