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After Taking Five for a Bit, Dominick’s Eyes Comeback

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Re-Revival of Dominick’s: Once again, somebody is trying to re-create the ambience, the attitude, the success of Dominick’s. Need we be reminded that the West Hollywood place, which closed in 1986 after Dominick died, was reopened as Dominick’s, sold in 1988 and remodeled into a pastel horror called Dominick’s by Sylvio, and then sold again in 1990. That (fourth) edition of Dominick’s closed in 1994. Now chef Sandy Gendel and partners Jon Sidell and Peter Garland have hired Fred Sutherland, who’s worked with Sidell a long time, to remodel the place once again. The main room will house the familiar booths and bar, only with nautical accents, and this time there’s a patio out back.

Gendel, who used to co-own Porta Via Cafe with Garland and who has worked at Rex and Campanile, aims to take the food level up a few notches. He’s got a wood-burning grill for seafood and steaks and general coastal Italian fare. He’ll also pull from the vegetable garden he’s got growing behind Jerry’s Deli. As a result of two years of licensing problems, the place has a liquor license but no lunch rights, so it will serve dinner until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and until midnight Sunday through Wednesday. The plan is to open sometime in June.

The name? Not settled yet: conceivably . . . Dominick’s.

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Cinco de Mayo Celebrations: On May 5, McCormick & Schmick’s downtown L.A. restaurant is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party in the bar and on its patio beginning at 4 p.m. A live salsa band will play among the pin~atas. Corona beer and margaritas will be available for $1.95 each, and a taco bar for $1.95 will be set up. McCormick & Schmick’s, 633 W. 5th St., Los Angeles; (213) 629-1929. . . . La Sirena (the former restaurant named red), is having a mariachi band, drink specials, cheesy-gift giveaways and menu specials for lunch and dinner such as chile-rubbed grilled salmon tostada with melon salsa, chicken taquitos with Oaxacan mole sauce, and crispy calamari with tomatillo and serrano chile salsa, among other things. Open 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. on May 5. La Sirena, 101 Broadway, Santa Monica; (310) 260-1100. . . . The venerable Antonio’s on Melrose in L.A. is having flamenco shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. and special lunch and dinner entrees of chiles en nogada, enchiladas en mole poblano, spare ribs en chipotle and pollo en mole negro poblano. There’s a $5 cover charge. Antonio’s, 7470 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 655-0480. . . . A new spot named Connolly’s will serve five prix-fixe Mexican menus, featuring foods of Oaxaca, the Yucatan, Vera Cruz and northern Mexico, plus one of marketplace cuisine. (In case you’re wondering how an Irishman knows about Mexican cooking, he trained under Diane Kennedy at her home in Mexico.) All menus include appetizer, entree and dessert for one price, but you can also get the items a la carte if you like. This may sound wild, but the five-menus-a-night idea is actually Connolly’s standard modus operandi. He normally serves Indian, Latin, California, home-style and spa cuisine menus, all at the same time. The themes remain constant but the dishes change every two weeks. All are available prix-fixe and a la carte. Right now Connolly’s is open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday. Beginning in June it will be open for lunch as well. Connolly’s, 11510 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 479-2133. . . . Speaking of openings, you could open a book. Starting Monday, you will be able to run down to El Cholo and pick up a copy of “The El Cholo Cookbook: Recipes and Lore From California’s Best-Loved Mexican Kitchen” ($18.95). The book, which also will be sold in stores, features recipes the restaurant has been serving since its beginning in 1923, and some recipes from Sonora Cafe as well. Not included: the recipe for the El Cholo margarita. Sorry; that’s still a secret.

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Mother’s Day: Bernard’s is serving a $48 prix-fixe brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 10. You begin with champagne and orange juice, nosh on danishes and muffins, then a fruit-and-cheese combo, some cold smoked fish and meats and finally the entree. After that comes a dessert buffet, coffee or tea and petits fours. The beauty of brunch, besides its sheer abundance, is that it will be served on the hotel’s original 1923 silver service, which was--get this--rediscovered during the hotel’s 1987 restoration. Seems it was packed in an unlabeled box and shoved in a storeroom for years on end. Well, they’ve polished it up and now you can have brunch on it. Bernard’s, the Regal Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 612-1580. . . . L’Orangerie, which just accepted a Mobile five-star award for the third time, is serving a three-course dinner for $70 a head on Mother’s Day; it starts with raw rock lobsters and caviar, a lobster salad or duck liver carpaccio. The entree is also a choice: tuna medallions, Chilean sea bass, lamb or beef tenderloin. Dessert is roasted pineapple skewered with vanilla or chocolate souffle. L’Orangerie, 903 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 652-9770. . . . Mimosa is serving a three-course prix-fixe menu for $38 per person; children under 10 can order a special meal for $15. Some of the menu choices include dishes from the mothers of the owners and staff. Mimosa, 8009 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 655-8895. . . . Patina has three menus to choose from: Le Petit Menu, which features dishes such as chilled spring pea soup and vanilla bean French toast with mixed berry compote ($35); Le Grand Menu ($45), offering such choices as Kumamoto oysters, artichoke ravioli and roasted beef sirloin. And if mom really likes to fill up, you can order the four-course Le Plus Grand Menu for her ($58). It features an ahi tuna tower, seared foie gras, rack of lamb sandwich and chocolate souffle. Patina, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 467-1108. . . . The rest of Joachim Splichal’s Pinot group (Pinot Bistro, Studio City; Cafe Pinot, downtown; Pinot at the Chronicle, Pasadena; and Pinot Hollywood) are also celebrating Mother’s Day with special prix-fixe menus.


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