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Burgeoning Korean-style fried chicken chain BonChon Chicken, which is already thriving in Manhattan, Fort Lee, New Jersey and Annandale, Virginia, has introduced “the purest form of fried chicken” to Koreatown. Gold, Royal and Hot versions of the thin-skinned wings and drumsticks are available. BonChon attributes its “secret taste” to a “special garlic sauce made to marinate in-and-outside the chicken” and “health-conscious use of vegetable oil” used in frying the bird. Open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. BonChon Chicken, 3407 W 6th St., Los Angeles, 213-487-7878.

Mike Garrett and Tommy Stoilkovich, the owners of Falcon and Pearl Dragon, have partnered with former Bastide chef Alain Giraud on Anisette, which is expected to open in Santa Monica's Clock Tower building by the end of April. Set designer Monte Hollis has fashioned an interior that showcases antique mirrors, mosaic tile floors and a 36-foot-long zinc bar. Chef Giraud will focus on market-driven French fare, with seasonal daily specials. Expect typical brasserie dishes like plateaux fruits de mer (seafood platter), roast chicken and fish soup. The hours will be 7:30 a.m.-midnight. Anisette Brasserie, 225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-3200.

Michael Cigliano and his partners plan to move Santa Monica Seafood across town by fall 2008 to occupy a larger retail space and café. Cigliano, a member of the family that founded the seafood shop in 1939, promises a “rustic Tuscan” space with 6,400 feet of refrigerated chef’s cases, which will display an expanded selection of sustainable fish and shellfish. The new location will also host an oyster bar and offer sushi. A 40-seat café will prepare the store’s seafood. 10th Street Café currently offers a glimpse of what’s to come, with dishes like New England clam chowder, cod and chips, Baja-style fish tacos and a spicy tuna burger. The café is currently open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 10th Street Café, 1000 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-255-0000.

Georgia native Adam Milstein has partnered with Philip Boyd, Chris Shanley and Robyn Landrum on South, a Southern restaurant and bar that will debut in the former Punch Grill space by early April. Chef Glenn Weinstein, who trained with Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, has written a menu that includes chicken ‘n waffle sliders, Canal Street jambalaya, fried chicken and chicken-fried steak with Andouille sausage. Finish with a choice of three desserts: beignets, banana bread pudding and bourbon-pecan pie. Interiors by Aurora designed the 7000-square-foot “modern rustic” space, featuring cream-colored and brick walls, a wood plank ceiling and a front porch. Service-wise, expect old-fashioned Southern hospitality. The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily, with Sunday brunch. South, 3001 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-828-9988.

In early March, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan completed his redevelopment of Mort’s Deli in the Palisades by debuting The Oak Room–a dinner-only establishment with a full liquor license–next to his more casual Village Pantry. Michael's veteran Douglas Silberberg is executive chef, preparing seasonal California cuisine. Entrées include duck cassoulet, aged hanger steak and the Mayor’s Burger, a one-pound patty blanketed with chili, bacon and sautéed onions, a variation of which was already available at Riordan’s Tavern downtown. Open Wed.-Sun. from 5 p.m. -9 p.m. The Oak Room, 1035 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, 310-454-3337.

Bob Lynn and his partners at LGO Hospitality plan to open La Grande Orange Grocery in Santa Monica in late Summer in the former Boulangerie space. Patterned after the group's Phoenix original, the grocery promises high-octane music and food, including to go ites like fresh-made sandwiches, salads, sushi and pizza. There will also be a large coffee component. To give the space a distinctive look, LGO has hired the firm of Marmol Radziner, which has caused a stir in the architecture world thanks to their eco-friendly, steel-frame prefab homes. La Grande Orange Grocery, Main St. & Bicknell Ave., Santa Monica.

Octavio Becerra, co-founder of the Patina Group and Joachim Splichal's go-to chef for 21 years, has partnered with chef Gary Menes (Patina, The French Laundry), wine director Steve Goldun (Woodland Hills Wine) and general manager Laura O'Hare (Patina Group) on Palate Food + Wine. The quartet plans to open a wine-centric Mediterranean-influenced restaurant in late April in the former Cinnabar space in Glendale. By utilizing long-standing relationships with local farmers, the chefs will create a menu that will change on a weekly basis. In late May or early June, the team also plans to debut a retail wine shop, focusing on hand-crafted, artisanal wines from regions like Piedmont, Burgundy, the Loire Valley and the northern Rhône. Sebastian Craig, from The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, is consulting on the cheese program, including the creation of a walk-in cheese cellar. Each component of the concept will offer its own menu. Altogether, Palate will feature 85 seats, including a number of communal tables. The wine shop will even host an extensive library, available to curious customers. The restaurant will be open for dinner Mon.-Sat. from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. The wine shop will be open six days a week from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Palate Food + Wine, 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale.

In January 2008, Vicente Del Rio opened Frida’s Taqueria in the Brentwood Country Mart, building on the success of Frida Mexican Cuisine in Beverly Hills. The casual spinoff specializes in tacos filled with options like cochinita pibil, chicken mole and barbacoa. Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Frida’s Taqueria, 225 26th St., Santa Monica, 310-395-9666.

Chicago native Brian McKeaney has partnered with producer Ken Kaufman and Tom Patchett (writer/producer/Bergamot Station co-founder) to launch Rush Street in April, naming their restaurant, bar and lounge after the Second City’s hottest party street. Executive chef Dave Northrup, previously of Deep, Vine and Flints, will focus on “bar-centric” dishes like buffalo chicken dumplings with blue cheese and fried shallot dressing; pulled BBQ pork sliders and Kobe pigs-in-a-blanket; plus grilled New Zealand lamb racks and brick oven-cooked pizzas. The former sign shop will feature a large sidewalk patio, a 35-foot molded concrete bar and black leather booths. At “Upstairs at Rush Street,” expect a music-driven lounge and a rooftop patio. Rush Street will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Rush Street, 9546 Washington Blvd., Culver City.

Actress Eva Longoria joined with chef Todd English and restaurateurs JT Torregiani and Jonas Lowrance to open Beso. The Hollywood restaurant features a dramatic dining room with handpainted walls, chandeliers and black leather chairs, as well as an upstairs lounge with an outdoor patio and separate dining area. The contemporary menu offers dishes like paella with lobster and chorizo. Open for dinner Mon.-Sat. Beso, 6350 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-467-7991.

Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s, will open a second location of interactive dining experience uWink in early May at the Hollywood & Highland Center. At uWink, guests order their food and drink via tabletop touch screen terminals, which can also be used to play games. The menu will feature American comfort foods like burgers and pizzas, as well as tender braised short ribs and seared salmon. uWink, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.

Restaurateur Steven Arroyo, owner of Cobras & Matadors, 750 ml and Goat, expects to open a brasserie called Church & State in April at the base of the Biscuit Company Lofts building. Chef Greg Bernhardt, formerly Neal Fraser’s chef de cuisine at Grace, will prepare French classics like steak frites, moules frites, oysters and chicken paillard.

On March 1, Ali Biglar and Andy Hasroun celebrated the grand opening of 55 Degrees, naming their Atwater Village wine shop for the ideal storage temperature for vino. They specialize in Italian wines (much like Biglar’s Santa Monica retail shop, Wine Expo), with each category grouped geographically, from the bottom of Italy's boot to the top. Within each group, the wines then form a spectrum from lighter- to fuller-bodied. The moody downstairs wine bar features old wine barrels, wrought iron accents and candlelight. The owners plan to offer three flights of wine weekly, plus salumi and cheeseboards paired to white and red wines. The shop is open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The tasting room is open Mon.-Fri. from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 5 pm.-10 p.m. 55 Degrees, 3111 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, 323-662-5556.On February 29, restaurateur Steven Arroyo debuted Goat in the former home of Happi Songs Asian Tavern, naming his American café in honor of the sturdy animal. Chef Robert Luna, previously of Malo, is turning out dishes like a caramelized onion tart with chopped greens and watermelon vinaigrette; baked goat cheese and macaroni on truffle toast; house special goat confit with pomegranate-avocado salsa; and for dessert, a fig, goat cheese and rosemary bread pudding. Decorative highlights include vintage chandeliers from a Hollywood church, tile floors and banquettes. Open daily from 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Goat, 460 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-936-7622.

Bob Lynn, Sandy Henry and Craig DeMarco of LGO Hospitality hope to duplicate the success of their multifaceted Phoenix concept in Pasadena's historic Santa Fe Railway Depot when they debut La Grande Orange Café on March 10. Executive chef Scott Malin will prepare seasonal California cuisine, with market-style service at lunch and full table service at dinner. The second stage of the rollout will be Radio Milano, a reasonably-priced Italian café, expected to open in Spring 2009. La Grande Orange Café, 260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-356-4444.

Famed chef Laurent Tourondel has opened BLT Steak in the West Hollywood spot occupied for so many years by Le Dôme. Designer Michael Bagley, who has worked on all the other BLT restaurants, has completely transformed the space, making it into one large room where every table is a booth. BLT Steak offers a variety of cuts of USDA Prime beef, as well as American Wagyu and Japanese Kobe beef.  The menu is organized by category and complements main courses with corresponding savory sauces such as peppercorn, horseradish or béarnaise. Open for dinner nightly. BLT Steak, 8720 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-360-1950.

Chicago native Brian McKeaney has partnered with producer Ken Kaufman and Tom Patchett (writer/producer/Bergamot Station co-founder) to launch Rush Street in April, naming their restaurant, bar and lounge after the Second City’s hottest party street. Executive chef Dave Northrup, previously of Deep, Vine and Flints, will focus on “bar-centric” dishes like buffalo chicken dumplings with blue cheese and fried shallot dressing; pulled BBQ pork sliders and Kobe pigs-in-a-blanket; plus grilled New Zealand lamb racks and brick oven-cooked pizzas. The former sign shop will feature a large sidewalk patio, a 35-foot molded concrete bar and black leather booths. At “Upstairs at Rush Street,” expect a music-driven lounge and a rooftop patio. Rush Street will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Rush Street, 9546 Washington Blvd., Culver City.

Owners Richard Shapiro and Murray Wishengrad opened a branch of The Stand in Westwood Village on February 27. Expect the same menu as at the Encino original, including hot dogs, sausages, burgers, chili and fruit cobbler. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The Stand, 1116 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-443-0400.

Former Mayor Richard Riordan, whose restaurants include The Original Pantry Café and Riordan’s Tavern downtown, recently debuted Village Pantry in the old Mort’s Deli space. The restaurant is "celebrating the bounty of California” at breakfast and lunch. The spectrum of egg dishes runs from a “simple scramble” to the Eureka Omelet with Dungeness crab and California caviar. There’s also french toast and Niman Ranch corned beef hash with potatoes, peppers and Cantella’s sausage. For lunch, expect options like duck leg confit salad with pomegranate vinaigrette and a pulled pork sandwich with crispy onions, cole slaw and applewood-smoked bacon. Open daily from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Village Pantry, 1035 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, 310-454-3337.

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa has opened another Los Angeles location of his famed sushi chain Nobu. Located in the former L’Orangerie space in West Hollywood, the restaurant offers a variety of sushi and sashimi, as well as hot dishes like steamed Chilean sea bass with a choice of black bean sauce or dried miso. Nobu Los Angeles, 903 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood.

After launching in May at Liberty Station Market Place in the San Diego peninsula of Point Loma, Erik Oberholtzer, Matt Lyman and David Dressler will team on a third location of Tender Greens, expected to debut in West Hollywood this Fall. Both stores will have a menu similar to the Culver City original, utilizing organic produce from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, hormone-free cows, free-range chickens, line-caught Pacific tuna and fresh-baked breads. Tender Greens, Santa Monica Blvd. & Hancock Ave., West Hollywood.

Larry Rudolph, the former general manager of Dominick's, is hoping to open Mec Restaurant et Bar by this Summer. The French restaurant and bar will occupy the old Black Sea space. Mec Restaurant et Bar, 448 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles.

Boundary-bending French chef Laurent Quenioux, previously of Bistro K, is developing Bistro 1100 downtown, hoping to open by this Fall. The bright, airy space will feature exposed ceilings and an exhibition kitchen. Quenioux will only accept 50 reservations per night, but he’ll also have a 15-seat communal table for walk-ins. He’s planning an eclectic menu, with dishes like his cornucopia of chanterelles filled with veal sweetbreads; John Dory with bone marrow “royale” and baby abalone; and game imported from Scotland. There will even be a savory macaroon tasting menu. Think smoked haddock and nutmeg; fennel and orange; and foie gras with double apple. Quenioux will offer three tasting menus per night: six-course, eight-course and a six-course vegetarian–plus an à la carte menu with half portions, allowing for more tastes. Quenioux promises that the wine list, designed by Gregg Greenbaum, will be “very new and perhaps revolutionary.” Initially, Bistro 1100 will only be open for dinner Tues.-Sat., but will add lunch 45 days in. Until the bistro opens, Chef Quenioux is serving as guest chef once a month at vermont restaurant and Z Mario in Irvine. Bistro 1100, 1100 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Producer Gavin Polone and casting director John Papsidera joined forces with chef Scooter Kanfer-Cartmill to debut The Waffle on February 21. The modern Hollywood diner is open 22/7 and specializes in American comfort food. Waffles are available with baked-in blueberries, blueberry sauce and lemon curd; topped with roasted pears, raisins and crystallized ginger; or mixed with chopped dates, raisins and nuts and served with spiced cream cheese. There are also egg dishes, loaded hash browns and biscuits with sawmill sausage gravy. Later in the day, expect sandwiches, salads and burgers, plus Yankee pot roast, fried chicken and a double-cut pork chop with savory bread pudding. Open Mon.-Thurs. from 6:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m. and Fri.-Sun. from 6:30 a.m.-4:30 a.m. The Waffle, 6255 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-6901.

On Valentine’s Day, David Tardif opened Tranquility Base on the ground floor of Sky Lofts. Chef Robert Van Houten, previously of The Gardens on Glendon, is preparing seasonal small plates like seared U-10 scallops with “blackening spice,” mango, melon and papaya salsa; seared Chilean sea bass marinated in sesame oil, soy and garlic; and crispy calamari with jalapeno-ginger-lime dipping sauce. Open Mon.-Fri. from 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.- and Sat.-Sun. from 1 p.m.-1 a.m. Tranquility Base, 801 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 213-404-0588.

Marty Davidson plans to open Marty D’s on March 1, specializing in all-beef Kosher hot dogs. The franks will be available topped with cole slaw, sauerkraut or grilled peppers and onions. Expect desserts like bundt cake, brownies, hot fudge sundaes and root beer floats. The space will combine the looks of a New York diner and a Nantucket café, complete with a vintage soda fountain. The full-service restaurant will open daily for lunch and dinner. Marty D’s, 230 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-273-7771.

Michael Ruiz, the former chef-owner of Bistro Verdu, has launched Ingredients, a gourmet shop, in Sparr Heights, specializing in cheeses and charcuterie. At lunch, expect options like duck confit salad with shaved Parmesan, quince jelly, almonds and sherry vin; and an aged goat cheese sandwich with olive tapenade and piquillos. On Friday and Saturday nights, from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., he offers seasonal small bites like borscht shots with frothy blue cheese; boquerrones with chickpea toast and spicy tomato paste; and pork shoulder confit with smoked chilies and orange apple fumé. The design is “country European,” with a mustard and ochre color scheme and raw wood furnishings. There are sixteen seats inside and picnic tables out front. Lunch is available Tues.-Sat. from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Ingredients, 3521 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale, 818-249-4971.

Chef-caterer Akasha Richmond debuted Akasha on February 12 in the historic Hull Building, which previously housed San Gennaro. The eco-friendly restaurant specializes in New American comfort food–small plates like turmeric-seared pears with goji berries, chevre, pine nuts and pomegranate vinaigrette; pizza with La Quercia prosciutto, oregonzola, fig, caramelized onions and wild arugula; and big plates including South Indian-style Loch Duart salmon with roasted curried cauliflower, green beans with mustard seeds and tamarind-date chutney. Open 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. nightly, with breakfast and lunch to follow by the end of February. A bakery is open daily from 7 a.m.-4 p.m., specializing in vegan and wheat-free pastries like cinnamon rolls and granola bars. Akasha, 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-845-1700.

Chef Michel Richard has joined restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow to open Citrus at Social, a new dining experience at Social Hollywood replacing the once Moroccan-themed dining room. Citrus at Social offers a Cali-French menu and a fresh design with light green banquettes, sheer yellow draperies, and modern cylinders of amber lighting. The dinner menu begins with “Michel’s Favorite Bistro Classics,” such as gougères (cheese puffs) and an onion tart with smoked salmon and crème fraîche, followed by appetizers like a carpaccio of “surf,” “turf,” and “earth.” Entrées include lobster fennel with tomato, fava bean and licorice jus; 72-hour short rib frites; and Colorado lamb with “gigantes” beans and jalapeño sauce. In the position of chef de cuisine is Rémi Lauvand, who has previously held posts at La Grenouille, Le Cirque, and, most recently, at Miró at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. Open from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Thurs.-Sat. Citrus at Social, 6525 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-337-9797.

Suzanne Tracht, chef-owner of Jar and Tracht’s, plans to open Suzpree in late summer or early fall 2008 with her longtime chef de cuisine Preech Narkthong. The restaurant will be located in Century Park, near CAA. Expect a menu of light American dishes with Pacific accents, including potato, egg and rice noodle dishes, watercress and lobster tea sandwiches, or watermelon, crisp pork belly and Persian mint salad. The global wine list will feature white Burgundies, French Sauvignon Blancs, Alsatian Rieslings and Pinot Noirs from New Zealand, France, Oregon and California. Suzpree, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City.

Market City Caffe Hospitality Group, which operates Market City Caffe in Brea, Burbank and Las Vegas as well as Morels French steakhouse at The Grove, has opened Sixth Street Bar & Grill just south of Little Tokyo. Chef Diro Shiferaw shifted over from Morels to run the kitchen at this “fast-paced American bistro.” At breakfast, expect corned beef hash, cinnamon swirl French toast and omelettes. Lunch brings pizza, pastas, burgers and salads, plus entrées like fish & chips, grilled fish and steak frites with lemon and parsley butter. Once the restaurant scores a liquor license, they’ll add dinner service. Open Mon.-Fri. from 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Sat. from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sixth Street Bar & Grill, 601 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, 213-622-9004.

Christine Moore launched the first retail outlet of her Little Flower Candy Co. on the western fringe of Pasadena. Her flavored caramels and marshmallows were previously only available at bakeries and markets around town. Campanile veteran Moore has re-introduced baked goods to her arsenal, including almond cake, chocolate chip cookies, coconut macaroons, blood orange tarts, apple turnovers and, in the morning, muffins. Open Mon.-Sat. from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun. from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Little Flower Candy Co., 1424 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-304-4800.

The One Group (One Sunset) opened a branch of their New York restaurant STK in Los Angeles on February 15. Steak, of course, is the main attraction, and the menu offers petite, medium and oversize (up to 34 oz.) cuts of beef as well as options like snapper with ponzu and shitake brown butter, a lamb porterhouse, and bigeye tuna with porcini potato puree and mushroom bordelaise. Chef de cuisine Larry Greenwood, previously of BOA Steakhouse, has brought menu additions such as pan-seared Diver scallops topped with carmelized miso sauce. The design of the main dining room features high ceilings, banquette-style seating, and unadorned white brick with glass globe lights floating throughout. The center of the venue houses an outdoor atrium with a bar, an open air ceiling and a DJ booth. STK, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-659-3535.

Chef Armando Martinez, previously with Water Grill, is heading Twelve + Highland, situated in the former home of Chakra. The global menu contains dishes like big eye tuna with soy gelée, wasabi emulsion and cider gastrique; Rhode Island striped bass with salsify and vermouth jus; live Maine lobster with butternut squash ravioli, sage, pine nuts and ginger emulsion; and Colorado lamb loin with cocoa bean-harissa ragu, pickled onion, preserved lemon, garlic confit and almond-mint pistou. The modern space features a gray and lavender color scheme. Weekends bring dancing after 10 p.m. Open for lunch Mon.-Sat. and for dinner nightly. Twelve + Highland, 304 12th St., Manhattan Beach, 310-545-1881.

Bistrotek, an American-style bistro, has opened in the Custom Hotel. The restaurant features an open, loft-style space with sky lights, exposed pipes and brick walls, as well as a wood-paneled bar and an outdoor patio. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily as well as weekend brunch. Bistrotek, Custom Hotel, 8639 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-645-0400.

Renee and Ron Lebow, who bought Gaetano’s in Calabasas in 2005 and turned it into the Native Café & Gathering Grounds, are now tweaking the concept again to focus more on California/Italian cuisine. The restaurant, now named Calitalia Restaurant & Lounge, will merge Renee’s California comfort cooking with many of the Italian dishes for which Gaetano’s was known. The wine list will include Cal-Italia, California and imported Italian wines, along with a selection of organic and biodynamic wines. The décor will remain the same and still feature bamboo and cork floors and paintings and photographs by local artists. Open for lunch Tues.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner Tues.-Sun. from 5 p.m. Calitalia Restaurant & Lounge, 3536 Calabasas Rd., Calabasas, 818-223-9600.

Chrysta Wilson plans to open Kiss My Bundt Bakery in April near the Farmers Market, specializing in made-from-scratch bundt cakes. She grew up in the South and learned to make bundt cakes from her Aunt Dia. For Wilson, bundt “represents tradition” and “symbolizes friendship” (the root meaning of the word “bundt” is the German word for group of friends). Wilson promises Southern hospitality, free samples and a “traditional yet modern” design that will allow customers to watch bakers frost, glaze and decorate cakes. Expect flavors like pumpkin cake with cinnamon spice glaze, carrot cake with cream cheese and butter cake with coconut buttercream. Wilson has over three dozen flavors in her repertoire, but won’t offer them all on the same day. That means daily specials and seasonal flavors. The sizes: mini bundt, baby bundt and big ‘ol bundt. Kiss My Bundt Bakery, 8104 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles.

Jon Lagardere has opened an organic lunch spot, Lunchbox Fine Foods, in Silver Lake, sharing space with old-fashioned gift shop Zanzabelle. Specialties include the roasted vegetable wrap with spinach, hummus and preserved Meyer lemons; roasted poblano soup with cotija cheese and roasted corn; and quinoa salad with saffron, preserved lemon, roasted garlic, basil and pine nuts. Cupcakes come from Delilah Bakery while Fosselman’s Ice Cream is the source of the eight flavors of ice cream. There’s a garden patio and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sat. from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Lunchbox Fine Foods, 2912 Rowena Ave., Los Angeles, 323-663-9900.

David Yeretsian has opened a branch of Sasoun Bakery inside the Jons Marketplace in Reseda. Savory Armenian pastries are baked on site, just like at the East Hollywood original, including torpedo-shaped cheese beoreks, triangular spinach beoreks, zatar-topped maneishe and lahmajunes with ground lamb and tomato sauce. Open Mon.-Sat. from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun. from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sasoun Bakery, 18135 Sherman Way, Reseda, 818-881-9988.

La Défence is offering Euro-Asian cuisine and karaoke in Koreatown. Chef Yuji Iwasa, previously of Koi, is preparing dishes like crab cake “à la Japonaise” with a grapefruit-ginger infusion; miso risotto with asparagus, edamame and shaved truffles; and grilled lamb chops with a honey-port soy glaze. Sashimi includes hamachi with jalapeño-citrus soy and Kobe beef with truffles and ponzu. Specialty rolls are named for popular bands and movies. Think “Da Vinci Code” with salmon, tomatoes, smelt egg and “spicy creamy sauce”; and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, eel and “sweet sauce.” Open for lunch Mon.-Fri. from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and for dinner Mon.-Sat. from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. La Défence, 3701 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-384-9500.

Brothers Miguel, Javier, Jorge and Fernando Anaya, who co-own Cha Cha Cha, recently opened Pinches Tacos on the Sunset Strip. The Anayas have imported family recipes–and family members–from Guadalajara to produce tacos filled with ingredients like chorizo, carnitas, shrimp and chicken with mole. Burritos, sopes, tortas, enchiladas, taquitos and flautas are available with a similar complement of ingredients. Expect handmade tortillas, fresh salsas and sides like Mexican corn on the cob with cream, cheese and chile powder. Open daily at 11 a.m., on Thurs.-Sat. until 3 a.m. Pinches Tacos, 8200 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-650-0614.

Dominick’s owners Warner Ebbink and Brandon Boudet opened Little Dom's in the former home of La Belle Epoque in Los Feliz. Expect Italian dishes like wood oven-baked ricotta and mushrooms with crostini; ravioli gnudi with spinach and ricotta; pizza margherita topped with speck, prosciutto or homemade sausage; and grilled filet mignon tips with brandy wine sauce and Parmesan mashed potatoes. Initially open nightly for dinner, with breakfast and lunch to follow in February. Little Dom’s, 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 323-661-0055.

New York restaurateur Jonathan Morr opened a West Coast branch of his BondSt concept at the Thompson Beverly Hills hotel on January 11. Executive chef Hiroshi Nakahara transferred from the Manhattan original to prepare Japanese fusion dishes like seared scallops with foie gras and Asian pear salad; crispy goat cheese crab cakes with pounded rice crust and carrot lemon coulis; and New York strip steak with diced potatoes and shallot-teriyaki sauce. “Special Sushi” includes toro with caviar, salmon with kelp, clam with olive-yuzu kosho and a hamachi quartet. Morr recruited Dodd Mitchell to design the modern space and India Mahdavi to provide the furnishings. BondSt, 9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-601-2255.

Hermosa Beach developer Gene Shook plans to open brix@1601 in February 2008. The 10,000-square-foot space will feature multiple fireplaces, leather seating and brick archways. Executive chef Michael McDonald, previously of Dakota restaurant at The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, will prepare a contemporary American menu with dishes like warm white asparagus with shaved foie gras, house-made pastas, Oregon black cod, and Sonoma lamb with Brussels sprout mash, spinach and rosemary red wine sauce. Renee Ward, also coming from The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, will handle pastry duties and even plans to launch a line of fine chocolates, which will be sold exclusively at brixwine, a stand-alone wine shop connected to the restaurant. brix@1601 will be open Wed.-Sun. from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and nightly from 5 p.m.-midnight. brix@1601, 1601 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach, 310-698-0740.

Robert Benson, chef/owner of two Jack n’ Jill’s cafes on the Westside, intends to open CREPERIE by Jack n’ Jill’s in the former home of Michelia this winter. Crepes will include the Cadeville–chicken breast with sautéed asparagus and cheese in a garlic cream sauce; The Quarter–Andouille sausage, shrimp and chicken breast in a jambalaya sauce; and Lucky Number Seven–caramelized pear, almonds, hazelnut liquor and chocolate sauce. There will also be baby back ribs with spicy BBQ sauce, smoked chicken gumbo and beer-battered jumbo shrimp with spicy remoulade and pear-macadamia slaw. Creperie by Jack N’ Jill’s, 8738 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles.

Bistrotek is set to open in the Custom Hotel near LAX by the end of January. Chef Paul Arias, previously of The Lodge at Torrey Pines and Pesce Blue in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will prepare bistro fare like rosemary-grilled shrimp with red pepper-almond cocktail sauce, caramelized sea scallops with shell bean succotash, chicken under a brick with winter greens and sweet potato risotto and pineapple upside down cheesecake. The loft-like space will feature polished concrete floors, distressed brick walls and a vine-lined outdoor patio. Bistrotek will be open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Fri.-Sat. until 2 a.m. Bistrotek, 8639 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-258-5757.

Kevin Futham designed and opened stylish Nakkara on Beverly in the former home of Wild Orchid. Expect pan-Asian cuisine, including fried calamari with crispy kabocha sticks, crispy roasted Mandarin duck with hoisin and ginger sauce, lobster tail glazed with Chardonnay and spicy garlic sauce and “sweet bites” like mango with sticky rice. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Nakkara on Beverly, 7669 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-937-3100.

Brett Miller and designer Warren Bregman opened Mamash on December 9 in the former home of Delmonico’s Seafood Grille. Mamash loosely means “moving on to bigger and better things” in Hebrew. Chef Max Webb is preparing kosher Asian fusion–dishes like grilled rib-eye with nine spice dry rub and a Pinot Noir-blackberry reduction, pan-fried noodles with mushrooms, spinach and baby tomatoes; herb-infused crispy chicken with ginger butter; and for dessert, orange-almond flan. Open Sat.-Thurs. for dinner, with lunch beginning in February. Mamash, 9320 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-777-8370.

Japanese company KURA opened Kula Sushi Bistro in November, supplanting Aphrodisiac in Century City. The restaurant combines organic ingredients with traditional Japanese technique. The menu specializes in Japanese small plates, sushi, sashimi and rolls. The space features bleached bamboo floors and Japanese lantern light fixtures. The black marble bar dispenses a vast list of saké, shochu and cocktails. Kula Sushi Bistro, 10351 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, 310-282-8870.

Mike Zislis, who owns Shade Hotel, opened Mucho Ultima Mexicana nearby in the old Michi space on December 3. For the first few months, the upscale Mexican restaurant will audition dishes for the regular menu, with options including Chilean sea bass ceviche with coconut milk in smoked jalapeno tequila; pumpkin seed-crusted halibut with huitlacoche mashed potatoes, caramelized chayote squash, guajillo chile emulsion and cilantro oil; and a banana leaf-wrapped lamb shank with mole Poblano, red onion and pickled pepper salad and corn pudding. For dessert, there are made-to-order churros and slices of horchata cheesecake. Margaritas incorporate fresh lime juice, house-made sweet & sour mix, Hawaiian amber cane sugar and sea salt. Open daily at 5 p.m. Mucho Ultima Mexicana, 903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, 310-374-4422.

Michael Le, late of nearby Vietnam House, has opened Vietnam Restaurant in San Gabriel. A sprawling menu features Le family recipes for pho, rice vermicelli with charbroiled pork or fried egg rolls and baked whole catfish. There’s even a seven-course tasting of beef: charbroiled in la lot leaves, grilled, satay, baked, in a salad, in porridge, and dipped in vinegar broth. The space includes twin dining rooms, mint green walls, framed watercolors of Vietnamese women and wall-mounted Vietnamese instruments. Open Fri.-Wed. for lunch and dinner. Vietnam Restaurant, 340 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, 626-281-5577.

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House, situated just south of Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, has built a loyal following with a dazzling array of steamed dumplings. Frank Yang has finally opened a nearby second Los Angeles branch of his family’s concept, which originated in Taipei. Din Tai Fung Dumpling House, 1088 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, 626-446-8588.

Joe’s owner Joe Miller has opened Bar Pintxo near the Third Street Promenade. Chef Robert Trester, previously of Ocean & Vine, is overseeing the menu of Spanish tapas. The 30-seat restaurant doesn’t allow reservations, so be prepared to wait for dishes like goat cheese croquettes with mushrooms, tortilla Espanola with sweet onions and grilled bread with fresh tomatoes and jamon Serrano. Bar Pintxo, 109 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-458-2012.

Chef Alberto Lazzarino, previously of Piccolo Ristorante in Venice Beach, has partnered with sommelier Giuseppe Cossu to open Melograno in the former home of Brasserie Les Voyous, naming their Hollywood restaurant after the Italian word for the pomegranate. Expect dishes like pappardelle with saffron, baby lobster tail, wild arugula, braised fennel and cherry tomatoes; wild black sea bass baked with mushrooms and vermouth; and for dessert, pumpkin flan with caramel sauce. Open Tues.-Thurs. from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sun. from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Melograno, 6541 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-465-6650.

Jairo and Patty Gamba have opened D’Caché in Toluca Lake, specializing in Latin fusion cuisine and tapas. Executive chef Luis Ochoa, previously of nearby Eight-18, is preparing dishes like baby back ribs with onion rings and pasilla honey barbecue sauce; espresso-blackened salmon with roasted pimenton, potato puree, braised summer squash and pineapple beurre blanc; and pistachio pesto-marinated lamb chops with risotto and coconut lemongrass sauce. The restaurant is housed in a 1928 Spanish mission-style cottage with exposed wood beams, yellow walls and high-backed leather chairs. Open Tues.-Sat. from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. D’Cache, 10717 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, 818-506-9600.

Bertha and Gunther Donoso opened Brownstone Pizzeria in Eagle Rock on October 13. Chef Richard Carrillo is producing New York-style pizza using fresh produce and toppings like meatball, sausage and pepperoni. Pizza is available in whole pie form or by the slice. Pasta dishes include baked ziti and cheese ravioli, and sandwiches cradle meatballs or sausage and peppers. So far, décor consists of an open kitchen, dark hardwood floors and granite tables. Open Mon.-Sat. from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sun. from 1 p.m.-9 p.m. Brownstone Pizzeria, 2108 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, 323-257-4992.

Chef Darren Weiss, who previously cooked locally at Rockenwagner and i Cugini, has opened Darren’s Restaurant & Bar in the former home of Avenue. Expect an American menu with Mediterranean and Asian accents, with potential menu items like Thai peanut- and chili-crusted wild salmon, sweet and spicy lobster coconut chowder and venison with root vegetables au gratin. The wine list features selections from California, France, New Zealand and Italy. Interior designer Sasha Emerson and color consultant Philippa Radon have remodeled the space to include blue, green and brown banquettes, dark wood floors and an outdoor seating area with a communal table. Open Tues.-Sat. for dinner, with a weeknight happy hour menu available from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. and late night dining Fri.-Sat. Darren’s Restaurant & Bar, 1141 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, 310-802-1973.

Armen Hakobyan has opened an intimate California bistro, Green Street Tavern, in Old Town Pasadena. Chef Michael Montoya is preparing dishes like a blue cheese tart with walnuts, balsamic vinegar and figs; seared paprika halibut with brussels sprouts and wild mushroom demi glace; and roast pork loin with caramelized parsnips, pineapple, bacon and macadamia nut relish. Open daily from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Green Street Tavern, 69 W. Green St., Pasadena, 626-229-9961.

In early 2008, New York restaurateur Phil Hartman plans to open a branch of his Two Boots pizzeria next to The Echo music club. Since the two boots represent Italy and Louisiana, pizzas will be available with Cajun options like tasso ham, andouille sausage and crawfish. There will also be po’ boy sandwiches, calzones and stromboli rolled with pairings like sopressata and mushrooms.

The new Arcadia branch of Genki Living is the third link of a Southern California chain of contemporary Japanese cafés. A red phone booth, bench seating, a central tree and wraparound photo wallpaper all help to depict an Osaka street scene. The menu centers around takoyaki–octopus-flecked balls of cooked batter; okonomiyaki–Japanese-style pancakes studded with seafood or bacon; and a wide variety of crepes, both sweet (red bean with green tea ice cream, Nutella and almond chips) and savory (ham and cheese, Japanese curried chicken). To drink, there are milk teas and fresh fruit juices. For dessert, expect fish-shaped waffles filled with ingredients like peanut butter or red bean. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 12 p.m.-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 12 p.m.-12 a.m. Genki Living, 651 W. Duarte Rd., Arcadia, 626-447-5116.

Andrew and Alexander Hong plan to open Seoul Bros., a contemporary Korean grill, in mid-December. Chef Eun Jeong has designed a menu featuring chicken marinated in spicy red pepper sauce, sliced rib-eye grilled with caramelized onions and pan-seared tofu served with soy sauce dressing. Each entrée comes with a choice of two panchan, dishes like pan-fried glass noodles, caramelized potatoes in a sweet soy glaze and spinach salad in sesame dressing with daikon. Seoul Bros., 851 Cordova St., Pasadena.

By mid-December, Susan Sarich plans to open a second branch of her Brentwood bakery, SusieCakes, across from the Commons at Calabasas. Expect a similar selection of baked goods and desserts, including red velvet cake, banana pudding and Whoopie pie. For Christmas, SusieCakes will prepare Yule logs and gingerbread houses. Around Valentine’s Day, they’ll make “love shacks.” Hours will be Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. SusieCakes, 23653 Calabasas Road, Calabasas, 818-591-2223.

Naples native Bruno Morra and his wife Cinzia opened Brunello Trattoria on October 19, naming their restaurant for Bruno’s childhood nickname. Expect dishes like linguini with clams, mussels and shrimp in light marinara sauce; lasagna containing small meatballs, ricotta, mozzarella and tomato sauce; and homemade tiramisu. Bruno prepares Neapolitan-style pizzas, including the Quattro Stagnioni (four seasons), a quarter pie each of Margherita; olives, capers, oregano and olive oil; mushrooms, prosciutto and mozzarella; and artichokes with mozzarella. The space features chandeliers imported from Naples and a central bar. Open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Tues.-Sat from 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Sunday from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Brunello Trattoria, 6001 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-280-3856.

10th St. Café, operated by Santa Monica Seafood, has opened in a Wilshire Blvd. location that used to be a Carls Jr. The menu offers sandwiches, fish tacos and clam chowder, as well as grilled entrées of salmon, halibut and swordfish. Open Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 10th St. Café, 1000 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-255-0000.

Viet Tran has opened Viet Noodle Bar in Atwater Village, building on the success of his Viet Soy Café in Silver Lake. The initial menu features Banh Nam–rice flour pancakes with shrimp, shallots and green onion; Bun Ca Thi La–a noodle bowl with dill, turmeric and white fish; and Mit Tron–young jackfruit with tofu, shiitake mushrooms and sesame. To drink, there are homemade organic soy milks in flavors like mint and cinnamon, plus ginger longan tea and the C-Shot (sugar cane juice with lemon and cayenne pepper). Cash only. Open daily from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Viet Noodle Bar, 3133 Glendale Blvd. Atwater Village, 323-906-1575.

Restaurateur Ken Oyadomari has opened Yamato in the former Eurochow space, naming his Japanese restaurant for an ancient word for Japan. Executive chef Toshi Tamba, previously with Okada at Wynn Las Vegas, and executive sushi chef Katsu Hanamure partner on the menu which features dishes like sliced Black Angus New York Steak with a fig sauce and frites made from Japanese Mountain potatoes. The space, remodeled by the New York-based architecture firm YT Design, showcases 50-foot ceilings, a saké wall and a marble obelisk. The restaurant is open for dinner nightly. Yamato Westwood, 1099 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles.

Paperfish, located in the space formerly occupied by Maple Drive in Beverly Hills, is now open for lunch on weekdays. The contemporary seafood restaurant is helmed by chef and restaurateur Joachim Splichal (Patina, eat. on sunset) and executive chef Yianni Koufodontis. The restaurant takes its name from a small rare tropical fish, but the term “Paperfish” also refers to the French technique of cooking fish en papillote, wrapped in parchment paper with vegetables and herbs then baked. As inspired by the name, several dishes will be prepared in this way and served tableside. Joachim Splichal’s California-French style will also shine through in entrées like steamed turbot with dried fruit couscous and eggplant-oxtail tangine when the restaurant opens for dinner on January 7. Until then, guests can enjoy smaller plates and cocktails served in the lounge on weeknights. Open for lunch Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; lounge hours are 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Open for dinner Mon.-Sat. starting January 7. Paperfish, 345 N. Maple Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-858-6030.

Building on their in-house L.A. Desserts operation, the owners of The Ivy have opened Dolce Isola, a South Robertson bakery and café. Options include country breads with walnuts and raisins or Emmentaler Swiss cheese, blueberry tea scones, carrot cupcakes and sandwiches filled with Capri meatballs, imported prosciutto or mozzarella di bufala. Homemade gelato and sorbet can be found in flavors like praline and mango. Key lime pies and chocolate truffle tortes are baked to order. There are even jars of fresh mango chutney and blackberry jam. Dolce Isola, 2869 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-776-7070.

Former Figaro Brasserie proprietor Salvatore Garamella opened Mes Amis Restaurant in Los Feliz Village on November 8, occupying half of the former Tiger Lily space. Expect polished French dishes like prosciutto-wrapped monkfish with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, roasted parsnips and piperade sauce; rabbit prepared three ways with endive, figs, couscous and balsamic gastrique; and grilled scallops with seared foie gras and lobster bisque sauce. Open Thurs.-Mon. from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Mes Amis Restaurant, 1739 North Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, 323-665-7810.

Jason Feld and managing partner Kat Johnson have transformed Security Pacific Bank into The Bank Heist, containing a ground floor restaurant and second level nightclub. Chef de cuisine Jorge Gruener is preparing an eclectic menu, including Jamaican jerk shrimp with green papaya salad and habanero pepper mayo, ancho-crusted salmon with squash noodles and yellow mole sauce, gaucho steak with chimichurri sauce, and for dessert, fried cheesecake with chocolate sauce. Open for lunch Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dinner nightly at 5 p.m., and weekend brunch from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Bank Heist, 5303 N. Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-760-1648.

Joe Vitale has opened a branch of his Greenwich Village institution, Joe’s Pizza, near the Third Street Promenade. There are six pizza pies, including white, Sicilian, fresh mozzarella and Caprese. You can also buy pizza by the slice or combine toppings like meatball, eggplant, artichoke and sausage. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 10 a.m.-midnight and Fri.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-3 a.m. Joe’s Pizza, 111 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-395-9222.

David Sanfield and Paul Hibler have opened a third branch of Pit Fire Pizza Company in Westwood, following up on their success in North Hollywood and downtown. Expect a similar selection of seasonal panini, pastas and thin-crust pizzas. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Pit Fire Pizza Company, 2018 Westwood Blvd., Westwood, 310-481-9860.

Royale owner Tony Jones opened French brasserie Mode on Halloween in downtown’s Fashion District, offering 24/7 service. The stylish space features a 40-foot runway for impromptu fashion shows and a small patio. Chef Eric Ernest, also of Royale, offers three different menus, depending on the time of day. The breakfast/late night menu includes flat iron steak and eggs with a potato cake and brioche French toast with cinnamon and nutmeg. At lunch, expect french onion soup with Gruyère and a Croque Madame. Dinner incorporates lamb osso bucco with parsnip purée and cippolini onions and seared albacore steak with bok choy and soy-ginger sauce. Desserts include profiteroles with Valrhona chocolate, a pineapple tart Tatin and huckleberry sorbet. Mode, 916 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, 213-627-4888.

Joseph Cordova opened The Best Fish Taco in Ensenada next to a Los Feliz auto repair shop in September, offering just two items: Baja-style fish and shrimp tacos. Cordova lightly fries basa, a farm-raised white fish. To dress the tacos, there’s a well-stocked salsa bar with radish relish, “Pineapple Kiss,” avocado salsa, “Mango Less,” shredded cabbage and “Crema Magica.” Open Tues.-Sun. from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, 1650 N. Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles.

Chef Christopher Bocchino and his wife, pastry chef Kristine, have opened Terra in the former Lino space. Expect dishes like a warm Gorgonzola tart, sage-marinated chicken with Brussels sprouts and potato puree, grilled flat-iron steak with french fries, and for dessert, caramel cheesecake with fleur de sel. Open for dinner Tues.-Sun. at 6 p.m. Terra, 21337 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 310-456-1221.

The Skaf family have opened Skaf’s Lebanese Cuisine, a fashionable sit-down version of their North Hollywood original. Expect an expanded menu that includes lentil soup with Swiss chard and onions; pan-seared frog legs with lemon juice, garlic and spices; grilled rib-eye, ground beef and shrimp kebabs; beef or chicken shawarma; and baklava for dessert. Open Mon.-Sat. from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Skaf’s Lebanese Cuisine, 367 N. Chevy Chase Dr., Glendale, 818-551-5540.

Sona chef-owner David Myers has debuted Comme Ça in the former Noura Cafe space, with chef de cuisine Michael David sharing his kitchen. The modern French brasserie features hors d’oeuvres like hand-cut steak tartare and roasted beef marrow with oxtail jam, toast and fleur de sel. Entrées include moules frites, coq au vin and duck confit with braised red cabbage and spaetzle. There are also daily specials: roasted chicken for two on Monday, choucroute garni on Wednesday and pork belly on Saturday. Desserts are provided by Boule patisserie. Think Meyer lemon tarts and brioche pudding. Open for dinner nightly, with lunch to come October 29 and breakfast expected in November. Comme Ça, 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-782-1178.

In November, restaurateur Ken Oyadomari plans to open Yamato Westwood in the former Eurochow space, naming his Japanese restaurant for an ancient word for Japan. Executive chef Toshi Tamba, previously with Okada at Wynn Las Vegas, and executive sushi chef Katsu Hanamure, formerly of Matsuhisa, will partner on an innovative yet affordable menu. YT Design, a New York-based architecture firm, will showcase 30-foot ceilings, a saké wall and ebony tabletops. The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Yamato Westwood, 1099 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles.

Following up on the success of the Boyle Heights original, Patricia Zarate and Father Greg Boyle have expanded their Homegirl Café concept to downtown Los Angeles, continuing their mission to employ former gang members to provide them with an alternative means of earning a living. The café produces fresh sourdough and raisin walnut bread, salads and sandwiches like Yuyu’s Sandwich, with turkey, dulce de mango and chipotle. There are also entrées such as chicken with Rosa’s mole sauce, whitefish with sautéed peppers and tacos filled with carnitas or chicharrones. To drink, Angela’s Green Potion contains lemonade, mint and spinach. Homegirl Cafe, 130 W. Bruno St., Los Angeles, 323-526-1254.

