A few months ago a New York restaurant changed its name, its staff and its menu between lunch and dinner. One minute the receptionist was answering the phone "Harry Cipriani"; the next she was saying, "Hello, Tino Fontana." It made front page news.
Last week, with considerably less fanfare, a Los Angeles restaurant underwent a similar, if somewhat slower transformation. Overnight what had been 385 North turned into Rosalie's at 385 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 657-3850. Once again the name, the staff and the menu were completely changed.
The food in this formerly California kitchen has taken a slightly Southwestern turn. To begin, there is a huge "Southwestern antipasto plate" that easily feeds three, or dishes like prawn tamales with cilantro oregano butter sauce or charred tuna with horseradish cream. There is even a coleslaw taco!
Entrees include duck burritos, smoked chorizo with frizzled leeks, smoked loin of pork with bourbon sauce or good old fried chicken with mashed potatoes.
The original Rosalie's is actually in San Francisco, where the restaurant is famous for its decor. Right now Rosalie's looks like 385 North without art, but it's only temporary. You can change a menu almost instantly; changing a look, it seems, takes a little longer.