ANGE July 2013 : Page 82

For this, our highly anticipated annual Restaurant Issue, we’ve put our tasting toques on to bring you L.A.’s most exciting new eateries and the chefs who helm their kitchens, cooking up culinary majestry from hand-cut pasta to fried peach pie. Visits to our well-known faves confirm they haven’t lost their fire, and our burgeoning craft cocktail scene makes our already hip town, well... hipper. Have a seat, settle in, and sip and savor—proof, as always, is in the pudding. By LesLey BaLLa with Jason KessLer, Marin PresKe, Lauren schutte and stacy suaya PhotograPhy By anais & dax, roBert Benson, andrea Bricco, christie heMM, carin Krasner and Jessica saMPLe The Foodie 50 BESTIA IN SHOW Inside Bestia’s bustling dining room. bestia photo by andrea bricco

The Foodie 50

Lesley Balla

For this, our highly anticipated annual Restaurant Issue, we’ve put our tasting toques on to bring you L.A.’s most exciting new eateries and the chefs who helm their kitchens, cooking up culinary majestry from hand-cut pasta to fried peach pie. Visits to our well-known faves confirm they haven’t lost their fire, and our burgeoning craft cocktail scene makes our already hip town, well... hipper. Have a seat, settle in, and sip and savor—proof, as always, is in the pudding.<br /> <br /> 10 Most exciting new restaurants<br /> <br /> Trois Mec <br /> <br /> Vinny Dotolo, Jon Shook and Ludovic Lefebvre opened this culinary endeavor with a corner address in a Hollywood strip mall, a five-course menu that changes about once a month, and a prepay reservation system. Every seat in the small house gives ample view of the cooks, including Lefebvre, plating some of the most beautiful dishes we’ve seen this year. 716 N. Highland Ave., L.A., troismec.Com <br /> <br /> Chi sPAccA <br /> <br /> Scuola di Pizza, the kitchentheater space next to Mozza2Go, is now a haute house for chef Chad Colby’s incredible housecured meats and charcuterie. The grill churns out offerings like the 42-ounce tomahawk pork chops and massive bistecca Fiorentina, but there are also beautiful salads and sides, an excellent wine program (this is Mozza, after all) and gorgeous desserts. 6610 Melrose Ave., L.A.,323. 297.1133, chispacca.Com <br /> <br /> BesTiA <br /> <br /> Hidden in a dark corner of downtown L.A.’s Arts District, this industrial-chic space sets the scene for chef Ori Menashe’s soulful, rustic Italian cuisine. His capicola, cóppa di testa and other salumi and charcuterie is rivaled by few, the pizzas have just enough woodburned char and handmade pastas—like saffron tagliatelle with Calabrian sausage ragu and local sprouted arugula—are masterful. 2121 7th Pl., L.A., 213. 514.5724, bestiala.Com <br /> <br /> Petty cAsh TaqueriA <br /> <br /> Chef Walter Manzke (Bastide, Church & State) brings aguachiles (chilled raw seafood, similar to ceviche, in housemade Clamato juice), carne asada tacos and pig ear nachos to the former Playa space, which features communal-style picnic tables, a cool mural by street artist RETNA and funky beats from In-house Djs. Look for agave spirits like sotol and raicilla and a tequila-based Old Fashioned served on tap. 7360 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.933.5300, pettycashtaqueria.Com<br /> <br /> The hArT AnD The hunTer <br /> <br /> This fun spot oozes Southern charm and SoCal panache. Chefs Brian Dunsmoor and Kris Tominaga bring country ham and biscuits, chicken cracklins with hot pepper vinegar, and lemon icebox pie to Melrose. At chatty capacity, the tiny, delightfully adorned room gets loud, but breakfast, lunch and brunch are quieter. Biscuits and coffee are great anytime. 7950 Melrose Ave., L. A., 323.424.3055, thehartandthehunter.Com<br /> <br /> A.o.c. <br /> <br /> Our love affair with Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s smallplates restaurant continues with A.O.C. 2.0. The relocated operation exudes California splendor with a lovely sage and cream palette, fresh seasonal cocktails, and a gorgeous patio with a roaring fireplace. With Goin’s Cal-Med menu (Spanish fried chicken, clams with green garlic and sherry), Styne’s fantastic wine list and the open room, it’s quintessential L.A. dining. 