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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
December 2012 Archive

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Casa Nostra Ristorante Downtown, a sister restaurant to Casa Nostra Ristorante in the Pacific Palisades, has opened in downtown Los Angeles a block from The Original Pantry Cafe. Casa Nostra Ristorante Downtown, 825 W. 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-362-3311.
Church & State owner Yassmin Sarmadi is partnering with former Patina executive chef Tony Esnault to open Spring, a French restaurant to be located in the historic Douglas Building on Spring and Third Street in downtown L.A. The upscale bistro/fine-dining concept will focus on a seasonal, progressive and a solidly French menu. Spring will also have a separate bar and lounge. Church & State bartender Jonathan Navasartian and beverage director Sarah Clarke will move over to the new digs. Expect the opening next summer. Spring, 257 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, no phone.
Bedford & Burns opened in Beverly Hills January 1. The refined American bistro menu features a grazing selection that includes oysters on the half shell, American charcuterie, and small plates like ceviche and crispy calamari. Lunch and dinner fare includes big salads, wood-oven pizzas, steaks and fish. Also, expect a full bar. Bedford & Burns, 369 N Bedford Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-273-8585.
Downtown's darling chef Josef Centeno (Lazy Ox Canteen) has opened Bar Amá just down the street from his wildly successful Baco Mercat. Here he pays homage to his mom, grandma and Tex-Mex roots with a menu of hearty fare like menudo, lengua carnitas, chile verde, ceviches and moles. Puffy tacos are a specialty, and don't forget the pork belly chicharron. Expect a full tequila and mezcal bar with Mexican beer only on tap. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Bar Amá, 118 W. 4th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-687-8002.
Culinary couple Whitney Flood and Julie Retzlaff of Bon Mélange Catering (and sometime underground chefs) have opened Muddy Leek in Culver City. The eclectic, contemporary farm-to-table menu focuses on organic, artisanal and locally sourced ingredients, with everything made from scratch and in-house. Dishes include rabbit-pistachio ballotine with orange-braised fennel, and venison with foraged mushrooms, braised bacon and sweet potato hash. Muddy Leek, 8631 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-838-2281.
Le Ka has opened in downtown Los Angeles Le Ka has opened in downtown Los Angeles, under the culinary direction of chef Remi Lauvand, whose resume reflects stints at New York's La Grenouille and Le Cirque. His starters include escargots with gnocchi, uni with braised oxtail, and wild boar albondigas. Main courses range from sweetbreads with wild mushrooms to roasted black bass. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Le Ka, 800 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-688-3000.
Owner Iris Lee has opened Float in the South Lake Avenue shopping district in Pasadena, tucked into a charming alley-like arcade. It offers products from around town, like Handsome Coffee from LA MILL, ice cream from Fosselman's, and bagels from Brooklyn Bagel Factory. Well-stuffed sandwiches include the "Goodfella" hoagie (salami, capicola, soppressata, provolone and crunchy pancetta chips), or Jewish-style pastrami. Open daily. Float, 380 S. Lake Ave., #160, Pasadena, CA 91101, 626-844-3488.
Recently opened in Calabasas is Salt, is a venture of chef/owner David Iino. An ingredient-driven American bistro, Salt offers starters such as ale-steamed mussels, tuna tartare and roasted beet and goat cheese salad; followed by grilled flatiron steak, wild mushroom mac and cheese, and brick chicken. Hepp's salts are used in the kitchen, and some additional varieties of finishing salts are offered. The interior is contemporary with some rustic finishes. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Salt, 26500 Agoura Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302, 818-880-9260.
Beverly Hills now has a branch of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, the steakhouse chain with an extensive wine program. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 252 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-278-8710.
Chef Ricardo Zarate (Picca, Mo-Chica) will open Paiche, a Peruvian ceviche restaurant, in Marina del Rey. The address and opening date have yet to be officially announced.


