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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
January 2012 Archive

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Downtown seafood destination Water Grill has re-opened after a month-long renovation. In addition to the new look, there's a new menu featuring dishes such as Mediterranean loup de mer along with signatures like Crisfield Maryland jumbo blue crab cakes. Water Grill, 544 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-891-0900.
The Eastside finally welcomes an oyster bar of its own with L&E Oyster Bar on Silver Lake Boulevard in the former Domenico space. This intimate spot sports several sidewalk tables and features daily East and West Coast oyster specials, sandwiches, and a select wine and beer list created by owners Dustin Lancaster and Matthew Kaner, who also own Bar Covell. Dinner nightly. L&E Oyster Bar, 1637 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, 323-660-2255.
The former Les Deux space in Hollywood has been transformed into a chic new gastropub named Sadie, replete with a booth-filled "parlor" and semi-outdoor courtyard, as well as a bar that offers handcrafted cocktails. Expect American charcuterie and California artisanal cheeses, duck confit flatbread, balsamic-glazed beef short rib with polenta and orange gremolata, pan-roasted Idaho trout with crushed tomatoes, and an orchard lime tart. Sadie, 1638 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-467-0200 .
Livello is the new signature restaurant at Ermitage Beverly Hills The new signature restaurant at L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, Livello, features the haute Italian-Asian cooking of executive chef Joseph Elevado, formerly of Nobu Los Angeles and Nobu Las Vegas. Some creations at this luxe venue include sea urchin and fluke sashimi, a 62-degree egg and black truffle, snow crab tempura, free-form oxtail ravioli, and seared Wagyu flatiron steak. Livello, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-278-3344.
From the fine folks at The Oaks Gourmet, a new neighborhood gastropub, Franklin & Company Tavern, has hit the Eastside. For libations, expect seasonal cocktails, rotating wines on tap, and rarer craft beers. Bar food features duckfat fries with black cherry ketchup, Scotch eggs, fried oysters Rockefeller and ale-braised clams; also find gourmet sandwiches --- pulled bourbon chicken and a lobster roll --- and entrees featuring lump crab cakes, steak frites, and mesquite-smoked baby back ribs. There's a bourbon-based Old Fashioned milkshake for dessert, too. Lunch & Dinner daily. Franklin & Company Tavern, 5923 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-463-1552.
A new Indian fast-casual spot, Urban Masala, has landed on Hollywood Boulevard. Expect wraps, bowls and plates featuring classics like chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, aaloo gobhi, and saag paneer, alongside samosas and naan. Beverages include lassis, chai and Indian sodas; a liquor license is on the way. Lunch & Dinner daily. Urban Masala, 6554 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, 323-957-9999 .
800 Degrees is a new pizza spot in Westwood that cooks Neopolitan pies in 60 seconds. The restaurant's name reflects the oven that can accomplish this at that temperature, offering pizzas ranging from a simple $5 Margherita to specialty pies sporting truffle cheese, rock shrimp, pine nuts and Scamorza (smoked provolone.) Also, expect salads, small bites like meatballs and roasted broccolini, a fresh burrata bar, and gelato from L.A. Creamery. Night owls take note: it's open until 2 a.m. Lunch & Dinner daily. 800 Degrees, 10889 Lindbrook Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 424-239-5010.
In the former Royal Claytons space downtown, Ryan Sweeney (The Surly Goat) and Andre Guerrero (Oinkster, Maximiliano) have opened a Belgian-style pub called Little Bear. A long list of Belgian brews accompanies some haute pub grub like moules frites, a faro burger, chicken Waterzooi (the classic stew of Flanders), duck confit with dry cherry chutney, and cassoulet with white beans, pork belly and duck breast. Little Bear, 1855 Industrial St., Los Angeles, CA 90021, 213-622-8100.
Short Cake, the companion bakery to Nancy Silverton and the late Amy Pressman's burger spot, Short Order, is now open at The Original Farmer's Market. Sweet and savory items at the stall include twice-baked brioche with almond cream, a Comté and thyme croissant, feta scallion scones, Anson Mills corn muffins with cheddar and Hatch chiles, and chocolate cardamom cream cake. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Short Cake, 6333 W 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-761-7976.
Chef Ludovic Lefebvre of LudoBites Chef Ludovic Lefebvre is bringing back his Los Angeles pop-up restaurant, LudoBites 8. This time he will be taking over the kitchen at Lemon Moon the evenings of January 18-20, 23-27, 30-31, February 1-3, 6-10, 13-15, 17, 20-22. Reservations are being assigned according to a lottery on There will also be a few walk-in seats available each night. For more information, visit Chef Ludo has also teamed up with Bugaboo on a series of Ludo Baby Bites videos featuring healthy recipes for families. For more information, visit LudoBites 8, 12200 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, no phone.
Wild Thyme Bakery & Café, a South Pasadena favorite for 22 years, is being replaced by The Canoe House, slated for an early 2012 opening. The new restaurant will be a casual Hawaiian-fusion concept with a menu dominated by burgers, sausages and tropically inspired plates, plus a list of craft beers. The Canoe House, 805 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena, California 91030, no phone.


