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September 2014 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - SEPTEMBER 2014 Archive


OPENINGS

Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s successful New York City Italian market and food court, Eataly, will be opening an L.A. location at the Westfield Century City mall in 2017. Eataly, Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067, no phone.
 
Move over Umami Burger, there’s a new savory burger franchise fresh out of Las Vegas in town. Bachi Burger has now opened its third location, this time on Sawtelle, serving Asian-style burgers (“bachi” is short for hibachi) and other signature dishes including oxtail cheese fries, grilled Kurubota and Arabiki sausages, a house-made pickle assortment, and Peking-style duck steamed buns. The banh mi burger combines Angus beef (or substitute Wagyu) with shrimp, lemongrass, pork pâté and fresh herbs; the Ronin burger is topped with caramelized onions, fried egg and yuzu aioli. To drink, expect specialty sake cocktails, premium hot and cold sake, craft beer, boutique wines and hard ciders. Lunch & Dinner daily. Bachi Burger, 2030 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 702-242-2244.
 
Tipple & Brine and Tunnel Bar owner Richard DiSisto has replaced Mad Bull’s Tavern with a new gastropub, Murph’s, in what is becoming known as “downtown” Sherman Oaks. The self-described “casual Americana dining station and watering hole” features design elements of polished concrete, leather and steel, with an old car motif and patio. Expect nearly two dozen craft beers on tap and elegant craft cocktails. A menu from chef Mike Williams (Tipple & Brine, The Parish) spotlights house-made charcuterie, fried pig ears, pastrami short ribs on rye spaetzle, a fried chicken sandwich with pickled jalapenos and several gourmet burgers. Dinner nightly, Lunch Sat.-Sun. Murph's, 14649 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403, 818-986-9999.
 
Portland’s hippest darling for ice cream, Salt & Straw, has opened a sibling shop in Hancock Park on Larchmont. Ice creams are handmade locally, with local cream from Rockview Farms, using seasonal SoCal ingredients like sweet almonds from Kern county, peaches from Burkart Organic Farms, and Grand Poppy liqueur. Unexpected “classic” flavors served yearlong include single-origin Amadeus Vanilla, Stumptown Coffee & Compartes Love Nuts, and Tomato Water and Ojai Olive Oil Sherbet. Salt & Straw, 240 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004, 323-466-0485.
 
The team behind Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa Italian Roots (including Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix) has a new hit cocktail bar in Santa Monica, The Chestnut Club. Lots of leather, brick and wood creates a sophisticated setting for craft cocktails like the Blackberry Honey Sour or “Brighton Racecourse,” a gin and tonic spiked with lavender and grapefruit. The large spirit selection includes a selection of more than 400 select spirits, liqueurs and fortified wines. The Chestnut Club, 1348 14th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404, 310-393-1348.
 
In Sherman Oaks, Tipsy Cow is serving up the magic combo of gourmet burgers, craft beers and handmade cocktails. Haute starters include eye-catching tarragon deviled eggs, blue crab dip and short-rib poutine fries, while plump burgers are made with free-range, sustainably raised Angus beef. There are also turkey, tuna and veggie options. The bar offers 32 rotating craft beers, as well as a dozen bottles, and a select wine list. Cocktails feature ingredients like roasted chipotle syrup.
 
The Little Door now has a sister location in Santa Monica in the former location of Villetta and Chez Mimi. Like the original, this branch also features a courtyard and a Mediterranean-inspired menu. The Little Door, 246 26th St., Santa Monica, CA 90402, 310-310-8064.
 
Slow-cooked, smoky meat has arrived in the L.A. area on a grand scale with the opening of HOLY COW BBQ. While the restaurant goes with the Texas roadhouse theme, serving meals on tin plates and drinks in Mason jars, the menu features barbecue styles from all around the United States. Carolina-, Memphis-, Kansas City- , Santa Maria- and Texas-style barbecue includes pork, beef, turkey, chicken and fish options. Among sides are regional favorites like mac and cheese, kettle beans, sweet potatoes, collard greens and cornbread. Brentwood vegan chili, chop-chop salad and a quinoa and farro side are available for the non-meat eaters in the bunch. California wines and beers round out the menu. Behind this enterprise are founder and barbecue aficionado Rob Serritella (MessHall), executive chef Michael Rosen (Pacific Dining Car, Zeke’s Smokehouse) and consulting chef Glenn Walton (Tillman’s Roadhouse and New York City’s North End Grill). HOLY COW BBQ, 264 26th St., Santa Monica, CA 90402, 310-883-6COW.
 
Chef Vic Casanova (Gusto) and general manager Seth Glassman have opened Pistola Chef Vic Casanova (Gusto) and general manager Seth Glassman have opened Pistola in the former a.o.c. space. This Italian restaurant serves up Prime steaks, seafood, pastas and classic cocktails. Pistola, 8022 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-951-9800.
 
