The New Los Angeles (2011;2012; 2013)

The Cedd Moses award winning bar, The Varnish, at the back of Coles, a restored century old formerly run down restaurant. We enjoyed a great hot pastrami sandwich at Coles just after it opened. The Varnish was recently named best bar in America.


The LA cuture front continues to rapidly expand. Debuting in 2013 are the first LA Art Book Fair at MoCA Geffen museum and the Paris Los Angeles Photo Fair, at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles.

 Hinoku & The Bird has opened in a plus new Century City Los Angeles condo tower, whose penthouse is owned by Candy Spelling.
The New York Times did a phenomenal advance review of it in January 2013. It noted:
“The cocktails, by the Milk & Honey mixologist Sam Ross, are as refreshing as the food.”
Lobster Roll (Photo by Dylan + Jeni)
Hinoku & the Bird – some dining options.

Le Grand Fooding comes to MoCA Geffen from Paris in April, 2013.

Chi Spacca is the latest restaurant in the Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton, Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza LA Italian food empire.

Baryard Restaurant in Venice is one of the best new places that have opened in LA in 2013.

Barnyard Venice exterior. Its chef worked at the French Laundry in Napa.

Superba Snack Bar in Venice is also adding to the how new LA dining scene.

Bestia is one of the most months in advanced booked new Italian restaurants in California. Its in downtown Los Angeles.

A sample of Bestia’s in-house salumeria offerings.

A dish at Bestia.

Figaro Bistro has opened in downtown LA.

alma new american french 952 s broadway los angeles ca is getting superior reviews from LA’s genius restaurant critic Jonathan Gold. He says there is no one cooking like Alma in LA, its on its way to being a global destination restaurant.

An example of Alma’s cooking.

Over 15,000 Attend Inaugural LA Art Book Fair at LA’s MoCA Geffen museum

Artist A.A. Bronson’s LA Art Fair was covered by the NYTimes T magazine. There were 220 exhibitors from 21 countries. There were small showcases of exceptional collections of art books that I found fascinating, particularly the one featuring Yves Klein and his International Blue. The LA books fair received a huge amount of press from New York.

The book fair attracted thousands of people from all parts of Los Angeles. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

The book fair attracted thousands of people from all parts of Los Angeles. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic). The entire museum’s space was given over to the first annual LA Artist Book Fair. We went on Sunday afternoon and it was packed. Afterwards we ate in nearby at an amazing noodle bar. So many choices – most directly from Japan.


The main lobby of The Geffen, on the second day of the Book Fair before the rush (over 15,000 visitors in the three-day fair).


In late 2012 and early 2013, LA will experience a new wave of most remarkable new restaurants. (photo)

Bestia, an amazing new Italian restaurant that will open in the downtown LA arts district. It will feature 30 kinds of salumi and an Acunto pizza oven from Naples, Italy.

–Le Grand Fooding Announce LA Event

By FDL on September 24, 2012

The team at Le Grand Fooding, publishers of the Le Fooding Restaurant guides and organizers of food events in New York, Paris and Milan, have announced plans to stage a food event in LA.

The team have recently held their fourth annual New York event – this time with a focus on upcoming chefs and say that tell the LA Times that they picked Los Angeles because it’s just a lively as New York but still very different from the Big Apple.

Known for throwing quirky events that mix social and dining experiences perfectly with some of the worlds best chefs, Le Fooding has built a solid reputation over the years. With New York offices now opened and the announcement of an LA event in the works – it’s seem there’s a Le Grand Fooding revolution taking place State sid

Campanille Exterior - H 2012

“Republique, a concept from acclaimed chef Walter Manzke and prolific restaurateur Bill Chait, will replace the Cal-Mediterranean restaurant at the landmark 1929 address originally owned by Charlie Chaplin.Beginning in 1989, chef/owner Mark Peel and his then-wife Nancy Silverton, who now nurtures industry hotbed Mozza not too far away in Hancock Park, helped define a quintessentially L.A. sort of white-cloth yet rustic Cal-Mediterranean menu that would eventually emerge as one of the most dominant trends in the city’s restaurant culture in the 1990s.”

the historic property was  first built for Charlie Chaplin in 1929


Jeremy Fox Launches Barnyard Restaurant In Venice

“Los Angeles, CA(July 17, 2012) – Chef Jeremy Fox, formerly of Ubuntu and Manresa, is readying Barnyard Venice for a 2012 opening. In his first solo project since Ubuntu, Fox’s Barnyard will showcase his own interpretation of peasant cuisine, offering shareable plates of rustic, seasonal fare. Says Fox, “Barnyard will be a product of everything I have learned on my cooking journey. Not only do I look forward to exploring the flavors of the Mediterranean and North Africa, and incorporating elements from my childhood in the South, but to continuing the voyage as the Barnyard menu evolves.” Barnyard is located at 1715 Pacific Avenue in Venice.””About Jeremy Fox
Jeremy Fox opened Ubuntu in 2007, where he was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef 2008, Bon Appetit’s 2009 Best Chef, and received James Beard Best Chef Pacific Award nominations in both 2009 and 2010. In Fall 2009, Ubuntu became the first modern vegetarian restaurant to receive a Michelin Star. Prior to Ubuntu, Jeremy spent five years working for his mentor, Chef David Kinch, at Manresa, eventually rising to the position of Chef de Cuisine. During his tenure, Manresa received two Michelin Stars and four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. Fox has also staged at the Michelin three-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and the widely acclaimed St. John, both in London, as well as the Michelin two-star De Snippe in Belgium. Since leaving Ubuntu, Jeremy has been working on a vegetable cookbook for Phaidon Press and has consulted for restaurants including Plum, Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie & Wine, Freddy Smalls, and Paper or Plastik Cafe.”

Plan Check restaurant and Bar, West Los Angeles

  • Redefining Classic American Food with Plan Check's Ernesto Uchimura
  • Plan Check restaurant and bar just got the review of the century (10.20.2012)  for its technology driven modernist cooking ultra burger by Jonathan Gold in the LA Times. Gold also mentions that Plan Check may have more Japanese whiskey than all of the other restaurants in LA combined.