8700 W. Third St., L.A., 310. 859.9859, aocwinebar.Com <br /> <br /> SuPerBA snAck Bar <br /> <br /> This Rose Avenue addition hits it out of the park with its mostly outdoor space— courtesy blankets are strewn about for chilly nights—and chef Jason Neroni’s passion for pasta, pig and produce (fresh, of course). While most pasta is seasonal (corn agnolotti with crab for summer; spring peas and poached shrimp for spring), the smoked bucatini carbonara should never go away. 533 Rose Ave., Venice, 310.399.6400, superbasnackbar.Com <br /> <br /> Fishing wiTh DynAMiTe <br /> <br /> Though playfully named, this compact, salt-air-scented space is completely serious when it comes to quality seafood. From the raw bar, chef David LeFevre (M.B. Post) dishes out piles of oysters, Santa Barbara sea urchin and plump shrimp. The menu, a collection of new- and old-school favorites, features everything from grilled octopus to Thai shellfish and coconut soup. 1148 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, 310. 893.6299, eatfwd.Com <br /> <br /> Bar AMA <br /> <br /> Josef Centeno, our Best Chef of 2012, scores with his take on the Tex-Mex fare of his youth as seen through the tequila glass of a Californian. The space, a tortilla’s throw away from Bäco Mercat, fills with downtowners craving full-flavored bowls of chorizostudded queso, pork barbacoa puffy tacos, tart and tangy ceviches, Frito pie and fun sides celebrating local seasons and farmers. 118 W. 4th St., L.A., 213. 687.8002, bar-ama.Com <br /> <br /> Bar nozAwA <br /> <br /> Walk into the newest SugarFISH outpost in Beverly Hills, pass the sushi bar and find Bar Nozawa, an omakase-only experience created by Osama Fujita (Sushi Nozawa), featuring an epic 15- plus courser with offerings like Dungeness crab; bluefin toro, uni and scallop sushi; and misoglazed monkfish—or, whatever Fujita and owner Nozawa find at Japanese fish markets that morning.212 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, nozawabar.Com<br /> <br /> 5 desserts we LoVe<br /> <br /> SoMe More AT MesshAll <br /> <br /> This year’s transcendent ingredient: nostalgia. As umpteen childhood faves get grown-up twists, Los Feliz’s MessHall delivers dessert that appeals to the summer-camp kid in all of us: a deconstructed version of the venerated s’more, with chocolate cake bread pudding, marshmallow ice cream and graham cracker tuile best savored on a patio perch amid fire pits aplenty. 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., L.A., 323. 660.6377, messhallkitchen.Com <br /> <br /> ToFFee DATe PuDDing AT rAy’s AnD sTArk Bar <br /> <br /> This Renzo Piano-designed resto and bar adjacent to LACMA is the perfect setting for a sweet finish—but here the medium isn’t paint, it’s pastry. Our 2011 Best New Pastry Chef Josh Graves’ signature favorite, featuring date pudding, toffee ice cream, apples and crunchy toffee and rum sauce, is plated in a way that would make Monet jealous. Walk it off with a stroll through Chris Burden’s magical “Urban Light” street lamp installation. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 323. 857.6180, raysandstarkbar.Com <br /> <br /> BesT FlAn in The universe AT MercADo <br /> <br /> Chef Jose Acevedo’s carnitas have irresistible magnetic pull, but his Best Flan in the Universe sends us into another orbit. This silky custard comes floating on a bed of caramel with berries and a ramekin of rompope (a Mexican liqueur) for drizzling. It pairs perfectly with a smoky, sipping mezcal. Seek seconds at Mercado’s next Mid-City outpost, opening this summer. 