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News for Restaurants in Los Angeles
March 2012 Archive

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On the edge of Old Pasadena, Vol. 94 has emerged, a wine bar with small plates from chef Phil Lee, who previously cooked with David LeFevre at downtown's Water Grill. The menu, which incorporates wide-ranging global influences, includes cheese and charcuterie plates, fried sweetbreads with dipping sauces, duck rillettes, Korean-style pork belly, a play on chicken and waffles, Moroccan-glazed shrimp, and hanger steak with chimichurri. Dinner nightly. Vol. 94, 239 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101, 626-356-9494.
Cooks County has taken over the former Bistro LQ space on Beverly Boulevard Cooks County has taken over the former Bistro LQ space on Beverly Boulevard, and chef Daniel Mattern (Lucques, A.O.C.) offers a streamlined California menu sourced from local farms and ranches. Expect seasonal dishes like pork rillettes with persimmon jam, grilled lamb's tongue with poached duck egg and chicories, and braised beef cheeks with soft polenta and horseradish cream. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun. Cooks County, 8009 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 323-653-8009.
Part of a minor flurry of openings in the Crown City is Pasadena's new Ración, a contemporary Spanish/Basque bistro with a menu featuring dishes like chicken and ham croquetas with membrillo and goat cheese mousse, lamb meatballs with a tomato glaze, seared squab breast with golden raisins, squid stuffed with duck sausage, and paella. The wine list is exclusively Spanish. Dinner Tues.-Sun. RaciĆ³n, 119 W. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-396-3090.
Marcona, a new gourmet sandwich and food shop, opened on Melrose in Hollywood March 20. Expect a sophisticated Mediterranean spin on East Coast deli favorites; sandwiches include the Marcona chicken pesto with currants and greens, lomo-spiced pork shoulder with roasted parsnips and date mustard, and charred salmon salad with fennel and orange zest. Also find fresh salads, house-made pickles and sweets. Marcona, 7368 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-951-9991.
Chef Gordon Ramsay, who opened Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood in 2008, will open The Fat Cow at The Grove on October 1, 2012. This casual restaurant from the "Hell's Kitchen" star will feature dishes inspired by the farmers market, such as the Skinny Cow Chopped Salad made with Tuscan kale, cabbage, carrots, radish and pumpkin seeds. The Fat Cow, 189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-965-1020.
The Umami Restaurant Group's downtown deli concept, UMAMIcatessen, features PIGG --- a cutting edge pork tribute featuring various charcuterie and other creations from San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino. Also included are Adam Fleischman's Umami Kosher-style deli, The Cure, as well as an expanded Umami Burger. UMAMIcatessen , 842 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014, 213-413-8626.
Gene Simmons is launching a new restaurant and entertainment venture called Rock & Brews, serving rock musicians' favorite foods and highlighting an ever-changing craft beer selection from around the world. The venue features multiple large screen televisions that continuously screen concert videos and live recordings of the greatest rock concerts of all time. The flagship is scheduled to open in El Segundo April 3, with plans for continued expansion worldwide beginning in 2013 and beyond. The casual American menu has a broad selection of "Opening Acts" appetizers, "VIP" salads, hand-crafted burgers, "Headliner" sandwiches, "Front Row" pizzas and "Encores" desserts. Rock & Brews, 143 Main St., El Segundo, CA 90245, 310-615-9890.