Gadarene Swine has opened in Studio City Chef Phillip Frankland Lee (Scratch Bar) has opened The Gadarene Swine in Studio City. Lee offers a chef’s counter with an innovative all-vegetable omakase menu; an à la carte menu (also all vegetables, despite the restaurant's moniker, which is a Biblical allusion) is available at tables. Expect beer and wine. The Gadarene Swine, 11266 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, 818-508-5500.
 
Hollywood spot FiveOFour will open a second location in downtown L.A. this fall in the former digs of The Parish. Open-air patios will highlight this split-level restaurant with a Cal-New Orleans menu from Michael Ruiz (Cobras & Matadors, The Morrison). Expect the likes of crispy frogs legs, Cajun grouper, short ribs, a raw bar and a frozen Daiquiri bar. FiveOFour, 840 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90014, no phone.
 
Bacari PDR has opened in Playa Del Rey Bacari PDR, a sibling of downtown wine bar Bacaro L.A., has opened in Playa Del Rey. Chef Lior Hillel, an alum of Jean-Georges in New York, offers a menu of “cicchetti” Italian small plates and a wine list that focuses on lesser-known varietals from all over the world. There are also craft beers and cocktails. Weekend brunch is in the works. Bacari PDR, 6805 Vista Del Mar Ln., Playa Del Rey, CA 90293, 310-439-2100.
 
Just off the beach, The Anchor has thrown open its doors, bringing a seaside vibe to well ... the seaside. With a bright nautical theme and a menu filled with lobster rolls, oysters, scallops and braised octopus, plus wine and craft beer, it's a quick stroll from Ocean Front Walk. The Anchor, 235 Main St., Venice, CA 90291, 310-664-9696.
 

NEWS BYTES

Roast chicken and frites from the Frites Grill menu at Mimi’s Cafe Frites Grill Menu at Mimi's Cafe
Chef Katie Sutton, the head of the culinary team at Mimi’s Cafe restaurants, spent two months in France perfecting her version of the French frite that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The results can now be found on the Frites Grill menu, offering steak frites, grilled salmon & frites, grilled chicken & frites, mussels & frites, and roasted chicken & frites. For more information and locations, visit www.mimiscafe.com
 
Pok Pok Expansion
Andy Ricker, chef of the perpetually buzzworthy Pok Pok Ny, has announced he’s not only opening one Pok Pok in Los Angeles, but two. There will be a Pok Pok LA and a Pok Pok Phat Thai in Chinatown.
 
La Brea Bakery Café oatmeal-raisin cookies help raise money for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Cookies for a Cause
During the month of September, La Brea Bakery Café is donating $1 from the sale of every $4 specially marked two-pack of oatmeal-raisin cookies to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to help fight childhood hunger. Each dollar can help connect a child with up to 10 meals. For more information about the No Kid Hungry campaign, visit www.nokidhungry.org. La Brea Bakery Café, 468 S. La Brea Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-939-6813.
 
The Club Room at BOA Steakhouse Debuts New Bar and Happy Hour Menu
BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood has debuted a new lounge space and bar menu at The Club Room, now located adjacent to the restaurant’s bar area. The new space features sophisticated décor and plush seating around a big-screen TV, ready for NFL game days. Revamped libations range from the ginger and honey-tinged “Islay Elixir” to the “BOA 405” made with Beluga vodka, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, lemon and cracked pepper. New Club Room “bites” include blue crab toasts, crispy stuffed squash blossoms, yellowtail crudo, sliders and burgers, and truffled cheese nachos. Boa Steakhouse, Luckman Plaza, 9200 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-278-2050.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Chef Dakota Weiss announced via Facebook that she's leaving the W Los Angeles - Westwood, which includes NINETHIRTY, Whiskey Blue and The Backyard. We hear there may be new dining concepts in the works. W Los Angeles - Westwood, 930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-208-8765, 888-627-7135.
 

CLOSINGS

Red Medicine will close at the end of October 2014. We will miss chef Jordan Kahn’s cuisine. Red Medicine will close at the end of October 2014. We will miss chef Jordan Kahn’s cuisine. His creativity and cuisine put him on the coveted GAYOT’s Top 5 Rising Chefs in the US list in 2011. Perhaps the noise and darkness of the restaurant took a toll on the patrons. We look forward to his new venture. Red Medicine, 8400 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211, 323-651-5500.
 
Rare by Drai's, a modern and sexy take on the steakhouse from Victor Drai and ESquared Hospitality, has closed after less than a year in business. Rare by Drai's, 8720 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
 
George Abou-Daoud’s Hollywood wine and cheese spot, The Mercantile, has closed, but plans to reopen in a different location sometime next year. The Mercantile, 6600 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, no phone.
 
Hollywood’s bourbon-centric sports bar and casual restaurant Township Saloon has closed. Township Saloon, 6612 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, no phone.
 
Jun Isogai’s unique Little Tokyo nose-to-tail restaurnt B.o.s. closed September 27 due to high costs and expenses. B.o.s., Honda Plaza, 424 E. Second St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, no phone.
 

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