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Steven Spielberg’s Dive! About to Surface

All you can see is the conning tower poking above the tarp, but a spokeswoman for Dive! says that Steven Spielberg’s submarine-shaped restaurant will open next month. Located across from the AMC multiplex in the Century City Shopping Center, the 300-seat restaurant will be run by the Chicago-based Levy Restaurants, a food concession specialist that has serviced everything from Disney World to Sears Tower to Hollywood Park.

Executive chef Michael Northern (he’s noted for bringing the first chicken dishes to Hollywood Park) designed Dive!'s menu. “It’s a reinvention of the classic submarine sandwich,” says the spokeswoman. Customers can also pick up Dive! fashion separates, which include T-shirts, caps and boxer shorts.

As previously reported by Calendar, Spielberg has been fascinated with underwater adventures ever since he read “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” as a child. Although “seaQuest DSV"--his TV series launched last year on NBC--is currently tied for No. 74 in the Nielsen ratings, it’s not stopping him from investing in future submarine-themed restaurants. More Dive!'s will open in Las Vegas and other undisclosed locations.

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SEEING WHITE: Ever since Cafe Blanc was busted by the Los Angeles Department of Health Services two years ago for operating without a public health permit, fans kept asking whether the tiny Franco-Japanese restaurant would reopen. They’ll be happy to hear that chef/owner Tommy Harase has opened Nouveau Cafe Blanc, this time with an indoor kitchen. Located on Little Santa Monica Boulevard near Wilshire in Beverly Hills, the new restaurant--which seats 32--opens for dinner Tuesday.

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GRILL CHEF: The crab cakes weren’t the only thing Morton’s left behind when it moved across the street. To the surprise of some customers, owner Peter Morton brought in Brian Keller to oversee the new kitchen. But fans of former chef Michael Shaheen can rest easy: He can now be found cooking just across the border at the Grill in Beverly Hills.

“I hired (Shaheen) to become our chef,” says Grill owner Bob Spivak, “but there will be absolutely no changes to our menu. Morton’s menu wasn’t that different anyway.”

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A REWORK OF ART: Art Ginsburg says he’s not planning to move his restaurant to Pasadena. Rumors had the owner of the 37-year-old Art’s Deli in Studio City--destroyed by fire after the quake--looking at the space recently vacated by Tra Fiori. But, Ginsburg says, “There’s no truth to the Pasadena rumor. We love Studio City and we are rebuilding at the old location.”

The deli owner says construction begins in three weeks; if everything goes according to schedule, the project will take three to four months to complete. “We have to change a few things that were grandfathered in to bring them up to code,” says Ginsburg, “but we will be back with the same food, the same employees . . . the same Art’s.”


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