Food Daily Dish

What's in a name: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

There's been some confusion about Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, the popular pop-up series that had a several-month run inside Capri in Venice, now the name of a full-fledged restaurant in the former Lily's space down the street on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. But the chefs who cooked at the original pop-up series aren't affiliated with the current incarnation; instead they've opened a new spot in the Palihotel in West Hollywood called the Hart & the Hunter.

So let's not get our Aesop's fables mixed up.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (a biblical idiom often referred to as one of Aesop's fables) is the few-weeks-old restaurant from John Mascarenhas, a partner in the original pop-up series, and Brad Johnson (of Post & Beam, an architectural reference, not a fairy tale). The chef is Kevin Kathman, of Barbette in Minneapolis. Cocktails are by Daniel Nelson.

The Hart & the Hunter (a fable about the perils of distorted body image, or the deer version of it, anyway) is the just-opened restaurant from chefs Kris Tominaga and Brian Dunsmoor, the original Wolf in Sheep's Clothing chefs.

Both restaurants, like the pop-up, might be described as California-cuisine-meets-Southern-comfort.

Both parties say that the original Wolf in Sheep's Clothing name was theirs. "We were kind of bummed," says Dunsmoor. "If we hadn't all agreed not to use the name, we would have liked it." Mascarenhas says the brand was always meant to continue on at the current Venice restaurant.

But nobody's dwelling on it. "The quality of our food is the main goal," Dunsmoor says. Which might be the moral of the story.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 392-2425, www.wolfinsheepsclothingrestaurant.com; now open for weekend brunch. The Hart & the Hunter, 7950 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 424-3055, www.thehartandthehunter.com.

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