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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
December 2009 Archive

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Adjacent to the real La Brea tar pits is Mark Peel (Campanile) and partners' sleek new Moderne restaurant and bar The Tar Pit. Head bartender Marcos Tello (The Edison) has created a cutting edge artisan cocktail list that includes drinks like the Jamaican Firefly, Cucumber Mint Creole and Lemon Thyme Daiquiri. The bar menu features duck sliders, fried oysters and steak tartare; the dining menu (also available in the bar) offers wild boar meatballs, gnocchi with escargots, lobster bisque with cognac, and braised pork cheeks and ears. Dinner nightly. The Tar Pit, 609 North La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-965-1300.
A new downtown gastropub, The Lazy Ox, is open in Little Tokyo. With veterans ranging from Sushi Roku to Chaya Brasserie to Boa Steakhouse, the restaurant offers compelling craft beers and esoteric wines, along with a fairly upscale seasonal menu from chef Josef Centeno (Opus Restaurant, Lot 1). Dishes include beef tartare with juniper berry, brick-roasted mussels with basil, smoked sesame-crusted ahi, pan-fried skate wing with ham hocks, and blood orange flan. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily. The Lazy Ox, 241 S San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-626-5299.
The elegant, upscale Thai eatery Soi 7 adds some spice to Downtown's hip 7th Street, joining neighbors Bottega Louie and Seven Grand. Located on the ground floor of the Mandel lofts, expect traditional dishes like green papaya salad and tom yum goong, as well as gourmet stylings of arctic char with Panang curry sauce, Mekong whisky-infused baby back ribs, and Massaman curry-braised short ribs. Lunch and Dinner daily. Soi 7, 518 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014, 213-537-0333.
Former Bottlerock partner Adam Fleischman has added a third Umami Burger to his "fifth taste" gourmet burger franchise at the new chic Space 15 Twenty on Cahuenga in Hollywood, which also includes Urban Outfitters. Expect the same menu of fancy burgers, including a Port and Stilton burger and the signature Umami burger with its own secret sauce. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily. Umami Burger, Space 15 Twenty, 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd. #7, Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-469-3100.
Chefs Quinn and Karen Hatfield have reopened Hatfield's in a new location with an exhibition kitchen and larger dining room. (Eva Restaurant now occupies the former space at 7458 Beverly Boulevard.) Dishes like the croque madame with prosciutto and hamachi and the "Sugar and Spice" beignets with chocolate fondue and a milkshake shot appear on the menu. Peter Birmingham, formerly of Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar, is the beverage director and general manager. Hatfield's, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-935-2977.
La Canada's ChocolateBox Café has opened a chic sister store in Malibu. The boutique café/gourmet shop offers light fare, including a grilled ahi tuna sandwich with lemon ginger slaw, wild salmon salad, hot European chocolate drinks tinged with violet and jasmine, Italian gelato and sorbetto, and of course, fine artisanal Belgian chocolates spanning from truffles to marzipan. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily. ChocolateBox Café, 3939 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu, CA 90263, 310-456-7977.
House Café has opened in the former Pastis space on Beverly Boulevard. Chef Ricky Moreno (Capo) offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu based on market-driven Cal-Italian/Mediterranean cuisine. Expect burrata omelets, sea bass tagine, branzino, cote de boeuf and a reasonable wine list. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily. House Café, 8114 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-655-5553.
Arguably the best name of the year might go to the new 9021Pho, a Beverly Hills Vietnamese spot opened by former Michelia chef Kimmy Tang. The menu includes a signature spring roll with crab meat, taro and wood ear mushrooms; steamed shrimp dumplings; grilled beef wrapped in a vine leaf; star anise salmon, Buddha curry; and cilantro prawns. In addition to the health-conscious menu, expect several pricey versions of the ubiquitous Vietnamese noodle soup. Lunch & Dinner daily. 9021Pho, 490 N Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-275-7077.
Chef Michael Ruiz, whose former Bistro Verdu is fondly remembered by Glendale area locals, has teamed with catering chef Gail Connell on Fork, a neighborhood "working-class bistro" with an attractively priced menu reflecting France, Italy and the American Heartland. Jeff Zimmitti of nearby Rosso Wine Shop has created an affordable, eclectic list to complement dishes such as duck confit salad with sherry vinaigrette, short ribs cooked in Burgundy wine, and white seabass with beurre blanc. The intimate eatery seats approximately 40 indoors, with al fresco seating for another 20 guests. Lunch Tues.-Fri., Dinner Tues.-Sat., Brunch Sat.-Sun. Fork, 2263 Honolulu Ave., Montrose, CA 91020, 818-248-2100.


Paying with Plastic
Regent Hospitality Parking is now accepting credit and debit cards at the valet parking stations of Bouchon and Pizzeria Mozza/Osteria Mozza. If the cashless payment program proves successful, the company will start rolling it out at other restaurants. Bouchon, Garden Building, 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-271-9910.
New Name for Stone Fire Pizza
Stone Fire Pizza on La Cienega has changed its name to Oakfire Pizzeria & Pub. Chicago-style pies and more than two dozen thin-crust pizzas are still on offer. Owner Greg Morris Morris is also planning a second Oakfire Pizzeria & Pub in Sherman Oaks in early 2010. Oakfire Pizzeria & Pub, 829 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-659-8848.
STK Introduces Lite Bites Menu
Sunday thru Friday from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., STK is featuring a Lite Bites Menu. Dishes range from $5-$15 and include truffle fries, mac ‘n' cheese, tuna sashimi and a 6 oz. skirt steak with salad. Three brands of beer are priced at $5 each, while by-the-glass wines and specialty cocktails are $10. STK, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-659-3535.
New Bento to Go Lunch at Chaya Brasserie
Chaya Brasserie's classic lunch bento box is now available for take-out. There's a new bento each week; the price is $12 each. Place orders by 11:30 a.m. daily at 310-859-8833 phone/310-859-4991 fax. Sign up on the special bento e-mail list ([email protected]) to get info on the weekly bentos. Chaya Brasserie, 8741 Alden Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 310-859-8833.
Border Grill Truck for Holiday Catering
The Border Grill Truck caters holiday parties---by pulling right up to them. The truck's menu features holiday specials of turkey tacos with honey-lime yams and cranberry salsa, as well as Yucatan pork tacos, carne asada quesadillas, green corn tamales, Peruvian ceviche and dulce de leche-infused churro bites with cinnamon sugar and whipped cream. (Since the truck is part of Border Grill & Ciudad Catering, margaritas and mojitos are available too.) Contact catering manager Kathryn Sweeney at 213-542-1102 or e-mail [email protected]


A new chef completes a shakeup at Vertical Wine Bistro in Old Pasadena. Doug Weston, formerly of Joe's in Venice, takes over as executive chef. This move follows the announcement of David Haskell, former owner of West Hollywood's BIN 8945 and a veteran of the New York dining scene, as managing director/"wine dude." Weston has already introduced some new dishes, including corn fritters with cured salmon and crème fraîche, gruyère mac and cheese, and escolar with spinach pesto.  Vertical Wine Bistro is owned by movie producer Gale Anne Hurd. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Vertical Wine Bistro, 70 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103, 626-795-3999.


Sushi on Sunset East/West Fusion, located on the Sunset Strip, has closed. Sushi on Sunset East/West Fusion, 8264 W Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046, no phone.

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