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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
February 2012 Archive

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Mexicali Taco & Co.'s former street stand drew many fans for their specialty creations of Vampiros (quesadillas with meat and garlic sauce) and Zupermans stuffed with meat and cheese. A fire has forced the stand to relocate to a brick-and-mortar spot on Figueroa in Chinatown, where these specialties are now available, along with carne asada, tacos and more. Mexicali Taco & Co., 702 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-613-0416.
Billing itself as L.A.'s first and only authentic Austrian restaurant --- and they might be right --- BierBeisl offers not only separate sausage and schnapps menus, but also a selection of Austrian beers and regional wines. This Beverly Hills spot features Austrian specialties like a duo of sweetbread with quail egg and black truffle, chicken-venison ballontine, gulash, schnitzel, pan-seared pike and seared venison loin. Be on the lookout for the former governator. BierBeisl, 9669 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-271-7274.
Tar and Roses in Santa Monica Santa Monica finally welcomes the much-anticipated Tar & Roses with "Next Iron Chef" contestant chef Andrew Kirschner (Wilshire Restaurant) creating a rustic menu of wood-fire grilled specialties. Expect duck breast, lamb belly with minted apple chutney, octopus skewers with salsa verde, wood-fired duck egg, and assorted small plates of snacks and veggies. "Tar Suppers" for parties of four or more include wood-fired goat, whole goose, and standing rib roast, and must be ordered five days in advance. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Tar & Roses, 602 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-587-0700.
Chef Josef Centeno's downtown neighborhood spot Bäco Mercat showcases his signature "bäco" flatbread sandwiches, with haute fillings ranging from pork belly and carnitas to oxtail hash, crispy shrimp and fava fritters. Nightly offerings include confit suckling pig, chicken and waffles, and braised artichoke with pine nuts. Expect interesting boutique wines, craft beers, high-end spirits and artisan cocktails. Lunch and Dinner Mon.-Sat. Bäco Mercat, 408 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-687-8808.
In March, Skylight Gardens takes over a Westwood Village space that was formerly Hamlet Gardens, and the Gardens on Glendon, newly designed by Osvaldo Maiozzi (Rivera), with executive chef Sebastián Gonzalez Bracco (Hacienda Benazuza, El Bulli Hotel, Spain.) at the helm. The menu features classic Italian dishes with a modern twist, including handmade strozzapreti Norcina, tagliolini nere, and gamberi Botticelli, as well as a selection of imported and classic Italian meats and cheeses. The restaurant will feature a full wine bar focusing on regional Italian wines and select California varietals, craft beers, and a mixology program with a wide array of cocktails developed by Anthony Fontanilla. Skylight Gardens, 1139 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-824-1818.
Musha, the izakaya that originated in Torrance and subsequently opened in Santa Monica, has now introduced a third branch in Old Pasadena. A sake- and beer-friendly menu of Japanese pub food features sashimi, tofu fries, cheese risotto, tuna croquettes, yellowtail collar, and much more. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily. Lunch & Dinner daily. Musha, 58 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-405-1518.
Abricott, located in Pasadena's South Lake Avenue shopping district, is a new venture from the owners of the popular Asian eatery Daisy Mint. The homey space, with bookshelf-covered walls and a rustic chandelier-illuminated private room has an eclectic menu: fried chicken wings with mango mayo dipping sauce, sandwiches like croque monsieur or pork belly bánh mì for lunch, and items like mussels Provençal and sesame-marinated flank steak for dinner, followed by chocolate mousse or waffles for dessert. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. Abricott, 238 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101, 626-796-1613.
Kitchen 24 has opened a second location in West Hollywood Kitchen 24 has opened a second location in West Hollywood. Expect a similar menu of gourmet diner grub, along with dozens of beer choices and interesting cocktails such as the Boss Hog made with bacon-infused Jack Daniel's whiskey. The "24" in the name refers to 24-hour service, which the restaurant started on March 27, 2012. Kitchen 24, 8575 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 424-777-0959.


