From a New York coffee transplant serving up matte black lattes to pasta at a L.A. favorite, here's what's happening in the Los Angeles food and drink world:
Coffee time: Ockhyeon Byeon quickly made a name for himself at his Round K coffee shop in New York City serving matte black lattes (they are actually black). Fast forward three years later, and he's just opened a shop in Mid-Wilshire, hidden inside Pasquale's Shoe Repair on San Vicente Boulevard (walk through the shop, out the back door, hang a right and look for the black door). This is where you'll find those matte black lattes, made with almond milk and turned jet black by the addition of coconut ash. The shop also serves Byeon's signature cappuccino, made by dropping an egg yolk into hot espresso and whisking the two together. Then he adds a layer of freshly whipped cream. In addition to the coffee drinks, there's a small selection of breakfast-friendly food: croissants topped with espresso-steamed eggs, spicy kimchi and bacon; eggs with kimchi butter, pickled cucumber, avocado and whole grain toast. 5616 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 852-3027, www.roundk.com.
Bring on the carbs
Most of us stop in at the Joan's on Third on 3rd Street, or the location in Studio City, to grab lunch, a snack, ice cream and some cheese and wine for that dinner party later. Owner Joan McNamara knows this, but she'd like you to stay a little longer. In an attempt to bring in the dinner crowd, McNamara recently introduced fresh pasta and sauces to both Joan's locations. She enlisted the help of Dominick DiBartolomeo of Domenico's Foods, the popular farmers market stand known for its pasta, tapenades and pestos, to make the fresh pasta. He's supplying the restaurants with pappardelle, penne and linguine. McNamara is making the sauces for the pasta, including bolognese, arrabiata and mushroom cream. You can mix and match your pasta and sauces to create your favorite combination. The bowls of pasta are available to eat in the restaurants, or you can buy all the components separately and cook them at home. "I saw it as a need for families who don't know what they want to eat, or don't have time to make reservations," said McNamara on a recent visit. "It's easy, families can sit down and eat dinner or take it home to cook themselves." 8350 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 655-2285 | 12059 Ventura Place, Studio City, (818) 201-3900, joansonthird.com.
Two years after opening Here's Looking at You in Koreatown, chef Jonathan Whitener is introducing brunch. Whitener, who cooked with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo at Animal, launched his new brunch menu on Mother's Day. Whitener continues to champion a fusing of flavors with the new brunch menu, with influences from the Meditteranean, Mexico and Asia. Highlights include cured salmon with charred avocado and labneh; okonomiyaki with bacon, cabbage and bonito; pork chop milanesa with tomatillo and fried eggs; coconut waffles with koji, blueberries and ume; stracciatella with pepitas, yuzu kosho and perilla. Brunch is available from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. 3901 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 568-3573, www.hereslookingatyoula.com.
Partners Sean MacPherson and Jared Meisler, the duo behind the Pikey, Roger Room, Jones and Bar Lubitsch, have opened a new bar and restaurant in West Hollywood called Barbette. The French-inspired restaurant is located in the former Tinto Tapas Espana space. Executive chef Robert Flaherty, who has cooked at April Bloomfield's the Spotted Pig and White Gold Butchers in New York, is preparing a menu that is primarily vegetarian and gluten-free, with socca and tahini yogurt; leeks and Little Gem salad with a cured egg; and warm greens with kale, olive oil, garlic and chiles. There's also steak frites; and moules marinière with bread. Bartender Brittney Olsen is serving variations on classic French cocktails and general manager and sommelier Jen Avina curated a list of varietals from both France and California. 7511 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 850-8888, www.barbettebarandbistro.com.
When the Mayfair Hotel reopens in downtown L.A. this June, it will have a new restaurant called Eve American Bistro. The restaurant name was inspired by the main character from Raymond Chandler's short story "I'll Be Waiting." The hotel, which was established in 1926, has undergone a complete redesign that includes Eve American Bistro and M Bar cocktail lounge. If you catch a glimpse of executive chef Scott Commings in the kitchen and think he looks familiar, that might be because the chef, who grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, is the winner of season 12 of the Fox show "Hell's Kitchen." At Eve, Commings plans to have a customizable raw bar and serve rotisserie duck, lamb, chicken and pork belly. The restaurant will open for dinner and eventually expand its hours to include lunch and brunch service. 1256 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, (213) 632-1200, www.mayfairla.com.