Paperfish will open in November in the space formerly occupied by Maple Drive in Beverly Hills. The contemporary seafood restaurant will be helmed by chef and restaurateur Joachim Splichal (Patina, eat. on sunset) and executive chef Yianni Koufodontis. The restaurant takes its name from a small rare tropical fish, but the term “Paperfish” also refers to the French technique of cooking fish en papillote, wrapped in parchment paper with vegetables and herbs then baked. As inspired by the name, several dishes will be prepared in this way and served tableside. Joachim Splichal’s California-French style will also shine through in entrées like steamed turbot with dried fruit couscous and eggplant-oxtail tangine; pan-roasted halibut with chanterelle mushrooms, cranberry beans and mascarpone emulsion; and sautéed skate wing with sunchoke puree, white wine, golden raisins, pine nuts and preserved lemon. Open for lunch and private parties by the end of November and dinner in early January. Paperfish, 345 N. Maple Dr., Beverly Hills.

Rick Huschitt, Toby Donnelly and Tomas Rivera have opened 15 in the former Echo Park home of Café La Paz, naming their comfort food restaurant for a shared lucky number. Mr. Rivera and Alex Eusebio are a chef tandem producing dishes like the Echo Chopped Salad with seven vegetables, romaine, feta and lemon-sherry vinaigrette; Merlot-braised beef short ribs with horseradish and sour cream mashed potatoes; and rose-infused crème brûlée. Open Wed.-Sat. from 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 15, 1320 Echo Park Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-481-0454.

Shin-Sen-Gumi, a small chain of Japanese restaurants named for a historical Samurai group, has opened a sleek new outpost in the San Gabriel Valley. Expect a hybrid of their yakitori and shabu shabu concepts, with a panoply of grilled chicken parts and shabu shabu pots containing beef, tripe and other ingredients. There are also fried and raw dishes, plus a well-rounded saké list. Open from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. daily. Shin-Sen-Gumi, 111 N. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, 626-943-7956

Miranda McGill opened Flore Vegan in the former Prasadam space in mid August, naming her wheat- and gluten-free Silver Lake establishment in honor of the French word for “vegetation.” At breakfast, expect cranberry-walnut French toast with tempeh bacon, apple-cinnamon oatmeal and Tofu Benediction: sliced tofu, tomato, kale and avocado on toasted batard, smothered in Hollandaise sauce. For lunch and dinner, consider the grapefruit, avocado and fennel salad with lime dressing; the black bean Flore Burger with thousand island dressing; or the Tempeh Tu-No Melt with tempeh salad, alfalfa sprouts and cashew cheese on six-grain bread. To drink, an organic juice bar has options like The Tonic: a mix of grapefruit, kale, apple and lemon. House-baked desserts include carrot cake, blueberry cheesecake and cupcakes. Open Tues.-Fri. from 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Flore Vegan, 3818 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-953-0611.

Jay Choi, who already owns Blue Fish in Montrose, has opened Japanese restaurant Tani in Old Town Pasadena. Chef Eddie Chen is producing a range of sushi, sashimi and rolls, plus signature fusion dishes like the Tani Special Salad with clam, scallop, shrimp and surf clam in lemon-yuzu dressing; Alaskan King crab legs in a miso-ginger glaze; and Kobe beef with foie gras and shrimp with Shiitake butter sauce and Osetra caviar. Open Mon.-Thurs. from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. from 12 pm.-11:30 p.m. and Sun. from 12 p.m.-10 p.m. Tani, 58 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-578-9493.

Kazuto Matsusaka and wife Vicki Fan have opened The Point near their other Culver City restaurant, Beacon. Specializing in “fresh food for people on the go,” The Point’s breakfast options include fresh-baked muffins and breads; an Italian omelette with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil; and an “inside out” breakfast wrap with hash browns, Nueske bacon and cheddar. For lunch and dinner, expect “contemporary classics” like Mandarin chicken salad, “custom crafted salads,” a wrap filled with ancho chili chicken salad and a panini containing roasted turkey, Brie, oven-roasted tomatoes and basil aïoli. For dessert, there are “sweet treats” like Key lime pie, Rochelle’s butterscotch pudding and a “cupcake of the moment.” Open Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat. from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The Point, 8522 National Blvd., Culver City, 310-836-8400.

Flip McDonald opened Uncle Flip's Smoke Pit on August 4. Flip has been smoking meats for forty years and specializes in sandwiches filled with Niman Ranch pulled pork and BBQ Kobe-style beef. He also offers St. Louis cut pork spare ribs, dirty rice, maque choux (a Creole corn casserole containing macaroni and cheese) and specials like double-smoked turkey breast. For dessert, expect fresh watermelon, house-made banana cake and peanut pralines. Uncle Flip’s Smoke Pit, 4715 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-980-7427.

Phil and Carmen Castenada have transformed Xiomara restaurant into Mojitos Restaurant and Rum Bar. New executive chef Robert Humphrey has built a Cuban menu with appetizers like spicy duck ropa vieja with a Manchego cheese corn cake and achiote grilled prawns served over white bean hummus. Entrées are highlighted by wild New Zealand snapper with sautéed squash and fava beans, citrus mojo and green papaya-mango slaw; filet mignon with butternut squash hash and roasted chili-pearl onion demi-glaze; and Creole Cuban fried rice with rock shrimp, pork and ham, topped with avocado and fried plantains. To drink, there are still mojitos, made using sugar cane juice, squeezed fresh at the bar. Mojitos Restaurant and Rum Bar, 69 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-796-2520.

Steve Adelman has launched Lift at the base of the Hillview Apartments. At breakfast, expect seasonal and organic options like oatmeal crème brûlée with agave or maple syrup, Oregon blueberry pancakes or build-your-own frittata. For lunch, consider the Lift Salad with baby beets, Sweet 100 tomatoes, heirloom radish and sherry vinaigrette; tuna panini with tapenade, hard-cooked egg, Reggiano and aïoli; and for dessert, house-baked lemon tarts and Weiser Farms carrot cake. During weekend brunch, enticing dishes include lobster macaroni and cheese and Sonoma duck confit hash with poached eggs and chive oil. Open Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The restaurant will add dinner on October 5 and eventually offer late night dining. Lift, 6531 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-469-1848.

Paulette Koumetz has opened Paulette, the city’s only shop singularly devoted to the French macaron. Pastry chef Christophe Michalak is preparing flavors like Caribbean Chocolate, Colombian Coffee, Earl Grey and New Orleans Praline. Macarons cost $1.50 each. The modern space was designed by Andrea Lenardin Madden, who also designed nearby Sprinkles. Open Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Paulette, 9466 Charleville Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-275-0023.

Cosimo Mammoliti has partnered with Shereen Arazm to transform the former Authentic Café into Terroni, an Italian restaurant that’s built a following in Toronto since 1992. Chef Fabio Moro, imported from Bologna, Italy, will prepare thin-crust pizzas, house-made pastas, sandwiches, salads, fresh fish, meats and sweet desserts. Partner-manager Max Stefanelli has created a wine list featuring over 200 bottles. There will also be a gourmet shop for customers to take home wines, cheeses, spices and Italian ceramics. Terroni is expected to open by late October. Hours will be Sun.-Thurs. from 9 a.m.-12 a.m., and Fri.-Sat. from 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Terroni, 7605 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles.

Eduardo Rallo and wife Sylvia have opened Amaranta Cocina Mexicana at the redesigned Westfield Topanga Mall. Regional Mexican dishes include the couple's signature chicken enchiladas topped with mole Poblano, Michoacán-style marinated carnitas, and, for dessert, churros filled with Bavarian crème. To drink, expect 400 varieties of 100% Blue Agave tequila and a selection of margaritas, including pomegranate, mango and blood orange. Gregory Roth has designed the space, which features sumptuous booths and a pink, burgundy and blond wood color palette. Open daily for lunch and dinner and for weekend brunch. Amaranta Cocina Mexicana, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, 818-610-3599.

After more than 16 years in its West Hollywood location, La Boheme will re-open its doors as Café La Boheme on October 15. Famed restaurant designer Margaret O’Brien has transformed the look of the restaurant to reflect a more relaxed vibe and has added more private booths and new paintings while keeping the original chandeliers. Executive chef Christine Banta is still guiding the kitchen, and her new menu will include dishes like chicken breast with whole grain mustard sauce and baby vegetables with garlic mashed potatoes; miso-glazed salmon with hon shimeji bamboo rice and spinach sauce; roasted beets with avocado, smoked trout and carrot ginger vinaigrette; and a 55-day dry-aged steak. In addition to the menu and design changes, the bar has been expanded and will offer a ‘snack menu’ featuring smaller portions off the main menu. Sun.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Café La Boheme, 8400 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-848-2360.

Bistro Ka is a stylish new Cal-Japanese restaurant on the second floor of the reinvigorated Westfield Topanga mall. Executive chef James Hong is turning out dishes like Rainbow Carpacciothinly sliced tuna, albacore, whitefish and salmon with sizzling yuzu vinaigrette; Teppan-Yaki Prawn & Scallop with ginger beurre blanc; green tea noodles; a wide selection of sushi, rolls and sashimi; and for dessert, tempura ice cream. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Bistro Ka, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd, #2010A, Canoga Park, 818-340-1300.

Jason Bauer, wife Mia, and Harley Bauer have thrown down the cupcake gauntlet by opening the first West Coast outpost of Crumbs just two blocks from Sprinkles. Expect 25 varieties of cupcakes per day, including chocolate-peanut butter, Key lime, red velvet and apple-caramel. There are also non-cake items such as brownies, scones and pies. The bakery opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and weekends at 9 a.m. and remains open Sun.-Thurs. until 10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. until 11 p.m. Crumbs, 9465 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-550-9811.

David Reiss, who recently opened The Del in Playa del Rey, has launched The Alibi Room in Culver City. Chef Matt Tymoszewicz, who also oversees the food at The Del, is turning out a small menu of bar food, including buttermilk-fried chicken oysters with honey mustard; a “Prime” Philly cheese steak with onions, mushrooms and either Cheese Whiz or American cheese; and “The Alibi Butter Burger” with lettuce, tomato, American cheese and shallot butter. The triangle-shaped property features a fireplace and a back patio. To drink, order The Caucasian, a name for a White Russian that originated in “The Big Lebowski.” The bar is currently open Mon.-Sat. from 6 p.m.-2 a.m., but will eventually open on Sundays, and possibly for lunch. The Alibi Room, 12236 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-390-9300.

Bastide is back, having reopened on September 7 with a new look and new cuisine from executive chef Walter Manzke, previously at Patina in Los Angeles and Bouchée in Carmel. His ever-changing menu features local and “non-controversial” ingredients, and may include bento boxes, Thai street food, pasta and cheeses. A wine list composed by Pieter Verheyde complements the Modern European cuisine with selections from around the world. Complimentary valet parking is available. Open Tues.-Sat. from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, 323-651-5950.

David Reiss, who owns The Brig and Beechwood with Jeffrey Best, has opened The Del in the former home of La Marina Inn. Chef Matt Tymoszewicz is preparing dishes like blue crab and cilantro salad with avocado and fried green tomatoes; pistachio-crusted chicken breast with patty pan squash, green onions and sherry gastrique; and for dessert, sour cream donuts with strawberry jelly and coffee gelato. A bar area features ‘60s-style metallic wallpaper, twin fireplaces, a black oak floor and nine flat screens that show sporting events. By the end of September, The Del will expand with a dining room and later follow that with the opening of a mammoth patio. The Del, 119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey, 310-823-6800.

Nadav Bashan, who could previously be found in the kitchens of Michael’s and Providence, launched Bashan Restaurant on September 8 in the former home of Bistro Verdu. Chef Bashan prepares Cal-French dishes like Prince Edward Island mussels with bacon, tomatoes and white wine; lemon-thyme roasted halibut with hummus, grilled eggplant, piperade and beet jus; New York steak with Maui onion puree, baby carrots, sweet potato and plum tartare; and for dessert, an espresso panna cotta with dulce de leche and a cocoa nib cookie. Open Tues.-Sun. from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Bashan Restaurant, 3459 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale, 818-541-1532.

On September 24, husband and wife team Chris and Julie Bennett opened Melrose Bar & Grill in the former Doug Arango’s space on the famed west end of Melrose Avenue. The pair sought to create a comfortable and casual atmosphere reminiscent of the neighborhood grills Chris recalls from his New York upbringing. The menu reflects California seasonal cooking as well as that hearty New York sensibility with dishes like thin crust pizzas, a duck burger with Gouda cheese and cherry ketchup, and Alsatian-style pork chop cider-brined and served with house-cured sauerkraut. To keep customers coming back for more, all items are priced under $25. A chalkboard displays ever-changing specials which could include raw fish appetizers, fish and meat entrees, a Maui Beef Burger, and chowder, as well as a selection of cheeses and desserts. Partner and wine director Robert Evans has compiled a wine program offering a user-friendly “Short List” as well as a “Reserve List” with more than 600 selections. International beers and classic cocktails are also available. Melrose Bar & Grill, 8826 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood.

Chef Antonio Mure, who co-owns Piccolo Ristorante and La Botte Ristorante with Stefano de Lorenzo, has opened Il Carpaccio, naming his latest Italian restaurant for the thin-sliced raw beef dish. Mure prepares his carpaccio with filet mignon, mustard dressing and shaved Parmigiano cheese. Other options include pizza topped with sautéed porcini mushrooms, lamb chops served with red wine and mustard sauce and black ink tagliolini sautéed with Dungeness crab, roasted garlic and white wine sauce. Open Fri.-Sun. for lunch and for dinner nightly. Il Carpaccio, 538 Palisades Dr., Pacific Palisade, 310-573-1411.

Chef Roberto Amico, previously at Clafoutis, Café Midi and Mulholland Grill, has opened Bella Roma SPQR with wife Lisa, naming their Italian café for the historic Latin phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus ("The Senate and the Roman People”). Expect options like the capricciosa pizza with sausage, olives and hard-boiled egg; a variety of Italian sandwiches filled with Italian meats and cheeses; handmade pastas; New York steak with black peppercorn cognac sauce; and for dessert, chocolate-coated cannoli. Open Tues.-Fri. for lunch and Tues.-Sun. for dinner. Bella Roma SPQR, 1513 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-277-7662.

Sommelier Francine Diamond and Ca’ del Sole executive chef Soerke Peters have opened Froma on Melrose, a high-end deli featuring charcuterie, cheeses, chocolates, pastas, fresh fruit and panini. Open Mon.- Sat. from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sun. from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Froma on Melrose, 7960 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-653-3700.

Gloria Felix, formerly chef at Blair’s Restaurant, A.O.C. and Jar, has teamed with Elizabeth Belkind, previously a pastry chef at Campanile and Grace. The duo intends to open reservoir in the former home of Netty’s in November. The market-driven restaurant will be open Tues.-Fri. for breakfast and lunch, Tues.-Sun. for dinner, and Sat.-Sun. for brunch. reservoir, 1700 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-662-8655.

Yuzando opened this summer in the former Sushi Tenn space. Chef Hideo Sueyoshi, previously of Hatsuhana in Manhattan, prepares an extensive list of sushi and rolls, plus small plates like smoked salmon carpaccio with mustard vinaigrette, Kobe beef “diced steak” with Marsala sauce and sautéed shrimp with butter-soy sauce. Open Mon.-Fri. from 12 p.m.-2:30 p.m. and nightly from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Yuzando, 2004 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-473-2388.

Juan Sola Jr. and Reg MacDonald have launched Tinto in the old Hunter’s bar space, specializing in traditional Spanish cuisine. Chef Justo Vincent, who worked at famed Spanish restaurant El Bulli, is preparing dishes like langoustines sautéed with onions, cold rabbit escabeche salad with endive and carrots and duck breast with pears poached in Priorat wine. For dessert, think rice pudding or a warm almond and Sherry tart. Tinto, which means “red” as in red wine, serves only wine and beer. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 6 p.m.-midnight and Fri.-Sat. from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Tinto, 7511 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-512-3095.

Paolo Giovani, previously of Il Sole and Solare, has opened Nonna in the former Joss space on Sunset Blvd. Expect Italian dishes like linguine with “giant” Hawaiian shrimp in spicy tomato sauce; thin-crust pizza with burrata and fresh-chopped tomatoes; and Dover sole sautéed with clarified butter and lemon, filleted tableside. Open for lunch Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and for dinner Mon.-Sat. from 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Nonna, 9255 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-270-4455.

A second branch of renowned Tustin izakaya, Honda-Ya, opened on August 20 in Little Tokyo. The near-encyclopedic Japanese small-plates menu includes deep-fried, broiled, grilled and stewed dishes, plus sushi, sashimi, ramen and salads. Open Tues.-Sun. from 5:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Honda-Ya, 333 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles, 213-625-1184.

Colleen Standish and husband Jim have launched Lark Cake Shop in Silver Lake. Offerings include red velvet cake, honeyed apple torte, ginger scones, Mexican wedding cookies and Colleen’s salted caramel cupcakes. Open Tues.-Thurs. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sun. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Lark Cake Shop, 3337 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-667-2968.

Former Mayor Richard Riordan has transformed the bakery next to his diner The Original Pantry Café into Riordan's Tavern. The traditional American menu features blue crab cakes with spicy remoulade; cold water Australian lobster tail with lemon and melted butter; Prime filet mignon, porterhouse and New York steak; and a daily “carver,” slow-roasted beef, lamb, ham or turkey, available as a sandwich on a choice of fresh-baked bread. Open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Riordan’s Tavern, 875 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 213-627-6879.

Al's Flying Garage, a diner named for a mythical World War II airplane mechanic, has replaced Munchkins as the in-house restaurant at the Culver Hotel. For breakfast, expect green eggs and ham, the option to "build your own omelet," and pancakes, French toast or waffles with chocolate chips or bananas Foster. For lunch and dinner, there are sliders with pickles and thousand island dressing; blackened chicken salad with tomatoes, avocado, cheese and bacon; and macaroni and cheese. For dessert, expect shakes, malts and root beer floats. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 7 a.m.-midnight. Al's Flying Garage, 9400 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-842-9400.

Gabe Byer and Ryan Ballinger, previously with The Edendale Grill, opened The York in the former Wild Hare space on July 12, envisioning "Highland Park's neighborhood gastropub." To eat, expect truffle grilled cheese with tomato salad; chicken wings with Serrano ham, cilantro, lime and honey; a cheddar burger with spicy harissa aïoli, pickled onion and rocket; blackened catfish with remoulade and corn; and for dessert, peach cobbler with oatmeal crust. There are also weekly specials like baby back ribs with Asian slaw. Open daily from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. The York, 5018 York Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-255-9675.

Gabe Byer and Ryan Ballinger, previously with Edendale Grill, opened The York in the former Wild Hare space on July 12, envisioning "Highland Park's neighborhood gastropub." To eat, expect truffle grilled cheese with tomato salad; chicken wings with Serrano ham, cilantro, lime and honey; a cheddar burger with spicy harissa aïoli, pickled onion and rocket; blackened catfish with remoulade and corn; and for dessert, peach cobbler with oatmeal crust. There are also weekly specials like baby back ribs with Asian slaw. Open daily from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. The York, 5018 York Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-255-9675.


Ritual Restaurant & Night Club is a new restaurant and club in the former White Lotus space, featuring a candlelit patio and wooden dance floor. Andrew Pastore, previously at Pig ‘n Whistle, Cabana Club and White Lotus, prepares Pacific Rim dishes like shrimp ceviche marinated in chili and truffled yuzu lime juice; sesame-crusted halibut filet with Kaffir lime, coconut sticky rice and sautéed bok choy; and pork tenderloin with garlic-potato purée, pineapple salsa and spinach curry reduction. For dessert, try the “Holy Trinity of Cupcakes”–red velvet, candied lemon and chocolate chip. Open Tues.-Sat. at 6 p.m. Ritual, 1743 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323-463-0060.

Tiffini Soforenko, husband Nik Soforenko and Brogan Faye have opened a second branch of their successful Burbank bakery, Yummy Cupcakes. Just like at the original, cupcakes are featured in flavors like brown sugar-cinnamon, chocolate-raspberry and red velvet. There’s even a "Yummy Cupcake" with three types of melted chocolate, pink vanilla cream and dark chocolate sprinkles. Open daily at 11 a.m. Yummy Cupcakes, 313 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-393-8283.

Building on the success of Pizzeria Mozza, culinary heavyweights Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich have opened Osteria Mozza, the more ambitious of their adjacent Italian establishments. Dishes include spaghetti with clams, pancetta and Fresno chile pesto; grilled lamb “scottadita” with insalata di fregola sarda and yogurt; and whole grilled orata wrapped in fig leaf with olio nuovo. Nancy Silverton commands a central mozzarella bar, preparing cheese-based creations like burrata with asparagus, hazelnuts, brown butter and guanciale; and bufala mozzarella with pesto, salsa romesco, tapenade and caperberry relish. The kitchen is open Mon.-Sat. from 5:30 p.m.-midnight. Osteria Mozza, 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-297-0100.

Following the success of Katsuya in Brentwood, SBE Restaurant & Nightlife Group has announced the imminent arrival of Katsuya Hollywood. Set to open in September 2007, Katsuya Hollywood continues the creative collaboration of master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi and celebrated designer Philippe Starck. “We are incredibly pleased with the success of our first Katsuya in Brentwood,” commented SBE Entertainment CEO Sam Nazarian. “With Katsuya Hollywood, we’re turning up the edginess quotient a bit in line with that neighborhood, while offering the same unwavering Katsuya standards of quality and service.” These two locations will be joined by even more Katsuya outposts over the next two years, both in the Los Angeles area and beyond. The Hollywood restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Katsuya Hollywood, 6300 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Reservations will be available beginning in late August.

Library Bar

Michael Leko and Will Shamlian have opened Library Bar downtown. Noted mixologist and sommelier Peter Birmingham, currently with Il Grano, has developed a cocktail list that utilizes top-shelf spirits, house-made syrups, sour mix and fresh-squeezed pomegranate, blueberry and pineapple juices. Beer sommelier Christina Perozzi has assembled a list of 29 brews, including Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and Belgium’s Delirium Tremens. Food is available from next door’s Wolfgang Puck Café, including spicy chicken pizza, a rotisserie beef and Gorgonzola pocket and a California turkey hero, all delivered to your stool or table. The space features a wall-to-wall library, vintage cash registers, a retro jukebox and an antler chandelier. Open Mon.-Fri. from 3 p.m.-2 a.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Library Bar, 630 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, 213-614-0053.

Sudesh Sood and daughter Nikki Sood have opened Tanzore, an upscale Indian restaurant, in the former home of Gaylord Indian Restaurant on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row. Executive chef Gautam Chaudhry, formerly at 360° Restaurant at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, India, is turning out dishes like seared scallops dressed in vodka-citrus vinaigrette with blood orange segments and palm hearts; seared yellow fin tuna with toasted coriander, avocado raita and tuna tartare; spiced Goan crab cakes with mustard seeds, curry leaves and crab chutney; and for dessert, a pluot-plum frangipane tart, served with a spiced citrus plum shooter. Sat Garg, who designed Tantra in Silver Lake, led the modern makeover. Dinner is served daily from 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m., with a bar menu available from 4:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Tanzore, 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-652-3838.

Nearly nine months after an electrical fire shut it down, Ca’Brea opens its doors for lunch and dinner on July 19. Owner and chef Antonio Tommasi is relieved the lengthy process of building inspections and approvals is finally over. “I am so happy to be able to cook again in my restaurant in a beautiful new kitchen,” Tommasi reports. The renovations include the newly named Marco Polo Lounge & Bar, opening later this summer, as well as the offering of afternoon “small bites” snacks and coffee on the patio. Ca’Brea, 346 S. La Brea Ave., 323-938-2863.

Richard Makinadjian opened Salades de Provence on June 23 in the former Empanada's Place space, featuring the same menu as his cousin’s long-running restaurant in the south of France. Salads include L’Assiette de la Ferme, with roasted chicken breast, fried potatoes and breaded goat cheese; L’Assiette Cezanne, featuring Saint Marcelin cheese, rosemary, smoked duck breast, fried potatoes, candied raisins and Provençal honey; and L'Assiette Des Calanques, with marinated wild octopus, grilled peppers and anise-flavored olive oil. There are also quiches, crepes and for dessert, tarte tatin and white cheese yogurt with Provençal honey and shaved almonds. To drink, Café Richard coffee and Mariage Frères tea, both imported from France, are available. Open daily from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Salades de Provence, 1040 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-666-8367.

Lili and Cecil Kim launched Liliya China Bistro in downtown’s Higgins Building, featuring Korean and Chinese food in sleek confines. Expect dishes like black bean noodles with pork and stir-fried squash, rib-eye or pork bulgogi, honey-glazed walnut shrimp and beef short ribs, marinated in soy and ginger. Open Mon.-Sat. for lunch and dinner. Liliya China Bistro, 108 W. Second St. #102-103, Los Angeles, 213-620-1717.

Adolfo Suaya and Michael Sutton, owners of The Lodge Steakhouse and Charcoal, plan to open Goa along the sizzling Cahuenga corridor at the end of August. The two-story Indian-themed restaurant and club is named for the Indian state of Goa. Chef Ted Fujita, from Yu-N-Mi sushi restaurant in Beverly Hills, will oversee a Japanese menu specializing in sashimi and robata. Goa, 1615 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood.

Capitalizing on the recent relocation of talent agencies CAA and ICM to Century City, Tom Colicchio has opened Craft Los Angeles at the corner of Constellation Blvd. and Avenue of the Stars soon. Matthew Accarrino, recently of Craftsteak, is chef de cuisine. The seasonal, market-driven menu is much like the one at the Manhattan original. Craft, 10100 Constellation Blvd., Century City.

Chef Suzanne Tracht of Jar opened her own eponymous restaurant, Tracht’s, on July 7 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel. The restaurant is part of an $11 million renovation to the hotel and features 30-foot-high windows and a sleek bar with a glass-encased, temperature-controlled wine cellar boasting 1,100 bottles. Tracht's menu includes many of the signature steaks, roasts and braised foods from the Jar menu, along with Tracht's market-inspired appetizers, salads and sides. Leading the kitchen is chef de cuisine Jessica Alexander, former sous chef of Studio at the Montage Resort & Spa in Laguna Beach. Tracht’s, 111 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach.

Bar Hayama

Bar Hayama had its official grand opening on July 7. Executive sushi chef Toshi Sugiura is the founder of the California Sushi Academy, the first sushi school outside of Japan. Sushi is the focus, of course, but patrons can also find kozara (small plates) and an extensive sake list. Bar Hayama, 1803 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-235-2000.

Pink Taco has brought its suggestive name and Mexican cuisine to Los Angeles. With locations already in Scottsdale and Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Pink Taco has set up shop on the upper level of the Westfield Century City. Lunch and dinner are served daily, including the chain’s namesake panuchos (pink tacos)–pink corn tortillas topped with refried beans, grilled chicken, house salsa and pickled onions. Pink Taco, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-789-1000.

Wolfgang Puck, celebrity chef-owner of Spago Beverly Hills and CUT, has opened Red Seven on the ground floor of the Pacific Design Center’s Green building. Puck chose the name because it’s the seventh restaurant he’s opened in Los Angeles, seven is a lucky number, and it’s the year 2007. Chef de cuisine Yoshinori Kojima is preparing seasonal Asian-influenced dishes like crispy calamari with Thai basil and red curry vinaigrette; Chinese chicken salad with cashews and sesame mustard dressing; whole wok-fried sea bass for two; and sushi and sashimi market specials. Martin Vahtra designed the contemporary space. Open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Red Seven, 700 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-289-1587.

Richie Palmer has opened Burger 90210 in the former Solar Harvest space. There are seven signature burgers made with a choice of beef, turkey or veggie patties. The list includes the 90210 Royale–sautéed onions, American cheese and special “90210” sauce; the Texas Burger–chili, raw onion and cheddar; and the Tapenade Burger–sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, tapenade and goat cheese. There’s also the option to “build your own” with toppings like Gouda, wasabi mayo or fried eggs for your personal burger. For non burger-lovers, there are hot dogs, grilled sandwiches, onion rings and chili cheese fries. Open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sun. from 12 p.m.-9 p.m. Burger 90210, 242 S. Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills, 310-271-7900.

Celeste Fierro and Erica Cohen, owners of One Little West 12th and STK in Manhattan, have opened One Sunset on the Sunset Strip. The restaurant and lounge features four separate spaces with Spanish and North African touches. Executive chef Christopher Ennis, previously at Vibrato Grill Jazz...etc., is turning out New American dishes like ahi carpaccio with green tea soba noodles and grated Asian pear; Szechuan seared sea scallops with a potato-parsnip pancake and caramelized green apple; coffee and molasses braised short rib sopes; and wild mushroom pizza with arugula and truffle. The resident DJs are Michelle Pesce, DJ Tendaji and DJ Mi$ter Best. Open nightly from 5:30 p.m.–1 a.m. One Sunset, 8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-657-0111.

Mia Sushi owner Rudy Martinez has opened Marty’s, a contemporary fusion restaurant named for his son, in Highland Park. Chef Robert Zaldana, previously of The Restaurant at The Getty Center, is producing dishes like the Kobe beef burger, macaroni and cheese made with Gruyère, Brie and fresh mozzarella; cut-to-order steak tartare; and crispy calamari with tempura batter and homemade tomato chutney. There are no desserts yet. Open Mon.-Sat. from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Marty’s, 5137 York Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-256-2400.

Zu Robata is a new Japanese restaurant in the old Casa Antigua space in West L.A., specializing in food cooked on a Binchotan charcoal grill, which emits very little smoke. Chef Ricardo Zarate grills sea bream marinated in saikyo miso, grilled scallop skewers topped with chili-garlic sauce and wasabi peas, lamb cutlets marinated with garlic-kimchi sauce and sweet potato skewers glazed with honey-jalapeño sauce. He also prepares sashimi, sushi, pan-fried edamame with spicy black bean sauce and sea bass carpaccio with yuzu dressing and sweet soy sauce. Open Mon.-Wed. from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. and Thurs.-Sat. from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Opening for lunch beginning in July. Zu Robata, 12217 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-571-1920.

Wife and husband team Amy and Jeremy Berman are planning to celebrate the grand opening of Vanilla Bake Shop on July 10, near the Third Street Promenade. The concept was hatched when Amy was in culinary school and had to write a business plan for a fictitious dessert shop. The couple will offer seasonal French macaroons; striped, torte-like brownies called "cosmopolitans;" and cupcakes, both full-size, bite size and stuffed. The décor will feature white chandeliers, hardwood floors, cotton candy pink flourishes and both table and stool seating. Hours will be Tues.-Sat. from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Vanilla Bake Shop, 512 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-458-6644.

Natalia Pereira and Darius Danta have opened Wood Spoon, an airy Brazilian café, in the downtown Los Angeles Fashion District. Dishes include Pastel Portuguese–dumplings stuffed with shrimp and coconut sauce; Brazilian chicken pot pie with hearts of palm, potato, olives and roasted corn; grilled beef, lamb, chicken or Brazilian sausage; and a pork burger with roasted cabbage and grilled onions. To drink, expect fresh-squeezed orange-mango juice and coconut water. Open Mon.-Sat. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Wood Spoon, 107 W. Ninth St., Los Angeles, 213-629-1765.

Banchan à La Carte is a new high-end Korean deli, named for the complimentary side dishes found at Korean restaurants. The chef-owner is Jayne Chang, founder and director of California Premier Culinary School. European-influenced Korean offerings include herb-rubbed beef ribs, fried salt-and-pepper shrimp served over crispy rice noodles, kimchi pancakes, bibimbap and ready-to-cook marinated short ribs, plus sandwiches and dozens of banchan. Open Mon.-Sat. from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sun. from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Banchan à La Carte, 141 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, 323-465-2400.

A sleek new branch of Fat Fish, the West Hollywood Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, has opened in Koreatown. Chef James Han is responsible for dishes like Dungeness crab spring rolls, six varieties of oysters on the half-shell, soba noodles with duck breast and a long list of sushi along with rolls named for the cities of Las Vegas, Seattle and Philadelphia. For dessert, there’s green tea tempura ice cream or the “famous” Fat Fish banana split. Fat Fish, 3300 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, 213-384-1304.

Cru is up and running in Silver Lake in the former home of Jade Café. Chef Rachael Carr’s inventive take on raw vegan food includes saffron-cashew cheese balls with pomegranate and olive bread; Thai red curry with garlic coconut rutabaga rice; a pizza duo–Portobello-cashew cheese and tomato pesto; pad Thai with garlic root noodles; and for dessert, a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and pistachios. Cru, 1521 Griffith Park Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-667-1551.

Ray Nguyen has opened Lemongrass, a modern Vietnamese restaurant named for a popular ingredient in Vietnamese cooking, in Eagle Rock. Expect shrimp or pork spring rolls; rice noodle soup with either chicken, rare steak or meatballs; tomato fried rice with barbecue chicken; charbroiled pork sandwiches; and flan or Jell-o desserts. The décor includes olive green walls, black furniture and shelves of pottery. Lemongrass, 1952 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, 323-758-8050.

After five years of research and testing, The Healthy Bean, a coffee shop offering the first all-natural coffee product infused with antioxidants and proteins, debuts in West Hollywood on June 1. Its organic and fair-trade certified coffees undergo a patented process in which the ground coffee is permeated with whey protein and antioxidant compounds from pomegranate, blueberry, grape seed and green tea to create a truly revolutionary beverage. The Healthy Bean is the creation of Ray Basa, food scientist and chemist, and Vee Cristobal, a CPA and marathon runner. “Without coffee, life is not complete for me and I can't function very well,” says Cristobal. “Ray and I wanted to create a product that would help active people like us get extra health benefits, while maintaining the taste and tradition of a great cup of coffee in the morning.” The Healthy Bean, 8470 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-848-9401.

Murano Restaurant is a pristine new Italian eatery with white walls and several of the Italian archipelago’s signature chandeliers, custom-made in black and red. Chef Kristi Ritchey, previously of Pinot Blanc in Napa Valley and eat. at the desert in Palm Springs, is preparing sweet corn agnolotti with crisp pancetta, port reduction and shaved Parmesan; pan-seared white fish on roasted golden beets and creamy leeks with beet-orange sauce; and pork tenderloin with fava beans, wild mushrooms and crisp Parmesan risotto fries. Open Tues.-Sun. for dinner and for Sunday brunch. Murano Restaurant, 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-246-9118.

Leslie W. Brenner and Rich Brenner, co-owners of Hugo’s and Hugo’s Tacos, have transformed the old Highland Grounds space into The Dive. An eclectic menu features Caribbean curry chicken clay pot, design-your-own calzones and “grown up” macaroni and cheese—fusilli with Gorgonzola, jack and Parmesan cheeses, plus garlic-braised kale. Mixologist Josh Curtis, previously of The Hungry Cat, is producing drinks like “On the Lam” featuring muddled rosemary, fresh orange juice and gin; and “Deep Purple” with sparkling blackberry lemonade, vodka and cherry limeade. The Dive, 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, 323-466-1507.

After a months-long hiatus, Bogota native Elizabeth Perez has resurfaced at a new Hollywood address with her smoothie and juice parlor, The Juice Fountain, which dates to 1969. Popular menu items include the Blackberry Cream—blackberries, pineapple, honey, and yogurt or milk; the Athlete’s Special—cashews, dates, fruit and low-fat milk; and the Fruit Rainbow—watermelon, strawberries, papaya, blackberries, orange and banana. Open Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Juice Fountain, 6332 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-464-8986.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first Gaucho Grill, Adolfo Suaya has opened Charcoal with business partner Michael Sutton. The sleek American grill is sandwiched between ArcLight Cinemas and Amoeba Music and features black walnut, sumptuous booths and an elk antler chandelier near the entrance. Chef Yuri Samano, previously of Arnie Morton’s of Chicago and The Lodge Steakhouse, is preparing dishes like the tuna duo (tartare and seared sesame-crusted ahi), a crab burger with caper mayo, a Cajun ribeye with red skin smashed potatoes and for dessert, giant funnel cake with berry and chocolate sauces. Open daily from 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Charcoal, 6372 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-8500.

Chef Andy Brooks, previously of Naha in Chicago and DC Coast, has returned home to Southern California to open Brooks with wife Jayme. Chef Brooks’ seasonal New American menu might include pan-seared foie gras with a black pepper waffle, maple-glazed tangerines and crispy pancetta; seared day boat scallops with cactus relish, truffle squash and mole vinaigrette; and for dessert, cornmeal-buttermilk roasted apple buckle with maple-walnut gelato. A nightly five-course tasting menu is available for $45. Tom Nahabedian designed the rustic space. Open Tues.-Sun. for dinner. Brooks, 545 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 805-652-7070.

Stefano's da Vinci Ristorante

Chef Stefano Colaiacomo, previously with the L’Opera Restaurant Group, has opened Stefano’s da Vinci Ristorante next to Long Beach Airport, naming his upscale Italian restaurant for the world’s first aviation pioneer, Leonardo da Vinci. The menu includes steamed Manila clams in a broth of garlic, white wine and miso; New Zealand venison rack flambéed in Barolo wine; and a veal loin porterhouse chop glazed with roasted garlic-brandy sauce. Every pasta is attributed to a particular region of Italy, like the baked spaghetti soufflé with prosciutto, egg and wild mushrooms, from Abruzzo. The multi-level space features runway views, towering white columns and aviation models. Open Mon.-Sat. for lunch, nightly for dinner and for Sunday brunch. Stefano’s da Vinci Ristorante, 2801 E. Spring St., 3rd Floor, Long Beach, 562-685-8111.

Brothers Geofrey and Fabrice Ghanem have opened Shilo’s, a modern Kosher steakhouse with predominantly white décor. In addition to a panoply of dry-aged Prime steaks, Chef Michel Aytekin is preparing dishes like pan-seared sweetbreads with cognac-saffron demi glace, grilled ahi steak with Chardonnay-basil-caper sauce, and whole stuffed Cornish hen, braised in Marsala wine. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., and Saturday from 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Shilo’s, 8939 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-858-1652.

The Foundry on Melrose opened on May 1 in the former Caffe Luna space. Chef-owner Eric Greenspan, previously of Patina and Meson G, is preparing contemporary dishes like bacon-wrapped scallops with pea fourchette and vermouth; veal scaloppini with fondant potatoes and sweetbread gremolata; and for dessert, hazelnut- and halva-crusted coffee cake with hazelnut gelato. The industrial design comes courtesy of Sandy Davidson, while live music Thurs.-Sat. nights is provided by Christopher Dowd’s trio. Open for dinner Mon.-Sat. at 6 p.m. The Foundry on Melrose, 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-651-0915.

In late June or early July, Doug Zell and wife Emily Mange plan to open the first non-Chicago branch of their Intelligentsia Coffee in Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction. The coffeehouse is known for 30 single-origin coffees and blends and for beans roasted fresh daily. The location will house two Clover coffeemakers, which utilize patented “Vacuum-Press” technology. Intelligentsia Coffee, 3922 Sunset Blvd., Sunset Junction, Silver Lake,

Bar 1200, named for the hotel’s address, is a new “A-list hideaway” in the Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas. The retooled bar offers a new specialty drink each month, including May’s Pomerita—Corzo Silver tequila with Red Bull and Pama liqueur; August’s Paloma—Blanco or Reposado tequila with fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice and a splash of soda; and December’s Moontini—vodka with Blue Curaçao, Cointreau and orange juice, garnished with orange rind. The walls feature photographer Ross Halfin’s portraits of rock stars like Anthony Kiedis, Roger Daltrey and Chris Robinson. Bar 1200, 1200 Alta Loma Rd., West Hollywood, 310-657-1333.

Taj Chowdhury and Zaman Jaman have opened Indian restaurant Lal Mirch, named for a “red chile,” in the former home of Hungarian restaurant Hortobagy. Chef Abdul Awal Miah is preparing dishes like tandoori king prawns, quail and lamb; chicken dhansak in a lentil sauce with mango jam; and shrimp biryani with raisins and cashews. To drink, expect strawberry lassi and mango juice. Open Mon.-Sat. for lunch and nightly for dinner. Lal Mirch, 11138 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-980-2273.

Kelly Gleason and wife Anastasia Israel, previously the owners of Anastasia’s Asylum, have launched Abode Restaurant & Lounge near the Santa Monica Pier. The eatery, which features ‘60s era design, offers sustainable American cuisine. Executive chef Dominique Crenn, previously of Stars and Campton Place in San Francisco, has designed a seasonal menu that may include pear-parsnip “cappuccino” soup with truffles and coffee; pork osso bucco with shallots confit and apple-berry compote; and scallops with Satsuma tangerines, cauliflower and vanilla sea salt. Crenn also offers six- or eight-course prix-fixe tasting menus, and an equally ambitious menu for vegetarians, called the “Garden Menu.” Open weekdays for lunch, nightly for dinner, and weekends for brunch. Abode Restaurant & Lounge, 1541 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-394-3463.

Abode Martini Black Pearl - Photo
A Pearl for a Great Cause
Restaurateurs Kelly Gleason and Anastasia Israel (pictured), the husband-and-wife team who have just opened Abode Restaurant & Lounge in Santa Monica, are concerned about the environment. On their cocktail list is an intriguing $300 Tahitian Black Pearl Martini that lives up to its name. In a glass of ultra-premium coconut vodka, made lagoon-blue with a splash of blue Curaçao, sits a AAA 12-mm Tahitian Black pearl, appraised at $800. The proceeds of this exclusive martini will go to Heal the Bay (, a program dedicated to cleaning nearby Santa Monica Bay. An added bonus: the drink and its pearl are tax-deductible!

Ryan Afromsky plans to open grilled cheese restaurant Meltdown etc in downtown Culver City in the second week of May. Specialties will include a classic three-cheese melt with sharp cheddar, muenster and fontina on sourdough bread; sharp cheddar, smoked ham and apple butter on sourdough; a Market Melt with herbed goat cheese, grilled farmers market vegetables, caramelized onions and walnut pesto on ciabatta; and “Sweet Melts” like brie and apricot preserves on walnut bread. There will also be soups and house-made pickles. At first, the café will be open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Eventually Meltdown will open at 8 a.m. and expand to Saturdays. Meltdown etc, 9739 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-838-6358.

Steven Arroyo, owner of Cobras & Matadors, has opened 750ml, a restaurant named for the capacity of a standard wine bottle. The rustic space, across the street from a Gold Line station, features 16 wines by the glass. Chef Greg Bernhardt, previously of Le Dome, Vida and Grace, offers a continually evolving menu of hearty French and American fare. Dishes might include red wine-braised beef shoulder with radicchio and Taleggio pomme fondue; lamb sirloin with roasted grapes; or white bean cassoulet with duck confit and lardons. There are normally two desserts per day, and recent dishes have included espresso pot de crème topped with cocoa nibs and lemon clafoutis with crème fraiche and Russian cherries. Open daily from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. 750ml, 966 Mission St., South Pasadena, 626-799-0711.

In June, Emil Eyvazoff plans to open Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant + Elevate Lounge in a downtown penthouse. The indoor-outdoor space will offer sweeping city views, a glass-enclosed wine room and fire elements, courtesy of Tag Front designers. Chef Kenny Yamada, previously at the Encino branch of Katsu-ya and at SHU (Sushi House Unico), will prepare sushi and robata selections, plus dishes like “Pop Art Crab,” a tempura creation involving Dungeness crab, sweet potato, avocado, shishito pepper and four sauces; “Tropical Avocado Bowl,” sashimi served inside a hollowed-out avocado, paired with mango and sauces; and “Sweet Scallop Present,” an egg crafted to look like a gift box, filled with tempura scallops and wine-infused Jell-o. Takami will be open daily for lunch and dinner, and Elevate will be open nightly for drinks. Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant + Elevate Lounge, 811 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-236-9600.

Guido Fratesi and Collette Pankopf have opened Coccole Laboratorio del Gusto, a neighborhood Italian restaurant in Redondo Beach. Expect dishes like gorgonzola flan topped with broccoli purée; tagliatelle sautéed with scallops, shrimp, parsley paste and chili flakes; roasted pork simmered in a mix of rosemary, sage, carrots, onions and berries; and pan-seared duck breast “bundled” in prosciutto di Parma and covered with cheese and breadcrumbs. Open Tues.-Sun. from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Coccole Laboratorio del Gusto, 320 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach, 310-374-6929.

Frank Waldman has opened a Hollywood branch of Doughboys, his American bakery and café. The menu is nearly identical to the original 3rd Street, with the addition of chicken pot pies, beefy macaroni and cheese and Grandma Rose’s Rainy Day Special—a tuna melt with chicken noodle soup. The restaurant opens daily at 7 a.m. and has been closing between 9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., but will eventually stay open until midnight. Doughboys, 1150 Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323-467-9117.