1416 4th St., Santa Monica, 310.526.7121, mercadosantamonica.Com <br /> <br /> FrieD PeAch Pie AT cooks counTy <br /> <br /> Our 2012 Best New Pastry Chef Roxana Jullapat’s fried peach pie is blue ribbonworthy. The down-home dessert consists of thin pie dough folded around two-hour-roasted Regier Farms peaches, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and—wait for it—deep-fried to order. Served hot with housemade peach ice cream and boysenberry compote, it’s a trip to Georgia in the heart of L.A. 8009 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.653.8009, cookscountyrestaurant.Com<br /> <br /> CoconuT gelATo Pie AT gusTo <br /> <br /> We’re lovin’ everything by Vic Casanova, but the object of our confection affections is the chef’s coconut gelato pie, a thick wedge of featherweight coconut gelato crowned with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and dusted with toasted coconut sprinkles, all atop a paper-thin graham cracker crust. Go ahead, swoon. 8432 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323.782.1778, gusto-la.Com<br /> <br /> On Our Speed DiaL<br /> <br /> Hollywood Pies<br /> <br /> David Miscimarra didn’t set out to make pizza, but a few years ago the former engineer with a penchant for pies—especially chicago deep-dish, where cheese and meat are buried beneath the sauce and you need a knife and fork to eat a slice—quietly opened a pizza operation out of a catering kitchen, where picking up your order required rolling into a parking lot behind a nondescript building where someone would be waiting. Even with such a down-low undertaking, word spread like wildfire, and chicago transplants, including a few Grey’s Anatomy stars, were clamoring for the classic deep-dish pies layered with mild italian sausage, fresh ricotta, whole-milk mozzarella and a bright, tangy, chunky tomato sauce. So Miscimarra took the leap and opened a small shop in West l.a., where you can now dine in (albeit with plastic forks and paper plates) or order for delivery or pickup. Those 45 minutes you’ll wait will seem like forever, but your reward—some of the best deep-dish pizza outside of the Windy city—is well worth it. Lou Malnati, watch out. 6116 1/2 W. Pico Blvd., L. A., 323.337.3212, hollywoodpies.Com<br /> <br /> Hot ’Hood<br /> <br /> Manhattan Beach<br /> <br /> Morphing from a volleyball mecca into a culinary capital, Manhattan Beach is abuzz with great new restaurants. David LeFevre’s incredible M.B. Post (1142 Manhattan Ave., 310. 545.5405, eatmbpost.Com) was the first chef-driven spot to open, followed shortly by The Strand House (117 Manhattan Beach Blvd., 310.545.7470, thestrandhouse.Com), Michael Zislis’ chic nighttime haunt for the well-to-do beach set. And a rash of newcomers have arrived in the past six months. Circa (903 Manhattan Ave., 310.374.4422, circamb.Com) also comes from Zislis and is serving justadventurous- enough global fare to fit in perfectly with the revamped vibe. Chez Soi (451 Manhattan Beach Blvd., 310. 802.1212, chezsoirestaurant.Com), from chef Mark Gold, brings classic French dishes accented with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, while LeFevre recently debuted the seafood spot Fishing with Dynamite (1148 Manhattan Ave., 310. 893.6299, eatfwd.Com). Southeast Asian fusion eatery Little Sister (1131 Manhattan Ave., 310. 890.7149), is from restaurateur Jed Sanford and chef Tin Vuong (Abigaile, WildCraft Sourdough Pizza).<br /> <br /> Patio you can’t Miss<br /> <br /> laurel hardware<br /> <br /> Hidden from the unrelenting traffic of West Hollywood, Laurel Hardware has all the ingredients for an incomparable patio experience: room to relax, a great drink list and plenty of stars overhead—a dense crowd of hot 20- to 40-somethings helps, too. Nestled between heat lamps and lush olive trees, you’ll feel like you’re in a friend’s backyard, only at this party, the drinks come to you. 7984 Santa Monica Blvd., 323.656.6070, laurelhardware.Com<br /> <br /> 5 CLassics with staying Power<br /> <br /> 1. Joe’s When Joe Miller opened his tiny little bistro on Abbot Kinney in 1991, there were hardly any restaurants along the now-buzzing strip. He set out to offer afordable French-Californian cuisine with great, local ingredients. While Venice has grown up around it, Joe’s is still a perfect spot for a refined meal without breaking the bank, especially for the $19 prix fixe lunch. 