    “Plan Check (West Los Angeles) – Industrial atmosphere, small batch liquors, and wagyu burgers.” (Text and Photo by Blackbook/Los Angeles)

New Los Angeles restaurants and bars, July 2012

Kitchen 24 downtown LA ( photo)

Perch restaurant and bar downtown LA ( photo)

The Parish downtown LA true 2 story gastropub (photo: Longrada Lor)
We went to The Parish for Sunday dinner at 6pm during opening week. The tomato soup and wonderful toast with Grafton cheese started the evening, along with cocktails. Broth infused tasty clams and other dishes followed.
The dining area is on the second floor of a Flatiron shaped building on South Spring street. The bar is also on the second floor and was packed even at this early hour.


Departures magazine names n/naka one of the Top 1- World’s Top Tasting Menus for 2012


© Zen Sekizawa

n/naka, Los Angeles

At n/naka, the tasting menu is modeled after kaiseki, the Japanese analogue to a multi-course haute cuisine dinner. Chef Niki Nakayama’s Modern Kaiseki is a 13-course affair that showcases her inventive twists on traditional kaiseki progression, which specifies a first course of “something common and something unique,” a second course of a “main seasonal ingredient presented as an appetizer,” a third course of sashimi and more. At n/naka, these specifications yield dishes like Maine lobster tartare with uni butter and California sturgeon caviar, and Muscovy duck houba yaki with foie gras. The meal comes with similarly diverse beverage pairings—sake to start, Portuguese port to finish and wines in between.


File:Stumptown Coffee Roasters window.jpg
Stumptown Coffee is expanding to LA.

Pour Vous bar, Hollywood

“The space is separated into four main parts: a lengthy marble bar to the left, w/ antiqued mirrors and a steampunk-ified vintage espresso maker rejiggered to pour four tap beers; a sunken seating area to the right, w/ plush velvet couches and a fireplace under a domed skylight; a formerly working train trolley (!) that’s been refurbished into a backyard smoking area” Thrillist

Pour Vous Opens on Melrose
oysters at Pour Vous
Wolfslair Biergarten, Hollywood

“This dark-wooded biergarten kinda feels like that taxidermy-wolf bar in Hostel where the kids talk about how much fun they are having in Europe before they have much less fun being killed.” Thrillist

Wellesbourne Bar

The Wellesbourne in West Los Angeles

Picture brass reading lamps, a bar menu printed on textured paper, oversized bookshelves jammed with books and guest checks issued in miniature novels…”

Los Angeles Brewing Company Opens
Los Angeles Brewing Company
av nightclub!
AV nightclub, Los Angeles / Photos: Genie Fitzgerald

The Blue Whale jazz club is LA’s hottest. Located on Astronaut street in Little Toyko.

Parc bar, Beverly Hills

“It’s that living room-y space located across from Scarpetta on the ground floor of the Montage in Beverly Hills with sweeping vistas of Canon Gardens. Each evening at Parq,  different musical genre such as jazz, R&B or blues and a fresh lineup of talented local and regional artists are featured. From 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. nightly, you can settle in with a glass of wine, Champagne or a classic cocktail and enjoy house-made charcuterie, beef and Fourme d’Ambert sliders or fresh farmer’s market produce. Get this! They even offer fresh, hand-crafted sushi.”


Black Hogg, in Silverlake neighborhood, Los Angeles from Chef/owner Eric Park (The Spotted Pig, Eleven Madison Park in New York City)

Little Bear Belgian beer bar in east of downtown Los Angeles is rolling. (Photo: Savory Hunter blog)

Umamicatessen’s Soft Opening, DTLA (Photo: Darin Dines/Eater National Flickr Pool)

Burger Demand in Los Angeles Grabs Hold in New York Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg
Customers eat lunch at UMAMIcatessen in Los Angeles.

Beautiful Pork @ PIGG, UMAMIcatessen

TOP 1: Burgers Ozark (CA, MO)
2: Finchville (KY)
3. Iberico de Bellota (Spain)
Bottom 4. Iberico de Bellota paletta (Spain)

bacon and dipping sauce from PIGG. It has an off the chain selection of tastes of the worlds finest hams from Spain.

For years Water Grill was the only Michelin starred restaurant in downtown LA. Now its has completed a $1.5 million upgrade and is more fabulous and phenomenal than ever.

Fresh seafood displayed at the bar counter at the Water Grill in downtown LAGovind Armstrong’s new Post & Beam is the first truly upscale restaurant and cocktail bar in Central Los Angeles, south of the Santa Monica (10) freeway in a predominantly African-American community. Nearby is one of the wealthiest black communities in the U.S. in Baldwin Hills.

Pasta at Post & Beam in Central Los Angeles

Beacher’s Madhouse at the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood

“And fourth, saving the wildest for last is Beacher’s Madhouse — a revolutionary Vaudeville-inspired theater on the hotel’s lower level, with European influences and echoes of the Folies Bergére. The venue extends 3,000 square feet, featuring a mirrored passageway, a 1920s-inspired main stage, antique brass accents and red velvet curtains. Eighteen VIP banquettes of various sizes are available throughout the theater including an exclusive birdcage booth with seating for 20. Concessions and catering are offered to guests as they enjoy the performances and order drinks from the Beau Joie Flying Midget bartender mixing up cocktails at the fully operating Midget Bar.”

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Beacher’s Madhouse Theater, Thompson’s Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Artisan House Interior - H 2011
Artisan House joins Botegga Louis and many new restaurants coming to the quickly transforming Broadway corridor.

Artisan House
Officially opening today, this massive, high-ceilinged complex full of reclaimed marble on the ground floor of the Pacific Electric Lofts in the Historic Core is remarkably ambitious. The sit-down restaurant serves foie gras terrines just a block from Skid Row. The bar finds mixologist Elden McFeron III, a vet of The Bazaar, whipping up margaritas cryo-frozen with liquid nitrogen. And the market annex sells made-to-order deli sandwiches—as well as gelato, wine and more—until 2AM (and an hour later on weekends). 600 S. Main St., L.A., 213.622.6333, (Hollywood Reporter)

Oldfield’s bar

Pattern Bar opened in the fall of 2011 on  9th/Main in Downtown LA

batch-restaurantBatch, a new gastropub in Culver City.