Jake Li has opened a Melrose branch of Venice Beach favorite Mao’s Kitchen, named for former Chinese leader Mao Zedong. The Chinese menu, similar to the one at the original location, features pan-fried chicken potstickers, steamed shrimp and spinach dumplings, sesame and yam beef, sliced Shao mountain lamb and, for dessert, red bean pastries. Open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mao’s Kitchen, 7315 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-932-9681.

Ketchup is a new Dolce Group restaurant in the Sunset Millennium complex, occupying the space formerly filled by Rika. Executive chef Chris Tunnell, previously of Dolce Enoteca in Reno, prepares upscale comfort food like "scandalous lobster wraps" with mango ketchup; drunken scallops, braised in Wicked Ale, with bacon and lobster mash; mesquite-grilled lobster tail with roasted cilantro coulis, blue corn chips and dirty rice; and sweet potato tater tots with five signature ketchups and macaroni and cheese with white truffles and Dungeness crab. Open daily from 6 p.m.-midnight. Ketchup, 8590 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-289-8590.

Capitalizing on the recent relocation of talent agencies CAA and ICM to Century City, Tom Colicchio plans to open an outpost of Craft on Avenue of the Stars on June 1. Matthew Accarrino, recently of Craftsteak, will be chef de cuisine. The seasonal, market-driven menu will be much like the one at the Manhattan original. Craft, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City.

Neomeze Restaurant

Short-lived Old Town Pasadena restaurant Sol y Azul has been transformed into Neomeze, a modern Mediterranean restaurant specializing in small plates. Expect dishes like stacked watermelon and feta sticks; pan-seared sea scallops with crispy Serrano ham and saffron-sherry-butter sauce; sweet red yam cakes with green apple chutney and roasted chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, figs and mint. Open daily from 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., and until 1:30 a.m. from Thurs.-Sat. Neomeze, 20 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-793-3010.

Parc has opened in the former BlackSteel space. Owner Shereen Arazm has retained BlackSteel chef Jason Harley. His menu features seared bay scallops with spicy zucchini sauce, clay pot baked pepper-caramel cod, grilled lamb chopettes with rosemary port ginger sauce and for dessert, blueberry lavender panna cotta with blueberry relish. There’s also a Champagne and oyster bar. Open Mon.-Sat., 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Parc, 6683 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-6200.

Chef Michael Reardon, previously at 31 West in Santa Barbara’s Hotel Andalucia and Napa Valley’s Tra Vigne, is now at the helm of Casa del Mar's Catch. The seafood-driven menu includes scallop crudo with fresh wasabi and Osetra caviar; free form ravioli with artichokes and Sardinian sheep’s milk cheese; crispy skate wing with Savoy cabbage and braised pork; and for dessert, ginger crème with pineapple confit and lychee sorbet. Open daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Catch, 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, 310-581-7714.

Surapol Mekpongsatorn has introduced Thaitalian Cooking Duet, fusing Thai and Italian cooking. Chef Nancy Watkins fills egg rolls with mozzarella, fontina and roasted tomato; grills steak with red curry sauce; pairs shrimp and scallop scampi with Thai garlic pepper sauce and saffron risotto; and tops pizza with chicken satay, roasted pine nuts, red onions, Thai peanut sauce and mozzarella. For dessert, think Thai tea crème brulée. Thaitalian Cooking Duet, 49 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-585-8808.

Sergio Dovarro has retooled the Little J’s space as J Restaurant & Lounge, due in September. Expect live music and a mammoth patio with fire pit and cabanas. Chef Ryan McKay, previously of L’Orangerie, will prepare Mediterranean-influenced dishes like foie gras tempura with port reduction and mango purée, slow-roasted Alaskan halibut with artichoke confit and Champagne emulsion and braised lamb shank with saffron couscous. Frédéric Hémon, formerly of Ortolan and Dakota, will serve as sommelier. Hours will be Monday-Friday for breakfast and lunch, nightly for dinner and weekends for brunch. J Restaurant & Lounge, 1119 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, 213-746-7746.

redwhite+bluezz has opened in the former Michael’s Steakhouse space, packaging food, wine and live music. Executive chef Gabriel Contreras prepares fried macaroni and cheese using smoked gouda, sharp cheddar and sun-dried tomato fondue; ancho-honey salmon with baby aubergine steaks and tamarind beurre rouge; and a Kurobuta pork chop with a Camembert, caramelized onion and blueberry bread pudding. For dessert, the Chocolate Cube layers white and dark chocolate mousse and houses a cherry center. Certified sommelier Russ Meek, previously of Parkway Grill, offers 40 wines by the glass. Jazz and blues musicians play Thursday-Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Open nightly for dinner and for Sunday brunch. redwhite+bluezz, 70 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-792-4441.

Chef Roman Cruz and brother Samuel have opened a second location of their West Los Angeles eatery Tlapazola Grill, named for a town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, in Marina del Rey. Expect a menu similar to the original, with lime chicken tortilla soup, oven roasted pork carnitas with tomatillo sauce, sautéed barramundi with lime alcaparra sauce, grilled salmon with mole de pipian and a roasted garlic spinach quesadilla. Open Tuesday-Friday for lunch and Tuesday-Sunday for dinner. Tlapazola Grill, 4059 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey, 310-822-7561.

At SusieCakes, Susan Sarich is baking all-American desserts using her grandmother’s recipes. Think butterscotch toffee pudding, chocolate wafer icebox pie, iced molasses snap cookies and frosting-filled cupcakes in flavors like orange creamsicle, peanut butter and red velvet. The sleek retro setting features mint green walls and linoleum tile floors. Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. SusieCakes, 11708 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-442-2253.

Charles Nelson and wife Candace are expanding from Beverly Hills to Orange County, opening a branch of their insanely popular Sprinkles Cupcakes in Corona Del Mar Plaza on August 14. Expect a menu identical to the original. Sprinkles Cupcakes, 800 Avocado Ave., Corona Del Mar.

David Lentz and wife Suzanne Goin (A.O.C. and Lucques) are planning a second location of their American seafood restaurant, The Hungry Cat. The couple has secured a space in Santa Barbara and hopes to open in December. The Hungry Cat, 1134 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.

When world-famous architect Frank Gehry (Walt Disney Concert Hall; Bilbao, Spain's Guggenheim Museum) wanted a food stand near his studio, he designed it himself. He even got his own caterer, Lisa Field of Catering by Field, to truck in food to the 400-square-foot Delicious Café from a much larger kitchen nearby. Breakfast and lunch menu items include brisket with horseradish sauce, mirin glazed salmon, spicy peanut lo mein over charred green beans and a turkey sandwich with cranberry mayo and Boston lettuce. For dessert, expect pies, brownies and bundt cake. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Delicious Café, 12541 Beatrice St., Playa del Rey, 310-821-5806.

The Sunset Tower Hotel has added a poolside restaurant, The Terrace, with Tower Bar chef Piero Morovich running the kitchen. The menu includes crab cakes alla Siciliana with chipotle aioli, grilled langoustines with market vegetables, a lobster roll with fries and an entire chicken alla Diavola grilled under a brick. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Terrace, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-654-7100.

Dumpling House has emerged as an alternative to nearby Din Tai Fung Dumpling House. The tiny Chinese cafe offers eight varieties of dumplings, including boiled chive, egg, and shrimp; boiled beef and onion; and pan-fried pork. There is also noodle in brown sauce, crispy baby hen and smoked pork pancake with scallions and hoisin sauce. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Dumpling House, 921 S. Baldwin Ave., #A, Arcadia, 626-445-2755.

Caterer Tim Foley and restaurateur John Kaufman have opened Truxton’s American Bistro in Westchester, near the airport. The concept is a wide variety of classic and ethnic American dishes with a twist, at everyday prices. The wide-ranging menu features everything from spaghetti and meatballs to buttermilk-fried chicken skewers to Thai Cobb salad. Nostalgic desserts include their rendition of a Hostess cupcake, Rice Krispie treats and real Twinkies served with raspberry coulis. The owners hope this will be the first of many Truxton’s locations. Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Truxton’s American Bistro, 8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester, 310-417-8789.

Mickey Katz has transformed the old Café Bazel space into Ate18, named for the San Fernando Valley area code. For breakfast, chef Luis Moya prepares buttermilk pancakes topped with caramelized apples and French toast with strawberry compote. Later in the day, Mediterranean dishes predominate. Think tapenade-crusted Lake Superior white fish, roasted pear salad with goat cheese and candied pecans and herb-roasted New Zealand lamb chops with cinnamon raisin couscous. Ate18, 17620 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-728-1212.

Sam Nazarian’s SBE Restaurant Group has opened Katsuya in the old El Dorado space, with Japanese food from Katsu-Ya chef Katsuya Uechi and design from Philippe Starck. Offerings include spicy tuna on crispy rice, Cajun halibut cheeks, sushi, sashimi and a robata bar. Katsuya, 11777 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, 310-207-8744.

A branch of Ravi Koneru’s Irvine restaurant, Chakra Indian Cuisine, is set to occupy the former Maurya space. The Beverly Hills branch will replicate the Irvine menu, with dishes like spinach fritters with mint sauce, ginger-marinated tandoori salmon, roasted garlic duck with vermicelli and carrot pudding with cashews and raisins in phyllo pastry. Chakra Indian Cuisine, 151 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-786-7858.

Chef Twain Schreiber will cook American food at Liberty Grill. Breakfast includes silver dollar pancakes with orange butter, homemade cinnamon rolls and omelets with ham, gruyere and mushrooms. For lunch and dinner, expect Cajun sausage hushpuppies, chicken fried steak, almond wood smoked rib eye and meatloaf with chipotle-tomato glaze. The nineteenth century building features brick walls, wood beam ceilings and an open-air patio with fireplace. Now serving lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with dinner beginning August 1 and breakfast to follow in October. Liberty Grill, 1037 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, 213-746-3400.

Lisa Buch, Michael Buch and Chris Weiss are partners in Silverlake’s Pazzo Gelato. A seasonal menu of house-made gelato and sorbet may include flavors like chocolate malt, Sicilian pistachio, almond fig or cayenne peach. The café also offers shakes, sundaes, chocolates from Boule and pastries from Heirloom Bakery & Café. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Pazzo Gelato, 3827 Sunset Blvd., Unit D, Los Angeles, 323-662-1410.

Beard Papa is now serving their signature brand of Japanese cream puffs on Sawtelle, sharing space with the Mousse Fantasy cake shop. So far, they just have vanilla puffs, but chocolate, green tea and more flavors are forthcoming. The Japanese chain has also expanded to the Puente Hills Mall, where they have a full menu. Another branch is coming soon to Monterey Park. Beard Papa, 2130 Sawtelle Blvd. #110, Los Angeles, 310-479-6665; 1600 Azusa Ave., City of Industry, 626-839-1240; 141 N. Atlantic Blvd., #106, Monterey Park.

Patrick Parmentier and wife Dora are converting the old XO Wine Bistro space into a branch of their Belmont Shore eatery, La Crêperie Café. Open for three meals a day, the French cafe will feature stuffed apple French toast with cinnamon; eggs Benedict with prosciutto and basil hollandaise sauce; Belgian steamed mussels with white wine, shallots and leeks; and a variety of crepes. The decor will be French Gypsy, with a wine bar. The Parmentiers are targeting an August opening. La Crêperie Café, 1209 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach, 310-545-3509.

Josh Kleinberg is cooking California cuisine with Southern and Caribbean influences at Fresh Corn Grill. Fresh corn appears in the grilled vegetable salad, corn chowder and sun-dried tomato pasta. The walls are even corn yellow. There is also grilled chicken with ginger curry sauce, salmon with Caribbean sauce, smoked salmon pizza and fresh-baked brownies. Open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fresh Corn Grill, 1510 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-470-0414.

Yervant Sarkisian and wife/chef Vanni Sarkisian have opened Danube, a seldom seen Bulgarian restaurant. Dishes include cheese- and egg-filled phyllo rolls, lamb kebab baked in parchment, wine beef kebab and the seasoned ground pork dish known as kebapche. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Danube, 1303 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-473-2414.

Alfredo Diaz has opened a branch of his Silver Lake coffee shop, Eat Well, in the old Cafe Tartine space. Breakfast items include pork chops with eggs, omelettes, pancakes, and French toast. Lunch centers around salads, burgers and melts, plus specials like chicken fajitas and macaroni and cheese. Open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Eat Well, 7385 Beverly Blvd., 323-938-1300.

Mirü Chung has opened Mirü8691 in the old Tamarin space. 8691 refers to the year his wife Julie was born, reversed. In addition to sushi, sashimi and rolls, a market-driven Asian fusion menu may feature spicy shark’s fin wonton soup, torched yellowtail with ponzu, fettuccini alfredo with chili miso or a half-pound Wagyu burger. Retro décor elements include an open kitchen, color-changing lights (a la LAX) and the waterfall inherited from the prior tenant. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mirü8691, 9162 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-777-8378,

Glendale will up its sophistication quotient with the arrival of MINX Restaurant & Lounge, planned for mid-July. Highlights of the globally inspired menu from executive chef Joseph Antonishek (O-Bar, Raffles L’Ermitage Hotel) will be halibut roasted in banana leaves; harissa glazed New Zealand lamb rack; and, for vegetarians, wild mushroom soufflé, tomato cappuccino with asparagus and a daily vegetable and salad. Designed by Peg O’Brien, who also created the design for Republic, the restaurant will feature multiple dining spaces, including an outdoor patio, lounge and private cabanas, as well as a dance floor. MINX Restaurant & Lounge, 300 Harvey Dr., Glendale.

Adolfo Suaya and Michael Sutton, the duo behind Gaucho Grill, plan to open a casual American chophouse called Charcoal in the ArcLight complex. The restaurant is supposed to open in either late August or early September. Charcoal, 6372 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.

A branch of Brazilian stalwart Bossa Nova is set to open in July near the Westside Pavilion. Expect the same menu as the Sunset Strip location, including grilled New Zealand sea bass; the Havana sandwich with caramelized bananas, melted mozzarella, mascarpone and cinnamon; and Edgar’s goat cheese salad with sautéed scallops, white Mexican shrimp, shiitake mushrooms and Dijon vinaigrette. Bossa Nova, 10982 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.

West LA’s Café Ugo has joined the bustling Culver City dining scene, duplicating their Italian menu and adding a patio. Dishes include capellini pomodoro, four cheese rigatoni, grilled chicken pesto panini and grilled steak. Café Ugo, 3865 Cardiff Ave., Culver City, 310-204-1222,

The biblically themed Noah’s Ark serves Mediterranean cuisine amidst intricate woodwork and murals that depict Noah’s trials. Dining options include chicken and beef shawarma, spinach and cheese pastries, ground meat and eggplant kebab, charbroiled lamb chops and baklava for dessert. Noah’s Ark, 13641 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys, 818-786-1202.

Hirotaka Fujita has opened Jinpachi in the old Izakaya Yuzu space, naming the Japanese restaurant for his grandfather, who owned a sushi restaurant in Japan before World War II. Specialties include Asari miso soup with Manila clams, roasted chicken breast with ginger sauce and grilled black cod with Saikyo miso, plus sushi, sashimi and three levels of omakase. Open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday and for dinner Monday-Saturday. Jinpachi, 8711 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-358-9134.

Capitalizing on the success of the Arroyo Parkway original, Blair Salisbury has opened a second location of Dona Rosa, his bakery and taquería. Expect similar tortas, tamales, tacos, soups, fresh-baked Mexican sweet breads and margaritas. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Dona Rosa, 400 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, 626-821-3556.

Nano Crespo, previously of Il Sole and Farfalla, is cooking Spanish cuisine with a European flair at Tasca, which means “neighborhood place” in Spanish. For dinner, expect short rib and butternut squash agnolotti, boudin noir sautéed with onions and green apples in brandy sauce, heirloom tomato gazpacho with Dungeness crab meat and avocado, black bass with Tuscan bean salad and chocolate pot de crème for dessert. Open for nightly dinner and weekend brunch. Tasca, 8108 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-951-9890.

John Hooper and brother Stephen have opened a South Bay branch of Skooby’s, their Hollywood hot doggery. Named for John’s 1961 Nash Metropolitan, the new location’s expanded menu features the same hot dogs, fresh-cut fries and lemonade, plus hand-pressed burgers; “melty sandwiches;” and Skooby’s brand lager, ale and Hefeweizen. Skooby's, 502 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach, 310-376-1292.

After a several-month delay, WEST is finally open in the Hotel Angeleno penthouse, highlighted by executive chef Josh Moulton’s Italian cuisine and 200-degree views of Los Angeles. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. WEST, 170 N. Church Lane, Los Angeles, 310-476-6411.

Quinn and Karen Hatfield, previously of Cortez in San Francisco and Spago, have opened Hatfield’s in the old Le Chine Wok space. Quinn is the chef and Karen is pastry chef and manager. Specialties include rabbit loin and foie gras terrine with tarragon emulsion; butter-poached veal loin with pan-fried spaetzle, licorice-dusted sweetbreads and carrot puree; and, for dessert, chocolate peanut butter truffle cake with salted caramel ice cream. Open 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Hatfield’s, 7458 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, 323-935-2977.

Julie Rico and Sid Carter are about to open Weeneez and the Red Dot Gallery & Bistro on the ground floor of downtown’s Security Building. Weeneez will offer several hot dogs and sausages; chili; tamales; and homemade lemonade. Red Dot Gallery, named for the stickers that gallery owners apply to sold art, will feature salmon, gingered crab, spinach and potato cakes; grilled chicken and beef sticks; and “strawberry dream cake.” Red Dot will also sell art. Weeneez, Red Dot Gallery & Bistro, 500 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, 213-817-6002.

Divine Pasta Co. on La Brea now houses Cube at Divine Pasta Co., a cheese bar and Italian café. In addition to an array of charcuterie and clearly labeled cheeses, expect panini; wood-fired brick oven pizzas; marinated wild keta salmon; chimichuri flank steak; and fresh Divine Pasta like rosemary chicken ravioli with arrabbiata sauce and whole wheat linguine puttanesca. Cube, 615 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-939-1148.

Restaurateur Giacomino Drago has partnered with real estate developer Mauricio Oberfeld on Sushi House Unico (SHU), a modern Japanese restaurant with Italian and Latin touches. Chef Kenny Yamada, previously of Katsu-Ya, is preparing sushi; Kobe beef sashimi; scallop sashimi with yuzu vinaigrette; Cajun-style John Dory; and, for dessert, pan-seared bananas with plum wine sauce. Sushi House Unico (SHU), 2932 Beverly Glen Cir., Bel Air, 310-474-2740.

Richard Kaye has transformed the setting of the late Cirxa Bistro into Sushi Koda, where chef Gary Flood is preparing traditional and contemporary maki, sushi and sashimi. More elaborate dishes include grilled unagi topped with white chocolate, roasted almond slivers and eel sauce; smoked squab with grilled oyster mushroom dressing; and seared tuna loin stuffed with smoked shrimp, topped with mango basil cream sauce. Now open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, with lunch service coming later. Sushi Koda, 3719 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-663-1048.

WeHo now has its very own wine retreat with the opening of BIN 8945 Wine Bar & Bistro. The wine list, like the cuisine, will be global in scope: 450 labels from virtually every major wine producing region comprise the inventory, a portion of which comes from owner John Haskell’s private collection. Executive chef Matt Carpenter will infuse influences from the Caribbean and North Africa into modern European fare such as mini Cornish game hen Bastila with almond sugar; Jamaican jerk chicken with peas, rice and pineapple compote; and blackened Bajan-style catfish with citrus risotto. There will also be an oyster and ceviche bar offering fresh selections daily. After-dinner cigars and Cognac can be enjoyed on the patio. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. BIN 8945 Wine Bar & Bistro, 8945 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-550-8945.

Mastro's Beverly Hills

In late July or early August, Mastro’s Steakhouse is set to expand to Thousand Oaks, in the old home of 2087: An American Bistro. Expect more Prime steaks and chops, seafood and sides from this Scottsdale-based chainlet. Mastro’s Steakhouse, 2087 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

Mido Khalili is in the kitchen at Greek Nights, preparing classics like spanakopita; chicken and lamb souvlaki; lamb chops with mint lamb jus; and house-made baklava. Weekend nights feature entertainment, like Greek singers and belly dancers. Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Greek Nights, 13615 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks., 818-907-6336.

Erik Oberholtzer and David Dressler, formerly of Shutters on the Beach, have partnered with Matt Lyman (ex-Hotel Casa del Mar) and Scarborough Farms of Oxnard on the forthcoming Tender Greens, a casual takeout spot. Dishes will include baby spinach, goat cheese and hazelnut salad with Cabernet vinaigrette; mesquite-grilled free-range chicken; line-caught ahi; and chicken soup with lemon and thyme. Tender Greens, 9523 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-842-8300.

Following success in Burbank, Orange County restaurantrepreneur David Wilhelm’s Culinary Adventures is getting ready to open another L.A.-area branch of his French 75 Bistro—this time in Westfield’s Century City shopping mall. Look for a July launch of the Parisian-style restaurant specializing in French and American comfort food classics, open for lunch and dinner daily. French 75 Bistro, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-788-0700.

The Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa is readying for the June opening of its new showcase restaurant, BIN189, headed by executive chef Randal St. Clair from Galileo restaurant at The Observatory in Sydney. St. Clair’s eclectic menu of modern California cuisine will be partnered with an extensive list of wines organized into “bins” by the numbers of the highway on which the featured regional wineries are located (the resort itself is on Highway 189—hence, the restaurant’s name). BIN189, Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, 27984 Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead, 800-800-6792, 909-336-1511.

Tim and Liza Goodell will be opening a Red Pearl Kitchen come September in the space that was home to Meson G, which closed May 31. With locations already open in Huntington Beach and San Diego, Red Pearl Kitchen will offer Southeast Asian fare including a wide array of dim sum, hot pot, curry, noodle, vegetable and wok-fired dishes. The new restaurant will feature a bar, lounge and dining room. Red Pearl Kitchen, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles.

Grace’s Neal Fraser is planning a June opening for BLD, named for the meals of the day, in the former Cafe Capo space. Fraser’s American cafe will feature a breakfast of braised short ribs with poached eggs and Cabernet Sauvignon Hollandaise and a charcuterie bar with a 100-year-old Berkel meat slicer. The modern café will include a 40-seat patio and will accept no reservations. A retail store will sell BLD’s cheeses and charcuterie. BLD, 7450 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles.

Fred Eric, of Fred 62 and formerly of Dominick's, has opened Tiara Café in downtown’s New Mart Building. Casting a global net, dishes include Middle Eastern “bubble bread” with toppings like muhammara and pickled jalapeño labne; a Cuban smoked and roasted duck medianoche sandwich; and an Italian butternut squash pizette with caramelized onions, cavolo nero, ricotta and sage. For dessert, there's a chocolate fountain for dipping your choice of sweets. Open for breakfast and lunch, Tiara also houses a market. Tiara Café, 127 E. Ninth St., Los Angeles, 213-623-3663.

Kimiko Wachi is making fresh gelato twice a day at Gelato Fantasia on the Westside. Using real fruits, nuts, and chocolates, never syrups, her eighteen flavors may include tiramisù, apple pie, rum raisin and mango. Order by the cup, cone or bowl. Wachi also offers crêpes. Closed Tuesdays. Gelato Fantasia, 10422 National Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-280-9771.

Chef Albert Visanu Chivacharern is preparing “Neo-Thai” cuisine at Asia, peppering his Thai food with the flavors of France, Italy, Japan and America. With chic décor and Thai artifacts, dishes include duck and potato ravioli in truffle sauce; Chilean sea bass en papillote with mango avocado salsa; Chef Visanu fried rice with crab, shrimp, and truffle oil; and for dessert, mango banana flambé . Open on weekdays for lunch and nightly for dinner. Asia, 3179 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-906-9498.

Pat Yoshida has opened Sushi Dokoro Ki Ra La—the less familiar part of the name is Japanese for “one-of-a-kind-sparkle”—in the old Café Blanc space. She’s utilizing a three sushi chef attack, pairing Shinji Nakao from The Hump, Nobu Shishido from Take Sushi, and Taka Uchida from Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. In addition to high-quality sushi and sashimi, expect baked black cod and Chilean sea bass, with yakitori still to come. Sushi Dokoro Ki Ra La, 9777 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-275-9003.

Chef Todd Barrie, previously of Joe’s Restaurant, is manning the stoves at Upstairs 2, above The Wine House. The menu emphasizes Mediterranean small plates like spice-poached shrimp with lemon oil; grilled pork loin and Manchego flatbread; braised boneless short ribs with mole sauce and taro mashed potatoes; and pan-seared scallops with a sherry glaze and lemon risotto cakes. There are 43 wines available by the glass, pulled from the downstairs shop. Open for dinner Thursday through Saturday. Upstairs 2, 2311 Cotner Ave., Los Angeles, 310-231-0316.

Executive chef Edward Brik, previously of Spago and Gerard Boyer in France, is turning out Asian cuisine at Sumant Pardal’s Tiger Lily Restaurant Bar. Dishes include carpaccio-style beef tataki; Mangalore calamari with cilantro tamarind chutney; tempura soft-shell crab laced with wasabi vinaigrette; black bean osso buco; and for dessert, a trio of crème brulee: vanilla, mango and lemongrass. The décor is “Old Hollywood meets Shanghai.” Tiger Lily Restaurant Bar, 1739 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, 323-661-5900.

Kamil Majer’s BluJam Café pays tribute to antioxidant-rich blueberries, which appear in crepes, pancakes, scones, muffins and smoothies. Majer also turns out salads, sandwiches and seasonal items like wild mushroom soup; gnocchi with grilled chicken breast, baby spinach and sun-dried tomato-cream sauce; pan-fried pork schnitzel; and goulash. There are also coffee drinks, prepared using a house blend. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, with plans for dinner. BluJam Café, 7371 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323-951-9191.

Bridge Restaurant and Lounge, located in the former Alto Palato space and owned by Koi Group, is now offering the Mediterranean-influenced Italian cuisine of chef Mirko Paderno, previously of Valentino, Celestino and Dolce. Dishes include vitello tonnato; risotto with lobster, crab and calamari; Kobe-style beef tagliata with arugula and shaved Parmesan; grilled swordfish with baked eggplant; and “Chocolate Trio.” Sommelier Alessandro Sbrendola oversees a 6,000-bottle wine cellar. Open Monday through Saturday for dinner. Bridge, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-659-3535,

Duke Pham, owner of Chinatown’s Via Café, has opened Blossom in downtown’s Old Bank District. Vietnamese dishes include shaking beef with tomato paste fried rice; roasted Cornish hen with pan fried egg; grilled garlic-lemongrass pork chops; several variations on both pho and rice vermicelli; and ginger limeade. Blossom, 426 S. Main St., Los Angeles, 213-623-1973.

Marcello Felho will soon open a second outpost of Venice Blvd. mainstay Café Brasil. The menu will feature hearts of palm empanadas; picante catfish; grilled Brazilian-style steak and lamb chops; and, on the weekends, feijoada---pork stew with black beans, orange, rice and collard greens. Café Brasil, 11740 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-391-1216; and 10831 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-837-8957.

Enzo Battara and wife Angela have opened a namesake Italian restaurant, Enzo & Angela. Dishes include gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce; pork tenderloin with green olives, Marsala and rosemary; and a mixed grill of salmon, white sea bass, ahi and jumbo shrimp. The still-ambitious lunch menu features pizzas and panini. Enzo & Angela, 11701 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-477-3880.

Armine Chambazian named her Eagle Rock restaurant Zangezour Grill for a mountain range in Armenia. Start with stuffed grape leaves; eggplant caviar; or beef vegetable soup. Entrees include rotisserie chicken with garlic and dill; and chicken breast, beef and ground beef kabobs. Zangezour Grill, 2750 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-259-9500.

Lou Amdur is pouring 25 wines by the glass at Lou, his mini-mall wine bar. Chef Lori Frystak, previously of Grace and Jar, prepares a menu that recently included pig “candy”; a mixed crostini plank; salami from Armandino Batali, Mario’s father; Prairie Grove pork shoulder braised in milk with garlic and rosemary; and, for dessert, chocolate espresso cookies. Open Monday through Saturday for dinner. Lou, 724 N. Vine St., Hollywood, 323-962-6369.

Katrina Moore and Elfie Weiss have opened little ten-seater Hotcakes Bakes, combining their American and Parisian baking techniques. Everything’s made on premises, from scratch, without benefit of mixers. Signature baked goods include opera cake; banana cream pie with milk chocolate ganache; and croissants. Sandwiches served on fresh baguettes pair ingredients like caprese with prosciutto and turkey with avocado. Open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hotcakes Bakes, 4119 Centinela Ave., Mar Vista, 310-397-2324.

Elliott Mahn, who previously ran California Crisp in the same location, has re-emerged with Quincy’s BBQ, named for his late great dog. Featuring the motto “The Best BBQ under One Woof,” Quincy’s sells baby back, St. Louis and beef ribs; barbecued chicken; wood grilled tri-tip; and assorted sandwiches known as “Sloppy Qs.” Sides include macaroni and cheese; creamed spinach; and BBQ beans. For dessert, think peach cobbler. Quincy’s BBQ, 17201 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-QUINCY-2.

Royale is slated to open soon in the former Wilshire Royale Hotel, complete with outdoor patio and upstairs lounge. Chef Eric Ernest, previously of BOA and Citrine, will serve such specialties as big-eye tuna crudo with rogan josh oil and yuzu; scallops with black truffle cream, potato fondue and crispy basil; and The Original Royale Burger with foie gras, truffles and Gouda. For dessert, expect a chocolate tasting and bowls of cotton candy. Sommelier Thierry Perez, previously of Naya and Providence, will offer 40 wines by the glass. Daily hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Royale, 2629 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-388-8488.

New York-based restaurant mogul Jeffrey Chodorow is planning an April opening for Social Hollywood, a massive Moroccan-themed eatery in the former Hollywood Athletic Club space. The complex will include a bar, screening room, ballroom and second-floor VIP lounge/game room. Chef Joe Ojeda, previously of Chodorow’s Asia de Cuba, will offer ceviches, tiraditos and tartars prepared tableside; roast pork, leg of lamb and prime rib served with sauces and chutneys; plus Moroccan mezze and an à la carte menu. The pastry chef will be Sam Christopher, from Norman’s on Sunset. The sommelier will be Franklin Ferguson. Social Hollywood, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-462-5222.

Richard Su has opened R’s Cajun Grill in downtown’s Grand Central Market. Specialties include Bourbon chicken; jambalaya; red beans and rice; shrimp étouffée; blackened fish; and, for dessert, homemade red bean egg custard. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. R’s Cajun Grill, 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-626-2908.

Eagle Rocker Rudy Martinez is set to open Mia Sushi, named in honor of his daughter. The indoor-outdoor space is designed by Mary O’Grady, who also worked on Figueroa Hotel. Chef Matsu Kim will prepare fusion sushi rolls such as the Mia Roll, a California roll with spicy tuna and avocado on top; the Eagle Rock Roll, a tempura-fried spicy tuna and asparagus roll with creamy lemon sauce; and the Marty Roll, a California roll with baked lobster and eel sauce. For dessert, expect tempura-fried bananas and strawberries. Mia Sushi, 4741 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-256-2562.

Karrn Petrosian operates Picnicland next to Grand Central Market, specializing in sandwiches, pizzas, salads, kebabs, and stuffed grape leaves. In mid-May, a Picnicland cart will park on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, between Arizona and Broadway. Expect five multi-course picnic lunches, made and boxed downtown, including Japanese soba noodles with miso-glazed salmon, pickled cucumber and Asian pear; and a French option with steak and caramelized onion baguette, potato gratin and an organic apple. In the meantime, the downtown original is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Picnicland, 324 S. Hill St., Los Angeles, 213-613-9393.

Hans Röckenwagner and chef de cuisine Wolfgang Gussmack have re-emerged in Mar Vista with Rockenwagner Bakery. Pastries include cheese pretzels with jalapeno; triple-chocolate espresso cookies; and blueberry streusel. A changing menu of sandwiches made with house-made bread may contain brie with sautéed mushrooms, grapes and walnut pesto on croissant; or porchetta Italian ham with Asiago cheese and plum jam on pretzel bun. Coming soon, the bakery will offer takeout quiches, salads and soups. Guests can nosh at sidewalk tables. Open daily for breakfast and lunch. Rockenwagner Bakery, 12835 W. Washington Blvd., Mar Vista, 310-578-8171.

Chef/owner Jean Marc Kiffer has opened Le Marmiton Marina, building on the success of his Santa Monica brasserie. Focusing on fresh market cuisine, specialties include coq au vin; beef bourguignon; bouillabaisse en papillote; and an assortment of tarts for dessert. Open daily for breakfast and lunch; Monday through Thursday for dinner; and weekend brunch. Le Marmiton Marina, 4724 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, 310-773-3560.

Lucky Vanous, best known from his appearance in a 1994 Coca-Cola commercial, has opened Lucky Devils, which offers all-American food in a high-tech setting. Dishes include a hand-ground Kobe beef hamburger; a Kobe hoagie; and deluxe grilled cheese sandwiches featuring Spruce Mountain Vermont white Cheddar, Maytag blue and Swiss gruyère in different combinations. Pastry chef Karla Lomeli, previously at A.O.C., bakes Meyer lemon cupcakes with fresh Meyer lemon curd and steams chocolate cake with “goo” (vanilla cinnamon sauce). Open daily from lunch through dinner, with late hours. Lucky Devils, 6613 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-8259.

Chef Olivier Rousselle, previously of Michael’s, is preparing Asian-influenced French cuisine at Camden House. Dishes include blue fin tuna sashimi with verjus reduction; red king salmon with squid ink risotto; crisp-skinned duck breast with braised red onions, red wine and roasted quince; and, for dessert, tangerine crème brûlée. Décor features art-lined walls and an open wine cellar. Open weekdays for lunch and Monday through Saturday for dinner. Camden House, 430 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-285-9848.

Chef Kazuo Mita is grilling skewers of meat, seafood and vegetables—AKA kushiyaki—at Kushiyaki Dan. Skewers include chicken meatballs; bacon-wrapped mochi; chicken breast with shiso and ume; shrimp; and beef short ribs. There is also the terrine-like chicken cheese roll; eggplant meat sauce gratin; and soboro don—ground chicken rice. Décor is modern, featuring dark wood slats and papier mâché globe lanterns. Open Monday through Saturday for dinner. Kushiyaki Dan, 4001 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-634-9992.

Owner James Ramirez is turning out Indonesian, Thai and Cantonese dishes at Warung Café in Downtown’s Old Bank District. Entrées include rendang sapi, coconut sauce-marinated beef; udang goreng, sautéed shrimp in oyster sauce with Indonesian butter; and kari ayam nanas, pineapple chicken curry. Warung Café, 118 W. 4th St., Los Angeles, 213-626-0718.

Building on the success of the Westwood and West Hollywood locations, the ITOCHU Group has opened a branch of an emerging chain of stylish Japanese food marts, Famima!!, on the Third Street Promenade. Targeting young urbanites, Famima!! offers everything from sushi, sandwiches and panini to gourmet groceries, anime comic books and digital printing services. Open 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Famima!!, 1348 Third St., Santa Monica, 310-393-2486.

Jamaica Vawter, previously of The Sweet Life Patisserie in Eugene, Oregon, has opened Jamaica’s Cakes with husband James Crist. From scratch, she bakes black-bottom cupcakes; berry butter crunch bars; chocolate- and caramel-dipped shortbread cookies; scones streaked with fruit purée or lemon curd; and a variety of cakes, all decorated with fresh flowers. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jamaica’s Cakes, 11511 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-478-1971.

Gordon Bijelonic, co-owner of Memphis, has launched Citizen Smith, a new “Urban Bistro” along the Cahuenga corridor. Chef Taylor Boudreaux, previously executive chef at Mastro’s Steakhouse, prepares jalapeño macaroni and cheese; a New Orleans-style muffaletta; and maple-chipotle pork chops. Open for dinner until at least 2 a.m. nightly. Citizen Smith, 1602 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323-461-5001.

Bobby Burton, co-founder of Porterhouse Bistro, has opened Aphrodisiac in the old Lunaria space. His playful dishes include crispy penne with crumbled feta; a bone-in Prime New York steak with creamed corn and grilled endive; and the Cupid Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, a pan-seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras panini with peanut butter and raspberry jam. A private bedroom hosts eight-course meals with wine pairings, served on a king-sized bed, with each dish featuring an aphrodisiac ingredient, a private butler, and a complimentary DVD of your experience. Aphrodisiac, 10351 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-282-8870.

The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel is planning a mid-March opening for their American bistro, Tart. The chef to be is Claude Segal, formerly of The Sunset Room, Drai’s, and the legendary Ma Maison. Tart, 115 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, 323-937-3930.

Owners Richard Shapiro and Murray Wishengrad are planning to open a branch of The Stand in Century City in November, on the site of the former ABC Entertainment Center, which is currently being redeveloped by Gensler as a mixed-use complex. Expect the same menu as at the Encino original, including hot dogs, sausages, burgers, chili, and fruit cobbler.

After a four-year hiatus, Maurice Prince has revived her legendary soul fooder, Maurice’s Snack n’ Chat, as a takeout only establishment down the street from the original location. The menu includes fried chicken; hush puppies; corn pudding; candied yams; apple pie and bean pie for dessert; and baked chicken on Sundays. Maurice’s Snack n’ Chat, 5068 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-931-3877.

Nassir Elmachtoub has relocated Emle’s from Carmel after 50 years up north. Just as at the original location, funnel cake-crusted French toast anchors the breakfast menu. For lunch and dinner, Mediterranean-influenced dishes include calamari steak; beef and chicken kebabs; and braised lamb shank in an herb, garlic and wine sauce. For dessert, expect Key lime pie, cheesecake and tiramisu. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Emle’s, 9250 Reseda Blvd. #1, Northridge, 818-772-2203.

Ken Harada has opened Phoreign in the same Sawtelle mini-mall as his other restaurant, Blue Marlin. Vietnamese specialties include chicken, beef and seafood pho, egg rolls, spring rolls, and stir-fried noodle dishes. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Phoreign, 2123 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-477-4885.

Celebrated chef Michael Mina has teamed up with world-renowned designer Tony Chi to create the new Stonehill Tavern, a one-of-a-kind dining experience at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa, just opened on February 8. Mina's Modern American menu, featuring his signature small plate trios, allows guests to enjoy their favorite menu items in three distinct preparations. Chi has created a contemporary, sophisticated dining room that is the perfect setting for Mina’s artful interpretations of classic American Tavern fare. In addition to the handsomely appointed dining room, Stonehill Tavern also offers an outdoor terrace for dinner or cocktails while enjoying a Pacific Ocean sunset; a warm and inviting bar and lounge; and a private, fireside dining room well-suited for larger groups or business dinners requiring more privacy.

Aqua Restaurant & Lounge is a sumptuous subterranean establishment with aquatic touches, including fish tanks and wood floors patterned after a ship’s deck. Chef Ian Kleinman, previously at Emogene Patisserie et Café in Denver, focuses on small plates like shrimp phyllo rolls with citrus risotto and apple cider reduction; goat cheese and dried cherry wontons with tomato jam; and lobster tacos with chipotle cream and jicama orange slaw. Desserts include Hawaiian donuts with jasmine chocolate sauce and crispy cashew caramel ice cream on a warm rum pineapple slice. Scheduled post-dinner entertainment includes DJ sets, jazz and rock music. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Aqua Restaurant & Lounge, 424 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-275-8511.

Melba Rodriguez, previously of King’s Fish House in Long Beach, is preparing healthy California cuisine at Chef Melba’s Bistro. Dishes high in organic ingredients and low in preservatives include a sashimi ahi tower with mango, avocado, basil and chili-infused oil; a baby mache salad with blackberries, spicy caramelized almonds, and poppy seed dressing; and U-10 sea scallops with rock shrimp hash and Thai curry sauce. Chef Melba’s Bistro, 1501 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, 310-376-2084.

Antonio Viscito, previously of La Luna on Larchmont, has opened Cavi Cucina Italiana. Chef Tonino Cardia prepares family recipes from Sardinia, including rack of baby veal with green peppercorn sauce; linguini with clams and bottarga; and malloreddusu pasta with sausage and tomato sauce. Cavi Cucina Italiana, 23754 Lyons Ave., Newhall, 661-254-2475.

Luca Mandreino, previously of Giorgio Baldi, has opened La Sosta Enoteca. La Sosta means the resting place in Italian. Mandreino personally slices imported cold cuts on an old meat slicer in the dining room. Chef Claudio Colaticchioni prepares Northern Italian classics like gnocchi with lobster sauce, Venetian veal liver sautéed with onions and vinegar, and for dessert, homemade chocolate beignets. To drink, there are currently 30 wines by the glass. La Sosta Enoteca, 2700 Manhattan Ave., Hermosa Beach, 310-318-1556.

Mark Mittleman, chef de cuisine of the upcoming REPUBLIC (see below), also helped develop the menu for the future complex’s casual breakfast and lunch spot, Prana Café. Named for the yoga term meaning “life force,” Prana will offer such dishes as a breakfast spring roll; Hawaiian bread French toast with warm berry compote; and build-your-own omelets with “Flying, Walking, and Swimming” ingredients like chicken apple sausage and smoked salmon. For lunch, there’s a lamb burger and a warm goat cheese salad with candied walnuts and cinnamon oil. Opening soon. Prana Café, 650 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood.

Chris Heyman and Josh Woodward’s Meridian Entertainment, which owns Table 8 and RokBar, has opened L’Scorpion. The menu features Mexican small plates like shrimp and halibut ceviche, chiles rellenos, cheese and potato taquitos, and sopes. There are 120 different tequilas available by the shot. Open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Saturday. L'Scorpion, 6679 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-464-3026.

Restaurateur Mikayel Israyelyan’s REPUBLIC is slated to open mid-March in the old Bliss space with executive chef Gabe Morales and chef de cuisine Mark Mittleman, both late of The Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge. Expect barbecue-braised Kurobuta pork lollipops; surf ‘n’ turf tartar; bacon-wrapped blue-nose bass; mesquite-grilled steaks; and, for dessert, a warm pecan tart with maple ice cream. Design elements include patio cabanas, water features and a 20-foot-tall “Tower of Wine,” with “wine fairies” that float up to retrieve diners’ selections. REPUBLIC will be open nightly for dinner. Republic, 650 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-360-7070.

The recently shuttered Café Veneto is about to become a gastropub called 3rd Stop. Argentine chef Emanuele Candido, who donned the final toque at Café Veneto, will offer small plates like homemade soufflé gnocchi and cheese; seared ahi with a sweet and sour balsamic sauce; fried spinach and ricotta dumplings; and a number of pizzas, including a chocolate hazelnut version for dessert. The establishment will offer 36 beers on tap and remain open nightly until 2 a.m. 3rd Stop, 8636 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 310-273-3605.

West is an Italian steakhouse set to debut soon on the penthouse floor of the new Hotel Angeleno, with chef Josh Moulton behind the stoves. The former Holiday Inn is targeting a February 4 opening, with the restaurant likely to debut on February 15. Hotel Angeleno, 170 N. Church Ln., Los Angeles, 310-476-6411.

Jason Brown bought out the Briazz sandwich chain and opened three branches of his Seattle-based Organic To Go concept in their place. Offering seasonal, organic food, these casual cafés also deliver to homes and businesses. Dishes include a grilled salmon wrap with honey-lemon vinaigrette, a pear and spinach salad with dried cherries and smoked almonds, basil chicken chili, soups and desserts. Organic To Go, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 106; 555 W. 5th St., Ste. cc56; 350 S. Grand Ave., Ste. D6, 800-304-4550.

Tim and Liza Goodell’s burger and wine joint, 25 Degrees, is set to debut in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which already houses their Dakota restaurant. Named for the temperature difference between a medium-rare and well-done burger, the eatery will offer sirloin and turkey burgers, fries with garlic-parmesan and lemon-dill dipping sauces, a selection of cheeses and over 50 wines by the half-bottle. 25 Degrees, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-785-7244.

Eric Ulmer, who owned Café Beaujolais in Eagle Rock for eight years, has opened Bistro de la Gare in South Pasadena next to the gare (train station in French). Entrées include sautéed salmon in tarragon balsamic sauce, duck breast with honey and balsamic vinegar sauce, and New York steak in cognac and green peppercorn sauce. Open Tuesday-Sunday for dinner. Bistro de la Gare, 921 Meridian Ave., South Pasadena, 626-799-8828.