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., L.A., 310.399.5811, joesrestaurant.Com<br /> <br /> 2. ProviDence <br /> <br /> Michael Cimarusti’s kitchen talents and Donato Poto’s front-of-the-house hospitality ensured the duo’s seafood bastion would have some longevity. And since Patina lived there for 14 years before moving to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, they knew it had good bones. The sustainable seafood dishes prepared with finesse continue to make Providence one of Los Angeles’ best restaurants. 5955 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.460.4170, providencela.Com<br /> <br /> 3. Angelini osTeriA <br /> <br /> After putting in time at Mauro Vicenti’s storied Rex restaurant, Gino Angelini opened his Osteria on Beverly to serve dishes that are as much a part of his family history as they are masterful Italian cuisine: salsa pomodoro and spinach lasagna from his nonna, most notably. The place is packed every night, and it’s the restaurant of choice when you’re looking for authentic Italian. 7313 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.297.0070, angeliniosteria.Com<br /> <br /> 4. PATinA <br /> <br /> It speaks volumes that Joachim Splichal’s flagship withstood the move to the Walt Disney Concert Hall before downtown L.A. became a hotbed of activity. Whether you’re ordering pretheater items or seasonal dishes like bigeye tuna niçoise with quail egg and black truffle or maple leaf duck breast, you won’t be disappointed. Patina is the crown jewel in Splichal’s growing empire. 141 S. Grand Ave., L.A., 213.972.3331, patinarestaurant.Com<br /> <br /> 5. MÉlisse <br /> <br /> While many restaurants turn to casual dining, Josiah Citrin continues to serve haute French cuisine with California flair. Sure, the room got a redo and there’s now “mixology” at the bar, but the service is still excellent, delivering soft poached eggs topped with lemon-chive creme fraiche and caviar, veal with wild asparagus and Anson Mills polenta, and incredible wine from the award-winning list. 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310. 395.0881, melisse.Com<br /> <br /> Dining with a View<br /> <br /> Hidden geM<br /> <br /> Cortez Echo Park’s dining scene has taken a serious turn for the better, with new spots serving sustainable, globally influenced fare. Cortez, hidden just off of Sunset Boulevard, is one of them, a small operation with a Med-influenced menu. Dining is communal, letting the artsy set share plates of grilled asparagus topped with flakes of bottarga, wild-caught rockfish with chermoula, beets, potatoes and spring onions, and lamb chops with parsley sauce and spice-roasted carrots. Owners Marta Teegen and Robert Stelzner’s following from their eco-conscious market, Cookbook, helped make Cortez a fast favorite. Menus change weekly, and there’s always brunch, too. 1356 Allison Ave., L.A., 213.481.8015, restaurantcortez.Com<br /> <br /> Dining with a View<br /> <br /> Nobu Malibu<br /> <br /> You won’t find dolphins and whales on the menu (thankfully), but you just might catch a glimpse of them from the oceanfront patio at nobu Malibu, its new digs nestled between pch and the beach. The sleek, airy and softly lit dining room proffers floor-to-ceiling windows for maximum ocean-watching (and celeb-sighting, if that’s more your speed). Though the space is new, the menu is classic nobu—think yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and creamy rock shrimp tempura. And with the resto’s recently launched lunch service, there’s a lot more time (and light) for you to take in the view. Whether you’re next to the outdoor fireplace or inside the teak- and pinelined dining room, just about every seat in the house looks over the