Batch Restaurant & Bar is now open in Culver City offering artisanal food and handcrafted cocktails in a sophisticated and lively environment.

Short Order is one of several new LA gourmet burger bars. They recently added a selection of savories by Walter Manszke, whose won restaurant, Republique, is on the most anticipated new dining destinations in LA. It will be downtown.

Golden Road Brewing , Los Angeles

Chicago has seen the rise and collapse of brewpubs since the late 1980′s. The now famous Goose Island (an actual tiny island with a superb brewing facility and lively bar and restaurant in Chicago) hails from that time and is a standard-bearer today. The Chicago Beer Society’s Real Ale Festival started in 1996 and was closed in 2003, when the were forced out of business by the liquor commission who said they had to license the former steel factory they used each year as a year round tavern. The festival closed and relocated to San Diego. Chicago’s global beer bar – the Map Room – opened in 1992. The Chicago Beer Society was formed in 1977. Ray Daniels Cicerone Certification Program has so far produced 38 Certified Cicerone’s in Chicago and 8 in Greater Los Angeles. The 6,000 square foot The Publican (Belgian beer and grub bar, every waiter and bartender is a certified beer server (level 3 in the Beer Cicero education program, with Master Cicerone and Certified Cicerone being levels one and 2. There are now 2 Master Cicerone’s in Chicago). Unbelieveably, and unlike in the past, when major breweries were out to destroy the smaller breweries, Goose Island has been absorbed into Anheuser-Busch In Bev, yet Goose Island remains a true artisanal brewer with its full arsenal of flavors. Chicago is building neighborhood breweries to compliment the rise of their city’s culinary programs to being at the upper strata of American cuisine. Since it was city-based breweries that did not ship out their beer that were at the start of the American beer industry, what we have then is a return to the same place that the industry started, but this time, actually producing product in America that has already been on this planet for somewhere between 700 and 2000 years, depending on the place of the earth you choose as a starting point.

Ray & Stark bar, LACMA

Cook’s country is one of the most rewarding new artisan restaurants in LA.

Handsome Coffee Roasters

A sneak peak at the new flagship store in LA’s downtown Arts District

by Julie Wolfson in Food-Drink on 15 February 2012 / Coolhunting


For the last few months, the corner of 5th and Mateo in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles has been abuzz with activity as the WoodSmithe team puts the finishing touches on Handsome Coffee Roasters‘ flagship store. Handsome has made a splash in the specialty coffee world since they announced that Tyler Wells and Chris Owens would be teaming up with World Barista Champion Michael Phillips to launch the coffee company of their dreams.


With the space nearly ready to open its doors, the collaboration between the roasters and the builders—who also happen to be neighbors—seems like a natural one. Also in on the operation is Na Young Ma’s Proof Bakery, whose pastries will be served alongside the coffee.


“Frank Gehry Designing New Jazz Bakery Theater in Culver City” (Curbed LA)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012, by Adrian Glick Kudler

“Current site photo via Culver City Times The Jazz Bakery is getting a new permanent home in Culver City and it’ll be designed by Frank Gehry, who we don’t often see around these parts anymore. The jazz nonprofit has been itinerant since 2009, when it lost its lease in the Helms Bakery complex, but about a year ago it got a $2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation and made a deal with the Culver City Redevelopment Agency for a piece of land on Washington Blvd., next to the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Last night, the city council signed off on the land deal (probably in advance of the redevelopment agency apocalypse going down tomorrow), reports the Culver City Times. The Jazz Bakery will get the land for free on the condition that it goes ahead with plans for a “premier live performance state of the art jazz venue with two hundred and fifty (250) seats, ground level lobby, a jazz museum, black box performance area and a bakery/café with outdoor dining,” as described by the staff report on the matter. The Bakery plans to hold about 250 shows a year. According to the CC Times, the whole project will cost $10.2 million, so the Jazz Bakery will be holding a capital campaign to supplement the Annenberg grant.” (Curbed)

LA To Get Film Museum next to LACMA in 2016

Film News

Posted: Tue., Mar. 27, 2012, 4:45pm PT

Academy adds to future museum (Variety magazine)

Ruby slippers just one recent acquisition

The recently acquired ruby slippers are just one centerpiece for the future Academy museum. The recently acquired ruby slippers are just one centerpiece for the future Academy museum.
The Acad collection includes sketches from “There Will Be Blood.”
“The Acad collection includes sketches from “There Will Be Blood.”

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gathered for a recent staff meeting at the Pickford Center in Hollywood, the group had the opportunity to see a piece of movie history that impressed even the most senior executives: a pair of ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”

It was the first time since AMPAS made the acquisition in February that anyone within the org had seen the shoes, and everyone celebrated with red velvet cupcakes embellished with tiny, garnet-colored shoes.

The footwear unveiling was a tangible sign of how much closer the org is getting to opening the decades-in-the-making Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the centerpiece of which will be Dorothy’s magical shoes. The Academy recently named execs to run the museum, which is targeted to open at LACMA’s May Co. building in 2016.

“The experience of seeing (the slippers), especially in a crowd, puts everyone in touch with their inner film geek,” said Anne Coco, graphic arts librarian.

The high-profile pair of shoes is just one of the recent additions to the Academy’s massive collection of scripts, press clippings, biographies, costume sketches, movie posters and personal papers, amassed over more than eight decades, that will provide fodder for a wide scope of exhibits when the museum opens.

The library is also processing late-2011 donations from producer Stephen Chin, who gave the library several kung-fu movie posters, and Chicago-based real estate developer Dwight Cleveland, who provided rare film posters from his collection.

“The library is the history of our country, the history of our culture,” Hudson explained.”