Chef Daniel Snukal and brother Joshua are transforming the Rocca space into Three on 4th, named for the three alcoholic beverages they’re licensed to serve: beer, wine and saké. “International tapas” blending American, European and Japanese influences will include a burger with wild boar bacon and three cheese; a vegetable pancake with smoked salmon and salmon roe; and a Friday- and Saturday-night special of fried river crabs covered with fleur de sel, sesame seeds and fresh pepper, eaten like chips. The Snukals plan to open in early March. Three on 4th, 1432 4th St., Santa Monica, 310-395-6765.

Surfas, the chef’s choice for specialty foods and cookware dating to 1937, has opened Café Surfas under the direction of executive chef Brandi Quinn, formerly of The Restaurant at the Getty Center. Utilizing ingredients from the adjacent store, menu items include filet mignon chili with Fiscalini Gold cheddar; Asian duck confit salad with pickled ginger and sesame wasabi mustard dressing; and pressed sandwiches such as roasted tomato with grilled fig, Taleggio and Crespi pesto mayo on roasted garlic bread. Sweets include freshly baked cookies, ginger chai brownies and hazelnut pear buttermilk bars. Café Surfas, 8777 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-558-1458.

Chef Adnen Franco and Manager Sean Jemai, former partners at Amori Trattoria in Hermosa Beach, have transferred their Northern Italian concept to Old Town Pasadena’s La Maschera Ristorante. Expect smoked-salmon pizza with mozzarella, goat cheese and dill; zucchini-wrapped sea scallops with mango-lime salsa; and wild mushroom gnocchi with tiger shrimp and sage in a Pinot Grigio sauce. There’s an adjoining wine lounge. La Maschera Ristorante, 82 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 626-304-0004.

Karen Mikaelian has delivered Scarlet Tea Room to Pasadena. Her five-course “Scarlet Tea Ceremony” includes sorbet, homemade scones with lemon curd and “Scarlet” cream, a selection of tea sandwiches, strawberries Romanoff and a choice of loose teas like Jade Prince oolong and Charlie Chan Cha green tea. Unceremonious items include mascarpone and floral honey with roasted pistachios, and a grilled steak sandwich on flat bread. Scarlet Tea Room, 18 W. Green St., Pasadena, 626-577-0051.

Petros Benekos has opened upscale Greek restaurant Petros in Manhattan Beach’s new Metlox Block development. Chef Yanni Koufodontis prepares food you’d find in Mykonos, such as feta-crusted lamb; pan-roasted halibut with eggplant in a green olive sauce; and lobster spaghetti with chili, tomato, feta and basil. For dessert, there’s rice pudding brûlée and bougatsa, a cream-filled semolina crust. Koufodontis previously cooked at Spago and Maple Drive. Petros, 451 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, 310-545-4100.

Executive chef Francisco Chaidez, previously at P6 in Westlake Village, and sous chef Terry Fortia, a New Orleans resident and victim of Hurricane Katrina, work together behind the stoves at Memphis, a Southern eatery situated in a 19th-century Hollywood schoolhouse. Dishes include Andouille-spiked red beans and rice, cornmeal-coated catfish, house-smoked baby back ribs and banana bread pudding. Memphis, 6541 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-8600.

La Loggia chef/owner Frank Leon has opened Next Door Tapas Lounge—next door to its sister restaurant La Loggia, as its name implies. Open-faced sandwiches called “montaditos” blend toppings like mozzarella, Serrano ham and truffle butter. “New tapas” include “pockets” of Serrano ham stuffed with artichoke and Manchego cheese; kataifi-wrapped langoustine in a poached lettuce cream sauce; and filet mignon with three sauces—romesco, Roquefort foam and grilled foie gras. Sunday is paella night. For dessert, the banana tart Tatin comes with lemon cinnamon sauce. Open nightly for dinner, Leon plans to begin serving lunch in mid-January. Next Door Tapas Lounge, 11814 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-985-9222.

Nita Millstein’s Southern-tinged eatery, The Peach Café, occupies a 1920s garage and displays Robert Brady’s contemporary art. For breakfast, look for buttermilk blueberry pancakes; Bourbon mashed sweet potatoes; and Belgian waffles made with Nueske bacon, cornmeal and maple syrup. Weekends offer chocolate waffles. For lunch, the HDAD is an open-faced sandwich topped with apple butter, country ham and Brie. Homemade goodies include sour cream streusel coffee cake, pecan pie and a coffee blend that took four months to perfect. On Fridays, “Family Festival” dinner features homey specials like pepper steak, pecan crusted halibut and meatloaf. The Peach Café, 141 E. Colorado Blvd., Monrovia, 626-599-9092,

Bella (1708 Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood, 323-468-8815) co-owner J.T. Torregiani, property owner Adolpho Suaya and James Sinclair of Element nightclub plan to open La Cantina in January at the corner of Hollywood and Hudson. Half outdoors, half indoors, the restaurant will serve “easy Mexican food” until 4 a.m.

Chef/owner Michael Wilson, formerly of 5 Dudley, anticipates a mid-March opening for Wilson’s in Culver City. Studio Pali Fekete architects have designed a space to highlight an international concept that will likely include lobster wrapped in pickled pear; duck griddle cakes; curry-dusted sweetbreads on roasted pumpkin; venison strudel with Brussels sprouts, plums and chestnuts; and baby pineapple pot pies for dessert. Wilson’s, 8609 Washington Blvd., Culver City.

French 75 Bistro is expanding into the Valley in January 2006. The Parisian-inspired menu will offer traditional bistro fare such as escargots, steak frites and French onion soup while the atmosphere offers red leather bother, stamped tin seilings and French Bohemian light fixtures. The hours will be Monday-Wednesday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m.-10 p.m. French 75 Bistro, The Pinnacle, 3400 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, 818-955-5100.

Fabina Rasulov’s Bird Cage features four rooms, including one with bird murals and a live African grey parrot, plus a downstairs “aquarium patio” and hookah lounge. The menu changes daily and offers “international fusion” cuisine like a smoked-fish trio on a potato pancake, potato-crusted chicken stuffed with mushrooms, and a grilled jerk pork chop with lemon risotto and “coyote cream.” Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Bird Cage, 11282 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-980-0099.

Beachwood Sparks drummer Aaron Sperske is manning the stoves at The Trails, a refurbished Griffith Park snack stand. Savory creations include steak-and-onion pies, vegan chili and the pastry-wrapped Snake Dog. For dessert, Sperske’s chocolate cookies come in the shape of the California bear, and his pumpkin pie has a graham cracker crust. The Trails, 2333 Fern Dell Dr., Los Angeles, 323-871-2102.

Restaurant Halie is now Madeleines Restaurant & Wine Bistro, named for Proust’s favorite baked good. Chef Claud Beltran is preparing bouillabaisse, roasted chicken on fried cheese grits and roast pork tenderloin with olive oil mashed potatoes. For dessert, there’s a crème brûlée trio: ginger, chocolate and coffee. There are also more wines by the glass than anywhere else in Pasadena. Madeleines Restaurant & Wine Bistro, 1030 E. Green St., Pasadena, 626-440-7087.

Galanga Thai Fusion is a funky wooden shack that features a corrugated metal roof, an outdoor patio and Thai cuisine with Chinese, Japanese and French touches. Highlights include chicken dumplings with panang dipping sauce; Granny Smith almond salad with peanut coconut vinaigrette; spicy basil duck; and, for dessert, almond banana roll. Galanga Thai Fusion, 7440 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-851-4355.

Synergy Café

Gil Ran and Alex Shteyman’s Synergy Café offers mini omelettes cooked in a raclette, a grilled cheese with honey, mustard, gouda and mozzarella and hundreds of desserts. To drink, organic teas are served in an “Australian press” and coffee is made using a 19th-century “balance brewer.” There’s also a stage for jazz performances, poetry readings and DJ sets. Synergy Café, 4455 Overland Ave., Culver City, 310-559-8868.

The former Pinot Hollywood has been redesigned by Patina Group as eat. on sunset. Chef Gary Menes, previously of Firefly, prepares “traditional” and “modern” small plates and entrées. An open-faced “ham and eggs” sandwich and red wine-braised pot roast are “traditional,” while lobster and pomegranate salad with citrus vinaigrette and a smoked then grilled Kurobuta pork chop with black-eyed peas and buttermilk onion rings fall under “modern.” Desserts include white chocolate rice pudding and blood orange panna cotta. Open for lunch, the restaurant will add dinner service beginning January 3. eat. on sunset, 1448 N. Gower St., Los Angeles, 323-461-8800.

Mentioned in the famous in the ‘80s Don Henley’s hit, the Sunset Grill has just been renovated both in style and in food by restaurateur Deep Sethi who also owns Nirvana and Bombay Palace. The new look includes a sun-filled dining room and rooftop patio. The menu is café inspired offering paninis, salads and sandwiches with an emphasis on healthy, fresh and unique foods. Try the pesto chicken panini with avocado, sun-dried tomato, basil pesto and mozzarella or perhaps the Sunset chicken salad made with Tandoori chicken. Then, refresh yourself with a variety of freshly squeezed juices like guava, strawberry and banana or just pure, sweet watermelon. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7439 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-851-5557.

British mega-chef Gordon Ramsay plans to open a restaurant in 2006 in West Hollywood’s Bel Age, a hotel that will soon be renamed the London LA by its new owner, LXR Luxury Resorts. The restaurant’s name and concept have yet to be announced.

Josh Evans and wife Kate have opened The Crêpe Vine bistro & wine Bar in Old Town Pasadena. Chef Dan Siegel, previously of Café Bizou in Santa Monica, prepares French classics like steak (filet mignon) frites and coq au vin, plus savory buckwheat crêpes. Pastry chef Lokelani Alabanza adds such desserts as sweet crêpes, amaretto bread pudding and a “brûlée duo.” The Crêpe Vine, 36 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-796-7250.

Norm Theard, brother Paul and fiancée Amy Lipp have opened The Creole Chef in Baldwin Hills. Norm cooks New Orleans classics like crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, and po’ boys. Shrimp Yvonne is a version of New Orleans barbecued shrimp, named for Mom. For dessert, expect bread pudding with bourbon sauce and, on Sunday, beignets. The Creole Chef, 3715 Santa Rosalia Dr., Los Angeles, 323-294-2433.

Oliver De Mori has opened Sopra in West Hollywood, featuring Italian small plates called spuntini—along with a view of the Hollywood Hills. Chef Carlo Romeri, previously of i Cugini, offers Kobe beef carpaccio, marinated anchovies, spicy mussels with chili peppers and, for dessert, truffle cake filled with chocolate mousse. Open nightly. Sopra, 8840 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-492-0880.

Chabuya is the first American venture from Japanese chef Yasuji Morizumi. This ultra-modern “Tokyo Noodle Bar” serves ramen in a house-made pork or chicken broth, char-broiled with bacon and onion, and cold with vegetables. For non-noodlers, there are chicken and pork “Asian Bun Sandwiches,” gyoza and both pork and shrimp shiu mai. Chabuya, 2002 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-473-1013.

Occidental College grads Bryce Rademan and Robert Wicklund are looking at a mid-December opening for their Eagle Rock doner kebab restaurant, Spitz. In addition to the spit-shaved beef-and-lamb mix, expect falafel balls and waffle fries. For dessert, 32 flavors of gelato and sorbet join cinnamon-sugar pita strips with chocolate dipping sauce. Spitz, 2506 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-257-5600.

Natally Raisin has opened the “raw fusion” Jade Café in Silver Lake, with a menu designed by Lesa Carlson. Serving food that’s not heated above 110 degrees, Carlson’s dishes blend Mexican, Italian and Thai elements. Big sellers include ginger coconut noodles, squash blossoms stuffed with almond cream cheese and persimmon ice cream. Jade Café, 1521 Griffith Park Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-667-1551.

Stefano De Lorenzo and chef Antonio Mure of Venice Beach’s Piccolo have opened Italian restaurant La Botte near the Third Street Promenade. Amidst floors and walls made from wine barrel wood, Mure rolls branzino carpaccio with sea urchin, prepares red beet tagliolini with homemade quail sausages and roasts colossal veal shanks for two. La Botte, 620 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-576-3072.

Chef John Enright is serving small plates at the modern Zinc Bar in Manhattan Beach’s Shade Hotel. Highlights include duck confit wontons, artichoke brie fondue and a trio of mini burgers—sirloin with Grafton cheddar, seared ahi and ground chicken. Zinc offers sixty wines by the glass and the “martini lunch,” consisting of smoked bacon, feta cheese, black olives and Siroc vodka. Zinc Bar, 1221 N. Valley Dr., Manhattan Beach, 310-546-4995.

Chef/owners Martin Garcia and Alfonzo Ramires plan to open a Pasadena outpost of their Lynwood Mexican restaurant, La Huasteca, by mid-December. The branch will offer the same moles and seafood specialties, plus some dishes Garcia and Ramires can’t sell, price-wise, in South Los Angeles, like lamb rack with mint jalapeño sauce and swordfish with pineapple jalapeño sauce. La Huasteca, 49 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena.

Parisian master baker Eric Kayser has opened his first stateside location, Breadbar, near the Beverly Center. Breads made using Kayser’s recipes are sold by the loaf, factor into sandwiches and are paired with salads and omelets. Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Breadbar, 8718 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 310-205-0124.

Tiffini and Nik Soforenko are about to open Yummy Cupcakes in Burbank. Specializing in New York-style cupcakes, they’ll bake traditional flavors like vanilla vanilla and peanut butter chocolate chip, plus the more unusual banana split and S’mores. There’s even a cocktail line: margarita, cosmopolitan, mojito and piña colada. Yummy Cupcakes, 2918 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, 818-558-1080.

Milton Sznaidr’s just-opened Solar de Cahuenga offers organic coffee drinks and 27 kinds of crêpes, sweet and savory. “Suzy’s Own” is named for Milton’s mother and blends spinach and ground beef. Solar Coffee utilizes tea, espresso, milk and cinnamon. There’s an outdoor patio, tables and couches inside. Open 365 days a year, 6 a.m. to midnight weekdays, 24 hours on weekends. Solar de Cahuenga, 1847 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323-467-7510.

To capitalize on foot traffic along the Cahuenga Corridor, Eric Fleming has opened E’s Fish & Shrimp. This takeout-only spot offers lightly fried seafood: shrimp, catfish, red snapper and whiting. Southern sides include macaroni and cheese, pork-seasoned collard greens and black-eyed peas. Eric’s mother supplied the recipes; she had two seafood restaurants in Charlotte. E’s Fish & Shrimp, 1645 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323-462-2898

Baker Maury Rubin hopes to open the West Coast outpost of his New York institution, City Bakery, at Brentwood Country Mart by early December. Using Santa Monica Farmers Market ingredients, the retail bakery will also feature a cafeteria and “short order” seating area. Expect Rubin’s famous hot chocolate, pretzel croissants and seasonal tarts. City Bakery New York’s Ilene Rosen will plan the savory menu, including an advanced “salad bar.” City Bakery, 26th St. & San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood.

Chef/owner Santino Coccia and partner John Borghetti have simultaneously opened two restaurants in Los Feliz, on the same block as their Trattoria Farfalla. Tropicalia, named for the bossa nova and rock music blend that was popular in Rio in the 1960s, offers whitefish and shrimp ceviche, grilled chicken Tropicalia and braised Braziribs. Vinoteca Farfalla is a wine bar offering 45 wines by the glass and a selection of small plates—think salami, cheeses and tuna tartare. Tropicalia, 1966 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 323-644-1798; Vinoteca Farfalla, 1968 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 323-661-8070.

Kenny Cordova’s eponymous Bodega de Cordova is a traditional Spanish tapas and wine bar near the Third Street Farmers Market. No food is cooked, and everything is imported from Spain, including jamon Serrano, Pamplona chorizo, Manchego cheese and three kinds of Sevilla olives. Cordova offers exclusively Spanish wines, many from smaller regions like Jumilla, Alella and Yecla. The bar is cash only and closed on Mondays. Bodega De Cordova, 361 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, 323-951-1969.

Benny Adasha opened the modern-looking O4U in Beverly Hills with three friends: Donna Miller, Elias Amkie and his wife Liora, the chef. Her Mediterranean specialties include turkey and lamb shawarma, veal steak, potato cigars and, for dessert, house-made baklava. They’re certified Kosher by the Kehilla of Los Angeles. O4U, 214 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-550-8655.

Ben Ford, chef/owner of the late Chadwick, has re-emerged with Ford’s Filling Station. Slated for a late December or early January opening, the Culver City gastropub will serve charcuterie, cheeses, organic fish, poultry and produce. Utilizing two wood-burning ovens, Ford will serve lunch or brunch daily and dinner six nights a week. Ford’s Filling Station, 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City.

Bowery is a New York-style bar and bistro named for one of the least-used subway stops in Manhattan. Chef David Bonfiglio, formerly of Savoy and Triomphe in New York, features a roasted chicken breast French dip and daily blackboard specials like moules frites, coq au vin and New York cheesecake. The kitchen stays open until 2 a.m. daily. Bowery, 6268 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-3400.

Melody Dosch gave up law to open Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City with her parents, Fred and Kay Heinemann. Sophia Villareal, formerly at Greens in San Francisco, prepares panini that incorporate American artisanal cheeses. A raspberry chocolate truffle from in-house chocolate maker Robert Spano accompanies each sandwich. Monthly cheese and chocolate tastings just began. Artisan Cheese Gallery, 12023 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-505-0207.

Andre Guerrero, chef/owner of Max and Senor Fred, is targeting a January 2006 opening for his Eagle Rock “slow fast food” concept, The Oinkster. Made-from-scratch classics will include house-cured pastrami, barbecued pulled pork, brined rotisserie chicken, Nebraska Angus burgers and twice-cooked Belgian fries. A condiment bar will feature chipotle ketchup and garlic mayonnaise. And to drink: orange lemonade. The Oinkster, 2005 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles.

Audrey Bernstein has opened Bluebird Bakery in Culver City. Amidst a “Vermont country store” atmosphere, Bernstein bakes red velvet cupcakes, pies, crisps and banana bread. For lunch, expect grilled pizzas, a Reuben with Gruyère and a tuna melt on potato dill bread. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. Bluebird Bakery, 8572 National Blvd., Culver City, 310-841-0939.

Lino Savoia, chef/owner of Caffè Delfini for sixteen years, has opened Lino in the former Giorgio’s space in Malibu. He and his wife Sam are using the old sheriff’s station to serve Mediterranean tapas, including daily seafood specials and dishes like mashed garlic yam samosas, grilled polenta with gorgonzola and black truffles, and lamb skewers. Lino makes desserts in-house. Lino, 21337 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 310-456-1221.

Sokyo, a Japanese small-plates restaurant from David and Michelle Myers (Sona, Boule), is set to open in June 2006, replacing Noura Café (8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood). Sushi Nozawa’s Kazunori Nozawa will serve as a consultant. Menu categories will include salty and crunchy, raw, robata, vegetables and bowls, with mini-sweets from Michelle. To drink: sakés and Japanese-inspired cocktails. The atmosphere will be high-energy, with a patio. Sokyo is a contraction of “So Tokyo” and translates from Japanese to "grand undertaking" or "master plan."

Bella is the new venture from Dolce Group (Geisha House, Dolce) and J.T. Torregiani. Chef Angelo Traversa, formerly of Allegria in Malibu, turns out Southern Italian standards like carpaccio, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmigiana and tiramisu. The space features high brick walls, silver wallpaper and Murano chandeliers and is open for lunch and dinner daily. Bella, 6639 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-468-8815.

Chef Cody Diegel, formerly of The Belmont, is serving “classic American” food at Magnolia. Look for an iceberg wedge, mac 'n' cheese, pork chop, and for dessert, a mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. The décor is Art Deco inspired, with a patio out back and a 3 a.m. closing time to capitalize on the neighborhood bar scene.
Magnolia, 6266½ Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-467-0660.

EM Bistro has been transformed into Solare, a fine-dining Northern Italian restaurant with select American dishes from executive chef Paolo Giovani. He previously held the same title at longtime Sunset Strip fave, Il Sole. Serving dinner nightly, the restaurant features live jazz Thursday through Saturday. Solare, 8256 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-655-7652.

Massively popular in Japan, the first L.A. branch of Beard Papa Sweets Café just hit Hollywood & Highland. Specializing in fresh vanilla cream puffs, they’ll add creams like green tea, chocolate and sesame by November. A second Los Angeles branch will open in Gardena’s Marukai Market in November. The Japanese character with the white beard and pipe is designed to invoke Santa Claus. Beard Papa Sweets Café, 6801 Hollywood Blvd. #153, Hollywood, 323-462-6100.

Chef Helen Yoo and husband Young are fusing Hawaiian and Korean "eats" at their Ventura Boulevard mini-mall café, Ohana BBQ. The menu offers grilled short ribs, BBQ chicken, kim chee, bibimbap, pork katsu, chicken potstickers and Hawaiian ices. Ohana means family in Hawaiian. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
Ohana BBQ, 11269 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-508-3192.

Atwater Village is about two weeks away from the opening of Indochine Vien, a contemporary orange-hued café offering Vietnamese classics like fried spring rolls, several variations of pho and banh mi. Rice and rice noodle dishes will be available with grilled pork, chicken, shrimp and vegetarian options. They’ll serve lunch and dinner. Indochine Vien, 3110 Glendale Ave., Los Angeles, 323-667-9591,

Body Sushi at Hadaka

Taking its name from the Japanese word for "naked," Hadaka Sushi has opened in the space formerly occupied by Wacky Waffles. This Sunset Strip restaurant serves Japanese and French inspired dishes with a sexy twist.  Some of the menu items from Chef Edward Brik (Tiger Lily Restaurant Bar, Blowfish Sushi To Die For) are labeled "Naughty," "Nice" or "XXX," including aptly named creations such as "Aphrodisiac on a Half Shell" (oysters with a spicy wasabi mignotte), "Nice Rack" (grilled rack of lamb with sweet and sour eggplant and coriander-mint vinaigrette) and "The Big Unit" (marinated Szechwan grilled rib-eye with wasabi mashed potatoes and crispy leeks). A private room is available for events and parties and offers special menus and entertainment such as "body sushi." Hadaka Sushi, 8226 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-822-2601.

Bret Thompson, previously the corporate executive chef for the Patina Group, has launched Milk with former Patina pastry chef Richard Yoshimura. Expect a variety of sundaes, shakes, malts, floats, ice cream sandwiches and bon bons called “milkies.” There are also baked goods like glazed red berry scones, “ooey gooey double chocolate cookies” and blue velvet cake. Savory offerings include hot pressed sandwiches, salads and seasonal soups. Open daily, 7 a.m.–10 p.m., and Fri.-Sat. until 11 p.m. Milk, 7290 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-939-6455.

Hokusai Restaurant

Hokusai recently opened in the former home of The Continental. Chef Charlie Nagase prepares dishes like Kobe cheek stew, with red wine and veal stock; octopus sashimi with chili olive oil; and roasted salmon in spicy lobster bisque sauce. Sushi chef Koji Matsuzaki oversees a variety of sushi, sashimi and rolls. Open for lunch Mon.-Fri. and for dinner nightly. Hokusai, 8400 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 323-782-9717.

Bastide owner Joe Pytka has hired Walter Manzke, previously at Patina in Los Angeles and Bouchée in Carmel, as executive chef. The restaurant’s long-awaited re-opening is slated for this summer. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Pl., West Hollywood.

Kerry Simon to Make Los Angeles Debut
The Sofitel Los Angeles, local branch of Accor’s international hotel chain, has begun a $35-million makeover, slated for completion next spring, which will include the first Los Angeles outpost of a restaurant from chef Kerry Simon (pictured), whose most recent acclaimed effort is Simon Kitchen & Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. At the Sofitel’s SIMON, watch for the latest creations of a chef known for his innovative takes on classic international comfort foods, including such popular Las Vegas dishes as split roasted chicken with Tuscan fries, pad Thai with bay scallops, rigatoni with Bolognese sauce and an acclaimed meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes.

Burbank’s Bistro Provence Bows
Longtime Patina Group chef Miki Zivkovic, most recently of Studio City’s Pinot Bistro, has opened his own restaurant in a Burbank shopping center. His new Bistro Provence is a small, intimate establishment allowing the affable Zivkovic a highly personalized approach. The California-French cooking is moderately priced, with most entrées in the mid-teens. Bistro Provence, 345 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, 818-840-9050.

Cucina Paradiso Returns
Cucina Paradiso is back. You may remember it from five years ago in Redondo Beach. Chef/partners Isaac Rivera (most recently chef at Il Sole) and Alex Lombardo (chef at Towne in the meantime) have opened Cucina Paradiso on Motor Avenue in L.A. It has a Tuscan look with a wall of wine and a lounge in the back called The Palmer Room. You can get such dishes as risotto with mushrooms and mascarpone cheese ($16); pappardelle with pheasant and morel mushrooms ($17); osso bucco with saffron risotto ($29); and fresh fish daily. Live jazz plays in the lounge Friday through Sunday nights. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, dinner nightly. Cucina Paradiso, 3387 Motor Ave., L.A., 310-839-2500.

Ruth’s Chris Due for Pasadena
Los Angeles-based developer Maguire Partners has signed Ruth's Chris Steak House to fill 8,000 square feet at Western Asset Plaza, located at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue, across from the Paseo Colorado shopping center. With nearby Westin, Hilton and Sheraton Hotels, the Pasadena Civic Center and Pasadena Playhouse, the site is considered ideal for an upscale steakhouse. Tentative opening is late 2005.

More Barbecue for the Valley
Boneyard Bistro, a barbecue eatery, will open on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks in early September, just down the street from Mr. Cecil’s Ribs. Boneyard Bistro, 13539 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-906-RIBS (7427).

The Lodge Opens
Adolfo Suaya (Gaucho Grill founder), in partnership with Michael Sutton (who is also a partner in the Dolce Group of restaurants) has opened a steakhouse that has “all the classics,” as he tells us. The Lodge Steakhouse features appetizers like a lobster cocktail and a salad of tomato and Maui onion with blue cheese; main courses including a porterhouse for two with marrow bone and Dover sole boned tableside; and such sides as macaroni and cheese and creamed spinach. It’s inhabiting the space that housed Temple and, for 35 years before that, the Beverly Hills Coffee Shop. The Lodge Steakhouse, 14 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310-854-0024.

Chapter 8 Debuts in Agoura Hills
The brothers behind trendy P6 Restaurant & Lounge in Westlake Village have opened a steakhouse called Chapter 8 Steakhouse & Dance Lounge in the old Hamburger Hamlet space in Agoura Hills. They’ll follow the P6 formula of high-end, ultra-modern design, a large bar and a DJ spinning tunes. Chef Eddy Shin (Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse) is aging his beef 28 days and serving it a la carte. Offerings include a Kobe burger ($18) and a 24-ounce Porterhouse ($48). In a nod to his former boss, potato-guru Joachim Splichal, Shin has 8 versions of potatoes on the menu. Starters include a Hail Caesar salad ($8) and lightly fried sunchokes with a lemon-thyme aioli ($8). Chapter 8 Steakhouse & Dance Lounge, 29020 Agoura Rd., Agoura Hills, 818-889-2088.

M Café de Chaya Debuts
M Café de Chaya has opened. It’s a macrobiotic project from the owners of Chaya Brasserie, with a menu from chef Shigefumi Tachibe free of meat, eggs, dairy, overly processed grains and refined sugar. Vegetarians and vegans will find a lot to like, including soups, salads, rice bowls, tempura vegetables, seitan and tempeh sandwiches, sushi (yes, there’s some fish here), and pastries. There’s even a roasted twig tea. M Café is open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. M Café de Chaya, 7119 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323-525-0588.

Rokbar Bows

Rokbar, a lounge created by chef Govind Armstrong (chef and owner of Table 8) in partnership with rockers Tommy Lee and Dave Navarro, has opened in Hollywood. The Meridien Restaurant Group (Armstrong, Chris Heyman and Josh Woodward) opened the first Rokbar in Miami Beach. The Hollywood lounge’s kitchen will serve food from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. nightly, featuring small plates like fish and chips ($8) and grilled cheese with pulled short rib ($6) as well as shareable plates like a small bucket of fried baby chicken ($13) and white bean hummus with toasted pita ($8). Then there are larger plates of broiled salmon ($16) and a Kobe beef burger ($14). Armstrong is particularly proud of his coffee and doughnuts dessert, really Krispy Kreme bread pudding with espresso whipped cream ($9). Rokbar, 1710 N. Las Palmas, Hollywood, 323-461-5600.

Coming Soon to Thousand Oaks
Sushi Ko, the recently closed Japanese restaurant at the top of Beverly Glen, will be opening in a new development in Ventura County. Its owners live in Thousand Oaks and have elected to be part of the new shopping center called The Lakes. Look for Sushi Ko to open in early August, along with a P.F. Chang’s, a Claim Jumper, and a California Pizza Kitchen.

A Steakhouse of its Own
Hollywood just got its very own steakhouse. Chris Breed and Alan Hajjar, the duo behind White Lotus and Pig 'n Whistle, along with Eric James Virgets, have opened Sterling Steak House where the Sunset Room once thrived on Ivar. Chef Andrew Pastore used to helm the kitchen of Sunset Room, and before that, Michael’s. Sterling sports an outdoor patio with a fireplace, a private room with a plasma-screen TV and a table in the wine cellar underneath the main dining room. Classic steakhouse fare and cocktails are served Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight. Sterling Steak House, 1429 Ivar Ave., Hollywood, 323-463-0008.

Welcome to Dakota
Dakota steakhouse has opened in The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. Tim and Liza Goodell (Meson G, Troquet) took over foodservice in the hotel a few months ago, but now their steakhouse is in full swing. In the kitchen most nights is executive chef Jeff Armstrong. Enjoy appetizers like black mission figs with pecorino and prosciutto dressed with a Sherry vinegar ($12) and rock shrimp and scallop Louie ($14). Meats and fish are all available with your choice of sauce. Fish like halibut ($30), Scottish salmon ($24) or turbot filet ($26) can be topped with sweet chili barbecue sauce, soy-citrus sauce, tartar sauce, hollandaise or a caper brown butter. Hanger steak ($21), braised short rib ($32), duck breast ($30) and veal chop ($32) can be sauced with béarnaise, peppercorn, red wine, three mustards, bleu cheese, horseradish or chimichurri sauces. Sides include braised morel mushrooms and cauliflower gratin. Dakota, The Hollywood Roosevelt, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-466-7000.

Chef Cimarusti

Providence Opens at Long Last
After many long months, chef Michael Cimarusti (Water Grill) and his partner and restaurant manager Donato Poto (Bastide) have finally opened their seafood restaurant, Providence, in Patina’s old digs on Melrose near Paramount Pictures. The menu features unusual seafood dishes with little embellishment. Thierry Perez (Naya) has created the wine program. The guys have preserved Patina’s in-kitchen chef’s table. Providence is open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-734-1158.

Building a Bridge
The owners of Koi, the lush Asian restaurant and lounge where celebs and hipsters like to chase sushi with cold saké, are at it again. Nick and Dipu Haque (Atlantic, El Dorado) have taken Alto Palato’s old space on La Cienega, just across from Koi, and will be creating a Mediterranean restaurant and bar there. It will, naturally, have a separate underground driveway and entrance for celebrities. Bridge, as it will be called, should open at the end of July or beginning of August. Bridge, 755 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Got Taste?
Lone Pedersen has opened Taste restaurant on Melrose with partners John Halter and Morten Kaag. Pedersen will be the general manager. Executive chef Cathy Halter hails from Italy, and some of her menu items reflect that; but her bent is very eclectic, ranging from curried chicken to spicy garlic shrimp to sautéed wild salmon and smoked duck breast. All of this is served in a former house that has been dressed up with brown leather walls, red banquettes and marble tables. The patio is the same size as the dining room. Right now Taste is open for dinner Monday-Saturday nights. Lunch and brunch will be added soon. Taste, West Hollywood, 323-852-6888.

Another Corner Bakery is opening in the Valley. The bakery/café will be ready for breakfast and lunch service by July 15, with the usual selection of freshly baked breads and pastries, soups, sandwiches and salads. The Corner Bakery, 15626 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-981-7514.

A Daily Grill has opened in the Pegasus Building downtown. The look of this one, open for lunch on weekdays and dinner nightly, is more upscale than the other locations, but the menu will be the same. Daily Grill, 612 S. Flower St., downtown L.A., 213-622-4500.

French 75 Bistro is expanding. Owner David Wilhelm of Culinary Adventures (with Orange County restaurants Savannah Chop House, Rouge Bistro and Chat Noir to his credits) is opening a French 75 Bistro in Tustin this summer and he just signed leases on locations in Culver City and Pasadena for two more. No firm opening dates for the latter two yet, but we’ll keep you posted. French 75 Bistro, 1464 S. PCH, Laguna Beach, 949-494-8444.

Wilshire Restaurant, which was slated to open back in December, is finally nearing a real opening. The target date, as we were told by GM and partner Bill Bonbrest, was the end of May. We’ll keep you apprised of the final plans of chef Chris Blobaum and crew in the old Knoll’s Black Forest Inn spot in Santa Monica as we get the details.

Terry Marvin and Meer Pollak have joined the L.A. cupcake fray with My Little Cupcake. Pastry chef Kirby Galli, who previously worked at Surfas, bakes cakes in flavors like peanut butter, lemon meringue, red velvet, and “Hi Hat”—chocolate marshmallow. The décor is kid-friendly, featuring blue walls with bright-colored polkadots. Open Tuesday-Sunday. My Little Cupcake, 11925 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-985-2253.

Frank Sadeghian has opened Minotaure, a tapas restaurant and wine bar, in the old Chloe space. A Picasso fan, Sadeghian features framed Picasso prints on the walls, plus hand-drawings on the ceiling and walls. Chef Severiano Morales, previously of Geisha House, prepares shrimp and swordfish ceviche, tortilla Española with goat cheese, paella Valenciana and tiger shrimp with balsamic and coconut sauce. To drink, there are Spanish wines by the glass. Flamenco guitarists perform Friday and Saturday nights. Open 5:30 p.m.-midnight nightly. Minotaure, 333 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey, 310-306-6050.

California Chicken Café has opened a sixth branch of their healthy fast food concept in Venice. Specializing in rotisserie chicken, the order-at-the-counter café also offers salads, wraps and a number of sides. A seventh branch will hit Woodland Hills in early 2007. California Chicken Café, 424 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, 310-392-3500; 22333 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills,

Stephane Strouk has opened a branch of Farmers Market stalwart, French Crêpe Company, on the fourth floor of Hollywood & Highland. The menu is the same, specializing in crêpes like La Normandie—chicken, button mushrooms, carrots and green beans in white Dijon sauce—and La Savoyarde—raclette and Emmenthaler cheese, dry cured ham and cornichons. There are also waffles topped with apples and cinnamon, sandwiches like the croque monsieur, a niçoise salad and French onion soup. French Crepe Company, Hollywood & Highland, Hollywood, 323-960-0933.

Specializing in French dip sandwiches filled with roast beef, pork, lamb, pastrami and more, Sherman Oaks’ own, The Dip, has also taken up shop at Hollywood & Highland. In addition to the dips, there are also deep-fried hot dogs topped with chili or pastrami, and coming soon, breakfast, burgers and desserts. The Dip, Hollywood & Highland, Hollywood, 323-871-0888.

With locations already in London, Seoul and Tokyo Sushi Hiroba opened July 19 in Hollywood, offering conveyer belt sushi, tempura and Japanese dishes. Think black rice with sautéed foie gras and “sweet sauce;” crispy popcorn shrimp with ponzu butter sauce; salmon sashimi with crispy ginger and tofu purée; and a Monkey Roll with banana, freshwater eel and avocado. Open for lunch Monday-Saturday and for dinner nightly. Sushi Hiroba, 776 Vine St., Hollywood, 323-962-7237.

Fred Bambadji has opened Punch Grill, an American bistro in the former Royal Star Seafood space. Chef Peter Sang, who worked with The Patina Group and at The Mirage in Las Vegas, is preparing short rib ravioli with fume horseradish cream sauce, skillet roasted shrimp and mussels with garlic butter, filet mignon garlic chili and a lamb and feta burger. The stylish space features earth tones, a wine cellar room and a lounge with acid-stained floors. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Punch Grill, 3001 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-828-8812.

The venerable downtown Redwood Bar, which in its heyday hosted the likes of Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy and gangster Mickey Cohen, will re-open its doors as the newly imagined Redwood Bar and Grill in September. Boasting a nautical-themed décor with a treasure trove of pirate kitsch, the restaurant was designed by Fred Sutherland, known for his design of Fred 62. The kitchen, manned by Jason Michaud of Cobras and Matadors and serving until 4 a.m., will turn out specialties from the sea such as fish and chips, a fried catfish burger, grilled stuffed squid and pan seared scallop risotto, as well as comfort food favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese and grilled maple glazed pork chops. Rum-based brews named after rigging knots will be available at the bar. The Redwood Bar and Grill, 316 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, 213-680-2600,

Encino is the site for the latest outpost of the Coral Tree Café. Joining the original Brentwood location and the Coral Tree Express in the Westfield Shopping Center in Century City, the Encino spot carries on the tradition of healthy, organic, casual dining. Breakfast, served all day, features breakfast paninis, organic egg scrambles and treats like the lemon ricotta pancakes. Entrée salads like the no-mayo tuna salad, organic soups and signature dishes like mac ‘n’ cheese are the focus at lunch and dinner. Open daily 7 a.m.-11 p.m. The Coral Tree Café, 17499 Ventura Blvd., 818-789-TREE.

Jay Fagnano, formerly of Indigo and Incendo, has opened Larchmont Grill in the old House space. Chef Mary Payne Moran prepares “food from the neighborhoods of America’s great cities,” dishes like grilled Korean short ribs with baby bok choy; a grilled double-cut pork chop with apple raisin chutney and creamed corn gratin; and Southwestern linguini with corn, black beans and chipotle cream. Larchmont Grill, 5750 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323-464-4277.

David Wilhelm’s Culinary Pleasures, Inc. opened the latest French 75 Bistro at Westfield Century City mall. Named for a 75mm gun that turned the tide against ermany in World War I, the restaurant will feature leather booths, stamped tin ceilings, a red glass bar and patio seating. Chef Ryan Adams, who has been with Culinary Adventures for six years, will oversee a menu of bistro classics like French onion soup, shrimp en cassolette, “free range” Burgundy escargots, prosciutto wrapped scallops and a selection of Prime steaks. For dessert, think hot chocolate soufflé for two. Open daily for lunch and dinner. French 75 Bistro, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, 310-788-0700.

To begin October, Stephane Strouk is planning to open a branch of Farmers Market fave Monsieur Marcel on a retail island in the middle of the Third Street Promenade. The second location will feature the same style of bistro French food, a selection of cheeses and a wine bar. Monsieur Marcel, Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica.

Ermanno Neiviller of Il Capriccio is planning to open the first location of Il Capriccio Woodfired Pizzeria in Los Feliz sometime in October. The space will offer an array of pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven, sandwiches on house-made bread and salads. With limited seating, the pizzeria will deliver to downtown, as far west as Vine Street, and north into the hills. Five more pizzerias with the same name and concept are planned in the next two years: downtown, Pasadena, Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Orange County. Il Capriccio Woodfired Pizzeria, 4518 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-644-9760.

is a new Asian restaurant in the former Sushi on Sunset space. Executive chef Derek Zimara, formerly of Yi Cuisine, is turning out seared albacore sashimi on onion rings, black cod fritters with miso aïoli, lemongrass-skewered salmon with plum sauce and macadamia nut-crusted Colorado lamb chops. For dessert, think “churros” with chocolate pudding. The bamboo-heavy décor was designed by Thomas Schoos, who also worked on Koi and Citizen Smith. Open nightly from 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Empress, 8264 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-656-8377.

Adam Fleischman and Keith Fox have partnered on BottleRock, a casual wine bar and shop that opened on August 25. There are 20 wines by the glass, build-your-own flight and any bottle in the store is fair game, as long as you commit to two glasses. Chef Jason Travi, previously of La Terza and Spago Beverly Hills, is prepares small plates like marinated Italian anchovies with arugula and red onion, a caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and burrata and a panini with piquillo peppers, manchego and harissa-honey aïoli. There is also Paul Bertolli salumi and an array of cheeses. BottleRock, 3847 Main St., Culver City, 310-836-9463.

Baran Restaurant is turning out traditional Persian cuisine amidst stunning modern décor. Expect slatted wood, red panels with calligraphy Farsi, elaborate metalwork shaped like branches and marsh grass and an intricate flower-shaped chandelier. Dishes include chicken kebab served with sweet and sour cherry rice, Cornish game hen kebab, broiled whitefish, and for dessert, Persian ice cream and honey-dipped fritters known as bamieh. On Friday and Saturday nights, there is Gypsy flamenco dancing. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Baran Restaurant, 1916 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-475-4500.

California School of Culinary Arts alum Denise Weber has opened Violet’s Cakes, specializing in wedding and birthday cakes in Pasadena. The bakery features as many as 12 flavors of cupcakes per day, like French toast, cinnamon-maple syrup, banana-dark chocolate and peppermint. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Violet’s Cakes, 21 E. Holly St., Pasadena, 626-395-9821.

With locations in Monterey Park and near the Grove, Peter Saiyajit has added a branch of Thai Patio in the previous home of Palms Thai. Thai Elvis has left the building, but there will soon be traditional Thai dancing and music Thursday-Sunday nights. There are also Thai artifacts, massive bamboo candle holders, and six-lantern chandeliers. Chef Nancy Waikedkit, previously with Palms, is preparing traditional Thai noodle dishes, curries, and soups, plus giant chu chee shrimp and “Exotic Things” like frog dishes and quail with black chili and basil. There may even be crocodile in the future. Open daily for lunch and dinner, with late hours. Thai Patio, 5273 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-466-3894.

is a new Japanese pub in Little Tokyo from Taka Koyama, owner of nearby ramen house Daikokuya. Named for the Japanese god of fishermen and good fortune, the restaurant features fishing nets, fake sea creatures, and a ship-shaped communal table. Dishes include tuna with taro, stir-fried pork and kimchee, grilled freshwater eel, sashimi, sushi and noodle soups. To drink, there is beer, wine, saké and soju. Open daily from 5 p.m.-1 a.m., and beginning in October, lunch. Ebisu, 356 E. Second St., Los Angeles, 213-613-1644.

Jason McEntee and Greg Seares, who originally sprouted Bodega Wine Bar at Paseo Colorado in Pasadena, have expanded to the Westside. Their modern space, previously Club Sugar, features soft lighting and a space-age wine wall. There are 24 wines by the glass, and every bottle costs the same price, $30, to encourage people to try different things. Chef Stuart Skversky is preparing grilled cheese made with fig challah, brie, and sliced apples; four kinds of sliders, including portobello with basil and chicken breast with havarti; and five kinds of pizza, including pepperoni and mushroom. For dessert, consider the grilled white chocolate challah ice cream sandwich. Bodega Wine Bar, 814 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-394-3504.

Yatai Asian Tapas Bar is serving small plates inspired by yatai—Asian street vendors. Chef Koji Miyamoto, previously of Sushi Roku and Koi, is stuffing mushrooms with shrimp and spicy tuna, pairing tuna sashimi with quail eggs, and grilling Jidori chicken and barbecue eel. There is also grilled shrimp with sesame salt sauce, creamy chili soft shell crab, and for dessert, house-made crème brulée. The décor is red and black, reflecting Thailand and Malaysia. Open for lunch Monday-Friday and nightly for dinner. Yatai Asian Tapas Bar, 8535 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 310-289-0030.

Cousins Aram Yevrenian, Hunter Bastrmadjian and Steve Stepanyan have opened The Vault Bar & Grill in a former Washington Mutual branch. The establishment features an outdoor patio and a sports bar with 17 plasma screens. The eclectic menu includes sushi, pastas, pizzas and dishes like lager-steamed mussels in lemon butter sauce, seared ahi with sesame ginger vinaigrette and parmesan-crusted chicken breast. Open daily for lunch and dinner. The Vault Bar & Grill, 2675 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-683-3344.

Dennis Ofsthun and Marco Gonzalez, previously of Rib Ticklers, have opened Willy’s Smokehouse, a barbecue establishment and grill named for the late Tacoma pitmaster Willy Harris. The menu features 'que favorites like pulled pork, baby back ribs, tri-tip and brisket. Sauces come in regular, spicy and “turbo.” Barbecue alternatives include pulled pork quesadillas, shrimp sautéed in white wine, butter and garlic sauce and warm slices of pecan pie. Willy’s Smokehouse, 28435 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills, 818-991-7227.

The Farm of Beverly Hills

After a $500 million renovation, Westfield Topanga mall will soon house a trio of new dining options. By mid-October, Fran Berger and Hans Frederich Goplen will open a third location of The Farm of Beverly Hills, featuring beef, turkey and veggie burgers, plus the restaurant's renowned brownies. Also slated for mid-October, an express version of Coral Tree Café will be located in the food court, offering the same style of organic, casual dining as the three other locations. In January, Bay Area restaurateurs Eduardo Rallo and wife Sylvia will open Amaranta Cocina Mexicana, contributing authentic Mexican food. Westfield Topanga, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park; The Farm of Beverly Hills, 818-888-6738.