Urbano Pizza Bar to Be Relocate
Urbano Pizza Bar owners Michael Leko and Will Shamlian have joined forces with Jon Valenti and Steen Bojsen-Moller to form ACME Bar Group. Urbano Pizza Bar will relocate to a larger, yet-to-be-announced location, while a new concept called 6th St. Tavern will open in the Pizza Bar's current space in the first quarter of 2013. Urbano Pizza Bar, 630 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-614-1900.
Downtown's Grand Central Market Getting an Update
In downtown L.A. the historic open-air Grand Central Market is getting a big revamp to bring it into the 21st century. The colorful market, built in 1917 in the Homer Laughlin Building, is getting a deep cleaning and renovations to add new retailers offering cheese, wine, coffee, bread and sustainable proteins and produce. Many current vendors will remain. There are also plans to open a 12,000-square-foot Basement at Grand Central Market for artisan stalls and charcuterie, craft beer and wine vendors, as well as an exhibition kitchen.
The Macallan Brand Ambassador Charlie Whitfield with actor Kevin McKidd The Macallan Collaborates with Annie Leibovitz & Kevin McKidd
For the latest installment in its Masters of Photography series, The Macallan commissioned Annie Leibovitz to photograph actor Kevin McKidd in New York for the labels of four special edition whiskies. In his younger days, the "Grey's Anatomy" actor, who grew up in Elgin, Scotland, actually worked at the distillery sweeping the floors. (McKidd is pictured on the right, holding the bottle, with Brand Ambassador Charlie Whitfield.) Master Distiller Bob Dalgarno, whose nose is insured for $4 million, took inspiration from Leibovitz's portraits when crafting the whiskies, which were dubbed The Library, The Gallery, The Bar and The Skyline. Production was limited to 1,000 bottles, priced at $2,750, including a presentation box with a print of the Annie Leibovitz picture. Ten Pound (£10) at the Montage Beverly Hills received three Masters of Photography bottles to sell on December 21, 2012. For more information, visit Ten Pound, Montage Beverly Hills, 225 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-860-5808.
Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
Chef Thomas Keller has released a new cookbook featuring recipes from Bouchon Bakery. Read more on GAYOT's blog. Bouchon Bakery, Garden Building, 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-271-9910.
Barbershop Ristorante Italiano Pop-Up Atop the New A.O.C.
Chef Walter el Nagar will offer BarberShop Ristorante Italiano, a pop up with a seasonal Italian menu upstairs at the new A.O.C. location, while Suzanne Goin prepares the downstairs space for the restaurant reopening. El Nagar, most recently of La Botte Ristorante in Santa Monica, will be offering his nouvelle Italian cuisine Wednesday through Saturday nights Dec. 19-Jan. 12, 2013. Utilizing both classic culinary techniques and molecular gastronomy, the menu will be dictated by what is available at the farmers' market and the fish markets, and will change weekly. A six-course prix-fixe menu with or without wine pairings will be presented at an exclusive chef's table, serving 16 diners per seating, with two seatings per night. The cost for the six courses (plus extras sent out by the chef) is $75, with wine pairings available for an additional $35 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required by calling 424-272-5849. Barbershop Ristorante Italiano Pop Up, 8700 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 424-272-5849.
Rockwell Offers John Hughes Holiday Hits & Christmas Cocktails
This holiday season, Rockwell: Table & Stage presents "For The Record: John Hughes (Holiday Road)," showcasing signature songs and moments from John Hughes' holiday favorites. A special cocktail menu designed specifically for this show ($10 each) includes "An Old Fashioned Christmas," made with Grey Goose, orange liqueur, rosemary and chestnut honey and egg white. Weekly performances are Thursday through Sunday at 8 p.m. from December 6-30, 2012. For ticket information, please call 323-661-6163 (ext. 20) or visit Rockwell: Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-669-1550.


Chef Tony Esnault, formerly ofJoachim Splichal's flagship downtown restaurant Patina, is the consulting chef for the French bistro Church & State. Church & State, Biscuit Company Lofts, 1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles, CA 90021, 213-405-1434.
Benjamin Bailly has been appointed chef at Public Kitchen & Bar at The Hollywood Roosevelt. Public Kitchen & Bar, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-769-8888.
Chris Crary, one of's Top 5 Rising Chefs in the U.S., has left his chef de cuisine position at Whist. He will oversee the kitchen at 41 Ocean, a members-only dining club that will open in Santa Monica in January 2013. Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-260-7511.
Chef Adam Horton has left Raphael in Studio City, with no news on his replacement yet. Raphael, 11616 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, 818-505-3337.
Keith Silverton has left his executive chef post at MessHall. Nick Erven is now overseeing the stoves. MessHall, 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-660-6377.


The Sunset Strip has lost its boisterous Red Rock Bar & Eatery. A new restaurant is rumored to be in the works to replace it in spring. Red Rock Bar & Eatery, 8782 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
The second outpost of Fraiche, in Santa Monica, has now closed. The original Culver City location shuttered earlier this year to the lament of many fans. Fraiche Santa Monica, 312 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, no phone.
Restaurateur Greg Morris (Franklin & Company Tavern, The Belmont) has shuttered The Olive Kitchen + Bar in The Grafton on Sunset hotel. The Olive Kitchen + Bar, The Grafton on Sunset, 8462 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
Beverly Hills' cute little do-it-yourself sushi eatery U-Sushi has closed. U-Sushi, 168 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, no phone.
After more than 50 years in business, L.A.'s beloved Junior's deli closed at the end of 2012 due to a rent dispute with the landlord. Original creator Marvin Saul died last year, but his sons hope to relocate the iconic Westside deli and its famous pastrami in the future. Junior's, 2379 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, no phone.
Dar Maghreb, the Moroccan restaurant that has been at its Sunset Boulevard address for nearly 40 years, has shuttered. While it has not been a critical hit for years, its closing represents the demise of another Hollywood institution. Another restaurant, from new owners, is rumored. Dar Maghreb, 7651 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046, no phone.

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