Berggruen builds collection for Los Angeles (excerpted)

The German collector shelves plans to build a Berlin museum in favour of long-term loans to the US

By Gareth Harris. News, Issue 231, January 2012
Published online: 05 January 2012

Berggruen is focusing on German and West Coast artists, including Chris Burden, whose Metropolis II (right) is already on loan to Lacma from the collector

The private collector and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, son of the late German-Jewish art dealer and philanthropist Heinz Berggruen, is set to follow in the footsteps of the collector Eli Broad by sending several works on long-term loans to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma), where Berggruen is a trustee. “I’m building up a collection for Lacma,” he says, “focusing on German artists such as Thomas Schütte, Martin Kippenberger, Gerhard Richter and Joseph Beuys.” Works by West Coast artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman and Mike Kelley from Berggruen’s collection are also due to end up at the museum. “Los Angeles is still a developing cultural centre and that’s why one can make a difference there,” he says.27 Jan 12

A ‘very special’ city.

“I find L.A. super vibrant. The city is not always considered a serious place, but it has a lot of serious creativity,” he added. “Notwithstanding its problems, California is the idea center of America. If you take away Hollywood and Silicon Valley for the last 20 years, you would have a different world. If you erased New York, I hate to say it, if you erased Frankfurt, even London, the world would not have changed.”

LA MOCA Teams with YouTube for Art Video Channel

By Stephanie Murg on January 23, 2012 9:51 AM

Get ready for MOCA TV! The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles has teamed with YouTube to create a new video channel for fresh contemporary art and culture programming. The online programming venture, part of YouTube’s new original programming push, is expected to debut in July with an identity designed by L.A.-based Studio Number One. “Contemporary art is the new international language, unifying leading creators across art, music, fashion, film, and design,” said MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who has always struck us as a natural VJ. “MOCA TV will be the ultimate digital extension of the museum, aggregating, curating, and generating the strongest artistic content from around the world for a new global audience of people who are engaged in visually oriented culture.” Slated for the MOCA TV line-up? Global art news briefs, programs focused on the latest collaborative projects (art and music, art and fashion), looks inside artists’ studios, the street art beat (natch), and an interactive education series called MOCA University. The musem has tapped social media company theAudience to help get the word out about MOCA TV as the launch approaches.

The Bordello is now the One Eyed Gypsy!

The re-model looks gorgeous, and I’m glad to see they haven’t lost their steam-punk circus vibe! They just added an old-school fortune-teller, a love-o-meter, and two skee ball machines that distribute tickets redeemable for drinks & food! And they didn’t leave out the grub, The Brite Spot guy will be slinging an extensive fried menu (corn dogs, sweet potato tots, funnel cakes, deep-fried Chocodiles, etc.) as well as share-eats like a reuben pizza with sauerkraut, corned beef, and thousand island.
The Escondite burger bar in downtown LA

United Artists Theater to Be Ace Hotel

photo by Gary Leonard

Exterior view of Trinity Auditorium Building, 9th Street and Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, ca.1914-1920

United Artists Theater

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 7:45 pm | Updated: 3:53 pm, Tue Jan 24, 2012.

By Ryan Vaillancourt, Staff Writer | 0 comments

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Oregon-based Ace Hotel has confirmed plans to open in the historic United Artists Theater on Broadway.

The hotel chain’s plan calls for 180 rooms in the former office building’s 13 floors, and it will include a 1,600-seat entertainment venue in the structure’s namesake theater. The plan also calls for a pool, restaurant and bar in the edifice that has not been fully activated in decades, according to the office of 14th District Councilman José Huizar.

The Broadway landmark had long been owned by the University Cathedral, a congregation made famous by its late founding pastor, Dr. Gene Scott. The church has maintained the building, which was built in 1927 by United Artists founders D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

The building was the tallest privately owned building in Los Angeles until 1956, Huizar’s office said.

King & Grove Coming to LA, Possibly with Two Hotels

Where: Los Angeles, CA, United States
December 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Lanyard key chains at Ruschmeyer’s, a King & Grove Hotel in Montauk.

Downtown LA blog Brigham Yen found out earlier this month that indeed King & Grove would open up inside the old Hotel Clark near 4th and Hill Streets in downtown’s Historic Core district (and just a few blocks away from the intended Ace Hotel.) A rep for King & Grove confirmed the scoop but was not able to release any further details. Still, Brigham Yen had noticed some renovations going on at the hotel including a new pool deck and some new orange curtains.

But one hotel might not be enough for King & Grove as the blog now says that the old Trinity Auditorium at 9th and Grand Ave in downtown could possibly be a second King & Grove hotel as well.

Breaking News: Hotel Clark to be Reborn as King & Grove Hotel in Downtown LA

Posted on December 2, 2011 by | 14 Comments
“King & Grove is a new lifestyle hotel brand defined by modern luxury with eclectic influences. Dedicated to creating intriguing hotels that are sophisticated yet accessible, King & Grove is launching a collection of iconic destinations themed by a sense of nostalgia delivered through thoughtfully crafted environments. With an emphasis on immersive service, King & Grove hotels will feature honest and aspiring restaurants and bars, progressive retail, and unique amenities.”After sending an inquiry to King and Grove asking about their involvement with the Hotel Clark, I received a reply back from Jennifer Foley Shields, VP of Media Relations for King and Grove Hotels, “The Clark will become a King & Grove property, you are correct. At this point, I’m not able to provide any further detail.”Examples of King & Grove’s hotels:

King & Grove Hotel in Miami South Beach (Photo: King & Grove)
King & Grove Hotel in Montauk, New York (Photo: King & Grove)
King & Grove Hotel in Montauk, New York (Photo: King & Grove)
Downtown bar“NEW COCKTAIL LOUNGE THE AVIARY Calling The Aviary Chicago’s best cocktail lounge is needless and obvious, considering the oceans of ink already expended on this months-old Fulton Market bar, but it must be said: This brainchild of Alinea’s chef, Grant Achatz, and his business partner, Nick Kokonas, is the most ambitious, fully realized, innovative twist on drinking the city has ever seen. One sip of its take on an old-fashioned (In the Rocks, $18), which requires the drinker to crack a bourbon-filled egg of ice with a miniature slingshot, and we were hooked. Not to mention attentive, polished service; a gorgeous room blissfully devoid of false Old World charm; and finger food straight out of the Alinea playbook.”