Lenny Young, Andrew Gould and Stephanie Meckler have partnered on T on Fairfax, a modern teahouse that offers over 100 organic teas, plus coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Gould and consulting chef Gloria Felix designed a vegetarian menu that features sandwiches on fresh-baked breads: English cheddar and date chutney on whole grain, egg salad and watercress on country white, and Manchego with fig on pain de mie. A four-bean medley is bathed in tarragon cumin dressing and kale highlights peanut salad. A live DJ blares beats on Friday and Saturday nights and during Sunday afternoon tea service. Open daily from morning until late night. T on Fairfax, 435 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, 323-782-0695.

Little Next Door is a gourmet store that just hatched next to The Little Door restaurant. Chef Nicholas Peter cooks for both establishments. Sweets include macaroons, a black walnut chocolate tart, rhubarb pie and Myers Rum coconut cheesecake with gingersnap crust, plus imported chocolates and candies. Savory items include small sandwiches like grilled wild salmon with romesco sauce and ahi tuna tartar with hummus and fennel. There are fresh croissants, breads like olive batard and raisin walnut and a daily selection of charcuterie, cheeses and terrines. There’s even a small wine shop. Open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Little Next Door, 8142 W. Third St., Los Angeles, 323-951-1210.

Canelé opened in mid-September in the former Osteria Nonni space. Corina Weibel, formerly sous chef at Lucques and Jane Choi, formerly of Balthazar and Pastis, offer market-inspired Mediterranean dishes. The seasonal menu is written on a blackboard and may include seared calamari in lime juice, the caramelized onion and olive tart known as pissaladiére and an herb-roasted chicken with ratatouille. Upon exiting, each diner is given a warm version of the restaurant’s namesake pastry. Open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday. Canelé, 3219 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-666-7133.

Vertical Wine Bistro, slated to open this month, will offer small plate food prepared by chef Sara Levine and feature over 400 different selections of wine, many available by the glass. There will also be flights and vertical selections by the glass. Vertical Wine Bistro, 70 North Raymond Ave., Pasadena.

Circa 55, named for the year The Beverly Hilton opened, has replaced Griff’s as the hotel’s poolside restaurant. Chef Sean Dent, previously of Citrus, prepares California cuisine. His breakfasts include peppercorn smoked salmon and brioche French toast with Turkish apricot compote. At lunch and dinner, expect sautéed John Dory with crab tabbouleh, prime steaks cooked in the 1700-degree broiler, bone-in pork loin with caramel ginger apple butter, and artichoke ravioli with pancetta and Arbequina olives. Open daily for breakfast, Monday-Saturday for lunch, nightly for dinner, and for Sunday brunch. Circa 55, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-887-6055.

Jonathan Weiss has opened Granville Café, a casual gourmet restaurant in downtown Burbank. Chef Glenda Galvan prepares an eclectic menu of sandwiches, salads and soups, plus a lobster quesadilla with mango relish, root beer-marinated baby back ribs, rib eye stew topped with Point Reyes blue cheese and The Full Monty pizza, topped with pastrami, andouille sausage, pepperoni, button mushrooms and caramelized onions. For dessert, chef Galvan prepares a birch beer float and three-berry shortcake. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Granville Café, 121 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, 818-848-4726.

Bob “Smokin’ Jack” Krauss and wife Pam Taylor have opened the first L.A. County location of their Kansas City-style barbecue establishment, Smokin’ Jack’s. The meats are slow-smoked for 15 hours using hickory and pecan wood, then further flavored with Bob’s three sauces: Sweet & Smokey, Fire House or Hot House. The meats are beef brisket, tri tip, chicken, twice-smoked ham, sausage, baby back and spare ribs. Alternatives include deep fried pickles, hobo chili, a 32-ounce pork chop with spicy apricot sauce and for dessert, pecan pie. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Smokin’ Jack’s, 220 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, 818-842-RIBS.

Chef-owner Laurent Masliah has opened the Kosher French café, A Cow Jumped Over the Moon, in the ritzy Rodeo Collection. Dishes include savory and sweet crepes; raclette; fondue; a brie and honey sandwich; and a beet salad with warm goat cheese, spicy candied walnuts and rosemary honey dressing. For dessert, there’s a floating island and a crème brulée trio: lavender, rosemary, and vanilla. Open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A Cow Jumped Over the Moon, 421 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-274-4269.

Pizzeria Mozza, the joint venture from epicurean superstars Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich, will begin taking reservations the week of November 13. Pizzas will include Margherita with mozzarella di bufala, lamb quarters with cacao di Roma, and lardo with rosemary. There will also be panini, insalate, carne, bruschette, antipasti and Piatti del Giorno like crispy duck legs with lentils and saba on Mondays and lasagna al forno on Sundays. Osteria Mozza, the ownership group’s more ambitious restaurant, is expected to open next door in the first quarter of 2007. Matt Molina, previously of Campanile and Del Posto, is the chef for both restaurants. The pastry chef is Dahlia Narvarez, formerly of The Conga Room and Campanile. Pizzeria Mozza, 641 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, 323-297-0101; Osteria Mozza, 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-297-0100.

Sunset Beach
, a massive Sunset Strip restaurant and nightclub in the former Dublin’s space, is now open nightly for dinner. Chef Joseph Gillard, previously with Nick & Stef’s and Mirabelle, is turning out dishes like conch fritters with mango ketchup, pan-fried Alaskan halibut with mustard buttermilk slaw, a pork porterhouse with baked beans, and boneless roast chicken with sweet corn salad and a chicken griddlecake. Sunset Beach, 8240 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-654-8100.

Prominent Pasadena chef Akira Hirose (Maison Akira) has opened a casual café in Little Tokyo called Garden Café. The contemporary-styled eatery serves soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries, and caters to both the business community and downtown’s growing residential population. It is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 7a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Garden Café, 100 N. Central Ave., Downtown L.A., 213-621-2022.

Osvaldo Enriquez, who ran the legendary Cuban restaurant La Bodeguita Del Medio in Havana from 1990-2000, and who expanded the concept internationally, has opened La Bodeguita de Pico in Los Angeles. Chef/general manager Joe Enriquez is cooking fried bananas stuffed with ground beef, fried pork chunks with Mojo Creole, roast chicken cooked in a “special secret sauce,” grilled shrimp marinated in rum, and for dessert, papaya chunks with cream cheese. La Bodeguita de Pico, 5047 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-937-CUBA.

From the people who brought you L.A. hot spots Geisha House, Bella Cucina Italiana, Les Deux and Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante comes Ketchup, a new restaurant set to open on Sunset Boulevard sometime before the New Year. Ketchup will serve all-American comfort food.

Vertical Wine Bistro has opened in Old Town Pasadena and offers small plate food prepared by chef Sara Levine. The wine bar features over 400 different selections of wine from around the world, many available by the glass, as well as a variety of flights and vertical selections. Vertical Wine Bistro, 70 North Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-795-3999.

Steve Scarduzio and business partner Tommy Saboni, previously the maitre d' at The Palm in West Hollywood, have opened Scarboni New York Lobster & Steakhouse in the old Pentola space. The restaurant is an amalgamation of their last names. The food includes prime steaks, lobsters flown in daily from Nova Scotia, Italian dishes, and chocolate thunder cake and imported New York cheesecake for dessert. The décor is reminiscent of a 1930’s New York saloon, with wood paneling and white tiles. Open Mon.-Fri. for lunch and nightly for dinner. Scarboni New York Lobster & Steakhouse, 312 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-393-2288.

Pastry chef Darby Aldaco and business partner Jennyfer Rodgers of SweetCake Desserts plan to open SweetCake: A Dessert Parlor on La Brea in February 2007. Small bite desserts will include non-alcoholic, parfait-like shooters; tarts in flavors such as Meyer lemon, chocolate caramel, and champagne ganache; and cakes with three distinctive design aesthetics: punched-out polka dot, whimsical floral and classic white or dark chocolate. The contemporary “French pop art” space will house a private salon for private tastings or wedding tastings. Platine Cookies and Little Flower Candy Co. will share the location. SweetCake: A Dessert Parlor, 633 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles.

Owner John Pena offers “Latin Asian Fusion” at Vive, in the old Nonya space. Chef Micah Fields prepares dishes like jalapeno scallop ceviche with pepper relish, spiced cheese empanadas with plantains; ginger and garlic lamb with sesame vinegar; and for dessert, coconut crème brulee with shaved coconut and lemongrass. Open daily at 4 p.m. Vive, 61 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-583-8483.

The second Los Angeles location of Eric Kayser’s Breadbar is finally open on the first floor of the Westfield Century City mall. With a menu identical to the Third Street Breadbar location, expect the same fresh-baked breads, tarts, pastries, sandwiches and salads. Open daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Breadbar, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, 310-277-3770.

Manhattan chef Laurent Tourondel is planning to import his BLT Steak concept to Los Angeles, in the former Le Dome space, in 2007. BLT Steak, 8720 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.

Chef-owner Larkin Mackey and partner-manager Joshua McBride plan to open a contemporary soul food restaurant called Larkin's in Eagle Rock on January 1. According to Chef Mackey, the renovated 1911 Craftsman house will have a wrap-around porch and a “Harlem-renaissance juke-joint kind of feel.” Chef Mackey will tweak old family recipes on dishes like fried chicken, candied yam ravioli, macaroni and cheese, and for dessert, Mexican chocolate-sweet potato pie. Larkin’s, 1496 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-254-0934.

Tommy LeVasseur and Ray Franco have opened Tommy Ray’s, offering Mediterranean-influenced California cuisine. Chef Marianne Zdobysz, previously of Chez Shea and Queen City Grill in Seattle, is cooking skillet-smoked salmon, cornmeal-coated scallops, roasted chicken with jerk sauce, grilled filet mignon with roasted shiitake mushrooms, and for dessert, butterscotch pot au crème with malt whiskey cream. Open daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tommy Ray’s, 12345 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-506-2412.

David Myers of Sona and Kazunori Nozawa of Sushi Nozawa have scrapped plans to open a Japanese pub called Sokyo in the old Noura Café space. Myers will instead use the space for a “modern brasserie” named Comme Ça, likely to open in 2007. The chef will be Sona sous chef Michael David. Myers and Nozawa hope to find another location for Sokyo. Comme Ça, 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood.

Mike Oxley, Nabeel Kort and sister Shareen Kort have opened The Kansas City BBQ Company near Universal Studios. Mike is a Kansas City native with twenty years of meat-smoking experience. He slow-smokes his meats with hickory, and even makes his own dry rub. Sides include sweet potatoes, cole slaw and BBQ beans. The homey order-at-the-counter establishment seats 44 people, with photos of Kansas City to come. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. The Kansas City BBQ Company, 4141 Lankershim Blvd., Studio City, 818-754-0030.

The former Yi Cuisine space has been transformed into Celadon, a Euro-Asian “galerie culinaire.” Chef Danny Elmaleh, previously of Lemon Moon, produces ahi tuna caprese, crispy scallop and shrimp dumplings; steamed Cantonese halibut with ginger and sizzling sesame oil; and roast duck with grilled Kyoto leeks and mizuna. Open daily for dinner. Celadon, 7910 W. Third St., Los Angeles, 323-658-8028.

Lucy’s 51, named for the year the building was constructed (and the number of available martinis), opened in October in Toluca Lake's former Money Tree space. Chef James Leach prepares dishes like pan-seared ahi on cold soba noodles in peanut sauce; char-grilled Iowa pork chops in apple-flavored Calvados sauce; steak au poivres; pistachio crusted Alaskan halibut, and for dessert, pumpkin cheesecake. The décor is “old school Hollywood meets old school New York.” Open daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Lucy’s 51, 10149 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, 818-763-5200.

Donald and Audrey Coley have opened a San Fernando Valley branch of their Inglewood Jamaican establishment, Coley’s. Expect the same menu as the original, including shrimp patties, jerk chicken, oxtail, escoveitched king fish, curried goat, and for dessert, sweet potato pie. To drink, there are homemade juices like pineapple-ginger and sorrel. Open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Coley’s, 10842 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-761-4944.

Annette Ricchiazzi launched Hollywood Gelato Company in the former home of her grandparents’ Italian deli. Ricchiazzi serves Palazzolo’s Artisan Gelato & Sorbetto, from Michigan. A rotating roster of 24 flavors may include risotto, cappuccino orange peel, mojito or Mexican chocolate chipotle. The space features stainless steel, pale blue walls and a flat screen TV to show Lakers games and old movies. Open Mon.-Thurs. 1 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. until midnight and Sun. noon-10 p.m. Hollywood Gelato Company, 1936 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 323-644-3311.

Restaurateur Tony Jones debuted the long-awaited Royale on December 16 in the former Wilshire Royale Hotel. The swanky two-level restaurant and lounge showcases the eclectic French-influenced cuisine of chef Eric Ernest, formerly of BOA Steakhouse. Dishes include foie gras with candied blood orange, licorice essence and brioche; scallops with potato fondue, and The Original Royale Burger, pairing Angus beef, short rib and black truffle cheese. Open nightly, 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m., with the lounge open until 2 a.m. Royale, 2619 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-388-8488.

The Prime Grill, the West Coast edition of a popular kosher steakhouse in Manhattan, has opened at the Rodeo Collection in Beverly Hills. The menu offers a wide selection of signature steaks, some contemporary American fare and even some Japanese-inspired dishes from executive chef Makoto Kameyama. Everything on the menu is strictly kosher but designed for a broad clientele. The sleek, contemporary design—hardly out of place on chic Rodeo Drive—gives kosher dining whole new image. In New York, the kosher eateries of Prime Grill owner Joey Allaham enjoy a celebrity following. The Prime Grill, 421 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-860-1233.

Legendary television producer Sid Krofft, responsible for “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Land of the Lost” with brother Marty, plans to open a restaurant and nightclub called Eleven during the week ending January 27. The space, formerly the First National Bank of Sherman, will house a grid of 32 interconnected plasma screens, a water fountain with encapsulated flames and a “theatrical glass staircase” to the second floor. Chef Vincent Manna, previously of Maple Drive, Spago and Mélisse, will prepare fusion cuisine. Eleven will be open daily from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Eleven, 8811 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-855-0800.

Genevieve Ostrander has placed her initial inventory order and plans to open a retail location for Delilah Bakery before January ends. Ostrander’s “old fashioned American” baked goods, previously only available by custom order, include homemade pies (with homemade pie crusts) like pecan bourbon and Tollhouse cookie. There will also be a variety of cakes and cupcakes, including chocolate cupcakes with orange Jack Daniel’s frosting. Delilah Bakery, 1665 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, 213-975-9400.


Tengu, named for the Japanese god of mischief, has opened a second location in the old Ivy at the Shore space. The sleek marble and glass-lined restaurant is brighter than the Westwood original and is open for lunch and dinner. Sushi chef Shunji Nakao, previously of Matsuhisa and The Hump, works in tandem with “kitchen chef” Johnny Itliong to execute an Asian fusion menu. Dishes include roasted Jalapeno-miso Chilean sea bass, togarashi-crusted New York strip steak and the subarashi roll—spicy shrimp, seared tuna, avocado, sweet onion and ginger sauce. Desserts are made in-house and are currently limited to green tea ice cream, champagne sorbet and triple-chocolate mousse cake. Tengu, 1541 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-587-2222.

Edoardo Baldi, previously with his father’s restaurant, Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi, has opened E. Baldi with wife Darnell. Expect dishes like mixed fish carpaccio, pizza, Swiss chard lasagnotti, porcini mushroom ravioli, veal scallopine and bread pudding for dessert. E. Baldi, 375 N. Cañon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-248-2633.

Ara Kalfayan, formerly of Mandaloun, has resurfaced with Lebanese restaurant Phoenicia. A large menu features specialties like shredded beef and pine nuts on hummus, pomegranate-glazed chicken liver, an array of kebabs, and lamb shank braised with red wine and sea bass flown in fresh daily from the Mediterranean. There is live music and belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. Open daily, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. and until 2 a.m. on weekends. Phoenicia, 343 N. Central Ave., Glendale, 818-956-7800.

Restaurateur and downtown booster Jason Ha, whose Zip Fusion has pioneered downtown’s burgeoning Arts District, has quietly opened e3rd Steakhouse & Lounge, with a grand opening scheduled for March 1. The venue offers some of Zip’s appetizers, along with a wide selection of steaks and more. Among starters are deep-fried jalapeños stuffed with spicy tuna and cream cheese or Zip’s signature apple-shaped “alba-cado” (seared albacore wrapped in avocado), while entrée options include sizzling sliced rib-eye marinated in Asian pear and honey, a 14-ounce Delmonico, spicy baby-back pork ribs and a kimchee burger. Prices are moderate. e3rd Steakhouse & Lounge, 734 E. Third St., Los Angeles, 213-680-3003.

Stefano Ongaro, formerly of Valentino, Enoteca Drago and Il Grano, opened Italian restaurant All' Angelo on January 20, in the old Mumtaz space. All' Angelo means "to the Angels" in Italian. Chef Mirko Paderno, previously of Valentino and Dolce, will prepare dishes like warm Maine lobster salad with wild fennel, olive-crusted monkfish with caponata sauce and foie gras-stuffed Dover sole filet with Champagne sauce. The modern space will feature dark banquettes and 25 wines by the glass. Open Mon.-Sat., 6 p.m.-11 p.m. All' Angelo, 7166 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-933-9540.

At freshly launched Zen Chi Café, chef Manuel Castro is producing Asian fusion dishes like beef satay with mango-peanut sauce, Chilean sea bass in wasabi-soy vinaigrette and Thai-glazed lamb chops. Open Tues.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Zen Chi Café, 11334 Moorpark St., Studio City, 818-760-3890.

Josh Loeb, previously of Capo, has opened Rustic Canyon, a restaurant and wine bar named for the Santa Monica hillside enclave. Chef Samir Mohajer, formerly at Axe and The Little Door, is preparing a market-driven menu that includes seared scallops with salsify and preserved lemons; wild striped bass “puttanesca” with sautéed rapini and fingerling potatoes; and yams with harissa. For dessert, expect rocky road bread pudding with marshmallow cream and Hachiya persimmon cake with sweet mascarpone. To drink, there are 24 wines by the glass. Open Tues.-Sat. for dinner. Rustic Canyon, 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-393-7050.

Drummer Chris Reece of punk band Social Distortion has opened Pike Restaurant & Bar, named for the Long Beach amusement park that closed in 1979. The eclectic menu includes lobster, mushroom and steak tacos; pastas, sandwiches, burgers and beer-battered fish and chips. There is also live music nightly, ranging from folk to rock and live DJs. Pike Restaurant & Bar, 1836 E. 4th St., Long Beach, 562-437-4453.

Abbot Kinney Boulevard recently welcomed 3 Square Café + Bakery to Venice. Serving Röckenwagner breads and pastries along with chocolates, coffees and teas at the bakery and sandwiches including Bavarian meatloaf and salmon pastrami at the café, this sweet spot is open seven days a week. 3 Square Café + Bakery, 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-399-6504.

X Bar, named for the large steel X that supports the structure, is expected to open in the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza by mid-March 2007. Expect an indoor-outdoor lounge with fire pits and a screening wall. The menu will feature internationally-inspired small plates, including shrimp in Chinese pancakes, ahi wonton stacks, Camembert and pesto fondue and the “Ultimate Grilled Cheese Panini.” Cocktails will incorporate organic and seasonal ingredients like ginger, blood orange and red grapefruit. X Bar will be open Mon.-Thurs. from 4 p.m. to midnight, and until 1 a.m. on Fri.-Sat. X Bar, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, 310-551-3332.

Beverly Hills welcomes Gonpachi, a new Japanese restaurant, on March 31. The venue will be the latest addition to the Global Dining Inc. empire which has 65 restaurants throughout Japan and the United States including La Bohème in West Hollywood.

Chef David Myers of Los Angeles’ Sona and Boule Patisserie will debut his second restaurant, Comme Ça, this spring. The modern brasserie will open in West Hollywood and serve traditional French fare with a spin. Expect to see onion tarte tatin with tapenade and arugula; crispy beef marrow and oxtail jam with toast and fleur de sel; and steak frites and Cassoulet on the menu. Seasonal cocktails will also be a feature. Comme Ça, 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood.

The recently-opened 270-room Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, owned by billionaire David H. Murdock, features fine-dining restaurant Hampton’s. Chef Sandro Gamba, previously at NoMI in Chicago, crafts contemporary California cuisine. Think Santa Barbara spiny lobster meat with sweet corn ragout and tarragon bisque; Colorado lamb medallions with baby carrots, chorizo and a sweet potato cake; beet and chestnut soup with apple cider and cinnamon; and Maine scallops with spinach lasagna. Open daily for breakfast and for dinner Mon.-Sat. Hampton’s, 2 Dole Dr., Westlake Village, 818-575-3000.

Manhattan chef Laurent Tourondel is planning to import his BLT Steak concept to Los Angeles, in the former Le Dome space. BLT Steak, 8720 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.

Mikayel Israyelyan, owner of Republic and Prana Café, is opening Romanov Restaurant + Lounge in Studio City in late February. Mark Murillo, formerly of Saddle Peak Lodge, is the executive chef, with Manuel Medina, formerly of BlackSteel, as executive sous chef. Classical Russian cuisine will include pelmeni trio (Russian dumplings); Ossetrina pod Syrom (baked sturgeon topped with breadcrumbs, savory cream and melted cheese); and whole roast duck stuffed with apples and calvados demi-glace. The space also features a gold-plated chandelier; a large stage which will showcase a grand pianist on weekdays and Russian gypsies on the weekend; and a winter garden. Romanov Restaurant + Lounge, 12229 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-760-3177.

Lasher's American Steakhouse in Downtown Burbank

After ten years of success with Lasher’s in Long Beach, Raymond and Lynn Lasher have opened Lasher’s American Steakhouse in downtown Burbank. Chef James Rico Grey, a CIA graduate and former executive chef at Lincoln Steakhouse, has imported certain dishes from Long Beach, including meatloaf with cranberry glaze and fried green tomatoes topped with Andouille sausage. There are bone-in rib eyes and Porterhouses, plus Dutch Valley veal chops and Grey's creations like grilled squab with blackberry demi-glace. Expect nightly piano music. Open Mon.-Fri. for lunch and nightly for dinner. Lasher’s American Steakhouse, 250 E. Olive Ave., Burbank, 818-843-8800.

Kado Restaurant has opened upstairs at the Farmers Market. Japanese cuisine includes conveyor-belt sushi, teppan-prepared ingredients like Kobe filet mignon, black tiger shrimp and calamari steak, and plated dishes like rib-eye with miso jus, seared Japanese sea scallops with raspberry vinaigrette and shiitake risotto, and a whole grilled lobster with soy-uni butter sauce. Open daily from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., 11 p.m. on weekends. Kado Restaurant, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-933-0055.

Gelato Bar

Gail Silverton has partnered with fiancé Joel Gutman on Gelato Bar, a gelateria with a “piazza” feel. There are 24 daily selections of gelato and sorbetto, custom-made by Allessandro Fontana. Flavors may include spicy chocolate made with habanero, English toffee, cinnamon basil and pomegranate. There’s also a coffee bar, with beans from Coffee Roaster in Sherman Oaks and Intelligentsia in Chicago. Designed to cultivate camaraderie, the café offers newspapers, chess, and even free Italian lessons on Thursdays at 2 p.m. Gelato Bar, 4342 ½ Tujunga Ave., Studio City, 818-487-1717.

The Penthouse has debuted in the former Toppers space on the 18th floor of the Huntley Hotel, with design from Thomas Schoos. Chef Michael Reidt, previously of Sevilla in Santa Barbara, prepares globally-inspired dishes like sugarcane-skewered scallops with chili-braised oxtail and parsnip; citrus-poached shrimp cocktail with spiced horseradish sauce; and for dessert, dolche de leite de carina with crumbled Oreos and caramel-balsamic ice cream. Open daily for lunch and dinner. The Penthouse, 1111 Second St., Santa Monica, 310-393-8080.

Chef Alain Giraud

Alain Giraud, the Provence-born chef who launched Bastide, is partnering on an as-yet-unnamed brasserie with Mike Garrett and Tommy Stoilkovich, owners of Falcon and Pearl Dragon. The restaurant, situated on Santa Monica’s Second Street, should open in late summer and will offer French cuisine utilizing ingredients sourced from the famed Santa Monica Farmers Market.


Chef Shuffle

Chef Kris Morningstar has left Blue Velvet for an opportunity with a still-coalescing restaurant in downtown's L.A. Live complex. Jonathan McDowell, previously with Saddle Peak Lodge, will fill Morningstar's toque at Blue Velvet.

NINETHIRTY at W Los Angeles Westwood hired Firefly Bistro co-owner Monique King as executive chef. Chef King has retooled the restaurant’s menu to feature “modern American cuisine with global influences,” with dishes like seared diver scallops with butternut squash purée, spicy mango chermoula and cinnamon-braised fennel; a smoked pork chop with sage flan, dried figs, grilled chard and whole-grain mustard pan sauce; and grilled wild sturgeon with herbed black lentils, caramelized Brussels sprouts, chanterelle ragoût, pomegranate molasses and chive oil. NINETHIRTY, 930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, 310-443-8211.

Chef Ramon Perez will now take on the role of corporate pastry chef for David Myers’ FoodArt Group. He will divide his time between the kitchens of Sona and Boule, whose pastries are also featured on the dessert menu at Comme Ça. Perez previously led the pastry station at Sona, and before that, at his parents’ restaurant, Citronée, in Nevada City, CA. Meanwhile, chef Kuniko Yagi, who has worked in the kitchen at Sona for four years, has been promoted from sous chef to chef de cuisine. Yagi began her Sona career at the amuse station, where her drive and creativity propelled her through the ranks to the role of sous chef, a position she held for two years.

Chad Minton starts in February as chef de cuisine at jer-ne restaurant + bar, joining executive chef Drew Sayes. Minton previously worked as a chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco and at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco before taking the reigns as chef de cuisine at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.

Chef Don Dickman has left Westwood’s Italian institution, Matteo’s. Sous chef Armando Parada has taken his place as executive chef. Matteo's, 2321 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-475-4521.


Glen Ishii has succeeded Robert Gadsby as executive chef at Noé in the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza. Ishii has served as chef de cuisine at Noe since 2004 and he previously held posts at Café del Rey and Oceans 33 Degrees. Drawing from his Japanese-American background, some of Ishii’s new dishes will include wild Alaskan King salmon with green tea soba salad, ikura and shiso pesto, as well as Yuzu Kosho chicken with sansai rice and sesame dressing. Noé, Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 251 S. Olive St., Los Angeles.

Olivier Rousselle takes over as executive chef at On Sunset, the renovated restaurant at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard. Rouselle, most recently executive chef at Michael’s in Santa Monica, specializes in market-driven California fare with a French twist. His new lunch menu offers items like an ahi tuna melt, black mussels “paysanne,” and roasted organic chicken with potato gnocchi and sautéed haricots vert with tarragon-citrus sauce. Prices range from $7 to $21. At dinner, Rousselle prepares roasted baby beets with honey vinaigrette, ahi tuna tartare with heirloom tomato-yuzu broth, braised short rib risotto in Port glaze with shaved Parmesan and roasted jidori chicken breast with seasonal mushroom ragoût and Maui onion sauce. Dinner entrées range from $17 to $32. On Sunset, Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard, 11461 Sunset Blvd., Brentwood, 310-476-6571.

Carolynn Spence, former chef de cuisine at The Spotted Pig, now runs the kitchen at Bar Marmont. The freshly overhauled menu features appetizers including a pork and sage crepinette with butternut puree and crispy duck leg confit with port and sour cherries. Main courses range from spicy seafood stew with chickpea croutons to sheep’s milk ricotta gnocchi with roasted tomato and wild mushrooms. Open nightly from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Bar Marmont, 8171 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-650-0575.

Josef Centeno, who was in the kitchen at the now-defunct Meson G, will be taking over the reins at the Opus Restaurant (formerly Opus Bar & Grill) in mid-August. He says, “The concept is simple. I want a place where people can come on a regular basis two or three times a week and get good food at a good price point, about $30-40 apiece". Expect refined dishes like sashimi with lardon, braised short rib and horse mackerel, with tasting menus and a separate bar menu available.

Matthew Gladstone, who got high marks for a great burger, among other things, at the Mint, is the new executive chef of the Formosa Café. Gladstone changed the entire menu, which now features Asian-inspired small plates like sesame wasabi fries, tamarind shrimp and crab cakes, hoisin-barbecued Kobe beef burger on onion bread and Asian “paella,” saffron rice with five-spice duck, shrimp and edamame. Formosa Café, 7156 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 323-850-9050.

Gabriel Gabreski, previous of San Francisco’s La Folie and New York’s Daniel, has been named executive chef at Avalon Hotel’s blue on blue. Gabreski highlights seasonal ingredients in New American dishes like sunchoke soup with red wine and spiced sunflower seeds; pan-seared turbot with braised beef, salsify and Meyer lemon; and pork tenderloin with white corn polenta, smoked ham, apple and watercress. blue on blue, 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-277-5221.

Dakota Weiss has replaced Troy Thompson as executive chef of Jer-Né, moving from The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, to The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Menu changes are impending. Thompson will serve as chef at David Burke Las Vegas, likely opening in August at the Venetian. He then plans to open a restaurant in L.A., backed by Burke. Jer-Né, 4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, 310-823-1700.

Mike Bryant has replaced Craig Petrella as chef de cuisine at Norman Van Aken’s “New World” restaurant, Norman’s on Sunset. Bryant has worked with Van Aken since 2000 and most recently held the executive sous chef role at the restaurant. Norman's on Sunset, 8570 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-657-2400.

After a trial run, Don Dickman is out as chef at Piero Salveggio’s Valentino. Dickman previously owned Rocca. Angelo Auriana, who left Valentino to cook at Masque Ristorante, outside Sacramento, has been reinstated as head chef. Valentino, 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-829-4313.

Pete's Cafe & Bar owners Pete McLaughlin and Tom Gilmore hired Nick Shipp as head chef in October. Shipp, previously with Wolfgang Puck’s catering company, has added ahi tuna salad with Thai peanut dressing; grilled pork chops with potato pancakes; and boned beef rib with brown gnocchi. He should have a new dessert and bar menu ready by April. Pete’s Café & Bar, 400 S. Main St., Los Angeles, 213-617-1000.

Ocean & Vine, situated in the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, has promoted Gregg Wangard from chef de cuisine to executive chef. In addition to his duties with the restaurant, Wangard will also oversee the hotel’s other culinary aspects, including banquets, in-room dining, the pool lounge, and Papillon Lounge. Ocean & Vine, 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-576-3180.

Founding chef Rodelio Aglibot has left Yi Cuisine to embark on a three-month around-the-world culinary adventure. He will return to Los Angeles to develop new gastronomic ventures. Aglibot’s replacement has not been named yet, but Yi Cuisine remains open. Yi Cuisine, 7910 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-658-8028.

Jacob Ramos, previously of Patina, has replaced Mark Dao as executive chef at the Wiltern Theatre Building’s Opus Bar & Grill. Ramos’s redesigned menu features chipotle-and-Zinfandel-braised short ribs with porcini mashed potatoes; black bass with oregano-marinated sweet pear tomatoes; a crab cake with kumquat gazpacho; nd foie gras with persimmon chips, purée and cubes. Desserts are now from Luis Perez, also a Patina alum. Opus Bar & Grill, 3760 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-738-1600.

The new chef at Casa del Mar’s Oceanfront restaurant is Michael Reardon, previously of 31 West in Santa Barbara’s Hotel Andalucía. Reardon’s menu should be implemented shortly. Oceanfront, Hotel Casa del Mar, 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, 310-581-7714.

Chef Bill Bracken, most recently serving as the executive assistant manager of food and beverage at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, has been named the executive chef of the newly renamed The Island Hotel Newport Beach (formerly Four Seasons Newport Beach) where he will oversee the Pavilion, The Gardens Lounge and Café, banquet services and 24-hour in-room dining.

With the closure of Erawan (7119 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles), chef Malee Chantra switched over to Tony Boon’s other Thai restaurant, Pink Pepper. Chantra has reinvigorated the long-standing eatery with several signature dishes from her former establishment; including green curry fried rice, Thai herb-crusted salmon and a rib-eye main course known as “crying tiger.” Pink Pepper, 1638 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood, 323-461-2462.

Santa Monica’s hot spot, Cinch, recently announced the arrival of new chef Yuji Iwasa. Most recently of Silverlake’s Café Stella and Marina del Rey’s Café Del Rey, Iwasa has had formal training in classic Japanese and French technique. His menu presentations are now in place, reflecting a significant shift toward more simple, flavorful offerings consistent with the beach community lifestyle. Cinch, 1519 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-4139.

Vibrato Grill & Jazz, the jazz club owned by the Smith Brothers (Parkway Grill) and Herb Alpert, has a new man in the kitchen—Charlie Trotter alum Chris Ennis. His new menu will be in place by September. Vibrato Grill & Jazz, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air, 310-474-9400.

Robert Lia has left Geoffrey’s in Malibu and gone to P6 in Westlake Village. Give him at least a month to tweak the menu at P6, where the owners have decided to get more serious about the food.

O-Bar welcomes its new executive chef: Scott Hawley. His elegant and simple cuisine will help hone the restaurant’s "familiar-with-a-twist" menu. Expect to see a more thorough menu change in the fall, as well as "Sunday Share," a weekly Sunday night Family-Style sharing menu.

David Tarrin, from Roy’s in Atlanta, is the new chef at the venerable Parkway Grill in Pasadena. His menu includes such appetizers as a cocoa crepe stuffed with lobster in a tomato-cream sauce and a warm tiger shrimp cocktail; and main dishes like mustard-grilled short ribs, whole fried catfish, and periscope pasta with chicken, broccolini and burrata cheese. Parkway Grill, 510 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, 626-795-1001.

The Tower Bar at the Argyle Hotel is “still a work in progress” according to maitre d’ Dimitri Dimitrov. A new chef has stepped in to replace Collin Crannell after only a couple of months. Piero Morovich was the chef at Ammo for six years. The new general manager is Michal Gregus. The menu isn’t really set yet and neither is the phone number. So keep checking back; we’ll stay on top of it. The Tower Bar at the Argyle Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-848-6677.

Sean Hardy, sous chef under Bill Bracken for three years, has stepped into the executive chef position at The Peninsula Beverly Hills as Bracken becomes Director of Food & Beverage for the entire hotel.

After sixteen years as executive chef of Bel-Air’s Four Oaks, Peter Roelant has announced his departure. He is currently looking for restaurant spaces in Los Angeles in which to showcase his own brand of modern American bistro food with international influences. “I have lived in different countries and think multiculturally, and this is the way I believe people think about food today.” Born in Belgium and educated in Switzerland, Roelant was a protégé of the great Swiss chef Fredy Girardet. He arrived in Southern California in 1982, first working at L’Orangerie before moving on to Four Oaks.

Conny Andersson

Chef changes often bring new excitement to any menu, and particularly when those changes take place at the dining rooms of top-notch hotel chains that can draw on international talent. We eagerly await the July arrival of Ashley James at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. He’s moving there from his previous post as executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, highly regarded Conny Andersson, who headed the kitchens at the L.A. property, has moved over to take charge of the same responsibilities at sister property The Regent Beverly Wilshire. Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 300 South Doheny Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90048, 310-273-2222, 800-332-3442; The Regent Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-275-5200, 800-421-4354.

Ezio Gamba

Piero Selvaggio’s famed Valentino has a new chef in Ezio Gamba, pictured, who replaces Steve Samson and trained under Luciano Pellegrini at the Las Vegas Valentino at The Venetian for three years. He’s sending out dishes like roasted quail with braised lentils and egg-soaked fried soft-shell crabs. His six-course tasting menu changes daily. Valentino, 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-829-4313.

Chef David Tarrin, who comes from Roy’s in Atlanta, has replaced J. P. Amateau at Parkway Grill. Tarrin wants to update the menu at the venerable restaurant and move away from mashed potatoes. His changes began in early April, but he doesn’t want to shock the longtime customers with too many changes too soon. Some of the new dinner dishes will be mustard-grilled short ribs; seared John Dory with a shrimp pear butter; and a chervil, chive, watercress and Bibb lettuce salad from the restaurant’s herb garden. At lunch there will be an ahi tartar starter on olive toast; a grilled New York steak on ciabatta bread with pan gravy; and a brick-pressed ham and gruyère sandwich. Parkway Grill, 510 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, 626-795-1001.

John Smilanic
, previously executive chef at Ristorante Amore in Denver, has been named pastry chef at Napa Valley Grille. His seasonal desserts may include warm peach cherry crisp with almond streusel topping, key lime pie with graham cracker crust and flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis and mint syrup. Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, 310-824-3322.

The waterfront Café del Rey in Marina del Rey has named Esti Rothstein, who previously worked at Mario Batali’s Babbo, as its new pastry chef. Her new dessert menu includes banana icebox cake with banana fritters; ginger panna cotta with peach carpaccio, sautéed peaches, white wine and fresh vanilla bean; and the Ménage à Chocolat: chocolate truffle cake with frozen Earl Grey mousse; chocolate caramel tart covered with sea salt; and chili chocolate milk. Rothstein replaces departed pastry chef Richard Yoshimura. Café del Rey, 4451 Admiralty Wy., Marina del Rey, 310-823-6395.

Chef Jason Travi has left BottleRock, a wine bar that opened on August 25. Owners Adam Fleishman and Thierry Perez will retain Travi’s small plates menu until they find a new chef. BottleRock, 3847 Main St., Culver City, 310-836-9463.

Don Dickman, formerly of Rocca, is the new chef at long-standing Italian restaurant Matteo’s. Matteo’s, 2321 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-475-4521.

Steven Rojas,
previously chef de cuisine at Patina at the Hollywood Bowl and demi chef with Les Grandes Tables du Monde in Spain, has been named executive chef at Saddle Peak Lodge. Rojas has created a four-course tasting menu which features items such as yellow fin tuna sashimi, chestnut and maple-pecan risotto, duo of boar and Tahitian vanilla panna cotta. His background in cooking over “Quebracho” wood chips (indigenous Argentinean wood) and knowledge of game and other dishes will complement Saddle Peak’s specialties. Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Rd. Calabasas, 818-222-3888.

Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s, opened uWink in the Westfield Promenade at Woodland Hills, projecting the restaurant as the first in a chain. The concept centers around tabletop touch screens, used to order food and drinks and to play games and videos. The eclectic menu includes options like Southern-style popcorn shrimp, a Far East chicken salad, a grilled three-cheese sandwich, build-your-own burgers; pizzas, pastas, and desserts like a fruit cobbler topped with brown sugar crumble. Open daily for lunch and dinner, until at least midnight daily. uWink, 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, 818-992-1100.

Robert Hartstein and developer Bret Mosher opened Blue Velvet, an eco-friendly restaurant, on November 20. The establishment is situated in The Flat, a residential building in a former Holiday Inn, and houses two lounges, a 17-foot granite communal table and a glass fireplace. From chef Kris Morningstar, previously of Patina and Meson G, expect dishes like duck confit with roast pumpkin, corn agnolotti with chanterelle mushrooms, lime brown butter, and hazelnuts; a duo of pork - braised shank and crispy belly with tea soaked prunes, forbidden rice and rapini; and venison loin with crispy banana pudding, red chard, tamarind-glazed chestnuts and bacon jus. Open Mon.-Fri. for lunch and daily for dinner. Blue Velvet, 750 S. Garland St., Los Angeles, 213-239-0061.

Yose, a new restaurant located in the Edgemar Building in Santa Monica, serves nomadic Asian cuisine daily for lunch and dinner. Chef Jaehoon Jung’s menu includes Korean fusion items as well as sushi and steak. Yose, 2435 Main St., Santa Monica, 310-255-0680.

Peter Roelant, previously at L’Orangerie and Four Oaks, is the new chef at Jean-Bernard Torchon’s Wine Bistro. The revised menu features Bouchot mussels with white wine, mustard and saffron; smoked sturgeon with red beet crème fraiche and pommes gaufrettes; crab and shrimp fritters with pineapple ginger chutney, pumpkin ravioli with sage butter and melted arugula; and slow braised beef bourguignon with glazed root vegetables and horseradish whipped potatoes. Chef Roelant will update the dessert menu soon. Wine Bistro, 11915 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-766-6233.

Dakota Weiss
, previously of Jer-ne, is the new chef for The Tower Bar and The Terrace at Sunset Tower Hotel. The new Tower Bar menu, developed with sous chef Janice Alexander (also from Jer-ne) has French and Italian influences. Dishes include a leek pudding with white truffle oil and mushroom ceviche, slow-braised veal cheeks with oxtail and Swiss chard ravioli and turbot en papillote with Champagne. Desserts, now made in-house, include a maple syrup crème brulee and a ginger spice cake with poached Seckel pear and crème fraiche. The Tower Bar, 8358 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323-654-7100.

Ludovic Lefebvre has told that he does not plan on returning to Bastide when the famed West Hollywood French restaurant reopens under a new name. Read more...

Douglas Silberberg, promoted from within after a prior run at Water Grill, is now chef at Michael’s, Michael McCarty’s eponymous restaurant. The current menu features Maine diver scallops with hazelnuts, black Currants and salsify; and slow-poached Maine lobster with stone-ground white corn grits and red wine essence. Michael’s, 1147 Third St., Santa Monica, 310-451-0843.


Drew Sayes, previously chef de cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn and most recently sous chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, is the new chef de cuisine of Jer-Né restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Jer-Né, The Ritz-Carlton, 4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey.



Joseph Gillard, previously of Pinot at the Chronicle and Nick & Stef's, has replaced Anne Conness as executive chef of Napa Valley Grille. His revamped menu includes a Duroc Heritage pork duo with bacon-flecked faro and applesauce; grilled Baja day boat scallops with artichoke hummus; and a grilled cheese and lobster "knuckle" sandwich with sweet pea salad. Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, 310-824-3322.

The Village Idiot, a British-style gastropub, has opened in the old Chianti space. Chef Lindsay Kennedy, previously of San Francisco’s One Market, is cooking dishes like rock shrimp and scallion fritters with Meyer lemon relish and crème fraiche; cornmeal-crusted catfish with black-eyed peas, mustard greens and andouille sausage; fish and chips with malt vinegar dipping sauce; and, for dessert, warm gingerbread cake with pear compote. Open daily, 11:30 a.m. until at least 11 p.m. The Village Idiot, 7383 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-655-3331.

Tokyo Table

Tokyo Table, a casual Japanese restaurant, is the latest addition to La Cienega’s Restaurant Row. The eclectic menu features rock shrimp with wasabi aioli; teriyaki chicken pizza; fried noodle omelet with pork; seared beef tataki sushi with balsamic; and, for dessert, honey toast with toppings like red beans and chocolate. Open daily, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Tokyo Table, 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-657-9500.

Raaga, Harjinder Vij’s Indian restaurant taking its name from the word for melodic modes in Indian classical music, has opened in the former Mother India space in Chatsworth. Chefs Nachattar Toor and Jose Gutierrez are preparing dishes like lamb samosas; chicken, lamb and sea bass tandoori; chicken with green chili, mint and yogurt sauce; and naan stuffed with cashews, pistachios, raisins, and cherries. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Raaga, 10110 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Chatsworth, 818-407-6340.

News Bytes

Spring Has Sprung at Murano
West Hollywood’s Murano Restaurant & Bar announces chef Kristi Ritchey’s new spring menu of Italian fare with French inspirations.
The spring menu features prosciutto di Parma-wrapped phyllo grissini with fig marmalade and balsamic reduction; spring pea agnolotti with brown butter, pea tendrils and shaved ricotta salata; pan-roasted Colorado rack of lamb with ratatouille and mint pesto; and house-made cannoli with sweetened orange ricotta, roasted pistachios and bittersweet chocolate. In addition, every Tuesday, guests can enjoy a selection of creative comfort foods including handmade pastas, panini and pizzas for $12 each. Murano Restaurant & Lounge, 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-246-9118.

Spotlight on Crudo
Crudo Tuesdays
at Il Grano are back! Chef Salvatore Marino has been serving crudo, the Italian-style preparation of raw fish, for 11 years and is now extending the concept by offering a menu composed entirely of fish, meats and vegetables, all served raw. “Sea” specialties include the blue fin tuna and arugula tower with Lampedusa mix while selections from the “Land” range from shaved baby purple artichokes with arugula and lemon olive oil to Japanese Wagyu beef tartare with capers, lemon and quail egg. Dessert offers fruit crudo like dried apricots, apples, peaches and sliced almonds with almond whipped cream. Tasting menus are available for $49 (five courses) $75 (eight courses) and $125 per person (12 courses). Il Grano, 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles, 310-477-7886.

