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Please direct all media inquiries to Jim Yeager at breakwhitelight public relations.
By Lesley Balla
The days are getting shorter, but the temps are not cooling down, and neither is the LA restaurant scene. There are a lot of high-profile projects coming to town this fall, some from nationally known chefs, some from local hometown stars. Here's what we're looking forward to.
Gardner Junction: Moving into what was once a Red Car Trolley stop, this new Hollywood restaurant and lounge features lots of brass and dark, locomotive-inspired elements, plus an all-outdoor bar for cocktailing. Chef Steve Brown (Monsieur Marcel, Inn of the Seventh Ray) will be doing an ever-changing, seasonal small plates menu with things like seared foie gras and squid ink waffles; vegan bisque shooters; braised short ribs; and sous-vide carrots. Opening date: September 14 (1451 N. Gardner St.; 323-450-9021).
Otium: The new restaurant from Timothy Hollingsworth and Bill Chait's Sprout machine will open alongside the new Broad Museum in Downtown LA. The menu is described as “contemporary American,” with dishes from Hollingsworth’s repertoire like heirloom tomato tart with burrata and petit basil; Hama Hama oysters with grapes and green apple mignonette; spot prawns with basmati rice, piquillo peppers, chorizo and Spanish caper emulsion; and whole grilled striped bass with shaved vegetables, pea shoots and burnt lemon. On the name: “Otium means leisure, peaceful quiet reflection,” says Chait. “The whole vibe of Downtown is social interaction; that’s what makes this area so unique.” Because the restaurant lives in the new park filled with 100-year-old olive trees adjacent to the museum, the outdoors will play a role. “It will be like a sophisticated treehouse,” Chait adds. Opening date: September 20 (222 S. Hope St.).
Clifton's Cafeteria: After almost five years, millions of dollars and a lot of press exposure over whether new owner Andrew Meieran is doing the right thing or not, the famous Clifton's Cafeteria will be reborn as a multi-faceted space in a 109-year-old building on Broadway. This is Clifton's for a new millennium: Gone are the free meals, pot roast, mashed potatoes and Jell-O, and in their place will be two restaurants, an old-school cafeteria, and five bars, one a basement speakeasy and another sporting tiki decor from the shuttered Bahooka Restaurant. Jason Fullilove, formerly of Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar, is the executive chef for the project. Opening date: September 17 (648 S. Broadway).
Little Pine: Famous musician and Eastside local Moby is teaming up with chef Anne Thornton to open this new vegan restaurant in Silver Lake. Thornton will direct the culinary program at the Silver Lake neighborhood spot, serving comforting vegan cuisine with unconventional recipes that utilize the finest available ingredients. A retail space, located at the front of the eatery, will offer eco-sustainable housewares and gifts from Moby and Thornton’s favorite artisans, artists and authors. Opening date: September (2870 Rowena Ave.).
Sausal: This “Nuevo Rancho”–style concept from chef Anne Conness (Tin Roof Bistro, Simmzy’s) and veteran industry duo Sorin Costache and Joseph Suceveanu (Il Forno) will land in El Segundo. Named after the vast farmstead that once encompassed the area, Rancho Sausal Redondo, the restaurant will showcase elevated everyday comfort food that also highlights Conness' passion for the bold, earthy flavors of Mexican cuisine as imagined through a Southern California sensibility. Opening date: September (219 Main St.).
American Tea Room: David Barenholtz will open a new outpost of his tea shop and lounge in the Arts District, right across the street from Bestia and where the new Soho House will land next year. It will have a living green wall in front, a massive bar made of reclaimed wood, and graffiti art by Retina and Saber. Plus, there will be technology that helps guests choose their tea depending on their mood or what flavors they like. Opening date: Early September, possibly Labor Day weekend (909 S. Santa Fe Ave.).
Sidecar Doughnuts: The very popular Costa Mesa outfit known for making donuts from scratch throughout the day is coming north to open a second location in Santa Monica. Everything is made in-house, from the glazes to the jams and other toppings, and there’s always at least one daily gluten-free option and vegan flavor. The opening date has been pushed all year, with a fall debut in the works. Opening date: Hoping for September (631 Wilshire Blvd.).
Little Sister DTLA: Chef Tin Vuong and business partner Jed Sanford of Blackhouse Hospitality (Little Sister, Abigaile, Wildcraft and Dia de Campo) are on a tear for 2015. Already the two debuted Steak & Whisky, a new steakhouse in Hermosa Beach, with a new, still-unnamed Redondo Beach concept coming sometime this year, further establishing their presence in the South Bay. And now they’re heading inland to open a new Little Sister outpost in Downtown LA. Vuong hit a home run with his Southeast Asian fare at the first LS in Manhattan Beach, so expect more of the same. Opening date: Late fall (523 W. Seventh St.)
Officine BRERA: A second Italian restaurant from Matteo Ferdinandi and chef Angelo Auriana will debut next to their Factory Kitchen in the Arts District. This will also be quite large with an expansive dining room, patio and private dining rooms, and a menu featuring regional, rustic Italian cuisine. Chef de cuisine is Mirko Paderno (Olivero). Opening date: Late September/early October (1330 E. Sixth St.)
Le Petit Paris: From Cannes-based restaurateurs David and Fanny Rolland, this mega-brasserie fills one of the oldest buildings in Downtown's Historic Core and will feature multiple skylights, several grand entrances, a mezzanine level, lounge, outdoor patio and sprawling kitchen that will serve up to 400 people — even bigger than Bottega Louie. Along with it is a marketplace with products and art from France. Click on the website for a snazzy video. Opening date: September/October (420 S. Spring St.).