Aviary molecular cocktail lounge from Chicago will be expanding to LA

Macao Trading Co. is one of New York City’s most fun bar.restaurants that is coming to LA

“Bagatelle has long been a St. Tropez-infused phenomenon in New York, feeding the city’s elite for years. Now emerging hospitality group Brand Essence and industry leaders The ONE Group will bring Bagatelle’s legendary dining experience to the West Coast with a multi-room indoor/outdoor establishment located in the heart of West Hollywood. Created by design firm Studio BRASA, the 2,700 square foot restaurant’s motif resembles the salon of the Parisian apartment of an international jet setter. Bagatelle’s patrons will be treated to seasonal, French-Mediterranean menu offerings by Chef Scott Quinn, whose inspiration and experience are sure to provide a lively and fine dining experience for L.A.’s globetrotters, foodies, celebrities and tastemakers.”



Bardot supperclub at the Avalon in Hollywood

Bardot at the Avalon, Hollywood

The Spare Room lounge, inside the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel

A decade ago Los Angeles seemed unconcerned with the new American phenomenon of artisan and craft beer bars, Belgian beer bars, artisan cocktail bars, adventurous upscale dining. It was only six years ago that the Los Angeles Times ran articles where local restaurants said there were only 500 serious diners in LA, and that group moved from new restaurant to new restaurant, causing the recently hot place to go under. The same newspaper chronicled the rise into the heavens of the new Las Vegas restaurant scene,  while slamming much the restaurant scene here at the time. Las Vegas,which is no doubt the most stellar today in the West at the uppermost levels of dining, as it now offers a dazzling array of European and America Michelin starred chef driven dining destinations, seems to have educated the palates of Angelinos as to the degrees of playful elegance that a truly global restaurant could offer its guests. Perhaps because of this influence of the Los Angeles palate, a new world of exceptionally good restaurants is now in Los Angeles as never before. Over the past couple years LA has gained authentic Noodle Bars from Tokyo, high-end steak houses and Italian eateries from New York, and finally we in LA now have several of the most coveted cocktail and beer bars in America, with several more planned, including one by a LA entrepreneur who promises to bring to LA a bar that he considers the best in the world. Los Angeles of course has benefited tremendously from the New York cocktail world expanding into the warm weather climate without a beach of downtown Los Angeles. I have to say that this is the first time I have been as excited about going out in LA to a great new bar or restaurant, as verses planning on have a phenomenal time in San Francisco and spending quiet evenings in LA to rest up for another trip to a mecca for entertainment like Miami Beach or New York City.

The Writers Room, enter via the back of historic Musso & Franks, Hollywood. The bar is named after the major fiction writer’s meeting place that the space once inhabited. (photo: Vogue Daily)

So here now refer to you some of my choices for the best of the new Los Angeles, 2011.

(Please note that this post will grow throughout 2011)

Downtown Los Angeles breaks into the extensive beers selection beer store with the beautiful and dark woods of 8th’s Street Bottle shop. “The 8th Street Bottle Shop will be housed just inside the entrance door at Golden Gopher whose rare 1903-issued liquor license provides for on site and packaged liquor to go sales. ” Beer Chicks Los Angeles

Sunset Beer in Echo Park promises to grow to over 1,000 different bottles of beer, giving LA a real neighborhood place to pick up something special, just like in Portland.

The sensational Total Wine and More has entered the Southern California adult beverage market

Total Wine and More has raised the everyday experience of buying beer, wine and spirits in LA/Orange County region. It has to be the case that the emergence of artisan and craft beer bars and haute cocktail lounges in Los Angeles over the past two years is the reason Total Wine and More saw there was a market in LA for their level of shopper. The largest store is in Tustin, at 50,000 square feet, yet even the Northridge store blows away every other place in town, from variety to price. Total Wine carries all the truly deluxe bottles of tequila, and has $2,000 gorgeous bottles of wine. The store has several hundred kinds of artisan and craft beer, possibly as much as the incredible Berkeley Bowl gourmet low-priced – yes – it’s true! supermarket in Berkeley, California, where we make twice a year trips just to shop and bring home countless provisions not available to us here in LA. When people here first visit Total Wine and More they start calling their friends and telling them they’ve got to get over there now!  Total Wine and More has in store ads saying they are crushing another beverage store here, from the handsome look of Total Wine as compared to the LA low rent warehouse way of selling product, to astounding variety, to pricing that blows the competition away.

Steingarten in West Los Angeles has 20 beers on tap and a menu of exotic meats to devour

In the coming months watch for several new craft beer bars in LA, including Beer Belly in Koreatown, Mohawk, a 10,000 square foot bar in Echo Park, and Smith House, in Century City (West LA), which will have 120 beers on tap. Steingarten has opened in West Los Angeles. The LATimes reports that the Houston brothers will also be opening a German beer hall in LA.


Mohawk Bend patio, Echo Park

Mohawk Bend, restaurant and bar interior, Echo Park

The second venture from owner Tony Yanow and manager Paige Reilly of Tony’s Darts Away fame, Mohawk Bend debuts in April in newly hipsterized Echo Park. The 10,000-square-foot facility is an ode to beer and farm-fresh California cuisine, with half of the menu (and the kitchen) dedicated to vegan fare. (But don’t expect a pushy, green-fiend staff; “We like to open the vegan door but not push anyone through it,” says Yanow.) For herbivores, there’s mochi-crust pizza; meat-lovers will relish the duck-pork Dork Burger. Every palate will savor the whopping 72 taps—including five nitro faucets and two hand pumps—pouring strictly Cali brews, like house favorites Hangar 24 Orange Wheat. 2141 Sunset Blvd. (Draft magazine)

The Hemingway lounge in Hollywood has ten thousand books on its shelves and is known for its strong cocktail program. Future plans for this lounge are to open a Cuban  coffee and African tea lounge next door.

Las Perlas, Cedd Moses mezcal and tequila bar in downtown Los Angeles

“Those who want ready-to-go ice for their cocktail should reach for Névé ice (available at Barkeeper in Silver Lake). Founded by former barman Michael Dozois of Seven Grand, Névé delivers perfect Collins and Rocks Glass cubes to consumers and bars anywhere in the United States.” (Seven Grand is also one of Cedd Moses’ collection of high quality LA bars.)”