Prix Fixe Menus at Cézanne
Le Merigot a JW Marriott Beach Hotel & Spa’s restaurant Cézanne is offering lunch and dinner prix fixe menus Monday through Thursday for $25 and $35, respectively. Crafted by executive chef Desi Szonntagh, a three-course lunch menu may include tortilla soup or mixed organic greens with goat cheese and white wine shallot vinaigrette for starters, a Cobb Salad or a New York steak sandwich and french fries for main dishes, and the daily dessert special. For dinner, the prix fixe menu could include items like shrimp and wild mushroom spring roll or French onion soup for starters, organic King salmon served with cilantro pesto, egg noodles, and a hoisin glaze or a petit filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes and a green peppercorn sauce, and a chocolate mocha torte for dessert. Cézanne, Le Merigot, a JW Marriott Beach Hotel & Spa, 1740 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-395-9700.

Jaan Unveils Table JAAN
On May 1, Jaan restaurant at Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills introduces Table JAAN, an outdoor living room on the newly-redesigned garden patio that can be reserved for an exclusive custom five-course meal. Selections include sea bass baked in clay in a wood-burning oven and finished with tomato, garlic, basil and cold-pressed olive oil; and haricot vert and poached lobster salad dressed with truffle oil vinaigrette. The space features couch seating, a fireplace, backgammon and a library of books devoted to Los Angeles history. The cost of the dinner is $150 per person or $215 with wine pairings. Jaan, 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 310-278-3344.

“You Call It” at Whist
Chef Warren Schwartz has debuted a new lunch menu at Whist, which includes a section titled “You Call It,” where each item can be prepared as a salad or sandwich. Expect options like roasted chicken with Gruyère, pesto and roasted tomatoes (pita); market vegetables with couscous, yogurt, parsley, feta and tomatoes (lavash); and avocado with crab, frisée and Meyer lemon aïoli (multi-grain). Sandwiches come with a choice of side, including pommes frites, fingerling potato salad or seasonal soup. Whist, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-260-7500.

Anniversary Deals at Locanda del Lago
To commemorate their 17th Anniversary on the Third Street Promenade, Locanda del Lago is offering a different special every day in April 2008, courtesy of a complimentary “Anniversary Card.” For example, on April 30, receive 50% off lunch or dinner (food only). To receive an “Anniversary Card,” e-mail with ANNIVERSARY CARD in the subject line. After receiving the card, bring the corresponding tab into the restaurant to qualify for the day’s deal. Locanda del Lago, 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, 310-451-3525.

More than Peanuts & Cracker Jack
As part of the first phase of a $60 million renovation, several new dining options debuted on March 31, opening day, at Dodger Stadium. Canter’s delicatessen is offering pastrami and corned beef sandwiches and matzo ball soup from a stand along the third base line. Other new additions on the field level include Camacho’s Cantina, Ruby’s Diner and Mrs. Beasley’s. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Los Angeles.

More Space for Stella
Café Stella
owner Gareth Kantner expects to debut an expansion by the end of May. The extra space will allow for a raw bar, house-made charcuterie and a climate-controlled, glass-fronted wine room with fingerprint recognition access. Café Stella, 3932 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-666-0265.

Citrus at Social Offers Catering Service
Citrus at Social has launched its own off-site catering service, Citrus Catering, which will offer a half-dozen dining options featuring the California-French cuisine of Michel Richard. For receptions, clients can choose among such tray-passed hors d’oeuvres as gougères (cheese puffs) and onion tart with smoked salmon and crème fraiche. Menu items for seated dinners can include 72-hour short ribs with pomme puree; halibut with orange, lime and lemon grass essence; and lobster fennel with tomato, fava bean and licorice jus. Seated-dinner clients can also choose from desserts like cheesecake with dulce de leche sauce. Buffet style dinners are also available. For more information, contact Melissa Darpino, special events director, at 323-337-9770.

“Recession Concessions” at Table 8
With the economy slowing down, Table 8 Chef Govind Armstrong has introduced “Recession Concessions,” a three-course tasting menu for $38, with an optional wine pairing for $18 more. Options include Kobe beef carpaccio with celery root salad, treviso and truffle aïoli; olive oil-poached sea trout with shaved artichoke salad and caramelized onion mash; and vanilla panna cotta with honeyed blueberries. Visitors to the lounge have their own specially priced “Inflation Libation” menu, featuring a choice of any wine or beer with two lounge menu items. Table 8, 7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-782-8258.

LA MILL Expands Hours
LA MILL COFFEE BOUTIQUE  has added dinner service, with a menu from Providence chef Michael Cimarusti. Dishes included chai-spiced Grimaud Farms Muscovy duck breast with cous cous, vadouvan and black olive-rosemary honey; crisp-skinned New Zealand char with twice cooked potatoes, brown beech mushrooms and soy; and hanger steak with watercress velouté, sauce vin rouge and pomme frites. The restaurant's hours have expanded to Sun.-Thurs. from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. LA Mill Coffee, 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-663-4441.

Hooray for Bollywood
On the last Friday of every month, Tanzore Restaurant & Lounge hosts Bollywood dance lessons, with instruction from the Blue 13 Dancers. The event also includes Indian tapas like green herb chicken tikka and naan chips with hummus, plus access to a DJ afterparty. The dance lessons cost $20 per person and last from 8 p.m.-9 p.m. Tanzore Restaurant, 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-652-3894.

Pasadena Student Wins 'Almost Famous Chef Competition'
Her glazed beef short ribs, stir-fried miso spinach and chestnut steamed rice won Kristianne Pak, a student at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, the sixth annual San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition held Sunday, March 9, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. Kristianne’s cooking won over the audience as well as the judges, who included chefs Harold Dieterle of Perilla, Christophe Leu of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Matthew Levin of Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia, Joseph Keller of Bistro Zinc, Nash Cognetti of Tra Vigne, and Allyson Thurber of The Lobster, as well as’s Editorial Director Jeff Hoyt. Her prizes include $16,000 and a one-year contract working with a noted executive chef.

La Provence to Offer Intelligentsia Coffee
When the second location of La Provence Patisserie & Café opens in Brentwood in April, it will be the only place on the Westside for caffeine connoisseurs to get their fill of Intelligentsia Coffee. (Look for the original LA outlet in Silverlake at Sunset Junction.) The Intelligentsia coffees and teas will be available to complement La Provence’s pastries, Parisian macaroons, cakes and cupcakes, which owner Farshid Hakim learned to make while working in Paris. La Provence Patisserie & Café, 11677 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; La Provence Patisserie & Café, 8950 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-888-8833.

Celestino Introduces Wild Game Menu
Calogero Drago has introduced a seasonal game menu at Celestino in Pasadena. Appetizers include Tortellini in Brodo di Fagiano (tortellini in pheasant broth) and Spezzatino di Cervo con Polenta Brasato al Vino (braised venison in wine sauce). For a main course, guests can choose from Costoletta di Cervo con Salsa di Porto e Ciliege (rack of venison in Port sauce with cherries), Struzzo con Erbette Aromatiche e Grappa (ostrich with aromatic herbs and grappa reduction), or Salsicce di Coniglio al Cavolfiore (sausage of rabbit with cauliflower). A fig tart for dessert rounds out the meal. The four-course tasting menu costs $68 per person, plus tax and gratuity. A la carte is also available. For reservations, call 626-795-4006. Celestino, 141 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena.

“Kick the Blues” at blue on blue
blue on blue at the Avalon Hotel is offering a new “kick the blues” poolside happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Diners are invited to sample tapas-style specials available for $6 each or three items for $15, as well as a selection of $8 drink specials. Executive chef Scott Garrett’s happy hour menu includes Asian beef bowls with sesame dressing and noodles; tuna and mango crudo with cilantro cream, wontons and ginger syrup; mushroom risotto arancini with mascarpone, black trumpets and panko; and turkey albondigas with jalapeño and avocado. blue on blue, Avalon Hotel, 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-277-5221.

Easter Treats at Boule
Boule has created a selection of new sweet treats to celebrate the Easter season, including a chocolate egg trio: a hollow dark chocolate egg with loose candied fruit and nut charms inside, a hollow milk chocolate egg with loose white chocolate sunny side up egg charm inside, and a hollow white chocolate egg with loose mini lemon marshmallow chick and white chocolate sunny side up charms inside. Meyer lemon truffle pops with white chocolate ganache and a hint of honey coated in yellow crystal sugar are also new for this year. Yearly favorites of a trio of Easter marshmallows (a lemon chiffon chick, a passion fruit bunny and a vanilla bunny head) and the large dark chocolate bunny and small milk chocolate bunny are available as well.
Boule, 420 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-289-9977.

Chocolate Eggs from Jin Patisserie
To celebrate Easter, Jin Patisserie is offering one-of-a-kind chocolate eggs filled with truffles. Pastry chef Kristy Choo’s eggs feature decorations like chocolate flowers, geometric shapes, and spray-on coloring. The handmade creations come in 27 flavors, ranging from exotic fruits to liqueur and tea flavors. Small eggs are approximately six inches tall and cost $38, while large eggs are approximately eight inches tall and cost $48. For more information, visit Jin Patisserie, 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-399-8801.

Meal Deal at Wilhelm's Savannah
On February 18, David Wilhelm replaced French 75 with Wilhelm’s Savannah in the Westfield Century City Mall and Burbank’s Warner Records Building, and he is already offering three meal deals. For $15, the Savannah Combo Lunch combines half a pesto chicken sandwich or sliders (biscuits with fried chicken, bacon and gravy) with the soup of the day, Mama’s Gumbo or French onion soup. For $18, there’s a choice of six Low Country Favorites–Southern specialties like buttermilk-fried chicken, spiced rockfish and iron skillet-roasted trout–served with a cup of soup or Mama’s Gumbo and a wedge or Caesar salad. For $16, Ted’s “Economic Stimulus Package” features a 10-ounce flatiron steak with herb better or spicy Creole shrimp sauce and a choice of potato or green beans. Wilhelm's Savannah, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-788-0700; Wilhelm's Savannah, 3400 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, 818-955-5100.

Hotel Bel Air’s Restaurant Honored
The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air has been selected to become a member of the Relais & Châteaux Gourmand organization. The restaurant joins Patina as the only two restaurants in Los Angeles to receive this honor. For more information about Relais & Châteaux, please visit The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air, Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, 310-472-1211.

Tasting Menu at Valentino’s Vin Bar
As Valentino celebrates its 35th anniversary, owner Piero Selvaggio presents Valentino at 35, a nightly tasting menu of three courses to be experienced in the Valentino vin bar for $35. In collaboration with chef de cuisine Giacomo Pettinari and vin bar chef Taku Tabuchi, Selvaggio will offer a weekly changing menu of primi sized plates of appetizer, pasta and main course, including Italian sashimi, colatura di alici, organic greens and tomato; house made ravioli with tripe and pecorino; and braised beef short ribs with red wine reduction. Also available is a chef’s choice of dessert for a supplement of $5. Another anniversary feature will be a weekly wine pick, Vin 35 by Piero, specially priced at $35. Reservations for vin bar are not required and seating is on a first come basis. For more information or reservations, call 310-829-4313. Valentino, 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

Oink It Up
The Oinkster, Andre Guerrero’s “slow fast food” restaurant in Eagle Rock, has debuted a happy hour menu, available weekdays from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Specials include $1 fries, $2 chili fries and a burger with fries for $3.99. Pints of Kirin, Guinness and Grolsch cost $2-$3 and pitchers of Widmer, Fat Tire and Stella Artois run $10. The Oinkster, 2005 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-255-6465.

David Myers Launches FoodArt Events
David Myers, chef/owner of Sona and Comme Ça, has teamed up with chef/party planner Jerry Baker to launch FoodArt Events. This Southern California-based high-end catering company will offer fully-customizable events for as many as 3,500 people or as few as four. The vast menu offers appetizers and entrées like Moroccan-spiced seared duck breast with sour cherry coulis and Israeli cous cous, as well as many of Myers’ signature dishes from Sona and Comme Ça, such as cold poached halibut with ginger syrup. Other extras available for events include on-site cheese and wine sommeliers, mobile frites carts, dessert displays from Boule, and sushi courtesy of Sushi Nozawa. FoodArt Events also endeavors to be eco-conscious by using biodegradable products and bio-diesel cars whenever possible. For more information, call 310-289-3556.

Unwind with “Cork and Rind”
Blue Velvet is offering "Cork and Rind" Wednesdays every week from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The complimentary wines, cheeses and sausages change each week and are designed as a gateway to the full experience at the seasonal downtown restaurant. Featured cheeses have included Epoisse, Normandie, Petit Basque and Pecorino. Blue Velvet, 750 S. Garland Ave., Los Angeles, 213-239-0061.

Tiara Café Debuts Dinner
Fred Eric debuted dinner at Tiara Café on January 11 in the Fashion District. The Winter 2008 menu includes Bunny Bits–crispy buttermilk-drenched rabbit with chestnut flour-dusted fried green tomatoes and Creole aïoli; La Quercia prosciutto salad with fresh burrata, Manicardi balsamic vinegar and gold beets; and wood oven-roasted pheasant breast with corn, bell pepper, black forbidden rice, wild mustard greens and golden pheasant consommé. There’s also a five course Chef’s Tasting Menu for $38. Dinner is available Fri.-Sun. from 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. and will expand to Wed.-Thurs. after Valentine’s Day. Tiara Café, 127 E. 9th St., Los Angeles, 213-623-3663.

Fresh Menu at Fraîche
Executive chef Jason Travi has introduced a new menu at Fraîche, showcasing market-driven selections like Hachiya persimmon with speck, little gem lettuce and aged balsamic vinegar; stuffed pig’s trotter with Italian lentils and aged sherry vinegar; and sautéed skate wing with celery root purée, celery leaf-herb salad and Meyer lemon brown butter. Pastry chef Miho Travi is keeping pace with La Galette des Rois, aka “King’s cake”–a traditional French cake eaten on the evening of the Epiphany, available only through the end of January–and the Mont-Blanc, sweetened Japanese sweet potato purée piled high with Chantilly cream, meringue and vanilla ice cream. Seasonal cocktails are highlighted by the Pomegranate Winter Martini with California Pomegranate in a “Leblon vanilla concoction;” and The Grape, with Imperia Vodka, grapes and elderflower essence. Fraîche, 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-839-6800.

Larchmont Grill's Appetite Stimulus Package
To celebrate the end of the WGA strike, Larchmont Grill owner Mark Donofrio is offering an "appetite stimulus package" through February 21, 2008. Customers just have to show their an entertainment industry union or business card to receive a 10% discount on their bill. Larchmont Grill, 5750 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-464-4277.

Tacos and Cocktails at Cantina
On November 30, 2007, the Little Tokyo branch of Señor Fish introduced the adjacent Señor Fish Cantina. After 4 p.m., expect $3 well drinks and imported beers and $2 domestic beers. As long as you’re drinking, you’re entitled to $1 tacos–smaller versions of the tacos you can get next door–filled with carne asada, potato, chicken, carnitas or fried fish. Senor Fish Cantina, 416 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, 213-617-2535.

Sweets for Your Sweetie
Susan Sarich is offering Valentine’s Day baked good and candies at both branches of SusieCakes. Selections include a heart-shaped red velvet cake, cherry pies and chocolate cream pies with heart cut-outs, and “Conversation Hearts” –heart-shaped sugar cookies with pastel frosting and conversational sayings like “QT PIE” and “SWEET THING.” If you’re feeling especially ambitious, order the Love Shack–a gingerbread house decorated in red and white candies and chocolates with a personalized inscription. Chocolate covered long-stem strawberries will be available exclusively on Valentine’s Day. SusieCakes, 11708 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-442-2253; and 23653 Calabasas Road, Calabasas, 818-591-2223.

Costly Cocktail at Nic’s
Cocktail connoisseurs can now enjoy the Kauffman Martini, arguably the most expensive martini in Los Angeles, at Nic’s Restaurant & Martini Lounge. Restaurateur Larry Nicola has created this $150 martini with Kauffman, a Russian vodka that is distilled 14 times and produced only in the years when the wheat crop satisfies quality demands. The drink is served in a specially designed mouth-blown glass which can be kept as a souvenir. Artist Michael Weems created the glasses, which are patterned after 17th-century Italian tapestries and are individually etched and carved by hand. Nic’s Restaurant & Martini Lounge, 453 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-550-5707.

Adieu to French 75
David Wilhelm is converting the Los Angeles locations of French 75 (in Burbank and Century City) into branches of Wilhelm’s Savannah by February. The restaurants will be patterned after his original Savannah Steak & Chop House in Laguna Niguel and will offer a variety of grilled chops, ribs, and seafood, as well as signature dishes like Zinfandel braised short ribs, pecan and applewood smoked Prime rib, and Southern honey-buttermilk fried chicken. The décor will include new accents to reflect the Americana theme and create a more relaxed ambiance.

Paperfish Opens for Dinner
Joachim Splichal’s new restaurant, Paperfish, is now open for dinner. Look for dishes like oysters on the half shell with pomegranate-ginger granita; miso-marinated black cod with rice cake, fried quail egg, avocado and yuzu-miso aioli; and Kobe flat-iron steak “Mongolian style” with sautéed tot soi, shiitake mushrooms and onion rings. Open for lunch Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner Mon.-Wed. 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Paperfish, 345 N. Maple Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-858-6030.

Asia de Cuba Offers Tasting Menu
Diners at Mondrian’s Asia de Cuba can now enjoy a sampling of everything on the Asian-Latin fusion menu by indulging in the restaurant’s first Tasting Menu. Tempura shrimp with black bean and jalapeno aioli kicks off the menu, followed by lemongrass chicken skewers marinated in a sweet and spicy coconut Thai chili sauce and served with grilled pineapple and lychee. Other featured items may include miso cured Alaskan butterfish, char sui beef short ribs, and avocado plantain fried rice. The Asia de Cuba tasting menu is offered Sunday through Wednesday and costs $65 per person, $95 with wine pairings. Asia de Cuba, Mondrian, 8440 Sunset Blvd.,West Hollywood, 323-848-6000.

Champagne and Caviar Dreams
Even though New Year’s Eve has come and gone, Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills invites guests to continue to celebrate in style with its new Caviar and Champagne Bar. The Caviar and Champagne menu features two types of Petrossian Caviar served with traditional garnish of crème fraîche, chives, eggs and blinis. For elegant pairings, ten Champagnes and sparkling wines are offered by the glass, including Don Pérignon 1999 Epernay. The Champagne and Caviar menu is available daily from 4 p.m. In addition to an extensive cocktail and wine-by-the-glass menu, The Writers Bar now offers late night dining from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 310-278-3344.

New Menu at Cube
Beginning January 2nd, 2008, Cube will offer new, seasonally-driven and Italian-inspired café menus for both lunch and dinner service as well as a dessert menu by new pastry chef Jun Tan. The more sophisticated menus replace Cube’s current combination lunch/dinner menu and are inspired by Italy’s 20 different regions. Featured regions will change roughly once per month, rotating throughout the year based on the season. Winter regions will include Umbria and Piedmont, while spring and summer may feature Calabria and Campania. Among new dinner items are handmade chestnut ravioli with mascarpone and sage sauce, specialty pizzas and wild halibut served with truffled risotto. Cube, 615 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-939-1148.

Fritzie’s Holiday Specials
Silver Lake Italian restaurant Fritzie’s is offering holiday specials throughout the month of December. Dishes include lobster ravioli with brandy-tomato cream sauce; grilled Canadian salmon marinated in tarragon, parsley and chives; and filet mignon with a Port wine and mushroom reduction with Parmesan potatoes. For dessert, there are limoncello flutes–lemon gelato swirled with limoncello liqueur–and blueberry panna cotta with raspberry coulis. Fritzie’s, 2630 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, 323-664-7979.

Scoop Up a Cake
Scoops, Tai Kim’s East Hollywood experimental ice cream parlor, is accepting pre-orders on holiday ice cream cakes through December 19. Choose from pumpkin cheesecake, ginger with gingersnaps or vegan spiced soynog & rum, all incorporating brandy-soaked sponge cake. The cost is $25 per cake. Scoops, 712 N. Heliotrope Dr., Los Angeles, 323-906-2649.

CUT Comes to Vegas
Wolfgang Puck will be opening a Las Vegas outpost of CUT, his Beverly Hills steakhouse, in late January. The restaurant will be located in The Palazzo, the 50-floor tower under construction next to The Venetian. Design firm Avery Brooks & Associates will craft the space, which will include large, bronzed glass doors, a basket woven felt wall, bronze mirrors, honed limestone and custom-walnut flooring. Adjacent to the restaurant’s main dining room will be an upscale bar and lounge serving custom cocktails and a smaller menu featuring CUT’s popular appetizers such as the mini Kobe beef sliders. CUT, The Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casino, 3339 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas.

Red Pearl Kitchen Serves Up Peking Duck
Red Pearl Kitchen's new menu features chef Tyson Ophaso's Peking Duck, which is made in-house and served Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The centuries-old dish is prepared over three days by a process that includes glazing, drying and slow-roasting. The duck is then carved and served along with the requisite accoutrements: pancakes, scallions, hoison sauce and cucumber sauce. Red Pearl Kitchen's $36 Peking Duck is served family-style and feeds up to four people. Red Pearl Kitchen, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-525-1415.

Night and Day
Fraîche has introduced new dining options for both power lunchers and night owls. The Culver City spot is now open for lunch on weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and the staff has promised quick service for those watching the clock. Meanwhile, the lounge features a DJ every Thursday and Saturday night from 10 p.m.-1 a.m., spinning contemporary music and a European mix of 80’s and 90’s. The bar menu is available until midnight, while cocktails like the Master Blaster (made with essence of Elder Flower, Grey Goose vodka, Red Bull and Champagne soup) are served until 1 a.m. Fraîche, 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-839-6800.

Holiday Omakase at Hokusai
Every evening in December, Hokusai is offering a special holiday omakase menu. Chef Charlie Nagase will prepare dishes like bluefin tuna sashimi with house-made wasabi; crispy prawns wrapped in potato threads with creamy curry-caper sauce; smoked duck with baked leeks and shallot-caper reduction over soba noodles; and for dessert, a kabocha squash tarte. The menu costs $75-$100 per person, depending on each customer’s selections. Hokusai, 8400 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 323-782-9717.

No More Puttin’ on The Ritz
Hong Kong-based Great Eagle Holdings has purchased The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa and plan to rename it the Langham Huntington Hotel, effective January 8, 2008. A proposed $25 million renovation to the property will result in a revamping of the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, The Dining Room. The hotel group hopes to retain chef Craig Strong, one of So Cal’s finest, although nothing is finalized yet.

CrepeVine’s New Menu
Due to a recent fire, The CrepeVine Bistro & Wine Bar has modified its menu to work around the kitchen’s hood system. Gone are favorite appetizers like the garlic fries and Gruyere fondue, as well as most of the savory crêpes. Instead, guests will find a selection of French grilled sandwiches and flatbread pizzas such as duck confit with garlic cream, wild mushrooms, shallots, Boursin and truffle oil. The dessert menu still features a number of sweet crêpes. The CrepeVine Bistro & Wine Bar, 36 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-796-7250.

Celebrate 2008 with Whist Brunch
To help celebrate the start of the New Year, Whist is offering its Sunday Brunch spread for $20.08 (normally priced at $55). Throughout the month of January 2008, guests can indulge in menu items such as Alaskan King crab legs, or crispy duck with black-eyed pea and chorizo hash, as well as a selection of croissants, scones, chocolate covered strawberries and more. For an additional $20.08, diners can also drink unlimited Champagne, Mimosas or Bloody Mary’s. Sunday brunch is held from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. For reservations, please call 310-260-7511. Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica.

Campanile Feeds Hungry Writers
With the Writers Guild of America on strike, Mark Peel has started a “writers’ soup kitchen” at Campanile. Every Wednesday, a prix fixe three-course lunch costs $18 and includes a choice of two soups and four entrées, followed by two scoops of ice cream. Expect entrées like braised beef with sauerkraut and sautéed polenta with sheep’s milk cheese and glazed cauliflower. At least one party member should present a WGA membership card for the table to qualify. Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-938-1447.

Mini Bar at Luna Park
Luna Park owner A.J. Gilbert has introduced the Luna Park Mini Bar. For $13.50, you’ll receive a flight of three miniature cocktails: a Mini Mint Julep, a Bitty Raspberry Margarita and a Tini Ice Breaker, the last drink featuring three frozen grapes and Vin de Glacier ice wine. Available nightly. Luna Park, 672 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-934-2110.

Encounter Returns
Iconic LAX restaurant Encounter reopened on November 12 after engineers took eight months to fortify loose stucco panels, one of which fell from the structure in March. The space has also been refurnished with new chairs and lava lamps. Encounter, 209 World Way, Los Angeles, 310-215-5151.

Haute Sandwiches at InterContinental
Chef Vincent Cachot has introduced a new haute sandwich menu at InterContinental Los Angeles Century City. Bread is flown daily from Poilane Bakery in Paris and filled with premium ingredients. Expect options like the Australian Wagyu Philly Cheesesteak with Wagyu beef, aged Comte Gruyère cheese, sautéed Vidalia onion and tri-colored peppers served with red wine-pickled Chanterelles with mustard seeds; the Western Australian Spiny Lobster sandwich incorporating tempura lobster tail, Boston butter lettuce and Urbani white truffle mayonnaise with Waldorf salad; and the $99 Duck Proscuitto & White Truffle sandwich served with celeriac remoulade, candied walnuts and baby greens. The sandwiches cost $25-$99 and are available in Park Grill from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and in the Park Grill Lounge from 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, 310-284-6500.

Happy Birthday, Ruby’s
The nostalgic Ruby’s Diner chain of all-American eateries is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and every restaurant is offering Ruby’s 25th Anniversary Birthday Cake Shake, a marriage of Ruby’s deluxe vanilla shake and white cake batter blended together for a “Shooby Dooby” taste treat. Chocolate lovers can order their own version of the celebratory shake, too. Ruby’s began on the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach in 1981 and was named after co-founder Doug Cavanaugh’s mother, Ruby. There are now more than 40 Ruby’s Diners in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Ruby’s can be visited online at

You Can Still Pig Out
Even after chef Don Dickman’s departure from Matteo’s, new executive chef Armando Parada will continue with Tuesday’s PIG NITE. Parada roasts a whole pig every week and dispenses portions with apple mostarda, salsa verde, pan juices and farmers market vegetables for $22 per person. Matteo's, 2321 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-475-4521.

Luxxe Lunch
Caffe Luxxe now offers two varieties of sandwiches daily: Jamon Serrano with basil pesto and roasted vegetables with Laura Chenel Chevre and sweet red pepper aioli. Caffe Luxxe, 925 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 310-394-2222.

Holiday Pies at Delilah Bakery
Genevieve Ostrander’s Delilah Bakery is offering Thanksgiving pies, but supplies are limited, so if you want a pecan Bourbon pie, pumpkin Bourbon pie, Tollhouse cookie pie, whiskey bread pudding, cherry cobbler or apple brown Betty, call now to reserve. Delilah Bakery, 1665 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, 213-975-9400.

Bistro Burgers at blue on blue
blue on blue at the Avalon Beverly Hills hotel rolls out a new menu of Bistro Burgers every Monday night. Chef Gabriel Gabreski explains, “I wanted to add a new dimension to the burger experience here in Los Angeles by incorporating fresh, seasonal ingredients and unique combinations that you can’t find anywhere else.” Options include the Avalon (applewood-smoked bacon, aged cheddar, crispy onions, bread and butter pickles, house BBQ sauce); the Olympic (tempura onion rings, Maytag bleu cheese, heirloom tomato, arugula, garlic aïoli); and Catalina (shaved sweet soy-glazed ahi tuna burger with yuzu wasabi aïoli and sunomono cucumbers). blue on blue, Avalon Beverly Hills, 9400 West Olympic Blvd., 310-407-7791.

The Palm Dresses Up Menu
The Palm has established a fundraising alliance with Dress for Success Worldwide that will feature the launch of a new menu of “Dressed” for Success lunch entrée salads created by Palm chefs. Additionally, The Palm will introduce nine “Women in Wine” selections, presented by influential women in the wine industry.  The new menu will be available at all Palm Restaurant locations through the end of October. Dress for Success is an organization that empowers women by giving them the tools they need to be successful in their professional and personal lives. The Palm will donate 10% of all proceeds from these new menu items to Dress for Success Worldwide. Among the featured dishes are tequila shrimp salad, Steak House chopped salad, grilled Mediterranean chicken salad, and raspberry tempura lobster salad. The Palm, 1100 S. Flower St., Downtown, 213-763-4600; 9001 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-550-8811.

SIMON L.A.’s Rockin’ Brunch
SIMON L.A. now offers a Sunday “Rock-n-Roll” brunch for Angelenos looking to end the weekend with some fun. Guests can enjoy chef Kerry Simon’s fare in the dining room, or outside on the private patio, along with classic rock music by DJ Kelly Cole. The menu includes dishes like “Toad in the Hole,” toasted brioche with sunny-side up eggs and apple wood smoked bacon; buttermilk biscuits and gravy; lobster Benedict; and stuffed French toast with lemon mascarpone and seasonal fruit. There will also be “Rock-n-Roll”-inspired specials served up weekly, like peanut butter and banana French toast fingers–an homage to Elvis. Brunch is served every Sunday from 11 a.m.-4p.m. SIMON L.A., Sofitel Los Angeles, 8555 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-358-3979.

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza's Bread Pudding

Give Thanks for Bread Pudding
The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza has been making their famous Bread Pudding with Vanilla Brandy Sauce for nearly 40 years, and it will be available this holiday season from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Diners at Breeze restaurant can savor this special dessert that’s been served everywhere from a Reagan family dinner to a campaign party for Al Gore, as well as other A-list functions. Also, locals interested in purchasing large portions for holiday parties and events can pre-order trays of made-to-order bread pudding by calling Edsel D’Souza at 310-551-3334 at least 72 hours in advance. Breeze, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, 2025 Ave. of the Stars, Century City.

Snack at Saks
From 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on Thursdays, SnAKS Cafe, the fifth-floor café and wine bar in Saks Fifth Avenue, is offering 5 @ 5, where five specialty snacks and five specialty cocktails are available for $5 each. The menu includes bite-size fried mozzarella with Roma tomato tapenade, a duo of grilled shrimp with cilantro pesto, a Royal Flush with red wine, grape juice and sparkling soda, and a Fifth Avenue Mimosa with Champagne and tangerine juice. SnAKS Cafe, 9600 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-887-5389.

Smoke-Free Outdoor Dining
Concerned about the effects of second-hand smoke, the city of Beverly Hills instituted a smoking ban at outdoor dining venues on October 1, 2007. In deference to the regular flood of tourists, the city agreed to reserve a quarter of poolside hotel patios for dining smokers. The ordinance is punishable with a $100 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second offense within the same year, and $500 for each additional offense within the year.

Game Time at Mélisse
From the beginning of October through mid-December, Chef Josiah Citrin will offer a Fall Game Menu at Mélisse, featuring rare Scottish imports like partridge and foie gras dodine with apple, celery, chestnuts and Sauternes sauce; wild hare with red torpedo onions and caramelized endives sauce; wood pigeon with red wine salsify “soubise” and creamed cabbage sauce diable; and roasted grouse with wild mushrooms, foie gras parfait, creamed spinach and burnt bread sauce. Mélisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-0881.

Come On, Get Happy
Chef Danny Elmaleh has introduced several new dishes at Celadon, including halibut rollatini with grilled eggplant terrine, pesto and olive tapenade; grilled Prime ribeye with porcini carpaccio and shaved Parmesan; and a spicy hamachi hot stone bibimbop with ooba, quail egg and soy broth. On Friday nights, the restaurant features Orange County’s DJ Daniel and hosts an extended happy hour, which now runs from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Celadon, 7910 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-658-8028.

Long Beach Lunch
Suzanne Tracht has added lunch at her new Long Beach restaurant, Tracht's. Chef de cuisine Randy Montoya is preparing signature Tracht dishes like crab devilled eggs; open-faced pot roast on rye with horseradish crème fraiche; a lobster club with crab aïoli; and black mussels with water spinach, Béarnaise sauce and French fries. Lunch is offered daily from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tracht’s, 111 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, 562-437-5900.

Solace for Chicago Sports Fans
Boulevard Lounge chef-owner Michael Bourseau is paying tribute to his home city of Chicago by instituting the Cubby Club. A $6 membership fee entitles Chicago sports fans to a membership card with the name and number of their all-time favorite player. Any time members watch Bears, Bulls or Cubs games at the lounge, they’ll get half-price on beer, Chicago dogs and “burger twins”a beef frank or two burgers topped with mustard, relish, tomatoes, chopped onion, pickle, hot pepper and celery salt. Boulevard Lounge, 1114 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-654-6686.

Valentino Debuts V-vin Bar
Beginning October 15, owner Piero Selvaggio will debut his new V-vin bar at Valentino, specializing in flights of older vintages and rarely seen labels from American and international wineries. There will be a regularly changing menu of wine flights and a menu of small bites selected for pairing. A sampling includes Italian anchovies with roasted peppers and Mozzarella; fried calamaretti and baby fish in a cone with aioli; and housemade ravioli with tripe and Pecorino. The bar’s design has also been updated and the interior uses many sustainable materials, combining textures of travertine flooring, walls of finished recycled clay and accents of Mozambique and ebony woods. V-vin bar will offer a 20% discount for full bottles ordered at the bar until November 15. For more information, call 310-829-4313. Valentino, 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

Round-the-Clock Grub at The Roosevelt
Tim and Liza Goodell have gone 24/7 at their Hollywood Roosevelt restaurant, 25 Degrees. A breakfast menu runs from 6 a.m.-10:30 a.m. daily and features a range of pancake, waffle and egg dishes. At all other times, the usual burger-driven menu is available. 25 Degrees, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-785-7244.

Aburi Sushi at Kabuki
This fall, Kabuki Japanese Restaurants’ corporate executive chef Masa Kurihara introduces aburi sushi at all Southern California Kabuki locations. Aburi sushi is prepared in the nigiri sushi style (raw fish served atop rice), except the fish is cut thicker, served in a larger portion and partly grilled, partly raw. Before searing each piece of aburi sushi at Kabuki, the fish is seasoned with Kurihara’s original sweet sake-soy sauce recipe. “Searing sushi is a technique that adds a unique texture to nigiri sushi,” the chef says, “and I wanted to bring it to our menu at Kabuki this fall since it is something that is not often found in mainstream Japanese restaurants here in Southern California.” Kabuki, 3539 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, 626-351-8963.

Ludovic Lefebvre

Lefebvre Has Landed
Ludovic Lefebvre, former executive chef at L'Orangerie and Bastide, has teamed up with Breadbar to create a unique three-month dining experience. Through December, Ludo is taking over the kitchen three nights a week serving a special menu called "Ludo Bites." The menu is elaborate, yet simple and accessible based on a core 47 dishes (priced from $4-$15) that change daily based on the top ingredients available. In addition to the "Ludo Bites" menu, Lefebvre presents one updated international dish each week, such as "Thai Pot-au-Feu" (duck leg with citrus, endive and ginger). Breadbar, 8718 W. Third St., West Hollywood, 310-205-0124.


Flights of Fancy
Owner David Haskell and chef Michael Bryant now offer two specials at BIN 8945. “Barside at Bin” gets you a varietal flight (e.g., all Chardonnay, all Cabernet, etc.) paired with three appetizers for $35. Presundown's five-course prix fixe menu is $45, with wine pairings for an extra $25. Barside at Bin runs Sun.-Tues. from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. and Presundown is available Sun. and Wed. from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. BIN 8945, 8945 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-550-8945.

Early & Late Nights at Abode
Kelly Gleason and Anastasia Israel have launched “Seven ‘til Seven” at Abode Restaurant & Lounge. Weeknights from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., expect a menu of $7 herb cocktails, wine and appetizers like fried oysters with spicy aïoli or flat iron steak served on crispy rice crostini. The duo will simultaneously launch a “Lounge & Late Supper Menu,” featuring executive chef Dominique Crenn’s dishes in the lounge from 10 p.m.-midnight. The latter option features a Maine lobster spring roll with passion fruit and wasabi “drizzles” and Wagyu beef tartare with mustard “frost,” quail egg, horseradish foam and cocoa nibs. Abode Restaurant & Lounge, 1541 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-394-3463.

Napa Picnics Year-Round
With Napa Valley Grille offering its convenient “Napa Picnics To Go,” there is no need to let the picnic season end just because summer is winding down. Executive chef Joseph Gillard introduces his three unique, made-to-order picnic-style meals, packaged ready-to-eat and available daily for pick-up at the restaurant. The picnic meals are offered year-round and include seasonal menu items complete with utensils and even wine, a corkscrew and plastic glasses upon request. The restaurant recommends giving 24 hours’ notice when requesting your picnic to-go. Prices range from $27 to $37 per person. The “Napa Picnics To Go” menus can be found online at and can be ordered by calling the restaurant directly. Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave., Westwood, 310-824-3322.

The Next Iron Chef?
This October, eight top chefs from around the country will compete to join the ranks of Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto in the Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, a new reality show that will award one chef with the coveted culinary title: Iron Chef. The series kicks-off on Sunday, October 7th at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Among the contestants battling for the honor will be local chef Jill Davie of Josie. The winner will be revealed during the series’ finale on Sunday, November 11th, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will begin their reign as Iron Chef with the premiere of the new season of Iron Chef America on Sunday, November 18.

B&B at The Ritz
Free breakfast at the Ritz? Through December 28, 2007, The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena offers its “Bed & Breakfast” special. For $360, you’ll get a deluxe room for one night and an American breakfast for two. They’ll even cover the valet parking. The Terrace breakfast menu is available at the restaurant or deliverable to your room. Options include Norwegian smoked salmon Benedict, Southwestern corned beef hash with spicy Hollandaise and cinnamon brioche French toast with Grand Marnier-citrus syrup. (The limit is $42 per couple, excluding tipthe cost of the American breakfast. Beyond that, you’ll owe the difference.) The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, 626-568-3900.

End of Summer Getaway
The Graciela Burbank, the studio-adjacent boutique hotel developed by the man behind The Peninsula Beverly Hills, is now offering a “Weekend Getaway.” From Fri.-Sun. for $289, the package includes a Deluxe King Room, two drink vouchers for the hotel’s Library Lounge and breakfast for two, available in-room or in the Garden Room. Breakfast options include omelets with house potatoes, cheese blintzes topped with fresh berries and a “Power Breakfast” of egg-white frittata with veggies and Feta cheese. The Graciela Burbank, 322 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, 818-842-8887.

Making Sweet Music
Gelato Bar, Gail Silverton’s Studio City gelateria, will park a cart at downtown’s Pershing Square Concert Series through the end of September. There will be eight flavors of gelato per event, priced at $3-$4 per serving. The cart will appear at the “Summer Lunchtime Concert Series,” Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m.-3 p.m., and at “Wednesday Night Swing” from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Pershing Square, between 5th St. & 6th St., across from the Millenium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles.

Have A Peachy Picnic
Through Labor Day, The Peach Café is offering “Summer Box Dinners” to bring to concerts, picnics and other events. Options include the Summer Dinner Boxcornbread baked with ham, cheddar and scallions, sliced turkey and ham, and fresh fruit; spinach quiche with toasted pine nuts and golden raisins, served with a salad or fruit; and the Café Gazpacho Peasant Lunch, served with cornbread and cheese. The regular menu is also fair game. Call to reserve a dinner. The Peach Café, 141 East Colorado Blvd., Monrovia, 626-599-9092.

Lefebvre and Sutton Unite
We have found Ludovic Lefebvre (formerly of Bastide)! He has partnered with Michael Sutton of The Lodge Steakhouse and Memphis. The pair is looking for a space so that Lefebvre can exercise his culinary talent in the city of Angels. Hopefully, it will happen soon.

Morning Meltdown
MeltDown etc., Ryan Afromsky's grilled cheese-focused restaurant, is now open for breakfast. "Breakfast melts" include the 3-Cheese Scramble with cheddar, Muenster and Fontina on sourdough; the Cleo with dill-chive cream cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and caramelized onions on rye; and a Healthy Scramble with herbed goat cheese, egg whites and spinach on wheat. Breakfast is available Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. MeltDown etc., 9739 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-838-6358.

$3.60 Martinis at Bar 360
On weeknights from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Bar 360 at the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive now offers martinis for the astonishingly low price of $3.60, in honor of the bar’s address on Rodeo Dr. Executive chef RaShon Smith has created a small plates menu to complement the cocktails, including lobster rolls, lamb lollipops and fried green tomatoes with fresh burrata. Bar 360, 360 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-273-0300.

Sweet Spot
Previously only available online and in select specialty stores, Valerie Confections has opened their own showroom in the Silver Lake area. In addition to their signature toffees, they will be expanding their line of sweets to include truffles, tea cakes and petit fours. The company also plans to begin offering private dessert catering. Valerie Confections, 3360 W. First St., Los Angeles, 888-706-1408,

Late Nights at La Cachette
Keeping up with the bustling nightlife developing in Century City, La Cachette has begun taking dinner reservations as late as 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. La Cachette, 10506 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-470-4992.

Josie’s BBQ
Through the end of
August, chef-owner Josie LeBalch is offering Tuesday night barbecue at her eponymous restaurant, Josie. Depending on what strikes Josie’s fancy, there could be grilled kangaroo ribs, soft-shell crabs, apricot-glazed pork ribs, Copper River salmon or a clambake for two with shellfish, sausage, corn and potatoes. Josie, 2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-581-9888.

Tastes of Tuesday at Whist
Every Tuesday night through Labor Day, Whist chef Warren Schwartz offers “Tastes of Tuesday” poolside. Expect a different menu each week, but small plates might include grilled elk tenderloin with foie gras cherry butter and crushed potatoes; bacon-wrapped scallops with grapefruit aioli and shaved fennel; gazpacho with shrimp curry; for dessert, green tea panna cotta and honeydew gelée; and to drink, a Key lime margarita. These evenings run from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m., and each item costs just $5. Whist, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-260-7511.

Ciudad After Dark
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger now feature “Ciudad After Dark” at their downtown pan-Latin restaurant, Ciudad.  Offerings include Peruvian mahi mahi ceviche, marinated with lime, ginger, and aji amarillo chile; Argentine gaucho steak stuffed with jalapeño and roasted garlic, served with chimichurri sauce and bacon mashed potatoes; and for dessert, coconut lime cake with fresh lime curd. A $4 drink menu features margaritas, mojitos, sangria, wine and beer. “Ciudad After Dark” is available Wed.-Thurs. from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 9 p.m.-midnight. Ciudad, 445 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 213-486-5171.

Kabuki’s Summer Menu
The chain of Kabuki Japanese restaurants debuts its annual “Summer Selects” menu featuring seven contemporary cuisine combinations in addition to the regular menu. The restaurant has also introduced tsukidashi at the sushi bar, the Japanese equivalent to an amuse bouche. The “Summer Selects” menu includes dishes such as New Zealand mussels with sliced apples, radish and watercress; yellowtail tartare with wasabi tobiko and ginger-coriander sauce; curry shrimp with grilled onions and zucchini on wakame rice; and Lake Michigan white fish with asparagus, garlic chips and yuzu sauce. Kabuki now has nine locations in Southern California. Kabuki, 3539 East Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena, 626-351-8963.

Tuesday Treats at Wilshire

Danielle Keene, "pastry chef and soda jerk" at Wilshire Restaurant, has launched a Tuesday night "Ice Cream Shoppe." Her offerings change weekly, but possible items include frozen strawberry cheesecake with spiced graham cracker crust, filled with cream cheese ice cream and topped with fresh strawberries; a four-cone sampler with milk chocolate chai ice cream, plum sorbet, coffee ice cream and honeycomb ice cream; and candied ginger shortcake with roasted peaches and honey lavender ice cream. Each week will showcase a different milkshake and scoop. Available Tuesday nights from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Wilshire Restaurant, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-586-1707.

New Tasting Menus at Noé
Noé at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza is unveiling two new dinner tasting menus this summer. The first menu, “Past, Present, Future,” is a meal designed for sharing and is available until July 14. Each course is divided into three parts: “past” highlights chef Glen Ishii’s classical training and familiar high-end staples; “present” is a cutting-edge interpretation of the ingredient; and “future” is Ishii’s prediction of the direction haute cuisine will take. For example, the meat course features beef en croute with Cabrales cheese (past), beef carpaccio with pears (present), and duck lollipop with cherries (future). For dessert, bananas Foster is served with crème brûlée and a chocolate corn dog. The second menu, “The Art of Breakfast,” is a gourmet take on the most important meal of the day and will be available from July 15-August 14. Foie gras and banana pancakes are followed by filet with summer truffle eggs and kielbasa home fries, with strawberry and cream filled doughnuts for dessert. The four-course menus are priced at $55 or $65 with beverage pairing. Noé, Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 251 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, 213-356-4100.