Urth Caffé Scheduled to Arrive in Pasadena’s Playhouse District
The fifth branch of Urth Caffé is scheduled to arrive in Pasadena's Playhouse District in early 2013, in a new Spanish Mission Revival structure going up at the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and Madison Street. At its other locations in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Downtown, Urth is beloved for its organic teas and coffees, and excellent pastries. Urth Caffé, 8565 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-659-0628.
Garces Heads West, Opening Tinto in Palm Springs
Iron Chef Jose Garces will bring his Basque-style tapas restaurant Tinto to the California desert come spring. Garces will be executive chef in charge of food and beverage operations at The Saguaro in Palm Springs, a new Joie de Vivre hotel owned by The Sydell Group, Ltd. At The Saguaro, chef Garces will oversee room service, poolside eats and will manage two distinct restaurants: El Jefe, a modern Mexican restaurant and margarita bar with a look and feel inspired by the Wild West; and Tinto, an authentic Spanish tapas bar featuring a host of small plates and an extensive selection of wines, sangrias and ciders. This is the second collaboration between Garces, The Sydell Group and Joie de Vivre. The Saguaro, 1800 East Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, CA 92264, no phone.
“White Plate Dinners" return to Wilshire Restaurant.
Wilshire Restaurant is bringing back its White Plate Dinner Series at the restaurant's bar. These informal dishes, priced at just $16, reflect some of executive chef Nyesha Arrington's favorites. The price includes a glass of beer, wine or specialty cocktail. Among the dishes are carbonara pasta with Nueske's bacon, pea tendrils and Fiore Sardo cheese on Mondays; fried chicken with sweet potato fries and harissa aïoli on Wednesdays; and duck confit pot pie with potato purée on Thursdays. Wilshire Restaurant, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403, 310-586-1707.
LA MILL Introduces New Retail Concept
Silver Lake's LA MILL Coffee Boutique has introduced a new retail concept called L. Bazaar that reinvents the small town general store. In addition to LA MILL's coffee and tea products, L. Bazaar features chocolates and confections from Paris-based Fauchon, Mason Pearson hairbrushes, flatware and china from Guy Degrenne, stationary and paper goods Cavallini & Co., and Tocca bath and body products --- not to mention assorted snacks, cheeses and dairy products. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. LA MILL Coffee Boutique, 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 323-663-4441.


Check back soon for more news.


February 29, 2012, was the last day of service for Sushi Nozawa. Kazunori Nozawa is turning his namesake Studio City sushi spot into a branch of sugarFISH, which will join the existing locations in Brentwood, downtown Los Angeles, Marina del Rey and Santa Monica. Sushi Nozawa, 11288 Ventura Blvd., Unit C, Studio City, CA 91604, no phone.
In The Market at Santa Monica Place, ice cream purveyor Beachy Cream and Rockenwagner Souffle Bakery have closed up shop. The latter was a project from chef Hans Röckenwagner who continues to operate Rockenwagner Bakery and 3 Square Cafe + Bakery. Rockenwagner Souffle Bakery, Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401, no phone.
After a 20-year run, the Patina Group's Pinot Bistro, the first of its suburban outposts, closed indefinitely February 19 at the end of its lease. To food enthusiasts in the Valley, this is a tragic loss. Pinot Bistro, 12969 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604, no phone.
The original and last remaining Cobras & Matadors, on Beverly Boulevard, closed following dinner service on Valentine's Day. Steven Arroyo's popular Spanish tapas concept at one time had three locations, and this was a mainstay of the Beverly Boulevard dining scene. Arroyo is rumored to be considering the space for his Escuela Taquería concept. Cobras & Matadors, 7615 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.
Elements Kitchen, adjacent to the Pasadena Playhouse, has closed after a two-year run. The space is being marketed as a restaurant space, ideal for theater-goers. Elements Kitchen, 37 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101, no phone.

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