Los Angeles Restaurant News
Restaurateurs Matt and Marissa Hermer have opened Olivetta in the former Au Fudge space in West Hollywood. Chef Michael Fiorelli, previously of Love & Salt, draws inspiration from Italy, Greece, France and Spain for the Mediterranean menu. Olivetta, 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-307-3932.
Chef Dave Woodall and Alexis Martin Woodall have opened an elegant new incarnation of their former Eagle Rock restaurant Red Herring, now located in DTLA at the Eighth & Grand complex. Look for an American menu featuring grilled mackerel with preserved lemon gremolata, steak tartare, duck confit, crispy quail with buttermilk waffle, and a Wagyu bavette steak. Red Herring, Eighth & Grand, 770 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-375-3290.
In Century City, a new upscale brasserie, Lumière, will open this spring at the revamped luxury Fairmont Century Plaza. Chef Jason Franey will be at the helm. Lumière, Fairmont Century Plaza, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, no phone.
New York’s famous East Village bar Death & Co. has opened a new location (it’s third) in the Arts District. Look for a changing seasonal menu of 25 sophisticated and creative cocktails alongside luxe bites like Wagyu beef with chanterelle mousse, uni toast and West Coast oysters. Death & Co., 810 E. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, No phone.
Santa Monica welcomes back chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger as they open a new all-day Mexican gastropub called Socalo in the Gateway Hotel. Look for indoor and outdoor seating, Tijuana regional inspired cuisine including breakfast burritos, ceviches, tortas and tacos, a wide tequila selection, Mexican microbrews on tap, and other Latin-themed beverages. Socalo, Gateway Hotel, 1920 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404, 310-451-1655.
After closing for renovations and re-concepting in March 2019, Mélisse in Santa Monica has re-opened with a new concept, Citrin, from chef Josiah Citrin. Citrin & Mélisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-0881.
In Silver Lake, Eszett has transformed the former funky Trois Familia space into a casually elegant modern restaurant and wine bar. Owners Sabrina and Spencer Bezaire (Café Stella, L & E Oyster Bar) offer a contemporary menu, featuring salt packed anchovy and egg; charcoal roasted cauliflower with turnip soubise, pickled currants and miso; glazed local cod; pork chop with persimmon, fennel and mustard greens; and goat cheese semifreddo with pickled blackberry. Look for natural wines from California and Austria, beer and cider. Eszett, 3510 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 323-522-6323.
Neighborhood restaurant Costa Manhattan Beach offers progressive California cuisine from chef Josiah Citrin. In chic surroundings with a coastal feel, look for fresh fish, pastas and meats with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Menu items include halibut with mango, green curry and lime; cavatelli with lamb sugo and toasted bread crumbs; carrots with passion fruit and Fresno chili; sand dabs with Meyer lemon and green olives; and a porterhouse Florentine with gremolata. Costa, 1017 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-376-1536.
Found Oyster has opened in East Hollywood. Chef Ari Kolender offers seafood-focused fare, including crudos, lobster rolls, and a full raw bar featuring peel and eat blue prawns and oysters from GM Joe Laraja’s oyster farm in Orleans, Mass. A scallop tostada with yuzu kosho, GoldRush apple and opal basil, and chicken fried oysters are available, too. A select wine list has nice pairing choices by the glass and bottle. Found Oyster, 4880 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029, 323-486-7920.
VERSE has opened in Toluca Lake, led by chef Paul Shoemaker (Providence, Bastide), managing partner Rob Ciancimino (The Sayers Club) and Manny Marroquin (Grammy award-winning sound mixer). The team presents an immersive dining experience with an eclectic menu that highlights local ingredients, while the state-of-the-art Meyer Sound system transforms the auditory atmosphere of the space. A few of Shoemaker’s dishes include Kumamoto shots with apple pie moonshine, sour apple caviar, celery and green apple ice; American Wagyu tartare, with pickled plum, avocado, smoked seeds and ciabatta; and a 32-oz. Prime porterhouse with duck fat peewee potatoes, chives and black lava salt. VERSE, 4212 Lankershim Blvd., Toluca Lake, CA 91602, 818-747-2135.
The team behind Here’s Looking At You has opened All Day Baby, a chic, casual spot in Silver Lake on Sunset Boulevard. The airy, modern space offers breakfast and lunch. Look for sophisticated pastries from Thessa Diadem (Here’s Looking At You) and an elevated American menu from chef/owner Jonathan Whitener featuring fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, shrimp and grits, braised mussels toast, and smoked beef ribs. Cocktails range from a Silver Lake Spritzer made with beet-infused rosé to a Negroni float. All Day Baby, 3200 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 323-741-0082.
Chef-owner Sang Yoon’s third outpost of Father’s Office will open in its new Arts District location in The Garey Building in early 2020. Building on the success of his Culver City and Santa Monica locations, this DTLA restaurant will be the largest yet, and is designed by Ana Henton. Look for the culty signature “The Office Burger” as well as other gastropub fare like duck confit salad, spicy stout ribs and roasted bone marrow, alongside a standout selection of beers. Father's Office, 905 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 310-736-2224.
At 2nd & PCH in Long Beach, chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken’s fast-casual Pacha Mamas is a Peruvian-inspired spot serving fresh ceviches, pokes, paellas, and seared skewers a la plancha. The food incorporates locally grown and organic produce, sustainable seafood, and meats and poultry without antibiotics or hormones. House-made lemonades are available. Expect outdoor seating with heat lamps, music and a fountain. The duo also launched Border BBQ at the same complex. Look for bowls, wraps and salads made with a choice of smoked Texas-style brisket, mesquite smoked chicken, pulled pork or smoked tofu. The produce is local, rice and beans are organic, and the meats have no antibiotics or hormones. House-made lemonades are offered here, too.