DRAGO Centro Introduces Elegant Italian Breakfast
Downtown DRAGO Centro has just said buongiorno to breakfast with a new morning menu by chef Ian Gresnik. Dishes feature poached eggs with bacon, spinach and black pepper fonduta; smoked salmon with crème frâiche, toasted ciabatta and baby fennel; and sunny side up eggs with guanciale, truffle potato hash and asparagus. Breakfast will be offered Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m-10:30 a.m. DRAGO Centro, City National Plaza, 525 S. Flower St., Ste. 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-228-8998.
The Bobbin for Bourbon cocktail at Ray Winter Cocktails at Ray's & Stark Bar
Ray's & Stark Bar has unveiled its winter cocktail menu. Standouts include Mike's Medicine from the "On the Rocks" section, featuring Tariquet Armagnac, Licor 43, lime and egg white. From the "hot cocktails," opt for Bobbin' for Bourbon (pictured), which is made with housemade apple-infused bourbon, raspberry rooibos tea, lemon and spiced simple syrup, then topped with freshly whipped cream and grated cinnamon. Ray's & Stark Bar, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-857-6180.
Tasting Menus Now Offered at ink.
The format at chef/owner Michael Voltaggio's ink. has been tweaked slightly, as of the new year. Instead of a standard small plates format, diners now have a choice between creating their own menus through an à la carte selection or having the chef create a tasting menu for them, similar to an omakase meal at a Japanese restaurant. A four-course tasting menu is available for $70, with an optional add-on of $45 for beverages. ink., 8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90069, 323-651-5866.
M.B. Post Adds Brunch
Chef David LeFevre is adding brunch service on the weekends at M.B. Post. The menu includes dishes like french toast stuffed with quince and ricotta, as well as the restaurant's popular bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits. M.B. Post, 1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-545-5405.
Major Culinary Prohibitions Begin in 2012
The arrival of 2012 brings two significant culinary prohibitions in the State of California, starting with shark's fin---shark's fin soup is a coveted, big-ticket item in Chinese restaurants---effective January 1, 2012. Foie gras, meanwhile, becomes contraband July 1, 2012.


Check back soon for more news.


Salute Wine Bar in Santa Monica closed at the end of January for renovation and retooling of the concept and name. The space is scheduled to re-open in mid-February. Salute Wine Bar, 2435 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-450-3434.
The Beachcomber at Malibu Pier has shuttered. However, its sister restaurant in Orange County, The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove, remains open. The Beachcomber at Malibu Pier, 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265, no phone.
La Cachette Bistro in Santa Monica has closed After fifteen years of preparing French fine dining at La Cachette in Century City, chef Jean-François Meteigner made the move to bistro cuisine in 2009. Unfortunately, La Cachette Bistro in Santa Monica has also closed as of January 1, 2012. La Cachette Bistro, 1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, no phone.
Sai Sai, the modern Asian restaurant at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel downtown, is temporarily closed for renovations. Sai Sai, Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, 501 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, 213-624-1100.
WeHo's Hamburger Hamlet flagship on Sunset Boulevard has closed after more than 60 years of service due to rising rents. There are future plans to reopen in Hollywood; meanwhile locations in Sherman Oaks and Pasadena remain open. Hamburger Hamlet, 9201 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069, no phone.
After more than two decades of service, Celestino Drago has closed Drago in Santa Monica. The restaurateur, whose other establishments include DRAGO Centro and Enoteca Drago, decided not to renew the lease. Read more on's blog. Drago, 2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403, no phone.

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