Dinner and Stogies at Republic
Join fellow cigar lovers at Executive Smoke Out, the new weekly event at Republic. Every Wednesday this summer, diners will be treated to a five-course meal, as well as a post-dinner selection of cigars for the evening. Menu items will include fresh shrimp and oysters, lobster corn dogs with creole honey mustard sauce, and Colorado rack of lamb with garlic confit. The first seating is at 7 p.m. and the $120 price includes tax and tip. For reservations, call 310-360-7070. Republic, 650 N. La Cienega, Los Angeles.

“Dago” at Dominick’s
At West Hollywood’s Dominick’s, co-owners Warner Ebbink and Brandon Boudet have collaborated with the Central Coast’s Palmina Winery to create a custom-blended white wine labled “Dago White.” The term “dago,” once considered an insult, is more appropriately used as an iconic cultural reference to describe the distinctive blended wines made by early Italian immigrants in which they combined overstock grapes from local vineyards to create their own wines to offer to friends and neighbors. Gary Baseman, a local artist and Dominick’s regular, contributed the image for the wine’s label by sketching a whimsical interpretation of the mythical “jackalope” presiding over the bar at Dominick’s. The wine was unveiled on June 17 at one of Dominick’s weekly “Sunday Suppers,” three-course family-style meals served for $15 per person. Dominick’s, 8715 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-652-2335.

Summer Sundays at Spitfire
This summer, Spitfire Grill is hosting Outdoor BBQ Sundays on their patio from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. House-made sangria and smoothies will be on the menu, as well as barbecue fare like ground beef and turkey burgers, ribs, chicken and corn. Enjoy live entertainment or take in the sights and sounds of Airport Park across the street. Spitfire Grill, 3300 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, 310-397-3455.

Neverending Sushi
Kado Restaurant, located upstairs at the Farmers Market, is now offering their “Great Sushi Never Ends” special, featuring unlimited access to the revolving sushi bar. The conveyor belt carries over 50 selections. The prix fixe special is available daily from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. for $20 per person. Kado Restaurant, 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-933-0055.

Summers @ Table 8
As the summer season kicks off, Table 8’s chef Govind Armstrong is launching a new special night for his customers. This summer, Tuesdays @ Table 8 features a five-course tasting menu from the chef for just $50, as well as a 50 percent discount on the restaurant’s entire wine list. In addition, Armstrong has also created a “L8 at Table 8” menu, available every night this summer after 10 p.m., featuring recipes from his cookbook. Many of the items are priced around $8, while some of the entrées (e.g. flat-iron steak) are in the teens. Refreshing summer cocktails, such as the newly added watermelon-jalapeño mojito and the restaurant’s signature “Basil 8,” are offered in the lounge, recently given a makeover by hot designer Thomas Schoos, where great summer music will be playing. Table 8, 7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-782-8258.

Summertime Tapas by the Pool
Through Labor Day, the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, is offering poolside tapas courtesy of chef Conny Andersson. Expect options like marinated baby octopus in lemon vinaigrette, a “tortilla” potato omelet with caramelized onions and shrimp “pil pil” in spicy paprika lime jus. There will also be pitchers of sangria and a live guitarist. The tapas menu is available Thurs.-Sat. from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-385-2089.

New Spring Menu Has Sprung
Executive chef Douglas Dodd and chef de cuisine Bruno Lopez have created a new spring menu at The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air. Cal-Med offerings include a “petite salad gourmande” with Canadian foie gras terrine, New Zealand langoustine and diver scallop; Maine lobster ravioli with a fava bean and sugar pea fricassee and caviar cream; and a sautéed Mediterranean dourade with Nicoise olive relish. The Restaurant at The Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, 310-472-5234.

Cézanne Unveils New Menus
Executive chef Dezi Szonntagh has launched a new menu at Cézanne in Le Merigot a JW Marriott Beach Hotel & Spa, Santa Monica. Stripped of trans fats, the Provençal, Mediterranean and Asian-influenced dishes now include black truffle macaroni and cheese with lobster and Alaskan ling cod with white beans, tomato tapenade and pesto. A new “Nos Viandes et Pommes de Terre” menu features meat and potato dishes like the grilled Kurobuta pork chop with whole-grain mustard sauce and the rack of lamb with garlic thyme jus, served with either potatoes Dauphinoise or roasted garlic smashed potatoes. There’s also a “Fit For You” menu offering spicy tuna tartare and miso-roasted Chilean sea bass with asparagus and ginger soy dressing. Cézanne, 1740 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-395-9700.

Picnic Baskets from La Cachette
La Cachette is offering take-out picnic baskets with five different menus, ranging in price from $28-48. A sample basket features Belgian endive and Roquefort salad with truffle oil, grilled rare tuna with wasabi emulsion served with asparagus and spinach, and an apricot tart with caramel sauce. All baskets include La Cachette’s homemade cookies, as well as utensils and napkins. Orders should be placed at least one day in advance by calling 310-470-4992.

Simon L.A.

Rockin' Brunch at Simon L.A.
There's a new brunch at Simon L.A. at Sofitel Los Angeles on Sundays—rock n' roll style, of course—from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. DJ Kelly Cole spins old-school rock, while guests help themselves to a Bloody Mary bar. Weekly specials include cheese steak sliders, PB&J French toast, and the “Iron Chef” burger. Simon L.A., Sofitel Los Angeles, 8555 Beverly Blvd., 310-278-5444.

Brunch at Tiara
Fred Eric is now offering weekend brunch at Tiara Café, his restaurant in downtown L.A.’s Fashion District. Expect breakfast sandwiches on brioche or sourdough; a goat cheese pizette; artichoke heart salad with chicken, feta and pine nut emulsion; or the Royal Treatment, including pancakes or waffles, eggs any style, choice of breakfast meat, hash browns and toasted brioche with orange marmalade. For an extra $5, mimosas are available. Brunch runs Sat.-Sun. from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tiara Café, 127 E. 9th St., Los Angeles, 213-623-3663.

Bluesy Brunch at Firefly Bistro
Beginning June 3, Sunday brunch at Firefly Bistro will feature blues music from Big B Brenner from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Chef-owners Monique King and husband Paul Rosenbluh are currently offering seasonal brunch items like Dungeness crab, roasted corn and black bean chile rellenos; an orange-chipotle shrimp frittata with ancho crema; and shrimp and grits with tasso ham and crimini mushrooms. Sunday brunch is available from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Firefly Bistro, 1009 El Centro St., South Pasadena, 626-441-2443.

Late Nights at Napa Valley Grille
Napa Valley Grille chef Joseph Gillard now offers a late night bar menu. Expect dishes like a clam and artisan salami pizette, Snake River Farms Kobe beef cheeseburger with sugar-cured bacon and smoked mozzarella, three cheese macaroni and cheese and a fresh-baked brownie for two with chicory ice cream. The late night menu is available Mon.-Fri. from 10 p.m.-midnight in the bar and lounge. Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, 310-824-3322.

“Ford’s Play” Happy Hour
On June 8, Ford's Filling Station is launching "Ford's Play," a happy hour-meets-afternoon bite. The concept is sort of an after-school snack for grown-ups, complete with cocktails. Snacks include ceviche, steak tartare with truffled potato chips, baked oysters or oysters on the half-shell, duck taquitos, smoky deviled eggs and Kobe sliders. "Ford's Play" will be available from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The restaurant also begins offering lunch on Saturdays, starting June 2.

Dine Close to Home
Chef Neal Fraser now offers a five-course “Close to Home” menu at Grace, with 90% of the organic ingredients sourced within 400 miles of the restaurant. Depending on what’s in season, expect dishes like sautéed Moro sand dabs with spring vegetables and corn veloutte, or Royal Sterling caviar on chive blini with crème fraîche. Pastry chef Mariah Swan’s contribution may include a mixed berry hazelnut tart with brown butter and orange blossom honey. The “Close to Home” menu is available Tues.-Thurs. and costs $70 per person. Grace, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-934-4400.

On the Road
The Third Street eatery G. Garvin’s is long closed, but the name lives on on television.  “G. Garvin: The Road Tour,” hosted by chef Gerry Garvin, begins airing May 20 on TV One. This new half-hour series has Garvin on the road exploring new food trends in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Downtown Daily Grill Opens for Breakfast
The Downtown Daily Grill has opened for breakfast during the week, meeting a robust demand from local business people. A hearty assortment of French toast, pancake and egg dishes are included on the menu, as well as lox and bagels, omelets, huevos rancheros and items for the health-conscious, too. Daily Grill, 612 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, 213-622-4500.

Napa-Inspired Picnic Boxes
Utilizing chef Joseph Gillard’s signature dishes, Napa Valley Grille has introduced three different picnic boxes for summer, each named for a Northern California wine-producing region. “The Napa” combines a sweet pea and wild arugula salad with shaved fennel and Meyer lemon, a lobster salad sandwich and artisanal American cheeses. “The Sonoma” features sweet corn and morel salad, roasted Prime sirloin with garlic crostini and fingerling potato salad, and summer berry shortcake. “The Carneros” incorporates a chopped salad with romaine, radicchio, Billy blue cheese and tart apple; a platter with Toscano salami, prosciutto, burrata, marinated olives, pickled vegetables and eggplant tapenade; and house-baked cookies. The boxed meals require 24 hours notice and cost $27-$37. The restaurant can also provide a bottle of wine from their cellar for an added fee, with disposable glassware. Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, 310-824-3322.

Square Dinner
Hans Rockenwagner’s 3 Square Café + Bakery is now serving dinner Tues.-Sat. from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. First courses include an onion tart with grapes and blue cheese, shrimp grilled cheese sandwiches, and white asparagus salad with home-cured salmon pastrami. The second course is highlighted by crab soufflé with mango-crab salad and lobster butter sauce, schnitzel with lingonberries, and three mini burgers—salmon on brioche, beef on a pretzel roll and mushroom on brioche. 3 Square Café + Bakery, 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-399-6504.

Eat Well Beverly

Eat Well All Day
Since May 1, Alfredo Diaz has begun offering dinner at his fashionable coffee shop, Eat Well Beverly. Diaz and Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas chef Michelle Francis have created a menu that includes coffee- and pepper-crusted skirt steak with leek and portobello grits; sautéed salmon with sweet corn, green cabbage and mustard vinaigrette; and a quartet of burgers: vegetable, turkey, crab and angus (beef). Eat Well Beverly, 7385 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-938-1300.

Picnics Made Easy
This Hollywood Bowl season, Cube will offer “Boxes for the Bowl,” picnic boxes filled with an assortment of starters, small bites and desserts. Prices vary according to selection and quantity, but expect foods like hand-sliced charcuterie, panini, seasonal salads, olives, and house-made olive oil apple cake. Pre-ordering boxes a week in advance is recommended, and in-store pickup is available the day of an event. Cube, 615 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-939-1148.

The Water's Fine
On April 16, Blue Velvet opened its poolside lounge, featuring impressive city views, a wood deck and a fire pit. Chef Kris Morningstar’s lounge menu includes mini Monte Cristo sandwiches with chicken confit, speck and Gruyère; Indian-spiced lamb skewers with ginger and tomato yogurt sauce; and crab beignets. Expect herb-infused spring cocktails like the Burnt Fennel with sugar-muddled grilled fennel and Pernod; and the Fuji-Ricky, made with Absolut Pear and muddled Fuji apples and pears. The poolside lounge is open Mon.-Fri. from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Blue Velvet, 750 Garland Ave., Los Angeles, 213-239-0061.

Now Serving Lunch
Three-month-old Melrose Italian restaurant All' Angelo has added weekday lunch. Chef Mirko Paderno is preparing dishes like calamari stuffed with shrimp and eggplant in tomato stew; homemade chitarra spaghetti with langoustine in white wine sauce; venison loin with wild mushroom ragout and gnocchetti; and roasted monkfish crusted with tomato and olives, served on a caponata bed. Open for lunch Mon.-Fri. from noon-2:30 p.m. All’ Angelo, 7166 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-933-9540.

“Mom’s Great Cake Contest” at SusieCakes
In honor of Mother’s Day, SusieCakes is hosting their first “Mom’s Great Cake Contest.”  To enter, bring a favorite cake recipe to the Brentwood bakery by May 5.  Throughout the following week, customers will vote on the cake they’d like to see featured as the cake-of-the-month, which will be available for purchase through the end of May. To sweeten the deal, the bakery is also offering a $200 gift certificate for the winner, who will be announced on May 11. SusieCakes, San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-442-2253,

Eat Love Live
Wolfgang Puck celebrated the 25th anniversary of his flagship Spago restaurant
the original Sunset Strip location opened in 1982—by announcing a new program for all his food outlets that will feature organic, cruelty-free and sustainable ingredients. “Eat Love Live” is Puck’s motto, and he’s applying the “Love” portion even to the creatures that end up on his plates. Or, as a new motto puts it, he is “Committed to raising the bar on treating farm animals well.” That means free-range veal, cage-free eggs and a total ban on foie gras (unless a supplier who does not force-feed the birds can be found). As Puck, who developed the plan with help from the Humane Society of the United States, serves ten million meals annually through his many restaurants and a line of supermarket foods, his new course will have a massive ripple effect throughout the United States and no doubt beyond. Assuming the move is successful—and many customers have told Puck they will frequent his restaurants even more often after his announcement—others in the restaurant industry will no doubt be forced to follow his daring lead.

Pastry Chef Brooke Mosley Joins Whist

Pastry chef Brooke Mosley has joined the team at Whist, the restaurant at Viceroy Santa Monica, where she will collaborate with executive chef Warren Schwartz. Mosley developed her skills under A.J. Voytko at Chive in San Diego and Elizabeth Belkind at Los Angeles’ Grace before making the move to Santa Monica. Mosley describes her style as “playful and creative, but balanced in flavor and texture.” And their position on the menu dictates their importance: “Desserts are the last thing you eat, so they need to be memorable." Desserts currently offered include hazelnut cream ravioli with vanilla-scented apples, cider caramel, candied hazelnuts and apple butter ice cream; flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream, chocolate candy brittle and chocolate sauce; and Guinness cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream ice cream, whiskey sauce and caramelized sugar. Whist, Viceroy Hotel, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-260-7511.

Hot Breakfast
The original Zeke’s Smokehouse is now serving country breakfast from 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Expect Papa Pete’s French toast with bourbon-pecan glaze, biscuits with sausage gravy, Mama Felicia’s huevos rancheros, and sides like pepper jack cheese grits, hot links and apple cider doughnut holes. Zeke’s Smokehouse, 2209 Honolulu Ave., Montrose, 818-957-7045.

Lucky Devils

Lucky’s Brunch
Lucky Vanous now offers weekend brunch at his stylish Hollywood restaurant, Lucky Devils. Dishes include Belgian beer-buttermilk pancakes, maple-sage turkey sausage, Prime steak and eggs and house-made jalapeño cornbread. Brunch is available Sat.-Sun. from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Lucky Devils, 6613 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-8259.

Tamale Traditions

Beginning April 30, the Salisbury family will begin serving green corn tamales at their El Cholo restaurants. The tamales will appear on the menu through October. The tradition dates to the early 20th Century, when Rosa and Alejandro Borquez, who founded El Cholo in 1923, first made their green corn tamales. El Cholo, 1121 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, 323-734-2773; El Cholo, 1025 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-899-1106; El Cholo, 840 E. Whittier Blvd., La Habra, 562-691-4618; and El Cholo, 5465 Alton Pwy., Irvine, 949-451-0044.

Box Lunches offered at MINX
At MINX Restaurant & Lounge, Glendale’s hot new restaurant/club, chef Joseph Antonishek creates intriguing “Lunch Boxes, served daily, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Each box is accompanied by a daily salad and dessert inspiration. Options include salmon with ginger-hoisin barbecue glaze, baby bok choy and steamed sushi rice ($12); chicken roulade stuffed with wild mushrooms with arugula, mashed potatoes and spinach ($12); a sushi box containing half a daily sushi roll, sashimi with ponzu sauce, California hand roll and seaweed salad ($17); and filet mignon crusted in cocoa nibs and hazelnuts with manchego-mashed potatoes and sherry sauce ($16). MINX Restaurant & Lounge, 300 Harvey Dr., Glendale, 818-242-9191.

Begin Your Day With Blair's
Blair’s Restaurant in Silver Lake now serves breakfast and lunch daily, beginning at 7 a.m. Expect dishes like blueberry pancakes with mascarpone, eggs any style with kale, fontina, and/or bacon and an assortment of sticky buns, scones and pastries. Blair’s Restaurant, 2903 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake, 323-660-1882.

Wine and Dine
A “Wednesday Wine Tasting” is now available in the Enoteca Drago bar area after 5 p.m. For $25, plus tax and tip, the tasting includes complimentary appetizers like thin crust pizzas, bruschetta, salumi and imported cheeses. A different vineyard is featured each week. Enoteca Drago, 410 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-786-8236.

famous extravagant bouquet

Farewell, L'Orangerie
After an almost thirty-year love affair with the City of Angels, Gérard and Virgine Ferry have decided to enjoy their California life even more by stepping down from L’Orangerie. Their American dream started on February 3, 1978, when they opened what became a bastion of French “haute cuisine” in the southland, after building it stone by stone on a vacant parking lot. At the time, the airy and open architecture was a first. Only eight different chefs (some still in Los Angeles) have cooked behind the stoves of the prestigious kitchen. Ronald and Nancy Reagan have been regulars as well as international movie stars who always knew that they could dine in total privacy and never be bothered by paparazzi. We will not forget the latest chef, Christophe Bellanca, and his team for the beautiful meals they imagined and prepared. We are sad to announce that the key will be handed over on January 1, 2007, to the Nobu group, which will relocate Matsuhisa restaurant, situated a few blocks down on La Cienega Blvd., to the spot. Of course, expect a totally new restaurant.

Specials at "K"
Inventive chef Laurent Quenioux has introduced his summer menu at Bistro K. New offerings include Atlantic monkfish osso buco with cherry tomato clafoutis and a homemade curry Kaffir leaf nage; sautéed veal sweetbreads and veal kidneys in an anise, tarragon and wild mushroom “nage,” with chickpea “sopes”; and roasted squab, sunchokes, parsnips and foie gras raviolis served with a vanilla scented “jus” and tonka bean dust. Bistro K, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, 626-799-5052.

Lunch at Providence—Fridays Only
Chef Michael Cimarusti has suspended lunch service at Providence on Wednesdays and Thursdays until September. Lunch is still available on Fridays. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-460-4170.

More Wine on Vine
K&L Wines, the Bay Area and online fine wine retailer, will add a Hollywood store to its repertoire come November at 1400 Vine St.—just in time for Thanksgiving. At 8,700 square feet, it will be K&L's largest. Selections range from Bordeaux's top growths to cult bottlings from California and direct buys from Europe and Australia. Tastings will be offered on a weekly basis. For more information, call 323-464-WINE (9463) or visit

BOA Brunch
BOA Steakhouse now offers Sunday brunch at its Santa Monica location from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dishes include sticky buns with mascarpone spread, a Kobe beef corn dog, rib eye and eggs and grilled halibut with chorizo hash. BOA Steakhouse, 101 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-899-4466.

Firefly Adds Wine Bar
Surrounded as it is by grapevines, Firefly Bistro’s new wine bar seems like an appropriate addition. The bar will feature the restaurant’s existing wine list of primarily boutique wines as well as a variety of Soju cocktails. A new bar menu with small plates such as fried kalamata olives, caramelized onion dip with house-made potato chips and spiced paprika Marcona almonds as well as select items from the restaurant’s Thursday night tapas menu are also be available. Firefly Bistro, 1009 El Centro St., South Pasadena, 626-441-2443.

Doug Arango’s New Menu
Executive chef Christopher Bennett has rolled out a new menu for lunch and dinner. Lunch choices include the soft shell crab sandwich, BBQ ribs and a crispy Caesar salad. For dinner, there’s dill cured wild salmon, lamb tartar and a Berkshire pork chop. Monday is still Burger Night. Doug Arango’s, 8826, Melrose Ave.

Divine Providence
Providence pastry chef Adrian Vasquez is now offering a seasonal five-course tasting menu, priced at $30 per person. Expect desserts like carrot with coconut gelée and passion fruit curd, strawberries with ras el hanout (Moroccan spice) ice cream and raspberries with chocolate cremeaux and raspberry foam. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-460-4170.

When in Roma
Ago Sciandri, owner of Ago and Sor Tino, has assumed control of Caffe Roma. Piero Topputo, previously of Toscana, is now chef, and his reworked menu includes risotto with artichokes and speck, bombolotti with sausage and spinach and beef braised with Barolo wine. Expect live music at night from Thursday-Saturday. Caffe Roma, 350 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-274-7834.

Summer Scoop
Tai Kim, who attended Western Culinary Institute and CalArts, runs Scoops near LA City College, offering a rotating palate of house-made gelato and sorbet that reflects his artistic background. Mr. Kim’s latest seasonal flavors include kiwi banana; vanilla, nutmeg and amaretto; orange mamey; and vegan saffron mango. There’s even a dry-erase board on which guests can suggest flavors. Open noon-9 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Scoops, 712 N. Heliotrope Dr., Los Angeles, 323-906-2649.

Anything But Basic Burgers
Every Sunday is “Burger Night” at the Tower Bar from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Executive chef Piero Morovich is preparing five burgers: duck with free-range egg; sirloin with Dijon crème fraîche; tuna with wasabi aioli; monkfish and scampi with lobster aioli; and turkey with Dijon crème fraîche. Each comes with a choice of white Cheddar or Brie, plus fries or onion rings. There is also macaroni and cheese; a foot-long kosher hot dog; and a hot fudge sundae. the Tower Bar, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-654-7100.

Tapas at Sunset
Aïoli Restaurant & Tapas Bar is offering a Sunset Menu, three courses for $18.95, between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The meal includes soup, salad and dessert, plus a different entrée each night. Expect salmon with caper butter sauce on Mondays; shrimp and beef brochette on Tuesdays; and seafood stew over couscous on Fridays. Aioli Restaurant & Tapas Bar, 1261 Cabrillo Ave., Torrance, 310-320-9200.

End of the Week BBQ
Until Labor Day, Clementine is hosting “Summer BBQ Fridays,” from 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Expect “Sheboygan-style” bratwurst, barbecue brisket and barbecue chicken; a Frito boat topped with meaty chili and Cheddar; corn-on-the-cob; and Clementine Creamery shakes in flavors like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate-banana. Clementine, 1751 Ensley Ave., Los Angeles, 310-552-1080.

Asian Fusion Brunch
Chaya Brasserie is now offering weekend brunch from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Executive chef Shigefumi Tachibe has included macrobiotic cranberry walnut French toast; Chaya chopped salad with popcorn shrimp; grilled Cajun mahi mahi with jambalaya pilaf; and four fruit-fueled lemonades, including guava. Chaya Brasserie, 8471 Alden Dr., Los Angeles, 310-859-8833.

Olives Aplenty
La Maschera Ristorante chef Adnen Marouani has added a new olive bar, featuring selections from Europe and northern Africa; extra-virgin olive oils in two-ounce pours; and cheese plates. The fresh enoteca menu includes crab cakes with arugula and lime; pizzette with smoked salmon and goat cheese; and assorted bruschetta. As before, the restaurant offers 150 wines. La Maschera Ristorante, 82 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 626-304-0004.

Invitation to Groove
The Lounge at Delfina gets groovy on Friday nights with live DJs and a selection of small plates by chef Stephen Johnston. Munch on the chicken quesadilla or the tapas platter while sipping Kortini cocktails. 6 p.m.-11 p.m. poolside. For a schedule of DJs and more information, call 310-399-9344. The Lounge, Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica, 530 W. Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

Saddle Up for Saturday Brunch
Starting May 20, Saddle Peak Lodge is offering Saturday brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., along with its already-popular Sunday brunch. On both days, the restaurant’s bar will also stay open between the brunch and dinner hours. Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Rd., 818-222-3888.

Mmmm...M Café Sweets at Home
Those who have loved the sumptuous vegan pastries at macrobiotic mecca M Café de Chaya can now recreate them in their own kitchens. Former head pastry chef Eric Lechasseur has published love, eric, a vegan, macrobiotic desserts cookbook that builds on his tradition of preserving health without sacrificing flavor. The collection of uncomplicated recipes includes lavender sable cookies, persimmon rice pudding and baked pear with walnut stuffing and crème Anglaise.

Free Valet Lunch Parking at boe
Along with the introduction of new lunchtime menu items from executive chef Erik Ritter, boe at the Beverly Crescent Hotel is now offering free valet parking during its midday service from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. boe, 403 N. Crescent Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-247-0505.

Small Plates at 8
Table 8 is now offering a prix fixe small-plates option on Monday nights. Diners select three items from the regular menu, plus a cheese and dessert. The price is $50 per person, plus tax and tip. Another Monday bonus: no corkage. Table 8, 7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-782-8258.

Time to Hula
Every Sunday from 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Ma’Kai is now hosting a luau, with fruit cocktails, live Hawaiian music and Polynesian dancers. Dining selections include smoked kalua pig; ginger chicken with sticky rice wrapped in ti leaves; macadamia nut-crusted white fish with tropical fruit salsa; and Hawaiian shave-ice with fresh fruit. Ma’Kai, 101 Broadway Ave., Santa Monica, 310-434-1511.

Mad for Havana
Luis Montesdeoca recently opened a second location of Havana Mania in the Brea Market Place. The Cuban restaurant is best known in the South Bay for its roast pig, mojitos, and live Cuban music. The new location features the same menu and music on Friday and Saturday nights. Havana Mania, 975 E. Birch St., Brea, 714-529-2233.

Artiste Inspiration
Executive chef Jean-Pierre Bosc has written a new menu at Café des Artistes, drawing inspiration from its sister restaurant, Mimosa. New dishes include coco beans “au Pistou” and grilled salmon over lentils. Mimosa classics consist of cassoulet, boneless beef short ribs, bouillabaisse and moules frites. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Café des Artistes, 1534 N. McCadden Pl., Hollywood, 323-469-7300.

Mimosa Then and Now
Meanwhile, back at Mimosa, Jean-Pierre Bosc is marking the restaurant’s 10th year by adding a Bistro de Maintenant, “Bistro Now,” menu to complement the classic French provincial offerings like bouillabaisse, cassoulet, daube and steak frites. Expect contemporary, internationally influenced interpretations of fresh seasonal ingredients, with frequently changing specials. Mimosa, 8009 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-655-8895.

Satisfying End to the Weekend
French 75 is now offering Sunday suppers, served in two-person portions. Meals cost $19.95 per person and include a soup or salad; custom-paired side; and choice of coq au vin, short ribs a la bourguignon, petit lamb shanks or blanquette de veau. French 75 Bistro, 3400 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, 818-955-5100.

Mother's Day Brunch at Jin
The beautiful Jin Patisserie on Abbot Kinney Boulevard is serving a special brunch in celebration of Mother’s Day. Dine al-fresco on sandwiches, savories, scones, selected spreads including homemade mini pastries, homemade pound cake and a tartlet, and choose from more than 34 different types of exotic teas. Cost of the menu is $28. Get a Mother's Day gift to go such as the lattice-like chocolate globe filled with pink foil wrapped sea salt caramel, $42. Jin Patisserie, 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-399-8801.

Southern Twist on Brunch
Hollywood hot-spot Memphis is now offering Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dishes include crab cake benedict; a free-range fried chicken omelette; and sweet potatoes with cured salmon, crème fraiche and caviar. Memphis, 6541 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-8600.

La Dolce Vita Celebrates the Big 4-0
After a certain age, Hollywood stars stop counting. Not so La Dolce Vita. The legendary restaurant is proudly fêting its 40th birthday by dressing up and going to the movies. Tuesday nights bring back the lost art of Hollywood glamour. Diners are asked to dress "to the nines" in cocktail attire and will receive a glass of Champagne for their sartorial splendor. Wednesday nights, beginning in June, will feature classic cocktails and movies that were nominated for an Oscar in 1966 (the year the restaurant was founded), such as “Alfie” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" La Dolce Vita, 9785 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-278-1845.

Tasty Brunch
Taste is now offering brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Sa-Jin Park is cooking smoked-salmon asparagus frittatas with lemon-dill cream sauce and black rosemary garlic potatoes; Dungeness crab cake Benedict; brioche French toast with caramelized bananas or berry, mint and caramelized pear sauce. To drink, there’s a Bellini of the day. Normal lunch and dessert menus are also available. Taste, 8454 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-852-6888.

Providence Snags Top Nomination
Providence is one of six restaurants nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best Restaurant 2005, along with Alinea in Chicago; The Modern in New York; Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare in Las Vegas; Del Posto in New York; and Joël Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas. The Providence team includes chef/co-owner Michael Cimarusti, co-owner Donato Poto, chef de cuisine Paul Shoemaker, pastry chef Adrian Vasquez and partner Crisi Echiverri. The winner will be announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards in New York on May 8, 2006. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-460-4170.

Solar System
Still trying to find meaning in your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier? The personalized daily meal plan at Solar Harvest lets you tap into its wholesome approach to cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner—wherever you may find yourself eating. Custom-design your meals (plus two snacks per diem) then either pick theup at the restaurant or opt for delivery within a limited area. Use the restaurant’s system of color-coding and categorizing dishes like grilled lime chicken salad, a veggie burger and sirloin fajitas to boost the tailor-made aspect. Solar Harvest, 242 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-777-6527.

Brent's Deli Coming to Westlake Village
Ron Peskin and his family are planning to expand the Valley’s popular Brent’s Deli to Westlake Village in late May or early June. Expect the same menu of pastrami and corned beef sandwiches; matzo ball soup; smoked fish; chopped liver; and potato pancakes. Brent’s Deli, 2799 Townsgate Rd., Westlake Village.

Jar Brunch
Suzanne Tracht has a new Sunday brunch menu at Jar. Dishes include chilaquiles with shredded roast pork and crème fraiche; poached salmon with eggs and mustard Mornay; and fried eggs with melted mozzarella and harissa on brioche. Sunday brunch is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekly. Jar, 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-655-6566.

Rosenthal Tasting Room Open
The only winery in Malibu to hold an American Viticultural Area Designation, Rosenthal, The Malibu Estate, has finally opened The Rosenthal Tasting Room. The search for the ideal location took two years but was finally secured at 26023 Pacific Coast Highway adjacent to Beau Rivage restaurant in Malibu. The room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and come June, will be open seven days per week. For $12 per person, guests can delight in tasting four of the estate wines: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, The Devon Vineyard and Cabernet Sauvignon Founder’s Reserve. Besides the wines, items such as hats, casual clothing and wine-related gifts and accessories will also be available to purchase. The Rosenthal Estate boasts about 27 acres of vineyard in an area where the microclimate is perfect for the growing of grapes. For more information, please visit or call 800-814-0733.

Grab a Bite
Chef Dino Severino, previously of Mum’s in Long Beach, is manning the robata grill at retooled Bite, a two-story restaurant specializing in sushi and Asian street food. Robata skewers include Malay red chili alligator; Saigon salmon with Vietnamese chili caramel; and bacon-wrapped quail eggs. The Zen Roll combines shrimp tempura, spicy scallop, freshwater eel and two colors of soy paper. For dessert, banana turon is a traditional Filipino dessert wrapped with phyllo instead of rice paper. The restaurant plays Asian movies on the wall, hosts live DJs and houses a fire pit on the patio. Bite, 30 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey, 310-305-4010.

Breakfast Down on the Bayou
Uncle Darrow’s is now offering a “Bayou Breakfast” that includes Cajun pecan-topped waffles; Cajun turkey and chicken link po’ boys; cheese grits; salmon croquettes; and chicory coffee. Uncle Darrow’s, 2560 S. Lincoln Blvd., Marina Del Rey, 310-306-4862.

Jazz at the Peninsula
The Club Bar at The Peninsula Beverly Hills is now featuring jazz Thursdays through Saturdays. Sophisticated jazz ensembles, including the talented John Proulx Trio, are easy on the ears and a festive addition to the distinguished wood-clad bar, a favorite industry hangout. The ensemble members are alumni of the Henry Mancini Institute, which mentors the professional advancement of instrumentalists and composers on the campus of UCLA. An extensive bar menu includes dishes such as ravioli with artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes, sautéed calamari, Caesar salad and a formidable burger. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, 9882 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-551-2888.

Vasquez Revamps Dessert Menu at Providence
Providence’s new pastry chef is Adrian R. Vasquez, previously of Chicago’s Bin 36. He’s totally revamped the dessert menu, which now features pineapple torchon with fennel ice cream and pain perdu; ras el hanout with lemon ice cream, poached quince, and a donut; and milk chocolate panna cotta with coconut marshmallows, Oreo streusel and Kahlua reduction. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-460-4170.

Pacific Dining Car Now Open 24 Hours
On February 16, the Santa Monica outpost of Pacific Dining Car went to 24 hours, just like the downtown original. Breakfast’s available from 11 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily, in addition to afternoon tea from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and never-ending dinner, Pacific Dining Car, 2700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-453-4000.

BBQ is the Bull's Horn
, which translates as “Bull’s Horn” in English, hopes to launch a branch of its Japanese barbecue restaurant in Pasadena in March. It will be open for dinner nightly and serve the same do-it-yourself Japanese yakiniku, or grilled meats, as other area locations. Expect U.S. Kobe filet, ribeye and tri-tip; ginger pork; lamb with garlic and basil; and grilled sweet potato ice cream for dessert. Gyu-Kaku, 70 W. Green St., Pasadena.

No Original or Extra Crispy Here
Building on the success of the recent opening of a fifth location, in West LA, Zankou Chicken is set to expand to Burbank in February. The menu revolves around the late Mardiros Iskenderian’s rotisserie chicken, served with locally famous garlic sauce. There’s also hummus, stuffed grape leaves, chicken and beef shawarma. Zankou Chicken, 1001 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, 818-238-0414.

The Tropics in a Billiard Room
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Silver Lake’s famed Café Tropical, owner Jeff Bey recently opened a branch in his other establishment, Hollywood Billiards. Fans of the original can find similar Cuban pressed sandwiches, pastries and coffee drinks for breakfast and lunch. Café Tropical, 5750 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-0115.

Pass the Peri-Peri
Springbok Bar & Grill’s second location in Long Beach’s Shoreline Village offers the same South African specialties as the Van Nuys original. Cape Point grilled kingclip, Vasco De Gama’s peri-peri chicken livers, and boerewors await diners. Springbok Bar & Grill, 423-A, Shoreline Village Dr., Long Beach, 562-437-3734.

Fraser Becomes Iron Chef America Champion
Grace chef-owner Neal Fraser defeated Iron Chef Cat Cora in “Battle Pork,” to be become Los Angeles’ first “Iron Chef America” champion. Fraser outscored Cora 47 to 41. His menu consisted of: grilled pork chop with corn, hominy polenta, pancetta, roasted pepper and onions and pumpkin seed oil; pressure-cooked pork belly with Forbidden black rice, sweet-and-sour cabbage and cherry sauce; pork tenderloin with Yukon Gold potato spaetzle, roasted Brussels sprouts and violet mustard sauce; roasted pork loin with chorizo lomo fries, garlic rapini and cider sage sauce; and sautéed fillet of pork with morels, ramps, asparagus, mascarpone thyme risotto and red wine sauce. Grace, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-934-4400.

New Porto's Burbank
Long-time Glendale favorite Porto’s Bakery has expanded its Cuban reach to Burbank. Expect the same medianoche sandwiches, ham croquettes, guava and cheese strudels, tres leches cakes and coffee drinks as at the original location. Porto’s Bakery, 3614 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, 818-846-9100.

The Hungry Cat Likes Fish
David Lentz is now serving lunch at his modern fish house, The Hungry Cat. Menu items include Tasmanian salmon salad with poached egg and salsa verde; the PUG burger with bacon, avocado and blue cheese; a frittata of the day; Meyer-mint lemonade; and, for dessert, vanilla beignets with blackberry compote. Lunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The Hungry Cat, 1535 N. Vine St., Hollywood, 323-462-2155.

A Taste of Hawaii in Downtown
A branch of Roy’s just opened downtown, with chef partner Curtis Mar preparing Roy Yamaguchi’s Hawaiian Fusion cuisine. The menu includes an array of sushi and sashimi options, lobster potstickers, caramelized U-10 sea scallops with preserved lemon risotto, Roy’s roasted macadamia nut mahi mahi, and “Kalua” style kurobuta pork shank with coconut luau sauce. Roy’s, 800 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 213-488-4994.

Double the Dining at Westfield Century City
Westfield Century City mall’s alfresco Dining Terrace has reopened at two-and-a-half times the previous size, with modern teak décor, succulents, live jazz every night and several new tenants. Coral Tree Express offers the same breakfast scrambles, soups and pastas as the Brentwood original. Red Rock Chili Co. uses ingredients like chocolate and vanilla in some of its offerings. Harper’s Express has quick Italian food. Mr. Hana prepares beef, chicken and salmon bowls. Rotisserie Works has rotisserie meats and poultry. Seiki-shi-Sushi features a full-service counter. Fuddrucker’s replaces Johnny Rockets. Ummba Grill, a Brazilian wine bar and churrascaria, is forthcoming. Diners can still find Tacone, Gulen’s Mediterranean, California Crisp and Sorabol Korean BBQ & Asian Noodles. Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-277-3898.

Fleming's Comes to Woodland Hills
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has branched out to Woodland Hills, helmed by executive chef/partner Thomas Yun. The menu offers steaks ranging from filet mignon to prime bone-in New York Strip, almond cilantro-crusted shrimp, lobster tempura, chipotle cheddar macaroni and cheese and several preparations of potato. Sunday is prime rib night. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 6373 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, 818-346-1005.

Bernstein Leaves Bluebird Bakery
Baker Audrey Bernstein is no longer at Bluebird Bakery in Culver City. Owner Vincent Trevino, who previously sold all the bread for La Brea Bakery and consulted with Celestino Drago on Dolce Forno, has kept the same menu. Brownies, scones, cookies, cupcakes and cakes are still made in house, as always. No word yet on Bernstein’s next venture. Bluebird Bakery, 8572 National Blvd, Culver City, 310-841-0939.

Santino's on Vine
Sergio Amata has opened a Hollywood branch of the Santa Monica restaurant he named for his son, Santino’s. Chef Marcos Resendes draws on Argentine, Spanish, Italian and Mexican influences in preparing such specialties as ground beef lasagna; shrimp in garlic sauce; and an Argentine parrillada that includes grilled short ribs, rib-eye, skirt steak and four different chorizos. Santino’s, 1253 N. Vine St., Hollywood, 323-464-8260.

Banging out Another Barney's Beanery
Barney's Beanery owners David Houston and Avi Fattal are slated to open a third location in Old Town Pasadena in March. Houston and Fattal purchased the West Hollywood original in 1999 and expanded to Santa Monica last year. Expect comfort foods like hot wings, potato skins, chili, and hamburgers. Barney’s Beanery, 99 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.

Sasoun Bakery in Glendale
Glendale residents can now enjoy David Yeretsian’s Armenian pastries at the first branch of Hollywood’s Sasoun Bakery. There are sweet tahini discs, torpedo-shaped cheese beoreks, triangular spinach beoreks, zatar-topped maneishe and stacks of lahmajunes, topped with ground lamb and tomato sauce. Crescent-shaped cheoreks are filled with dates and walnuts. Sasoun Bakery, 625 E. Colorado Blvd., Glendale, 818-502-5059; and 5114 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 323-661-1868.

Two-for-One Pastas at Lucia's
Italian restaurant Lucia’s is offering a two-for-one Monday night special on chef Kathy Halter’s pastas. Choices include house smoked salmon fettuccini with cognac cream sauce, duck fettuccini and penne Siciliano with Italian sausage. There are two provisos: each person has to order a beverage and an 18-percent gratuity is added to the bill. Lucia’s, 538 Palisades Dr., Pacific Palisades, 310-573-1411.

Un-Urth Good Nature
The socially conscious provider of wholesome drink and food, Urth Caffé, has just released its latest product, Ugandan Mountain Gorilla Coffee. The coffee is the result of Urth’s Mountain Gorilla Coffee program in Kisoro, Uganda, where farmers are taught organic growing techniques in order to protect the habitat of the area’s rare and endangered mountain gorilla. Due to the high altitude, the coffee beans grown in this area provide one of the least acidic, best tasting coffees in the world. Thank you, Urth, for practicing what you preach. Three locations: 8565 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, 310-659-0628; 267 S. Beverly Dr., 310-205-9311; and 2327 Main Street, 310-314-7040.

Il Grande Bollito Misto Wednesdays
Il Grano chef/owner Salvatore Marino is now offering bollito misto every Wednesday night. The evening begins with cold cuts like prosciutto di Parma, boar prosciutto and speck Altoatesino. Next comes oxtail tortellini in capon broth. Il Grande Bollito Misto features various boiled meats like veal, tongue, capon and cotechino, sliced tableside from a heated cart. Accompanying dipping sauces may include pesto aioli or black truffle cream. Assorted vegetables are cooked in the same stock as the meat. For dessert, expect chestnut cream-filled beignets and assorted sweets. Diners receive 20 percent off magnums of wine with their $49-per-person meal. Il Grano, 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-477-7886.

Pig Roast and Paella
Fans of Norman’s “Pig Roast and Paella” need not be alarmed. The popular event continues every Friday beginning at 6 p.m., and has NOT, as previously reported, moved to Tuesdays to be replaced by another event. Caja China roasted pork and paella can each be ordered for $19, or guests can order a combination plate of the two. Norman’s à la carte menu is available, too. Also, there are currently no plans to offer a cooking class. Stay tuned for future updates. Norman’s, 8570 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-657-2400.

Pastries with an Asian Flare
With a patio that faces Sepulveda, CAFÉ TLJ is serving up French-Asian baked goods in Torrance. Also offering all-day casual dining with foods like brioche French toast or pocket dumpling soup, the bakery focuses on Asian pastries, doughnuts, scones and muffins. And don’t miss the sliced cakes that come in flavors like green tea mousse, royal earl grey chiffon, blueberry yogurt and mango cheese mousse. Bakery hours are Sunday-Thursday 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturdays 6 a.m.-10 p.m. The café opens at 7 a.m. CAFÉ TLJ, 2814 Sepulveda Blvd., Torrance, 310-267-6848.

Violet Saves Green
Tuesdays through Thursdays, Violet chef Jared Simons is offering “7 Before 7,” seven dishes before 7 p.m. for $7 apiece, including his beet and smoked eel salad and brown butter balsamic trout. Sunday nights, substituting for the regular menu, look for a three-course menu for $25, plus a bottomless glass of wine for $10 extra. Simons is also serving complimentary cookies and milk to end each meal. Violet, 3221 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-453-9113.

Darling Clementine
Chef/owner Annie Miler is now offering high tea on Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. at her Century City bakery/café, Clementine. Five different loose-leaf teas join warm currant scones with clotted cream and lemon curd; “assorted dainty sweets”; and tea sandwiches with chicken salad, egg salad and gravlax fillings. The price is $18.95 per person and reservations are recommended. Clementine, 1751 Ensley Ave., Los Angeles, 310-552-1080.

Zumaya's New Pueblo
Francisco Vasquez purchased the Paramount Studios-adjacent Mexican restaurant Zumaya’s, and renamed it Pueblo Viejo. Chef Luis Estrada survived the ownership change and is still preparing jumbo shrimp in garlic sauce, chiles rellenos, grilled or battered halibut tacos and chicken mole Poblano. Pueblo Viejo, 5722 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323-464-0624.

Ruth's Opens in Pasadena
Florida-based Ruth's Chris Steak House is hoping to open a branch in Pasadena by the end of January. In addition to an array of steak and potato dishes, expect to find Ruth’s Chris favorites like New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp, blue crab cakes with sizzling lemon butter, Louisiana seafood gumbo and bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 385 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.

Café Miaafe Expands to the Beach
Larchmont Village’s Café Miaafe, just months old, has already expanded to Venice Beach. The beachside café has a liquor license and a larger menu. Both locations offer a Chicago salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette, chicken & feta and crêpe rolls (a play on sushi rolls, filled with chicken, turkey or shrimp). Drinks include organic coffees and teas. Café Miaafe, 18 17th Ave., Venice, 310-399-6558; and 403 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-464-2820.

A "Röcking" Yard Sale
It’s official. Röckenwagner is closed. But if you want a piece of it for yourself, stop by from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 29, for a yard sale where buyers can purchase everything from tables and chairs to china and cabinets. 2435 Main St., Santa Monica, 310-399-6504.

L'Orangerie Dressed up for the Holidays
We always like to go to L'Orangerie, but it’s that time of year when we like it even a little bit more because we get to admire the holiday decorations. Temporarily replacing its famous gigantic bouquets are over two hundred yards of pine garlands designed by Virgine Ferry herself. Those in the main dining room are embroidered with silver Christmas balls whereas green and red balls are the colors of choice near the entrance and in the patio. The two statues at the door greeting guests are adorned with red bows, while the bouquet behind the bar shines in sparkling white tones. Especially for Christmas, the Ferrys have offered L'Orangerie a new young promising pastry chef, Hugo Artinian, who arrived directly from Pic in Valence, France. The first desserts we were lucky to try are perfectly in line with Christophe Bellanca's cuisine: modern and light with a classic twist. L'Orangerie, 903 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-652-9770.