Villains Tavern, on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles.

Villains Tavern opened in 2010

The Tar Pit opened in 2010 with beverage direction from the Pegu Club in New York. (Photo: Caroline on Crack)

The bar at the Tar Pit

La Descargas bar, on Western Avenue in East Hollywood, by the Houston Brothers. This is the first bar they transformed for LA.

Harvard and Stone bar, East Hollywood, by the Houston brothers, opened in March 2011

Library Ale House, Santa Monica, California

Wood and Vine, Hollywood
L.A.’s Smart Summer Art Hang: Ray’s Restaurant & Stark Bar

Stark bar at LACMA is one of the hottest new bars in Los Angeles

Bar concepts

Only about a decade after the Belgian beer bar boom happened in New York and San Francisco, downtown Los Angeles will finally be getting an authentic Belgian beer bar called Little Bear. Royal Clayton’s was in this space during the time that Walter Manske manned the stoves at across the street Church & State, which while he was there was the most sensation restaurant in Los Angeles. The bar will feature L.A.’s first certified beer cicerone. Chicago has three and also has a full on 3 tier cicerone training program that is providing core educations to hundreds of first tier Chicago bar helpers. (10.21.11)


The Gin Palace, a new bar planned for downtown Los Angeles

New York’s new gin palace will be fancier than this one.

“Ravi DeRossi, co-owner of an East Village mini-empire that includes Desnuda, Mayahuel, Cienfuegos, and Death & Co., is opening a new spot called Gin Palace, a spin on the original Victorian dive bars.

Gin Palace will be an upscale spin on the louche enterprises where Victorians boozed up. It will focus on gin, with a majority of cocktails made with the spirit. As for food, DeRossi says that he’ll offer “hundreds” of kinds of tea sandwiches, served on three-tiered silver platters.”

Legendary New York barmen Alex Day and David Kaplan, of Death & Co. bar NYC, have plans to open either an LA Death  Co. or another establishment or both. They are already in Los Angeles, reconfiguring cocktail programs across the city.

By summer LA will have two authentic currywursts that will be open late for the all night party crowd.


Manhattan Beach Post gives LA its first authentic dining destination restaurant a block from the Pacific Ocean.

At Manhattan Beach Post, we loved out entire meal. This restaurant and Playa on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles gave us our two most rewarding meals in LA this year. Please make sure to order the cheese and bacon biscuits….

…and the asparagus dish – which transported us into Paris. One could only wonder what LA would be like were our oceanfront dotted with restaurants and bars of this caliber.

Son of a Gun restaurant, a new seafood palace, whose parent restaurant Animal received mountains of national press for its creativity with pork dishes. Bon Appetit just named Son of A Gun one of the top 10 new restaurtants in America for 2011.

Picca will be Richardo Zarate’s highly anticipate modern Peruvian restaurant.

Picca will be a “contemporary anticucho, ceviche, causa and cocktail concept.” We are certainly looking forward to this experience, especially because of the extraordinary food we had at Moi Chica on South Grand Ave. in South Los Angeles. Picca will be in The Townhouse, along with Sotto, in LA’s West Side. There are reports that Moi Chica, Zarate’s original LA restaurant sensation, will reopen in a downtown LA setting. We have waited years in LA to have upscale food of this kind.

Lukshon, the just opened luxury Pan Asian restaurant from LA’s first serious quality cult burger bar, Father’s Office. One of our favorite dishes is the spicy chicken pops, get some!

Lukshon, second interior

Playa, the global Latin cuisine inspired new restaurant on LA’s West Side. Its parent Restaurant, Rivera, in downtown LA, is just as memorable an encounter. (LATimes photo)

Sotto’s Ferrara pizza oven from Naples, Italy is only one of 10 in the U.S. It is the first in Los Angeles.

Lazy Ox Canteen, Little Toyko, downtown Los Angeles. Go for the lamb burger! This restaurant garnered major press in LA when it opened in 2010.

Waterloo & City, one of the top new gastropubs in Los Angeles, it serves a contemporary take on British pub food.


Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles is the best pizza we’ve ever had. It is one of the places that has brought LA to a new level of casual yet superior dining experience. At sometime this year, the third Mozza will open in Newport Beach. The image here is of a projected 3,500 sq. ft restaurant for Pizzeria Mozza Newport Beach. It will have all of what the LA version has, with an updated Mozza-to-go.

Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen food network television program will cause his soon to open LA restaurant, will make his upcoming LA restaurant an instant sensation. This television showing of his working method, his interest in employing the latest in food technology devices, and his excellence in transforming high concept into exquisite new dishes, will make his projected 60 seat LA restaurant concept fill up with reservations like few other places have experienced in Los Angeles.

The Daily Truffle reports that “Michael Ovitz will open Ink (with Michael Voltaggio of Top Chef) is his old restaurant space which housed Hamasaku.”

There are also reports that Thomas Keller will open his Ad Hoc restaurant in Los Angeles.

Bastide veteran Paul Shoemaker (the greatest restaurant contemporary LA’s histor with multiple star chefs) has announced plans to open an artisan pizza parlor and craft beer bar that promises to be “Father’s Office meets Pizzeria Biano in Phoenix

The owners of Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry – perhaps LA’s best breakfast, certainly it is awesome! is opening an artisan pizza parlor and bakery in Santa Monica later this year. So of a sudden the West Side will have a real artisan pizza scene.

This coming July 2011, on Venice, California’s Abbott Kinney boulevard, already one of the hottest scenes in all of Los Angeles, Local 1205, a 3,500 square foot gourmet market. I spoke to my partner about how we in LA are not getting true gourmet food encounters like never, yet we still have miles to go before we catch up to San Francisco and the Bay area, whose restaurant, pizza and artisan cocktail bar scene is on fire. It will really be really nice to not have to go up Northern Cali to get some satisfaction.