pacific, and nothing goes better with nobu’s legendary black cod with miso than a california sunset. Trust us. 22706 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 310.317.9140, noburestaurants.Com/malibu<br /> <br /> The Inn of the Seventh ray<br /> <br /> Call it Topanga Canyon’s culinary version of Shangri-La La Land—chirping birds, a winding creek and groves of California sycamores deep in the Santa Monica Mountains. Throughout its 37-year history in these enchanted surrounds, The Inn of the Seventh Ray has maintained a healthy, locally sourced food credo.Vestiges of its once vegetarian menu still linger (vegan soup is served daily), but Executive Chef Bradley Miller, a Patina alum, has created a diverse counterpart and wine list. For lighter options, try buckwheat noodles in dashi broth and organic Carneros sauvignon blanc, or there’s more robust fare, like hanger steak with duck bacon and St. Emilion Bordeaux. No matter what’s on your plate (or your palate), Miller’s distinctive dishes are sure to satiate. 128 Old Topanga Canyon Road, Topanga, 310.455.1311, innoftheseventhray.Com<br /> <br /> 5 Dishes we LoVe<br /> <br /> VeAl FileT Mignon TarTAre AT sPAgo <br /> <br /> Reinvention is no easy task, but Wolfgang Puck’s newest culinary chapter has cooked up another instant classic. Buried inside two chunky marrow bones standing at attention is perfectly rich veal simply seasoned and topped with a cap of smoked mascarpone cheese. Spread it on a slice of grilled baguette with a dab of caper-rich mustard sauce and smile. 176 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.385.0880, wolfgangpuck.Com <br /> <br /> ClAMs cAsino AT liTTleFork <br /> <br /> Hollywood is almost as far away from Rhode Island as you can get, but the clams casino at Littlefork fit in like an East Coast transplant determined to make it in this town. Served six to an order in an ebelskiver pan, these bite-sized littleneck beauties are topped with cracker stuffing and bacon, then broiled to a golden brown. 1600 Wilcox Ave., L.A., 323.465.3675, littleforkla.Com <br /> <br /> SAshiMi-sTyle ceviche FroM Paich <br /> <br /> Pick your favorite fish from an ocean of options and find out what “sashimi-style” ceviche looks like—in this case, a lot like sashimi sitting in a delectable puddle of leche de tigre, an acidic Peruvian sauce serving as a counterpoint to the luscious, ultrafresh slices of seafood that chef Ricardo Zarate garnishes with a Japanese shiso leaf. It’s Peru by way of Japan and distinctly Angeleno, all at the same time. 13488 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey, 310.893.6100, paichela. Com The TrAy FroM BluDso’s Bar- &-que Calling “The Tray” a dish is like calling the Queen Mary a boat—you get all 13 menu items (sans dessert). It’s a meat lover’s fantasy with various forms of beef, chicken and pork all fighting for barbecue supremacy, and a crowd of mac and cheese, potato salad and baked beans cheering from the sidelines. 609 N. La Brea Blvd., L.A., 323.931.2583, barandque.Com <br /> <br /> ArTichoke “oysTers” AT crossroADs <br /> <br /> Though actually cornmeal-crusted oyster mushrooms, this vegan doppelgänger is just as good as the real thing. Sure, there’s an artichoke petal instead of a shell, but the experience is the same—just grab your “oyster,” which sits atop a dollop of artichoke puree and briny kelp caviar. Toss it into your mouth for a full-flavored bite with muscle. 