Dazzling, Inspired Seasonal Spring Cocktails at Drago Centro
The creative juices are flowing (literally) at DRAGO Centro, where head bartender Jaymee Mandeville has concocted a unique new spring lineup of signature libations. Some of downtown's most compelling haute cocktails now include Night and the City (Hayman's Old Tom gin, Bittermens Hellfire, Miracle Mile Candy Cap mushroom bitters, heirloom tomato shrub, black pepper, fresh horseradish and squid ink syrup) and the Airstream Libation (Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, R. Jelínek Fernet; toasted, coconut-infused Demerara; fresh lime; kaffir-lime leaves and egg white.) Drago Centro, City National Plaza, 525 S. Flower St., Ste. 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-228-8998.
New Menu at Susan Feniger's STREET
Susan Feniger's STREET has unveiled a new 2012 menu with a greater emphasis on vegan and vegetarian options; more than 20 dishes can be prepared meat-free. Popular classics, like the famous kaya toast and the STREET burger with yuzu kosho remain. Global adventurers can explore new dishes like pea shoots and pork belly in mustard oil on coconut-fried rice with a soft egg; date and kamut fritters with yogurt sauce and rose petals; and Turkish zucchini cakes with dill and spicy pepper sauce. Susan Feniger's STREET, 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, 323-203-0500.
Koi Celebrates its 10th Anniversary
In honor of Koi's 10th anniversary, executive chef Robb Lucas has added some special dishes to the menu for a limited time. Start off the meal with a Koi Crispy Rice Flight, featuring variations on the restaurant's signature crispy rice with toppings such as Kobe beef, grilled eggplant or diced avocado. Other options include spicy shrimp tostadas with jalapeno cream sauce and the "Red Rose" sushi roll, a spicy tuna and cucumber roll with avocado, yellow grapes, tomato, jalapeno and balsamic vinaigrette. Visit's Koi gallery to see photos of these dishes and more. Koi, 730 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-659-9449.
New Lunch Menu at MEZZE
MEZZE is celebrating its one year anniversary by offering a new lunch menu. For $15, guests can choose two dishes from an array of small plates, sandwiches and desserts. Selections include merguez sausage flatbread and braised Moroccan chicken wings. A glass of red or white house wine can be ordered for an additional $5. MEZZE, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048, 310-657-4103.
Yappy Hour at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
You and Fido are invited to Yappy Hour, a monthly cocktail party for canines and their companions at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. This "Ulti-Mutt Dog Party" hosts pooches, hounds and pups of all sizes romping and playing on The Dana Lawn. Canines enjoy complimentary hand-made dog biscuits and refreshing libations, thanks to bacon, chicken, cheese, beef and liver-flavored water, while their companions can purchase burgers, brews and wines, with proceeds going to support the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. The second season of Yappy Hour will be held first Thursdays in summer, from May 3 until September 6, from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, One Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629, 949-240-5088.
Chef Ludovic Lefebvre of LudoBites Ludo Goes Hawaiian
After eight installations of his pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles, chef Ludovic Lefebvre is bringing LudoBites Nine-O to Hawaii. He will offer a special menu of creative small plates at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu from March 6-17, 2012. For more information, visit LudoBites Nine-O, 72-100 Kaupulehu Dr., Kaupulehu Kona, HI 96740, 808-325-8000, 800-819-5053, 888-340-5662.


BLVD 16 at the Hotel Palomar Los Angeles - Westwood has a new executive chef. Richard Hodge is introducing a new seasonal menu inspired by farmers market ingredients. Dishes include house-made gnocchi with green garlic, mushrooms and spring onions; lamb chops with cauliflower "couscous," grilled asparagus and pine nut pesto; and an organic beef burger with bourbon onions, smoked tomato, jack cheese and black pepper aïoli (served with a Rogue Dead Guy Ale or a pour of Bulleit Bourbon for $20). BLVD 16, Hotel Palomar Los Angeles - Westwood, 10740 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-474-7765.
The Foundry on Melrose has a new chef de cuisine, Nick Russo, and a new, revamped menu featuring dishes like pork belly pancakes with black vinegar gastrique, blood sausage with Guinness risotto, duck confit gratin with chestnuts, and sea urchin crostini. Chef Eric Greenspan's popular classics like grilled cheese and house-made tater tots with violet mustard are still going strong. The Foundry on Melrose, 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046, 323-651-0915.


Chef Octavio Becerra has shuttered his market-driven small plates restaurant Palate Food + Wine in Glendale. Palate Food + Wine, 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91204, no phone.
Chef Mark Peel (Campanile) has closed The Tar Pit with hopes to re-open it in a new location. Stay tuned for more details. The Tar Pit, 609 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, no phone.

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