“His partner is Steve Carlin, founder of the Bay Area’s Oakville Grocery and Napa’s Oxbow Market, and project manager of SF’s Ferry Building Marketplace and the recent organic market addition in the city’s airport.” (The Feast)
a nearly 24-hour emporium that combines retail and sit-down eat-in options. The 3500-square-foot space will have sidewalk seating, a juice bar, a patio, a raw bar, and will be similar to Dean and Deluca and other famed gourmet Bay area/New York City food emporiums.

“The food will be half organic/Slow Food movement, half rich, luxurious, snotty food”—by which he means oysters, caviar and foie gras. Smoked fish, bagels, charcuterie, cheese, Portuguese-style pizza, sandwiches, rotisserie meats, frozen custard, and flowers will also be on offer.” (The Feast)

Local 1205 will be at 1205 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and will be open daily from 7 a.m. – 4 a.m.  [The Feast]”

Ken Friedman, co-owner of New York’s West Village (with April Bloomfield), Michelin starred British gastropub The Spotted Pig, has promised his Mom who lives in San Diego that he will be opening a major seafood restaurant in LA by the end of the year. My partner and I fell in love with his white-hot restaurant in the Ace Hotel in New York City, The Breslin, which is named after the original name of the building that  too cool The Ace Hotel now resides in. The hotel features a Stumptown Coffee café and a new seafood dream of a restaurant  called The John Dory. I have covered this in another blog post about a trip to New York. By the way – the best slice of pizza I’ve ever tasted was a smoked black olive pizza that my daughter ordered at Pulino’s, which is a recently opened a Friedman establishment on The Bowery. As it turns out, Mario Batali’s restaurant group is also partnered in with Friedman and Bloomfield, which may explain why Friedman is expanding to Los Angeles at this time.

In a November 2007 New York Observer interview, Friedman said this about gastropubs: “Pub means public house. In England, it was where the poor people went, and the animal hanging outside the door [as it does at the Spotted Pig, in place of an actual sign] was because they couldn’t read. It was literally, ‘Meet me at the pig at eight!’

Friedman said this about his Los Angeles plans: “For some strange reason there are very few seafood places here even though we’re on the ocean. We’re at a certain point where we can open restaurants in places we want to be, like London or San Francisco or L.A.. ”  (Paper magazine, April 2011)

Friedman also recently noted that Los Angeles is on the ocean, it seems to not be engaged in eating from the sea. Many others have observed this, but may not take into account the orgy of sushi bars in LA, that are part of growing LA’s fixation of Japanese products, from cars to sushi bars and now to robata bars and beyond.


Michael Voltaggio’s ink.sack


Walter Manzke to open Republique in downtown Arts District

The Factory Place Arts complex will be expanded with 8,00 sq. ft. 140 seat restaurant space in a 1920’s warehouse called Republique that will be home to former Bastide Chef Walter Manzke. The bistronomy inspired Republique restaurant will have a curated good and full baking department via his  wife, called the Factory Baking Co. The Los Angeles Times reported on August 22, 2011 that “The Manzkes took several Paris trips that included visits to restaurants such as Le Comptoir, Chateaubriand, Spring, Frenchie and Chez Dumonet.”

I went to The Tasting Kitchen for my birthday earlier this year. Both it and the next door Gjelina are two of my top special occasion restaurants in LA (actually on ultra cool Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach). So when I read that The Tasting Kitchen was opening what they are describing as “a true gastropub” – this got my attention on the spot and it will soon be on my dining calendar. Scheduled to open at the end of 2011. The Tasting Kitchen’s crew is from Portland. They ran the best restaurant in the city when they were in town, called Clark & Lewis. When their newest venture opens, it will mark the warehouse arts district downtown Los Angeles as a major new dining hotspot of LA.


From Chicago’s Bill Kim we have a noodle bar concept called Belly Pop that will open in downtown Los Angeles. Kim’s Belly Shack in Chicago was  food world sensation when it opened, and has since garnered a Michelin Bib Gourmand award. Studio City has already been blessed with Ramen Jinya, an authentic noodle bar from Japan, which itself has expanded to the  Japanese restaurants district of Sawtelle avenue in West LA, but this one has a liquor license. Nearby yet another direct from Japan noodle bar import has opened, called Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle. It is part of a Tokyo based chain and is the first U.S. location.

los angeles: tsujita restaurant opening

© tsujita – artisan noodles anyone? (photos by Superfuture magazine online)

“if your craving for good noodles is as regular as ours, and you live in los angeles…lucky you! artisan noodle restaurant tsujita hails from tokyo and has just opened a rather spectacular new branch in california, the first one stateside. designed in a clean contemporary yet japanese style, tsujita’s most striking interior feature is an intricately designed ceiling installation of sorts.

crafted by japanese designer takeshi sano, it’s poetically inspired by clouds surrounding izumo shrine in japan’s shimane prefecture, using 25,000 drum stick-shaped wooden sticks. obviously tsujita serves noodles or ramen, but also a wide range of typically tokyo-style japanese fusion food. you just have to drop by and taste it yourself. location: 2057 sawtelle boulevard [west los angeles].” Superfuture magazine online


“Why did you choose L.A. for Lindy & Grundy?

Erika: Amelia is born and raised in Los Angeles, so we would come visit her family here a lot, and we saw that there was a great need for a whole animal, sustainable butcher shop. We try to source as close to L.A. as possible. Everything other than our lamb comes from a 150-mile radius of our butcher shop.” from Cool Hunting’s interview of Lindy & Grundy.”

Sabatino & Co. Roma supplied several of Americas top restaurants with truffles. Soon the store will open in LA and offer truffles as well as gourmet foods and products from Italy. This  certainly makes up for LA/OC not having a Dean & DeLuccas

The news of the year in food for Los Angeles is that the world’s largest Italian gourmet food emporium, Eataly, will be opening in LA, in the Fairfax district. Eataly has several eating stations, and will be making fresh pasta daily. There will be an astounding array of prepared meats, wonderful rustic breads, and so much more. The NYC Eataly opened last fall. It has a free-standing restaurant that is mobbed. It is about to open its 4 part craft beer bar on the roof of its building on at 24th street and 5th avenue in Manhattan. It will be amazing to watch LA go from having none of the major gourmet markets to having one of the top places on earth. There are already three Eataly locations in Japan, and five in Italy.  Perhaps now we’ll also get a Berkeley Bowl supermarket from Northern California, which would be a dream.