Top Chef Season 3 winner Hung Huynh (Per Se and Catch in NYC) has opened Warrior in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip, in the former Pearl’s Rooftop location. The chic, Asian-styled lounge features Chinese antiques, velvet and marble accents, and impressive rooftop views. Sweet & Chili creates a classic craft cocktail list, and look for an upscale Asian lounge menu from Huynh. Warrior, 8909 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-999-0403.
Chef John Fraser presents a vegetable-forward menu at Ardor restaurant in The West Hollywood EDITION. Expect organic ingredients sourced “hyper-locally” and prepared in a simple manner to let the essence shine. Ardor, 9040 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-953-9899.
The Mayfair Hotel has opened its new signature restaurant, LOCALA, with executive chef Karo Patpatyan (Spago) at the helm. His California-inspired menu includes Spanish octopus aguachile with yuzu broth and sumac; grilled rib-eye with Argentinean chimichurri; Carpentaria prawns with white corn salad and salsa macha; and oxtail tostadas with cilantro salsa verde. Brunch dishes range from smoked salmon latkes to red velvet waffles and shakshuka. Look for beer, wine and handcrafted signature cocktails. LOCALA, The Mayfair Hotel, 1256 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-632-1200 .
Fresh on Sunset is the first U.S. location for the chic Canadian plant-based restaurant, as founder Ruth Tal partners with former “Top Chef Canada” judge Shereen Arazm (Terroni). The modern, completely plant-based menu features poutine with mushroom gravy, Jerusalem-style fresh hummus with sumac, a house-made chipotle grain burger, smashed avocado toast, charred greens and feta flatbread, tofu scrambles and a plethora of fancy salads, wraps and bowls. Look for a long list of smoothies, power shakes, cold pressed juices, kombucha cocktails, coffees and botanical lattes; alluring artisanal cocktails include “Smoke & Mirrors” with Yola mezcal, cachaça, fresh pineapple, lemon, coconut milk and Thai basil. Fresh on Sunset, 8768 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069, 310-432-5199.
Chefs Jessica Koslow (Sqirl) and Gabriela Cámara (Contramar) have opened their highly anticipated new collaborative restaurant Onda in the Santa Monica Proper Hotel. The sleek, contemporary Kelly Wearstler-designed space with angular white walls, mod wood furniture and natural light is open for dinner nightly, with breakfast and lunch service to follow. The chefs describe their concept as a “neighborhood restaurant in conversation between two sister cities, Los Angeles and Mexico City,” with a focus on fresh seafood and local seasonal produce. Dishes include a grilled nopales salad with Tokyo turnips, a smoked trout tostada, an “inside-out” turkey pastor quesadilla, charred octopus, grilled branzino, and passion fruit crumble with epazote and hazelnuts. Expect a sophisticated wine list and inventive craft cocktails to match. Onda, Santa Monica Proper Hotel, 700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-620-9917.
Beachy vibes abound at The Cliffdiver along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The menu features a selection of ceviche, tacos, quesadillas and mains like chimichurri steak frites and grilled branzino. The Cliffdiver, 21337 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265, 424-235-2595.
Toscana Under Renovations
Toscana plans to fully remodel the kitchen with design consultation from executive chef Luca Crestanelli. For this project, Toscana will be temporarily closed from January 2020 through March 1st, but next door Bar Toscana will remain open. Toscana, 11633 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049, 310-820-2448.
Jason Neroni to Take Over A-Frame Space
Chef Jason Neroni (The Rose) will take over the former space of A-Frame on LA's Westside. The restaurant name and concept have yet to be announced. A-Frame, 12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, no phone.
Twice-Annual dineLA Restaurant Week Returns
dineLA Restaurant Week returns January 17-31, 2020. This event offers diners the opportunity to indulge in specially priced menus from a variety of Los Angeles area restaurants. For more information, visit the official website
After more than 14 years with the restaurant, executive chef Tetsu Yahagi has moved on from Wolfgang Puck's Spago Beverly Hills. Ari Rosenson, previously of Puck’s CUT steakhouse, has been named executive chef. Spago Beverly Hills, 176 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-385-0880.
Roy Choi’s popular Westside restaurant A-Frame has closed after nearly a decade. Chef Jason Neroni (The Rose) will open a new restaurant in the space later this year. A-Frame, 12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, no phone.
Chef Andre Guerrero has closed his Highland Park Italian eatery Maximiliano. His neighboring Eagle Rock spot The Oinkster remains open. Maximiliano, 5930 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042, no phone.
Chef-restaurateur Michael Mina has shuttered Cal Mare at the Beverly Center. Italy’s coast and California inspired the restaurant. Cal Mare, Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, no phone.
Celebrity dining spot AGO in West Hollywood has closed. AGO, 8478 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 323-655-6333.
One of Venice Boardwalk’s most iconic eateries, Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom, closed on December 16, 2019, after 40 years of business. Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom, 2011 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291, no phone.
Church & State, one of DTLA’s most iconic restaurants, was sold by Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi last year to restaurateurs Bill Chait and Taylor Parsons. It closed for good on November 23, and will be replaced with a new unnamed project next year. Church & State, Biscuit Company Lofts, 1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles, CA 90021, no phone.
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