Jean-Pierre Bosc, permanent chef at Fennel since it opened three years ago in Santa Monica--and assistant to the restaurant’s imported French chef-partners Michel Rostang, Yann Jacquot, Andre Genin and Michel Chabran whenever one of them was in residence in the kitchen--has left the restaurant abruptly and is reported to be on his way back to France.
His replacement, due in soon, will be Rostang’s current sous-chef . Fennel co-owner Mauro Vincenti reports that the restaurant’s long-planned conversion to contemporary-bistro format should take place by late April.
In other Vincenti-related news, he and Alain Hasson (who was proprietor of the extremely short-lived Le Bilboquet) have just opened a bar called Alain’s Place, next door to Pazzeria (and thus across the courtyard from Pazzia) on La Cienega. Light food from Pazzeria is available. . . . And Antonio Orlando, founding partner and longtime chef at Fresco in Glendale, had decamped with the intention to open a restaurant of his own in Pasadena. Fresco co-founder Lino Autiero remains at the restaurant’s helm. Orlando’s sous-chef , Antonio Lima, has assumed executive chef duties--and, adds Autiero, “the same staff that Antonio trained in the kitchen for 4 1/2 years remains in place.”
FLEETWOOD’S DRY PERIOD: Fleetwood’s L.A. Blues, the West Hollywood supper club opened last month by rock star Mick Fleetwood, has closed temporarily. The reason: No liquor license. The club has high hopes of becoming an important venue for live blues, but first it has to persuade the people at Alcohol Beverage Control to grant permission to serve drinks stronger than Pellegrino. Management expects to reopen in the mid-May.
LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD (FOOD): Young Canoga Park-born French chef Bob Waggoner, who was last spotted in charge of the kitchen at the historic Hostellerie de la Poste in Avallon, southeast of Paris, now has his own restaurant in the same approximate part of France. Called Le Monte Cristo, it is located in the village of Moneteau, just outside Auxerre. Though not yet awarded any stars in the Guide Michelin, Waggoner has already earned a respectable 14/20 score from the Gault/Millau guide.
NEW WAVE: New York chef/restaurateur Len Allison--who, as reported here, had once planned to open a health-food place in Southern California--has now decided to open a new restaurant called Onda (“Wave”) next month, in downtown Manhattan with his wife and longtime partner Karen Hubert. The restaurant will have food that combines the ethnic styles of Chinatown and Little Italy, which are both near Allison’s proposed site. And prices will be low: Allison expects to serve three-course dinners for less than $30. . . . In Nice, meanwhile, the controversial but highly acclaimed Jacques Maximin--who last year opened a bistro, a take-out food shop and an ornate restaurant in which the kitchen was located on a theater stage--has closed his businesses, selling the premises to the Flo group, proprietors of the historic La Coupole, Brasserie Flo, and Julien in Paris. Maximin, who has been one of the most influential chefs in France for the past decade, is reported to be cooking temporarily at a new place called Le Diamant Rose, in the Cote d’Azur hill town of St-Paul-de-Vence. . . . And meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, Jonathan Waxman--who may well be the most famous chef in America today without a restaurant--will cook a series of special dinners at Chez Melange in Redondo Beach Tuesday through Thursday. Future guest chefs at the restaurant include Emeril Lagasse of Emeril’s in New Orleans, Jean Joho of the Everest Room in Chicago, and Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s in Honolulu.
CHECK, PLEASE: With this week’s column, “Restaurant Notebook” is being discontinued. All restaurant news items, press releases, letters of complaint and other material now being sent to this column should be addressed to Ruth Reichl, Restaurant Editor, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.