8284 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.782.9245, crossroadskitchen.Com<br /> <br /> Best design<br /> <br /> HiNoki & the bird <br /> <br /> Not only is Hinoki & the Bird well obscured, taking up the ground floor of Century City’s luxury Century condominium building, the door itself is so feng shui we couldn’t find it on our first visit. But step inside and the place is buzzing with a design aesthetic that epitomizes the way David Myers, who owned Sona for eight years, Comme Ça in L.A. and Las Vegas and Pizzeria Ortica in Orange County, is cooking now. Almost the entire space is under a canopy of cedar beams and canvas, which open to the night sky. Light fixtures and twirling plants dangle from the ceilings, there’s a living garden wall and the staff don denim shirts. This is where you want to eat silky hinoki-scented black cod, sambal skate wing and seasonal dishes tinged with the taste of the Silk Road. The look comes courtesy of the design team from MAI Studio, also creators of Gjelina’s rustic-chic vibe, making it one of the more beautiful dining spaces in town. 10 Century Drive, L.A., 310.552.1200, hinokiandthebird.Com<br /> <br /> MoVaBLe Feast<br /> <br /> Toque talk <br /> <br /> Even culinary superstars have a dish wish—a recipe they wouldn’t mind stealing from a fellow chef. We got a few of L.A.’s finest to spill the beans.<br /> <br /> “The spicy crab soup at ondal in Koreatown is so comforting yet explosive in the mouth at the same time. It reminds me of a warm, home-cooked meal but with a powerful bite…” –Shigefumi Tachibe, corporate executive chef, Chaya <br /> <br /> “caviar flatbread at petrossian… i crave it every sunday morning.” –Michael Voltaggio, chef,ink.<br /> <br /> “My favorite go-to dish is Mozza’s linguine with clams, pancetta and spicy fresno <br /> <br /> chiles. This dish has everything i love and want in a meal, especially next to one of david rosoff’s wine choices.” <br /> <br /> –Carolynn Spence, executive chef, Chateau Marmont and Bar Marmont<br /> <br /> FaVorite atMosPhere<br /> <br /> Rivabella<br /> <br /> Taking an iconic eatery like West Hollywood’s Hamburger Hamlet and transforming it into a sweeping, 8,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor Italian restaurant is no easy feat. Every detail for RivaBella was meant to evoke a rustic Tuscan villa, the kind with cobblestone floors, stone archways and leafy trellises, but set to a sleek, contemporary beat. One step in the door and you forget you’re on the Sunset Strip. “We pulled inspiration from everywhere,” says Adam Goldstein, one of the principals from Studio Collective, the design firm tasked with creating this massive hideaway. “It’s like someone’s villa, sort of residential in feel, lush and outdoors, but with more modern detailing.” It’s also the perfect setting for Gino Angelini’s (Angelini Osteria) menu, a fun, Italian-themed cocktail list, and the crowds clamoring to score a seat. 9201 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.278.2060, rivabellarestaurant.Com<br /> <br /> 5 CheFs to watch<br /> <br /> EliA AbouMrAD AT gorge <br /> <br /> L.A. to watch has its fair share of Top Chef toques, but Elia Aboumrad hit the scene with a subtle grace and a way with saucisson. Having worked at Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas, she has mastered the French technique of pig ear tartine and silky chicken liver parfait. Gorge is one of those whisperedabout places, partly because people don’t want to give up their new favorite secret spot. 8917 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 310.657.6328, gorgela.Com<br /> <br /> Ari TayMor AT AlMA <br /> <br /> Ari Taymor’s culinary path wove through the kitchens of Lucques and San Francisco’s Flour + Water and Bar Tartines before he turned his L.A. pop-up into a stationary spot on a remote strip of Broadway in downtown. Taymor serves dishes that employ delicious texture and taste contradictions like summer corn soup with vadouvan and nasturtium and addictive seaweed and tofu beignets. 952 S. Broadway, L.A., 213. 244.1422, alma-la.Com <br /> <br /> Miles ThoMPson AT AlluMeTTe <br /> <br /> Starting at the tender age of 13, Miles Thompson worked in the kitchens of L.A.’s Nobu, Animal and Son of a Gun. After his The Vagrancy Project pop-up, Bill Didonna and Charles Kelly gave the 25-year-old chef a (teensy) permanent stage for his intricate plates like ankimo (monkfish liver) in ponzu with sea grapes. 1320 Echo Park Ave.,L.A., 213. 