Eataly in Turin, Italy (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)

Eataly NYC bread station

Eataly NYCs fresh pasta station (photo AliceQFoodie)

Performing Arts venues arts

In 2011 several new performing arts venues opened or broke ground in Los Angeles. Already the performing arts scene is more dynamic than ever, with several major events happening in a single month, so much so that LA now has a dedicated Dance Calendar. In the past two years alone I’ve seen Pina Bausch Dance Wuppertal, the Berlin Phiharmonic, the Munich Symphony, Kidd Pivot Frankfurt dance company, the Wooster Group at Redcat Disney (three different tremendous experimental theater plays!), and a lot more. With these new venues LA will be able to have wall to wall performances.

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, CA

Valley Performing Arts Center, Cal State Nortridge

Performing arts hall, Cal State Northridge

The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College



New York’s Perry Rubenstein gallery has announced that it will relocate to LA into a 7,500 sq. ft space in fall 2011.

“I’m bringing to Los Angeles the perspective of someone who has lived and worked his entire life on the Atlantic seaboard,” says Rubenstein. “Los Angeles is a new center. It looks today the way New York looked compared to Paris after the war.”

Rubenstein is one of many New York art world personalities who is convinced that Los Angeles is post-war New York City. This is of course the time when NYC overtook the 300 year old Paris artworld  and became the new center of Western world international art. What is interesting is that NYC has been talking about LA for over 60 years, first as a no place, then a place with potential that always seemed to fizz out. Now it is being seen for the first time as THE PLACE WHERE CONTEMPORARY ART COMES FROM IN AMERICA.

In 2011 LA’s first art parade will tale place in downtown LA, courtesy of West of Rome, the LA nonprofit visual arts presenter.

LA really separated itself from the rest of the West Coast in 2011 with recent announcements of their being the first LA Biennale in 2012. Yet the major news is in 2011, with LA finally getting a layer of its own art history on paper, with the 50 some exhibitions planned that open as early as late September 2011. The major shows will be at the Getty and MoCA, with several other equally significant but smaller group shows throughout Southern California in 2011 and 2012. In the fall of 2011 LA gets the first West Coast version of the Armory Show with Art Platform Los Angeles. The Pulse Fair of Miami and NYC is also expanding to LA and will put on a huge exhibition during the same time as Art Platform Los Angeles. There are also more powerful artist run spaces in Los Angeles than at any time in its history. These spaces are serving as both project spaces for artists yet serving as commercial galleries but without the backroom storage. They are promoting the artists they show to an international audience that now visits LA monthly, as LA is now unquestionably one of the most important centers of art production and exhibition in the worl

May 2011:

London based contemporary art collector and curator Kay Saatchi moves to Los Angeles to be at the forefront of the new LA art scene. Over the next month more press reveals her plans to create major exhibitions of LA art, which she also will be collecting.


The Swiss/US based HUB Foundation announces an exciting new exhibition program in Los Angeles that will use multiple venues in winter 2012. (from the Artnewspaper, London)

LA Art collector Dean Valentine launches Bowmont Art, in 7,000 square feet of space at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Initial plans are to showcase his collection, and to have performances, talks and other programming.

summer 2011:

 L&M Arts talks about their expansion to Los Angeles (from Artinfo)
“Why did you open in LA

DL: There’s a creative energy there right now, and a fabulous number of talented artists living there. Not just young ones. If you think of the living established artists there, you think of Ed Ruscha, Baldessari, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy, Barbara Kruger—they all live in LA. There are museums with an energy that’s quite unique. The creativity is comparable to what New York was like at the time of the [abstract expressionists]. Plus, we found a gorgeous building—it’s very beautiful.

RM: I was there last week, I was so proud of just standing in front of that building. I felt like it was one of my kids.

And the focus of the LA gallery is the primary market?

DL: Absolutely. It was a natural evolution of the gallery. There’s always been a major interest in contemporary art. We had done some primary shows: Bob was the first to do a major Jeff Koons show. But in New York, the market is saturated. You have to enter into a big fist fight to work with some of the artists. In LA, that happens less.

How is the market in LA?

RM: The only totally honest thing to say is that we see a tremendous amount of interest. We did one traditional show just to give a feeling of the range of what we do: a De Kooning show that I’m very proud of with great works on paper from 1947-52. But nothing was for sale, so the market could have been phenomenal and we wouldn’t have known one way or another.”

New York/Miami art fair veteran Fountain Art F announces it’s participation in Pacific Standard Time. Art Platform LA Weekend for 2011.

The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, to be built in downtown Los Angeles, opening in 2013

Art Platform Los Angeles will be the first major new art fair in LA. It is the creation of the same folks who own and put on The Armory Show in New York City, and the Volta Show. It promises to be an exciting time, from its gala opening on September 30, through the shows closing October 3, 2011. It opens along with Pacific Standard Time, which will see over 60 California arts institutions showcase the history of the Los Angele art scene from 1945 through 1980. This is an unprecedented event for Los Angeles.  The Getty museum’s history of LA painting and sculpture of the aforementioned period will be traveling to the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. The Blues show at MoCA on historical African-American artists in Los Angeles will travel to three other venues and will have a full compliment of ancillary events and a catalog. With Art LA 2011 providing showcdates, this brings the total number of artfairs that will be in LA in the fall of 2011 to four.

artLA brings the experience and knowledge of the Los Angeles landscape garnered over the past two decades, to the service of its exhibitors and collectors.

The Marriott Ritz Carlton at LA Live is nine blocks from Art Platform-LA and overlooks the Pulse tent on LA Live’s parking structure. The breathtaking fourth floor lobby atrium frames the entrance to artLAWe offer 25,000 square feet of column-free floor space with 25’ ceilings joining with 15,000 square feet of additional exhibition space which will house anchor booths, installations, book publishers, museum and vendors in addition to a private café for the fair.”


One thought on “The New Los Angeles (2011;2012; 2013)

  1. Pingback: The New Los Angeles (2011)/bars/restaurants/gourmet markets … » Super Fine Dining

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