Spring: Yassmin Sarmadi and Michelin-starred Tony Esnault, owner and executive chef of Church & State, respectively, will finally debut their French-focused restaurant in the Douglas Building on Spring and Third streets Downtown this summer. The foliage-filled dining room, which has been a couple of years in the making, will have a gorgeous glass and steel skylight, the perfect setting for Esnault’sFrench-Mediterranean fare. Opening date: October (257 S. Spring St.).
Arts District Brewing Company: This new brewpub concept from Cedd Moses’ 213 Hospitality group lands in the Arts District, and it will be massive: 258 seats, an outdoor seating area plus a rooftop, and Skee-Ball lanes. More than half the place will be dedicated to a brewery and the kitchen, but details are still scarce on what we'll be drinking and eating. Opening date: Sometime this fall (830 Traction Ave.).
The Rose: A huge undertaking by Bill Chait’s Sprout restaurant group and chef Jason Neroni (Catch & Release), this multifaceted concept will replace the long-standing Rose Cafe in Venice. It will have everything: a full-fledged bakery; hot and cold deli cases; a huge dining room and patio; a 40-foot bar and Julian Cox cocktails; and there’s talk of a biergarten with kebabs and sausages in the parking lot. Opening date: End of September (220 Rose Ave.).
Salt’s Cure: Chris Phelps and Zak Walters, chefs and co-owners of Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood, are moving into the former Ammo space on Highland Avenue. They've been cooking up fantastic breakfasts, lots of bacon and wine-friendly dinners for the last five years on Santa Monica Boulevard, and the move will give them a larger dining room, add a patio and allow for cocktail service. The original restaurant will remain open until the new one is ready. Opening date: Late September/early October (1155 N. Highland Blvd.).
Pok Pok LA: After all the hubbub surrounding Pok Pok Phat Thai opening at the Far East Plaza — we're not really sure the crowds have ever died down — the second of chef Andy Ricker’s two Pok Pokconcepts is slated to open in the former Fu Ling space in Chinatown’s Mandarin Plaza. The two-story space will have a lounge and courtyard seating, with a menu similar to Ricker’s Portland restaurants, Pok Pok PDX and Whiskey Soda Lounge. Opening date: October-ish (970 Broadway).
Knead & Company Pasta Bar and Market: There is a lot happening at the Grand Central Market this fall. First up, Union chef Bruce Kalman brings his handmade pastas Downtown with Knead & Co. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, it will feature a 16-seat bar overlooking an open kitchen and a "pasta lab" where passersby and diners can watch freshly rolled and extruded pasta being made throughout the day. The menu will offer a mix of elevated Italian-American dishes that nod to Kalman's East Coast roots (think baked ziti and spaghetti Bolognese) and more creative dishes akin to what you'd find at Union, like pappardelle with rabbit sugo, all made with freshly milled flours from purveyors like Pasadena's Grist & Toll. There will also be made-to-order panini, fresh pasta salads and sides, and housemade meatballs and sausages. Beer and wine will be available, and Kalman will be making classic Italian desserts like cannoli designed to grab and go. In addition to seated dining, there will be a small marketplace for fresh pastas; sauces, cheeses and butter all made in-house; Kalman's legendary gardiniere; and, an array of local and imported specialty goods. Opening date: September/October (317 S. Broadway).
Vegan Ramen Shop: Chef Ilan Hall of The Gorbals will open LA's first all-vegan ramen and pho at Grand Central Market. The menu will read like a love letter to vegetables, with entrees such as Khop Ramen, made with doenjang broth, curry-roasted celeriac, kimchi; and pho-ginger-onion broth with rice noodles, lime, basil, cilantro and smoked tofu. Every ramen dish will also have a gluten-free option. Opening date: Early fall (317 S. Broadway).
Courage & the Craft: Also coming to the Grand Central Market is this boutique spirits, wine and beer shop, which is to focus on all aspects of the art of crafting cocktails. From Bestia bar program director Nicholas Krok and bar manager Ryan Duffy, the small space next to Eggslut will feature handmade spirits, syrups, bitters, bar utensils, recipes and more. Opening date: Late fall (317 S. Broadway).
Golden Road at Grand Central Market: If you though some of the Grand Central Market vendors selling beer and wine was great, wait until Golden Road Brewing debuts its tasting bar in the market. In addition to 20 beers on tap, pierogi will be a staple on the menu. Opening date: Late fall (317 S. Broadway).
Moruno and Bar Vermut: Two Osteria Mozza alums, general manager David Rosoff and chef de cuisine Chris Feldmeier, already opened a take-out window for their Spanish kebabs and sandwiches, which is a placeholder until the full restaurant and bar in the multilevel Short Order space at the Original Farmers Market opens. Based on Spanish snacks called morunos, or little skewers of pork or lamb cooked over a fire, Moruno will be on the first floor, with Bar Vermut, which specializes in vermouth and conservas, upstairs. The duo also plan a similar Spanish bar concept at the Grand Central Market for the fall. Opening date: Sometime this fall (6333 W. Third St.).
Blue Star Donuts: In even more donut news, Portland's famous gourmet outfit will bring famous donut flavors like blueberry bourbon basil, hard apple cider fritters and Cointreau crème brûlée to Venice. They'll also have Stumptown coffee and Steve Smith teas to sober you up. Opening date: Sometime this fall (1142 Abbot Kinney Blvd.).
Let's stay in touch! We'll keep you posted on events, new vendor openings, special offers, seasonal activities, and all the rest. Don't worry: we won't go crazy with the messages—once a week, max—and we'll never share your email with any other party.