935.8787, allumettela.Com <br /> <br /> JereMy Fox AT rusTic cAnyon <br /> <br /> Jeremy Fox, who made magic with ultraseasonal vegetables and unique grains at Ubuntu in Napa, teamed up with Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan to breathe new life into 7-year-old Rustic Canyon with meaty dishes like roasted lengua with morels, pork belly terrine with rhubarb mustard and (of course) seasonal veggies. 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.393.7050, rusticcanyonwinebar.Com <br /> <br /> JeFF Mahin AT sTellA BarrA <br /> <br /> When Jeff Mahin was tasked with creating pizza dough for Stella Barra in Santa Monica, he experimented with more than 30 different variations and techniques before getting the crust airy, chewy and crispy, all at once. With a second Stella Barra in Hollywood, the pizzerias are rising up as quickly as the dough. 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323. 301.4001, stellabarra.Com<br /> <br /> Haute hoteL cheFs<br /> <br /> In a town known for high-end hotels and higher-end eateries, the introduction of a new chef on the block is big news. Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles welcomed Executive Chef Mette Williams (Spago Beverly Hills, Cut and Soho House) to its Culina, Modern Italian (300 S. Doheny Drive, L. A., 310.860.400, culinarestaurant.Com) kitchen this spring. Formerly chef de cuisine at Craft in L.A. and Dallas, Anthony Zappola moved to Pasadena’s The Langham hotel to helm the revamp of its inhouse resto into The Royce Wood- Fired Steakhouse (1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, 626. 585.6410, pasadena. Langhamhotels.Com), now serving American Prime beef and fresh seafood. Livello (9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 310. 278.3344) at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills promoted Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Dayag to executive chef in April, giving him full control of the Asian-fusion California cuisine menu. Meanwhile, Chef David Codney (The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Fla.; Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas) brought a slew of new menu items, including quail and lentil salad when he took over The Peninsula’s AAA Five-Diamond-rated restaurant, The Belvedere (9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.788.2306, peninsula.Com/ beverly_hills). Eat ’n’ sleep never sounded so good.<br /> <br /> Best new MixoLogist<br /> <br /> BrIttInI rae PeterSon<br /> <br /> “It all starts with the ingredient I’m inspired by,” Brittini Rae Peterson, the 26-year-old bar manager at Goldie’s, says of her foodfoward cocktail creations. During a stint behind the bar at ink., she wandered into Michael Voltaggio’s Willy Wonka-like walk-in refrigerator and questioned the potable possibilities of squid ink and coriander oils. On a recent day at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, she scored some “amazing apricots” and put them to use at work that night, borrowing a bottle of dry sake from the Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya next door and mixing it up with apple brandy, lemon juice and a float of IPA. Coined East of Eden, the concoction now graces Goldie’s regular spirits menu. Peterson also makes her own Campari foams, shrubs and a cue ball-sized ice cube spiked with Peychaud’s bitters that “improves the cocktail with time rather than dilutes it” amid wood- and coal-fired fare in a campy setting compliments of the Eveleigh team. For a true liquid breakfast, there’s always the Mr. Roger’s, inspired by chef Thomas Lim’s French toast. So where’s the barkeeper when she’s not mixing whiskey with maple syrup or smoking her own vodka over an open fire? At home, sipping Auchentoshan Three Wood single malt and penning a book about modern bar etiquette. Bet on a full-flavored read. 8422 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323.677.2470, goldiesla.Com

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