Feast of the Seven Fishes
Providence, Michael Cimarusti’s Melrose seafood restaurant, is now offering lunch Wednesday through Friday. Dishes include Josephine’s clam cakes, Tasmanian sea trout, and risotto with chanterelles, chives and crispy bone marrow. The restaurant is also hosting two upcoming special events: “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” for Christmas Eve and a “sumptuous market menu” for New Year’s Eve. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-460-4170.

Dreaming of a Spanish Christmas
Chef Luis Castro of Spanish Kitchen is putting his own spin on some classic Mexican dishes served for the holidays—pozole and tamales. Instead of the standard pork pozole, lobster pozole and shrimp and scallop pozole will be offered. Tamales will include pork tamales with mole coloradito, shrimp tamale in orange guajillo sauce, corn with salsa poblano ranchera cheese, and chicken with pipian verde. Entrées that are representative of traditional Mexican Christmas dishes are also being served, such as birria al estilo jalisco, a slow roasted lamb cooked in spices and herbs, and cochinito con picadillo de frutas, slow roasted suckling pig with crispy skin. These dishes will be served as specials until December 30.

Temporary Farmer’s Market Change
The Hollywood Farmer’s Market will be running on two Saturdays instead of Sundays for two weekends only: December 24 and 31. The regular time of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. will still apply as does the location along Ivar and Selma Avenues. Parking on these dates will be available at the Cinerama Dome at Ivar and Sunset, which will be one hour free and $1 for second hour with market validation (not bad for Hollywood!). The market will return its normal schedule of Sunday beginning on January 8.

Metlox Block in Manhattan Beach
The Tolkin Group has redeveloped the old Metlox Potteries factory in Manhattan Beach as Metlox Block. Dining options at the Manhattan Beach Boulevard complex will be Junior’s Deli, upscale Greek restaurant Petros, Belgian bakery/café Le Pain Quotidien and Cold Stone Creamery. The just opened boutique Shade Hotel will offer tapas at Zinc Bar. A formal ribbon cutting is planned for November 17.

Meson G’s New Twist on the Chef’s Table
Instead of featuring the traditional chef’s table, Meson G has introduced “Josef’s Bar,” which takes advantage of the broad marble counter that offers eye contact with the chefs working in the exhibition kitchen. Chef Josef Centeno is now preparing nine-course tasting menus for guests seated at Josef’s Bar—a concept reminiscent of Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier in Paris. Guests can buy out all eight seats, or come solo or in pairs. “We wanted to find a new way of letting our guests discover our food while getting to know Josef too,” explains owner Tim Goodell. Meson G, 6703 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323-525-1415.

Corn and Mamey Ice Cream, Anyone?
Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars
(4222 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-931-5500) has opened a Westside branch that showcases the same inventive ice creams, sorbets and fruit bars. Flavors include yellow cherry, mango with chile, corn and mamey. There are also fruit juices and shakes. Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars, 4929 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-313-7625.

Jack n' Jill went up to Santa Monica
Robert Benson has opened a branch of his Southern-tinged Beverly Hills eatery, Jack n’ Jill’s (342 N Beverly Dr. 310-247-4500), in Santa Monica’s old Blueberry space. This cozy two-story spot offers Savannah strawberry oatmeal pancakes at breakfast, pecan citrus salad and paninis at lunch and Louisiana Banana Cream Pudd’n for dessert. There are also fresh baked goods and a large selection of tea drinks. Jack n’ Jill’s, 501 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-656-1501,

Lotsa Masa
Run by two couples, Masa blends Italian, French, and Cuban cuisines. A diverse menu features crèpes, paninis, meatloaf, gnocchi, Chicago-style pizza, and for dessert, warm croissant bread pudding. House-baked breads and pastries are highlighted by chocolate chip almond croissants. Masa means dough in Italian and cornmeal in Spanish. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Masa, 1800 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-989-1558,

Try Your Luck
Popular Pasadena restaurant Yujean Kang’s (67 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-585-0855) is now offering home delivery under the Lucky Ocean banner. Chinese favorites like wonton soup, kung pao chicken and mushu pork are prepared in the Yujean Kang’s kitchen and delivered to residents of Pasadena, South Pasadena and San Marino. Lucky Ocean, 626-568-8400.

Downtown Dynamics
Anschutz Entertainment Group has broken ground on its $1.7 billion L.A. Live project adjacent to the Staples Center, consisting of a 55-story hotel as well as a 7,100-seat theater, a multiplex cinema and a collection of clubs and restaurants. Announced restaurant tenants include Gladstone’s, Chaya Brasserie and P.F. Chang’s, all with patio dining. Stay tuned.

Double Marly
Café Marly (9669-2 Santa Monica Blvd., 310-271-7274), a quaint little Beverly Hills bistro, has added a second location on Melrose Avenue, near La Brea. Like the original location, it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Café Marly, 6919 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-933-0099.

Culinary Adventures Moves North
Orange County mega-restaurateur David Wilhelm is expanding his Culinary Adventures empire—currently composed of OC restaurants French 75, Rouge, Savannah Steak & Chop House, Chimayo, Chat Noir and Sorrento Grille—into Los Angeles County with a Burbank location of French 75 slated to open in early 2006, and a Pasadena restaurant scheduled for the spring.

Meson G Prepares for its Close-Up
Meson G, the Hollywood restaurant of Tim and Liza Goodell, was sought out as a location from the new Fox TV sitcom Kitchen Confidential, loosely based on the best-selling book of the same name by celebrity chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. The restaurant will be used for some interior shots, and chef Josef Centeno was hand-picked as the pilot’s on-staff food consultant. To celebrate the honor, Meson G invites customers to eat and watch the show in its bar lounge on Monday nights, starting with the September 19 premiere. Meson G, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-525-1415.

No-Corkage and “Fabulous Forty-Fiver” Nights at Pasadena’s Bistro 45
Through the end of September, Pasadena’s Bistro 45 is waiving its corkage fee on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. In addition, on Friday nights the restaurant is offering the “Fabulous Forty-Fiver,” featuring a special three-course bistro meal with four wines for a mere $45 plus tax and tip. Bistro 45, 45 S. Mentor Ave., Pasadena, 626-795-2478.

Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group Restaurants Donate to Katrina Disaster Relief
The Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group has announced that on Tuesday, September 13, 10 percent of all sales will go to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. Additional donations to the Red Cross will also be accepted. Participating restaurants include Spago Beverly Hills and Chinois on Main. For reservations, contact the individual restaurants.

O-Bar restaurant offers a new “Sunday Share,” a very large-plate format created for the entire table, à la the traditional family dinner table of a bygone era. Guests enjoy a choice of starter, with entrées and sides arriving on large serving platters. Priced at $15 per person, the dinner is adjusted to suit the number of diners at each table, and ends with “create your own” sundaes. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own iPods, with a “shared” connection that will allow dinner guests to create their own high-tech juke box. For even more fun, guests may bring DVDs or videos of their own performances (e.g. singing, dancing, magic) to be shown during dinner (tapes must be delivered one week in advance). O-Bar, 8279 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-822-3300.

Rokbar Rocks on Thursdays
Rockers are invited to Rokbar. Every Thursday evening special guests (like Matt Sorum of Velvet Revolver) will play their favorite tunes. Dinner is served from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Rokbar, 1710 N. Las Palmas, Hollywood, 323-461-5600.

La Cachette Unveils Tasting Menus
La Cachette has announced its new tasting menus, offered nightly except Saturday. The five-course menu from chef/owner Jean François Meteigner is priced at $75 per person ($105 with wine), while the six-course meal is offered at $85 per person ($125 with wine). The tasting menus require a two-person minimum. The restaurant has also announced that on Sunday nights the corkage fee is waived. La Cachette, 10506 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-470-4992.

Yi’s Dim Sum Tuesday Nights
Yi Cuisine, where chef/owner Rodelio Aglibot serves an inventive Pacific Rim menu, is now offering dim sum every Tuesday night in addition to the regular menu. Among the succulent offerings are steamed shrimp dumplings with mustard-soy sauce, pork and shrimp siu mai with chili and vinegar-soy sauce, chicken potstickers, tuna and taro dumplings, and sesame balls with sweet bean purée. Yi Cuisine, 7910 Third St., Los Angeles, 323-658-8028.

Sunday Suppers at Dominick’s

Dominick’s has begun serving Sunday suppers on its outdoor patio every week. Chef and owner Brandon Boudet will set down a three-course Italian meal for $15 per person. The family-style menus will change weekly. He’s also offering the house wine, Dago Red, for $10 bottle on Sunday nights. The menu will be served from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Dominick’s, 8715 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-652-2335.

Is There a Wolf in the House?
Wolfgang Puck will be doing the room-service and cafeteria menus for Century City Doctors Hospital opening soon. Most of the ingredients will be organic and hormone-free. Of course meals will adhere to doctor’s orders. For visitors, hospitality carts on each floor will serve fresh coffee and pastries. Meals can be ordered by in-room electronic touch-screen menus and will be delivered by the wait staff. Century City Doctors Hospital, 2070 Century Park East, L.A., 310-772-4000.

Whist Lunch Specials
Whist at the Viceroy hotel has rolled out a “Leisure Lunch” program. Each week through October 31, chef Warren Schwartz will create a different pre-set 3-course lunch menu. One menu might look like this: a Belgian endive salad with St. Agur cheese and apples; handkerchief pasta with duck confit and Parmesan cream; and a white-peach-and-mint shortcake for $22. Lunch can be eaten in a private cabana by the pool or in the dining room. The valet parking is even comped Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Whist,Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-451-8711.

New Tastes at Asia de Cuba
Asia de Cuba in the Mondrian Hotel has added some new items to its Asian-Cuban fusion menu. New appetizers include black bean and chickpea dumplings with ginger sour cream and Asian-spiced pork spareribs. New main courses, served family style, run from a seafood pad Thai to a crispy tofu salad. Plantain cake and coconut and cinnamon jelly served with mole ice cream are the new desserts. Asia de Cuba, Mondrian Los Angeles, 8440 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323-848-6000.

Summer Barbecue at Katana
Katana has turned its patio into a Red Sun BBQ Garden for the summer, complete with Red Sun beer on tap, robata open-flame charcoal grilling, and a live DJ (from KCRW). The patio overlooks the Sunset Strip, so there’s sure to be good people-watching. It happens every Sunday night from 5:30-11:30 p.m. Katana, 8439 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323-650-8585.

Summertime Specials at Koi
Koi has some new dishes for the summer. A lobster avocado salad is topped with tofu-lime dressing. Steamed Chilean sea bass comes with ginger and Shiitake mushrooms, and grilled salmon with a fennel and arugula salad. Koi, 730 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310-659-9449.

Menu Change at Table 8
Table 8 now has a L8 (late) Night Menu available Wednesday-Saturday. On it you’ll find dishes like truffled Gruyère fondue ($6), fried sepia (Mediterranean cuttlefish more tender than calamari) with fried artichoke ($7), ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms with tomato coulis ($7), and seared Kobe beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish cream ($7). Table 8, 7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-782-8258.

Ciudad Sunday Menu Change
Ciudad, the pan-Latin downtown restaurant of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, will begin serving its own version of tapas after August 7. Sunday nights from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Spanish wines like Rioja and Tempranillo will be available by the glass along with small plates like Cabrales-blue-cheese fritters with sherry-soaked cherries; lamb chops with Algerian eggplant jam and preserved lemons; linguica sausage with brandy; espresso-dusted churros; and chocolate Barcelona cake. Ciudad, 445 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 213-486-5171.

Bastide’s New Arrivals
Bastide has a couple of new employees. Gregory Castells, the new sommelier, worked with Gordon Ramsay in London and at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia. He now has the task of pairing wines with chef Ludovic Lefebvre’s unconventional and often sweet-tinged dishes, and has introduced a new wine-by-the-glass program. New pastry chef Elizabeth Gottfried, who has worked at Spago and Sona, has introduced her own nine-course dessert menu. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, 323-651-5950.

Al Fresco at Saddle Peak Lodge
Saddle Peak Lodge, the rustically elegant restaurant nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, is now serving on its stunning stone patio, long acclaimed for being one of the most idyllic terraces in all of Southern California. The restaurant is also showcasing heirloom tomatoes during the month of August. Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, 818-222-3888.

Gelato at Dominick’s
For summer, Dominick’s in West Hollywood, has introduced eighteen different flavors of gelato to its dessert menu, with house-made ice cream cones that are served on the same frozen marble slab that was used at the original Dominick’s. Sitting on the restaurant’s secluded patio with an icy gelato is a fine way to pass a summer evening. Dominick’s, 8715 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-652-2335.

SpaJa Cuisine Debuts at the Peninsula
What do you get when you combine “Spa” cuisine, as in light, healthful and delicious, and “Baja” cuisine, as in Baja California? The answer is “SpaJa” cuisine, according to the Peninsula Beverly Hills, where The Belvedere chef Sean Hardy has created a Latin-infused spa menu for the hotel’s Rooftop Garden. Chilled watermelon-cherry tomato-jicama soup; charred blue fin tuna with avocado and orange zest vinaigrette; and grilled wild salmon with asparagus, bok choy and tamarind salsa are among the featured dishes, accompanied by some imaginative cocktails to suit the mood. Peninsula Beverly Hills, 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-551-2888.

More Wine at Porta Via
Porta Via, the friendly Beverly Hills Italian restaurant, has pumped up its wine program. Sommelier Jeff Morgenthal bought a bunch of new stemware and has begun offering many new wines by the glass. Porta Via, 424 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-274-6534.

Summertime at La Cachette
Chef/owner Jean Francois Meteigner has added some new menu items to his lunch and dinner menus at La Cachette. Recipes include jumbo soft-shell crabs in green peppercorn emulsion; Colorado River wild king salmon cooked with yuzu juice in saffron emulsion with grilled ratatouille; frog legs brined and then sautéed with star anise, watercress and garlic sauce; California snails cooked in broth with herbs and garlic; and a yuzu soufflé. In addition, some refreshingly innovative martinis will be featured during the summer months. La Cachette, 10506 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, 310-470-4992.

Spark Your Interest?
Spark Woodfire Grill has added live jazz to its Beverly-Hills-adjacent location. The Wilson-Turner Collective will play every Thursday night from 8–11 p.m. on the downstairs level. You can reserve a table for their performances. Spark Woodfire Grill, 9575 W. Pico Blvd., L.A., 310-277-0133.

Saddle Peak Al Fresco
The weather has warmed up and Saddle Peak Lodge has once again thrown open its doors and put tables on the meandering stone patio. Outdoor tables are available for Sunday brunch or dinner Wednesday through Sunday nights. Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, 818-222-3888.

More Wine at Sona
Wine director Mark Mendoza has further expanded its wine list at Sona, from 800 to 1,300 bottles, backed up by a cellar of 13,000 bottles. Highlights of the collection include a complete vertical of Harlan Estate from 1990 through 2000, multiple vintages of many exalted Bordeaux châteaux and 30 wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. The by-the-glass offerings number 50 wines. Sona, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-659-7708.

Midday Meal and Outdoor Dining at Naya
Naya Restaurant Moderne is now serving lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch offers a duck confit sloppy Joe ($12) and a lamb French dip ($16). Brunch includes black pepper waffles with strawberries and balsamic vinegar ($12) and a mushroom and fontina cheese omelet ($11). There is new patio seating to go with the new menus. Naya Bistro Moderne, 49 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-793-4712.

Grazing at Noé
Chef Robert Gadsby has introduced a grazing menu to be served at the bar of Noé in downtown’s Omni Los Angeles Hotel. The small-plate menu ($9-$21)—including a short rib sandwich, potato strudel, shrimp tempura, charcuterie and cheese plates—is available from about 3:30 p.m. to closing nightly. Noé, 251 S. Olive St., L.A., 213-356-4100.

Norman’s Menu Redux
Norman Van Aken and his team have redone the menus at Norman’s in the Sunset Millenium Plaza to feature more simply described dishes like Brazilian conch chowder ($12); Alaskan Bay cod with konbu broth and lemongrass ($30); and duck steak au poivre ($30). Norman’s, 8570 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-657-2400.

Cupcakes Are the Thing!
It’s spring and cupcakes are in the air. Two new bakeshops have opened recently. The first, Leda’s Bake Shop (named after owner Ledette Gambini’s grandmother) in Sherman Oaks, specializes in mini-cupcakes and uses organic eggs, hormone-free milk, European butter and Sharffen Berger chocolate. Most of her treats are an indulgence for adults with flavors like carrot cake topped with blood-orange curd and covered in mascarpone buttercream. She also appeals to children with larger chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with regular frosting. Mini cupcakes are $1.50 each, regular-sized cupcakes $2.75-$3. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Leda’s Bake Shop, 13722 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-386-9644.

Sprinkles in Beverly Hills offers approximately eight flavors daily, with 20 flavors in all, plus seasonal and canine (yes, canine) additions. Adorable sugar cutouts decorate the little cakes, also made with only high-end ingredients like Callebaut chocolate. Popular flavors include red velvet cake with cream-cheese frosting, dark chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting and peanut butter cake with milk chocolate frosting. Gift boxes and disposable cupcake display towers are available for purchase. You can place advance orders for delivery or pick-up. Cupcakes are $3.25 each or $36 per dozen. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sprinkles, 9635 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-274-8765.

“Sugar Rush Hour” Debuts at O-Bar
O-Bar in West Hollywood announces the inception of its Sugar Rush Hour, welcoming dessert-only reservations from 10:30 p.m. until closing at 1 a.m. every night. Pastry chef Meadow Lyn Ramsey offers specialties such as strawberry 'n' cream napoleon, Meyer lemon panna cotta, chocolate truffle cake and banana cheesecake with dark chocolate sorbet, accompanied by the bar’s signature Bailey’s dessert drinks. The promotion is ideal for post-theater or post-party goers. O-Bar, 8279 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-822-3300.

Preview: Puck Does Steak This Fall
Wolfgang Puck is working with Spago chef Lee Hefter to create the menu for Puck’s new steakhouse going into the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the as-yet-unnamed venue will replace The Dining Room by autumn. In addition to steaks and sides, Puck will feature fish at the new restaurant just a stone’s throw from Spago.

Big Plate Tuesdays at Meson G
Tim & Liza Goodell’s sleek new Los Angeles restaurant Meson G is noted for its innovative small-plate format. But the restaurant is now featuring “Big Plate Tuesday,” with a menu offering large plates and family-style dining. The Tuesday menu, which will change frequently, offers dishes such as grilled baguette with burrata cheese and basil pesto; oven-roasted market fish served off the bone; and capon braised with onions, garlic and smoked paprika. Devised by chef Josef Centeno, the dishes are intended to serve four. “We love the small-plate concept and will
continue to serve existing and new offerings every day, including Tuesdays,” explains Liza Goodell. “However, we thought it would be fun for Josef to mix it up a bit each week.” Meson G, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-525-1415.

Chez Take Out
Chez Allez, the take-out arm of nearby Chez Mélange, is now open for dinner service Thursday-Saturday. Located in Palos Verdes Estates, it specializes in an eclectic tapas menu featuring items such as a charcuterie platter, Greek salad, cold roast beef with horseradish dip, Mexican shrimp cocktail with guacamole and chips and pecan-raisin bread pudding. Chez Allez, 36 Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes Estates, 310-378-5664.

CPK Opens Second LA Food Show Restaurant in Beverly Hills
Following the success of its first LA Food Show restaurant, which debuted in 2003 in Manhattan Beach, Calif., the California Pizza Kitchen plans to open a second location in 2007 in Beverly Hills, Calif. in the spot now occupied by RJ’s, The Rib Joint. The 6,000 square-foot LA Food Show location will resemble the first in that it will have an exhibition-style kitchen featuring "burgers, steaks and everything in between," said Larry Flax, co-founder and co-CEO of California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. RJ’s plans to close in January.

Specials at Flor Morena
Flor Morena Fine Foods has introduced a trio of daily specials. On Tuesdays, all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs costs $9.95 for adults and $3.95 for children. On Fridays, there’s an all-you-can-eat Southern fish fry for $9.95. Both offers are dine-in only. On Saturdays, $20 buys a barbecued hot link, garlic bread, ranchero beans, a choice of side and a choice of two barbecued meats from a list of steak, ribs, chicken and tri-tip. Flor Morena Fine Foods, 2742 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake, 323-665-3567.

Friday Night Flights at Campanile

Campanile owner Mark Peel and wine director Jay Perrin feature “Friday Night Flights” from 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. on Fridays. Peel matches his small plates with two-ounce pours of Perrin’s wine picks; three pairings for $38. Dishes and wines change weekly. Campanile also offers three cheeses or desserts, paired with an equal number of wines, for $20. Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-938-1447.

Twilight Tapas at Norman’s
Norman van Aken and chef de cuisine Mike Bryant have introduced a “Twilight Tapas” menu at Norman’s on Sunset. Available Tuesday-Saturday 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. in the lounge, bar and patio, tapas include scallop tiradito with translucent Saifun noodles and ponzu, barbequed pork belly with pineapple and chayote and a tomato and olive stuffed pretzel with pork rillette. Dishes can be paired with sommelier Peter Birmingham’s two-for-one cocktails. Twilight Tapas are $6-$12 per plate. A Tapas Tasting costs $35 and includes three plates, plus dessert. The “Full Monty” Tapas Tasting costs $75 per guest. Norman’s on Sunset, 8570 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-657-2400.

Tomato Tasting Wednesdays
Every Wednesday in September, La Maschera Ristorante & Enoteca is offering a five-course, tomato-centered tasting menu. Chef Adnen Marouani’s Tunisian-inspired selections include grilled flat bread topped with goat cheese and Roma tomatoes, a caprese salad with Romas, stuffed mozzarella and avocado; a crab-stuffed cherry tomato with arugula, lime, and orange; crispy tumeric-marinated chicken breast with cherry and sundried tomatoes; and for dessert, a poached tomato with fresh mint, maple syrup, and balsamic reduction, served with strawberry gelato. The cost is $37 per person. Wine pairing is available. Wednesdays are also "Vino Wednesdays" where most bottles are 50% off. La Maschera Ristorante & Enoteca, 82 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 626-304-0004.

Sweet Addition
Sweet Lady Jane’s scrumptious cakes, pies and cookies are available at the Century City branch of Gelson’s supermarket. The West Hollywood bakery, founded by Jane Lockhart in 1988, stocks Gelson’s in-store display with its elaborately decorated signature pastries like triple berry shortcake, old fashioned chocolate cake and lemon squares. Gelson’s Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., 310-277-4288.

Wine Down on Sundays
Restaurateurs Tim and Liza Goodell have introduced a 50% off wine special on Sundays at all of their Los Angeles restaurants, including Dakota at the Roosevelt Hotel, the burger bar 25 Degrees and the soon-to-open Red Pearl Kitchen in Hollywood. Each restaurant has an extensive wine list featuring both domestic and foreign selections.

New Items at Sky’s
Sky’s Gourmet Tacos owner Barbara J. “Sky” Burrell has added three new items to the menu of her soul-tinged Mexican restaurant: sorrel lemonade, lobster tacos and mango cheesecake. Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, 5408 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-932-6253.

Palm Fish
The Palm restaurant, the legendary steakhouse with two branches in L.A.—West Hollywood and Downtown—is now offering its nationwide “Palm Fish” menu additions, a selection of fresh seasonal seafood flown in daily. Items like swordfish Oscar (broiled swordfish with steamed asparagus, jumbo lump crab meat and béarnaise sauce) and pan-seared sesame seed-crusted ahi in soy demi-glace with pickled ginger are among dishes guests may expect to see, along with renditions of Alaskan halibut and Australian barramundi. The Palm, 9001 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-550-8811; The Palm, 1100 S. Flower St., Downtown L.A., 213-763-4600.

Anniversary Dinner
La Cachette in Santa Monica will be celebrating their 12th anniversary with a six course–twelve dish dinner Sunday, October 8. A Champagne reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Entrees include homemade foie gras terrine with goji berry jam, ahi tuna tartar with Korean chili paste and roasted pear with gorgonzola. The cost is $110 per person; wine pairing is available for $150. La Cachette, 10506 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-470-4992.

Autumn Influences at Sopra
Executive chef Mario Acuna has introduced an autumn-influenced tasting menu at Sopra, Oliver De Mori’s Italian restaurant. Selections include spaghetti with black mussels, bay scallops, shrimp, calamari, and spicy tomato sauce; Barolo-cooked risotto with leeks and grilled lamb chops, grilled Chilean sea bass with pistachio and white wine sauce, and for dessert, Amaretto cheesecake with crèma Catalana. Each course is paired with an Italian wine. The tasting menu costs $55 per person and is available Monday-Saturday. Sopra, 8840 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-492-0880.

Mako Mondays
Once a month, Gingergrass chef Mako Antonishek is offering “Mako Mondays,” four-course, family-style Vietnamese dinners. Dishes may include fresh asparagus and crab soup, clay pot chicken adobo in coconut milk and sweet soy eggplant stew, and for dessert, Asian spiced upside-down pineapple cake. Seating is at 7:30 p.m. and the price is $35 per person. Call for future dates. Gingergrass, 2396 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-644-1600.

Berliner Fridays
Röckenwagner Bakery is now offering “Berliners,” named for JFK’s 1963 "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. Available Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., a Berliner is similar to a jelly doughnut, but the bakers allow the sweet dough to rise three times before frying. They cost $2 apiece and each customer is limited to a dozen. Röckenwagner Bakery, 12835 Washington Blvd., Mar Vista, 310-578-8171.

Catch and Cook at Gladstone’s

Through the end of October, if you catch a spiny lobster off the Malibu coast, bring the live crustacean to Gladstone’s, where they’ll cook it for free. They’ll even throw in two sides and a cup of clam chowder. Gladstone's, 17300 Pacific Coast Hwy. Pacific Palisades, 310-454-3474.

Crush Night at Napa Valley Grille
Napa Valley Grille offers a monthly “Crush Night,” named for the time of year grapes are harvested and crushed to produce wine. The restaurant hosts three wineries per month, and chef Anne Conness pairs hors d'oeuvres with the wines, including signature dishes like heirloom tomato bruschetta, soba noodle salad with smoked duck, and Sonoma lamb crostini. There is a “harvest table” with artisanal California cheeses and fresh-baked breads. “Crush Night” is currently scheduled on October 30, and November 27 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. The price for wine and food is $32 per person. Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, 310-824-3322.

L.A.'s Iron Chefs
Three Los Angeles-based chefs will compete on Season Four of Food Network series “Iron Chef America”: Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station), David Myers (Sona), and Robert Gadsby (Noe). The episodes will begin airing in February 2007.

Mexican Spotlight at Clementine

Every Wednesday, chef Annie Miler features a new dish, like chicken with yellow mole or squash blossom quesadillas, from the Mexican region of Oaxaca at her restaurant/bakery Clementine. Clementine, 1751 Ensley Ave., Los Angeles, 310-552-1080.

Seasonal Menu at Doug Arango's
Executive chef Christopher Bennett has introduced the fall menu at Doug Arango’s, with dishes like the Yukon potato ravioli with black truffles and a mini beef-foie gras burger; cider-brined Berkshire pork loin with house-made kraut and cider juniper sauce; duck breast with pumpkin risotto, chestnuts and cranberry pecan chutney; and for dessert, a pear almond tart with black pepper sauce and salted caramel ice cream. Doug Arango’s, 8826 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-278-3684.

Starving Artist Menu
Luna Park diners who can prove they’re artists (via head shot, portfolio, etc.) qualify to order from the menu now available on “Starving Artist Prix-Fixe Mondays.” Priced at $18 for three courses, the choices include goat cheese fondue or Caesar salad; chicken mole or macaroni and cheese; and s’mores or fried apple pie. Pabst Blue Ribbon is $2. Wine, sangria and mojitos are $6. Luna Park, 672 S, La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-934-2110.

Soda-Inspired Cocktails

Chef-owner David Myers has created a cocktail menu for Sona. Utilizing seasonal ingredients and house-made sodas, options include the “Chambers” - Charbay blood orange vodka with kumquats, brown sugar and lime; an Indonesian vodka sour with Absolut Vanilla, Indonesian peppercorns, vanilla bean, lime and lemon; “Honey and Ginger” - two Scotches, honey, ginger and a skewer of honey comb; and “Strawberries and Cream” - strawberries, ginger, Trinidad sugar, mint and crème de menthe whipped cream. Sona, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-659-7708.

Fall Menu at Bistro K
Maverick chef Laurent Quenioux has introduced his fall menu at Bistro K. His reliably adventurous French cuisine now includes a cassolette of artichoke confit with basil and California goat cheese, quince cake topped with duck foie gras, and Gewürztraminer gelée; Atlantic skate wing with beef bone marrow beignet, Kaffir leaf and Spanish chorizo infusion; braised beef cheeks in beer with pumpkin spaetzle, oven braised rutabaga and turnips; and roasted venison loin with blood sausage crumble, sautéed pears, glazed salsify and smoked black cardamom. Bistro K, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, 626-799-5052.

Be Thankful for Mr. Cecil’s
Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs will offer a Thanksgiving day dinner featuring deep-fried turkey, sweet potatoes with pecan/cinnamon crumble, spicy cornbread dressing and green beans for $26 ($14 for kids under 12). Deep-fried turkeys are also available for take-out, @$5 per pound. Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs, 13625 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.

Grill It Yourself at Tiger Lily
Sumant Pardal has introduced new dinner and bar menus at his Pan Asian restaurant, Tiger Lily. The Shichirin Menu allows diners to cook steak and seafood on a portable Shichirin clay grill, using smokeless Bincho charcoal. Dipping sauces are prepared by Chef Edward Brik. The new dinner menu features “street foods” like Mangalore calamari and Singapore potato curry puffs, plus Hunan black bean osso buco and scallops with coconut-mustard seed curry. The lounge features a “Bullshot Hour,” from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., with $2 off drinks and 50% off “Bar Yum Yums” like dim sum and Indonesian lamb skewers. On Friday nights at 9 p.m., Tiger Lily becomes Melt, a weekly DJ event. Tiger Lily, 1745 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, 323-661-5900.

Gayot's Annual Awards wants to congratulate the following for their selection to our TOP 40 RESTAURANTS IN THE U.S. list published in our Annual Restaurant Issue for 2006:

The Dining Room
Spago Beverly Hills
Urasawa would also like to congratulate CUT for its selection to our Top Ten New Restaurants.

Hungry Late Downtown?
The Redwood Bar and Grill is now serving a full menu from 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Executive chef Jason Michaud is happy to make a midnight burger, be it composed of grilled Angus, turkey or portobello mushroom, and served with crispy large steak fries. But the gastropub also dishes up a variety of other items such as grilled stuffed squid with mandorlata sauce (prepared with golden raisins, almonds and red pepper sauté), as well as shrimp, crab and fried green tomato po’boy sandwiches. For more information, visit The Redwood Bar and Grill, 316 West 2nd St., Los Angeles.

Wilshire Welcomes Wagyu
Chef Chris Blobaum has added authentic Wagyu beef to his arsenal at Wilshire, a modern American steakhouse. Like Kobe beef, Wagyu cattle receive regular massages and are slaughtered in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. In addition to Wagyu beef, the restaurant continues to offer California Angus, New Zealand Kobe and Colorado short ribs. Wilshire, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-586-1707.

Business as Usual
Wilshire Restaurant now offers “The Business Lunch,” a three-course prix-fixe menu for $26, or $35 including a glass of wine. Items include Moroccan squash soup, pan roasted king salmon and upside down persimmon spice cake. Wilshire Restaurant is open for lunch Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner 5 p.m.-11 p.m. WilshireRestaurant, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-586-1701.

Indian Bento Outside the Box
Chakra Restaurant & Lounge in Beverly Hills has added thali, similar to a bento box in Japan or dim sum in China, to its lunch menu. The Indian restaurant offers a daily thali special for $15, and any vegetarian or non-vegetarian entrée can be made into a thali by adding $3 to the entrée’s price. Chakra Restaurant & Lounge, 151 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-246-3999.

The Wine Bistro Welcomes Roelant
The Wine Bistro, a cozy neighborhood eatery in Studio City, has bagged one of L.A.’s most prominent chefs. Peter Roelant, formerly of Four Oaks in Bel-Air and protégé of the legendary Swiss Michelin three-star chef Freddy Girardet, takes over the kitchen. The menu now includes items like smoked sturgeon with red beet-crème fraîche and pommes gaufrettes; Crab and shrimp fritters with pineapple-ginger chutney; plum-barbequed swordfish with plump basil, roasted tomato, sweet corn and cilantro with purple & golden baby potatoes; and French bistro classics like duck confit and boeuf bourguignonne. Wine Bistro, 11915 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-766-6233.

Tasty Tacos
Opus Restaurant chef Josef Centeno is now offering Tuesday “baco” night, featuring flatbread tacos filled with duck, crushed yams and quince aioli; pork belly and short rib carnitas; tofu, potato and garlic-chive dressing; and fish, pickled cabbage and mint onions. Opus, 3760 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-738-1600.

Relocated Ristorante
Enrico Glaudo has relocated Frascati Ristorante from Redondo Beach to Rolling Hills. Open daily for lunch and dinner, the Italian restaurant also offers a Dalla Vetrina menu, showcasing assorted appetizers and salads. Frascati Ristorante, 550 Deep Valley Dr., #145, Rolling Hills, 310-541-8800.

Campanile Caters
Campanile restaurant, famous for their classic grilled cheese menu, now caters. Their staff will arrive at your home or event with all of the ingredients necessary to make these sandwiches, plus appetizers, salads, entrées and desserts. For more information, call Caroline Allain at 323-938-1447 or visit Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles.


Restaurateur Steven Arroyo recently closed his La Brea izakaya, Happi Songs Asian Tavern. On February 29, he will debut a new concept in the same space, to be called Goat. The chef will be Robert Luna, previously of Malo.

Brasserie Vert, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant at Hollywood & Highland, closed in January. Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s, intends to fill the space with another branch of uWink, a concept that centers around tabletop touch screens used to order food and drink and to play games and videos.

The original Zen Grill, located near the Beverly Center, closed in January. With the Westwood saké lounge also a memory, the Beverly Hills branch of the Pan-Asian restaurant is the only remaining link in the local chain.

Deborah Gross was forced to close Back Door Bakery in January when she lost her lease on the space.

Naraya Thai, Patrick Suwan’s stylish South Robertson café, has closed.

Alfredo Diaz has closed Eat Well, his Silver Lake coffee shop. No word on what will take its place in Sunset Junction. Diaz still owns a branch of Eat Well on Beverly Blvd.

Ten-year-old Santa Monica martini bar Voda is closed. The Hotel Carmel will replace the establishment with a two-pronged approach. Laurie Mulstay and Ron Marino, who co-own Magnolia in Hollywood, opened French bar Chloe on December 13. Around the corner, Jonathan Chu and Evan Silver plan to open a second branch of Buddha’s Belly in January 2008. Executive Chef-owner Hisashi Yoshiara will oversee the menu, which will mimic the pan-Asian original on Beverly Blvd.

Z’Tejas closed its doors on Saturday, October 27th due to the competitive marketplace precluding its ability to do enough business to stay open.

After 38 years in business, owner-mariachi Natividad Cano is being forced to close La Fonda de Los Camperos on October 28 after losing an eviction battle with his new landlord. Cano hopes to open his Mexican restaurant at another downtown location within the next year in a continued effort to bring mariachis respectability.

After a protracted battle with their landlord, Robertino and Paula Giovannelli and La Luna Ristorante co-owners David and Theresa Whitworth were forced to close their Italian restaurant on September 22 after 15 years in business. Restaurateur Fausto Zapata has reserved the Larchmont space and plans to open a continental-style eatery by the end of 2007.

Christian Shaffer and wife Tedde have announced that Friday, October 5, 2007, will be Avenue’s final day in business.

Pedals Café, the casual eatery at Shutters on the Beach, has closed. The beachfront space has been converted into Coast Beach Café & Bar, which is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Coast Beach Café & Bar, Shutters on the Beach, 1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-587-1707.

Windows, renowned for panoramic views from its 32nd floor perch in downtown L.A.’s AT&T Tower (formerly–and better–known as the Transamerica Center) closed July 31. With its floor-to-ceiling windows, the restaurant long boasted some of the most spectacular views in town, but food always had difficulty competing with the vistas. With so many new dining alternatives in downtown, Windows’ demise was long anticipated. The ultimate fate of the space has yet to be announced. Windows, AT&T Tower, 1150 S. Olive St., 32nd Fl., Los Angeles, 213-746-1554.

Glendale’s Bistro Verdu, where chef/owner Michael Ruiz has been turning out inspired contemporary American cooking with French and Spanish influences, has sadly lost its lease, shutting its doors on June 24. Ruiz promises to reopen at another location as soon as possible, and in the meantime is working to open a cheese shop in Glendale.

Grill Lyon, featuring chef-owner Matsuno Tadayoshi’s Japanese-influenced French cuisine, closed on May 13. No word yet on what will take its place in Little Tokyo’s Honda Plaza.

For the Hollywood elite, gathering at Morton’s on Monday nights has been a part of “The Biz” since 1979, making the phrase “Monday Nights at Morton’s” part of the Hollywood vocabulary. The best tables have long been reserved for top agents and their celebrity clients and on Oscar night, Morton’s has traditionally been the site of one of the most prestigious parties. Now, the Morton’s era is entering its final stretch, as the West Hollywood eatery announced it will close its doors at the end of the year. After that, the space will be converted into a members-only social club by British hotelier Nick Jones. The restaurant, founded by Peter Morton, was originally located on the southwest corner of Melrose Ave. and Robertson Blvd. before moving across the street in 1994. "We have enjoyed serving so many great people in Los Angeles and have always appreciated their patronage," Peter Morton said in a recent interview. Morton’s, 8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-276-5205.

Trader Vic's

After more than fifty years of serving tropical drinks and Americanized adaptations of Polynesian food, the legendary Trader Vic's at The Beverly Hilton has closed. It was opened in 1955 by chef Victor J. "Trader Vic" Bergeron, who claims to have invented the Mai Tai, and spawned a chain of Hawaiian/Polynesian decorated restaurants from Dallas to Dubai. The original celebrity-studded location lives on as the Trader Vic’s Lounge in a new poolside incarnation adjacent to the hotel’s restaurant Circa 55, scheduled to open May 17.

The Old Town Pasadena outpost of fashionable Mexican restaurant La Huasteca has closed. The Lynwood original is still in business.

Flor Morena Fine Foods, Shawnette Wright’s Southern-flavored café in Silver Lake, has closed. No word on what will fill the indoor-outdoor space, or where Ms. Wright will cook next.

After a half-ton slab of stucco fell from one of the arches and engineers discovered more loose stucco panels, iconic LAX restaurant Encounter will be closed for approximately six months to fortify the building. Encounter, 209 World Way, Los Angeles, 310-215-5151.

Malverde Restaurant, the high-end Mexican restaurant in Lynwood’s Plaza Mexico, has closed. According to its website, the restaurant may resurface in another location.

Annie Miler has closed the branch of Clementine at The Hammer Museum. The Century City flagship is still going strong.

Eurochow is closed. Diners looking for a Michael Chow fix can still find it in Beverly Hills, at Mr. Chow.

Czech Point, Redondo Beach’s cleverly named Eastern bloc restaurant, has shuttered its doors.

Royal Star Seafood, the long-standing Westside affiliate of Monterey Park’s Ocean Star, has closed, leaving a Cantonese void in Santa Monica.

Solare, Paolo Giovani’s Northern Italian restaurant, has closed after less than a year in the old EM Bistro space.

Cecile Tang Shu-shuen closed Joss after 19 years in business. Shu-shuen is scouting a new location and remains available for catering by calling 310-277-6139.

Chef/owner Koichiro Kikuchi and wife Akiyo are closing Kikuchi in April to return to Japan.

Chef-owner Uma Singh has closed her stylish Beverly Hills Indian restaurant, Tamarin. She plans to take a hiatus before catering and hosting culinary tours to India.

Charlie Bean and husband Ron Miranda have closed their Manhattan Beach “Cal eclectic” restaurant and winebar, XO Wine Bistro. They still own Bacchus Wine Made Simple in the same town. No word yet on what will fill XO’s space or where chef Dave Martin will land.

Joe Pytka, owner of Bastide, closed the buzzworthy Provençal restaurant (and one of Gayot's 2005 Top 40 restaurants in the nation) on January 21. He wants to make a restaurant with a hip and urban Californian atmosphere. The space is being reimagined by designer André Putman, and the restaurant will reopen under a new name, which has yet to be announced. The now largely French wine list is being reconceived; wines from all over the world will be added. Chef Ludovic Lefebvre is staying and is working on a more simplified version of his culinary interpretations. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Pl., West Hollywood 90069, 323-651-5950.

Hollywood barhoppers will have to go elsewhere for medianoche sandwiches and braised oxtails now that Paladar Bistro Cubano has closed after over two years in business. No word yet on a new tenant.

Vida, the funky Los Feliz restaurant originally owned and operated by Fred Eric, is no longer. The building will soon house the Chabad of Greater Los Feliz.

After nearly 21 years, Röckenwagner restaurant will serve its last meal on January 14, 2006. After much thought, Hans Röckenwagner decided to take up an offer to sell when approached by entrepreneurs. He is currently searching for a new location for Röckenwagner restaurant and will be opening 3 Square Bakery & Café in Venice featuring classic Röckenwagner pastries, breads and pretzel products.

We’re sad to see Chloe go at the end of the year. Even though it’s located in a somewhat inconvenient area in Playa del Rey, we gladly made the trek there for its adventurous and successful menu.

We also say farewell to Lunaria, Bernard Jacoupy’s little bit of France, which has closed.

Cirxa Bistro (3719 W. Sunset Blvd.) will no longer be supplying Silver Lake with Cajun and soul food. No word yet on a new tenant.

Chef Don Dickman will no longer be serving his “adventurous rustic Italian cuisine” at Rocca (1432-A Fourth St., Santa Monica). The Santa Monica restaurant will serve its last dinner on Wednesday, November 30. No word yet on future plans for either Dickman or the restaurant space.

In Pasadena, fans of Ray Luna’s loup de mer and elegant setting will miss Naya Restaurant Moderne. The stylish spot on East Colorado Boulevard has closed.

If you got a yen for kaiseki-style tofu and yuba (tofu skin) dishes, you’re out of luck in L.A. after August 31. Umenohana in Beverly Hills, the first U.S. branch of this established upscale Japanese chain, will have shut its doors.

In West Hollywood, Rika Restaurant-Diamond Lounge is no more in its hip location of Sunset Boulevard. If you got a hankering for progressive sushi, check out our list for Top 10 Sushi.

Fifties throwback ice cream parlor and restaurant Soda Jerks at 219 S. Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena will close Labor Day weekend due to lease issues. The establishment might be relocated to a new Pasadena location.

Pinot Hollywood at 1448 N. Gower Street has been closed by the Patina Group. The official line from corporate offices is that it’s being reworked into another restaurant project by them.

After 15 years in Malibu, Granita will be closing. Owners Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff sent out a letter to patrons saying their lease would be expiring at the end of the summer and so "we determined the time was right to move on." Until then, Granita will hold farewell dinners with chefs past and present, a Labor Day clambake and a Granita "survivor" party. The doors will close for good at the end of September. After that, chef Jennifer Naylor will be available for catering Granita's menu items. Granita, Malibu Colony Plaza, 23725 W. Malibu Rd., Malibu, 310-456-0488.

Sushi-Ko sushi bar at the top of Beverly Glen has closed.

Cedric Marmet’s kosher Tunisian restaurant, Greta Cuisine Mediteranéene, has closed. The Melrose storefront has been occupied by Busaba Thai Vegetarian Kitchen. No word on Marmet’s plans.

Cobra Lily
, an offshoot of popular tapas bar Cobras & Matadors, is closed. No word yet on what will fill the space adjoining the Wilshire Theatre.

Solar Harvest, the “natural” restaurant in Beverly Hills with the mix-and-match menu, closed on September 8. Their food is still available for catering and special events. Solar Harvest, 310-77-SOLAR.

Maricarmen Rodriguez’s Latin American café
, Posh on Pico, closed on September 1. A relocation plan is in the works, but the new space hasn’t been announced yet.

Norman Van Aken’s “New World” restaurant, Norman’s, has closed. The new inhabitant has not been named.

Mama Voula’s
, one of the few Westside Greek restaurants, is closed. As of yet, the strip mall space has not issued a new occupant.

Beadle’s Cafeteria
closed after 50 years in business. No word yet on what will replace the culinary institution in the Pasadena Towers building.

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