Mission Cantina-adjacent wine tasting room debuts Friday; name of new Hollywood restaurant featuring Kris Morningstar revealed

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, George Abou-Daoud will debut his new wine tasting room/wine bar this Friday. The tasting room (with no actual name) faces Sunset and is located in a separate space in between Abou-Daoud’s Italian restaurant Delancey and his Mission Cantina tequila bar and taqueria (pictured above).

In an e-mail to the Dish on Wednesday, Abou-Daoud described the room as covered with plush purple velvet and said that it offers a variety of wine flights and tastings. The space is perhaps analogous to the former smoking lounge inside Jones restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard: Simply a quiet place couples can escape to anytime for a glass of vino away from the crowds.


Patrons will likely go to the room directly from Delancey, which has been moderately crowded, as of late, considering the state of the economy and the fact the eatery is hardly new. I was in Monday evening and the place was buzzing, with a few actresses checking out the scene (Rachel Bilson was sitting near us with five equally easy-on-the-eyes friends).

In other news, despite an increasingly worrying recession, Abou-Daoud says he is moving ahead with plans to debut two new destinations a few blocks to the west on Sunset Boulevard later this year.

The first is District, which will feature the talents of former Casa chef Kris Morningstar, and a casual-yet-hip late-night bar area inside the eatery.

Abou-Daoud says he will open District sometime this summer or early fall, but ‘setting a date is impossible.’ Additionally, adjacent to District (also at the intersection of at Sunset and Seward), he will open up the Mercantile, a wine bar and artisanal shop.

Abou-Daoud says District will be similar to his other offerings in the area, such as Bowery -- a place Hollywood locals and tourists have both flocked to recently due to the Manhattan-esque, late-night feel, where the line between bar and restaurant blurs.

“The basic idea is to change the way people socialize at restaurants in Los Angeles by providing great food and drinks in a more relaxed atmosphere,” he said. “No tablecloths, no reservations, and the bar being just as important an element as the restaurant.”

--Charlie Amter