From a World’s 50 Best restaurant to meatloaf in Torrance, here’s what’s happening in the L.A. food and drink world:
He’s back: Chef Ernesto Uchimura, the man behind the ketchup leather at Plan Check (he has since left the restaurants), has opened Electric Owl in Hollywood. The restaurant is in the space formerly occupied by the Garland, and is modeled after an old train station. Although he may have made a name for himself with the burgers at Plan Check, there is no burger on the menu at Electric Owl, at least not yet. “The food menu has a California cuisine vibe with layers of Cal-Med, comfort food and global flavors,” said Uchimura. You can expect long-fermented pizza; roasted potatoes with “cacio e pepe ranch”; dry-aged steaks; cornbread in corn husks; and handmade pasta. Uchimura described the beverage menu as “creative and classic cocktails, some made with savory infusions,” and a “small wine list with a focus on wines from California and some natural wines.” 1451 N. Gardner St., Los Angeles, www.electricowl.la.
World’s best in L.A.: Enrique Olvera, chef-owner of Cosme in New York City, and his chef de cuisine Daniela Soto-Innes, plan to expand with a location in Los Angeles sometime next year, reported the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Cosme is No. 40 on the list. A location for the upcoming restaurant has yet to be announced. Olvera is also the chef-owner of the lauded Pujol in Mexico City, which is No. 20 on the list. www.cosmenyc.com.
By the slice: Luchini Pizzeria & Bar, a new pizza joint by TAO Group, is now open in Hollywood. It’s the project of Tao Group chef/partners Ralph Scamardella and Chris Santos, along with corporate executive chef Marc Marone and consulting chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut and Unit 120. The menu includes plenty of pies, including a pizza called Hair of the Dog, made with vodka sauce, sun-dried tomato, ricotta and crispy prosciutto. And in addition to pizza, there’s marinara-braised pork ribs, and avocado crostini. Luchini is also open late, until 2 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and until 3 a.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. 1607 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 593-7771, www.luchinipizzeria.com.
Dumplings 24/7: WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, the chef’s restaurant at the top of the Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown L.A., has launched a not-so-secret menu to celebrate its 7-year anniversary. The menu includes $7 dishes, such as the pork belly bao buns; tempura rolls with spicy albacore; and steamed chicken dumplings. Because it’s “secret,” you’ll have to request the menu when you sit down. 900 W Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 743-8824, wolfgangpuck.com/dining/wp24-by-wolfgang-puck.
Staff shuffle: Darwin Pornel (formerly of Bang Bang, Hotel del Coronado etc.) has stepped in as the new bar director at chef Ray Garcia’s Broken Spanish in downtown L.A. Meanwhile at chef Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City, Denis Crutchfield, formerly the sous chef, is now the chef de cuisine. Crutchfield replaced Andrew Gavalla. And at Michael’s Santa Monica, Roni Ginach, who curated the opening wine list at Kismet, is now sommelier for the restaurant. Ginach plans to eventually add 20 bottles for less than $50 to the wine program. brokenspanish.com | www.craftlosangeles.com | www.michaelssantamonica.com.
Going local: Local Kitchen, a new restaurant by the Altitude Restaurant Group, is now open in Torrance. The restaurant is billing itself as classic comfort food with burgers, tacos, pastas, meatloaf and salads. The bar features 16 craft beers on draft, cocktails and wine. Local Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner and plans to eventually serve brunch. 1321 Sartori Ave., Torrance, (424) 337-1321, localkitchentavern.com.
Still hungry? Bottlefish in Brentwood has launched a new weekend brunch. The Bear and Star, a restaurant that calls its food “refined ranch cuisine,” will open May 1 in Los Olivos. The Wallace in Culver City has introduced new spring dishes and cocktails to the menu. Casamigos Tequila Margarita cupcakes featuring Casamigos Blanco Tequila-infused lime cake, will be available at Sprinkles locations nationwide May 1 to 22. Manuela is hosting a Derby Day party on May 6 in partnership with Bulleit Bourbon. The Bazaar by José Andrés' has a new menu and an expanded spirits program at Bar Centro. AVEO Table + Bar at the Monarch Beach Resort has a new Sunday brunch.