Jazzed-Up Bistro 829 Suiting the Clientele to a (Single) T
Not So Provencal After All: Bistrot Provencal has dropped its stuffy name and menu in an attempt to go hip. No kidding. Now called Bistro 829 (note the conspicuous dropping of the final T in “Bistro”), Jean Francois Meteigner’s new baby is swinging with live jazz and serving California-style food until 2 a.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Thursday through Saturday will be music-free but open until 4 a.m. And don’t be surprised if you see the mai^tre d’ hopping up to do some comedy once in a while.
Part of the reason for these sweeping changes was the departure of chef Patrick Ponsaty. Now Meteigner will be spending some nights away from La Cachette to cook in the bistro’s kitchen. Maybe he just wants to have fun.
* Bistro 829, 829 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 360-9064.
Rustic Goes Modern: Pastis French Bistro on Beverly Boulevard in L.A. has a new guy in the kitchen updating the Provencal menu there, too. Andrew DeGroot, who worked with Gunter Seeger in Atlanta (at Seeger’s) and Jean-Louis Palladin in Washington, D.C. (at Restaurant Jean-Louis in the Watergate Hotel), decided it was time to head west. An ad in The Times brought him to Pastis. DeGroot wants to bring a lighter style to the Provencal-themed menu, adding slight Asian and nouvelle touches to the vegetable and fish-based cuisine.
Owner Arnaud Palatan says: “Andrew is very good, and because of his background, we are diversifying the cuisine. It is still a taste of Provence, but now he will be giving it a more modern touch.”
Says DeGroot: “My training is all French. I tend to stick to the basics and rework [each dish] until it’s a lot lighter and cleaner.” DeGroot’s menu is already out.
* Pastis, 8114 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; (323) 655-8822.
Greek Enough for You?: The Greek restaurant Sofi on 3rd Street in L.A. has been remodeled by Greek owner Vageli Michailidis. (He bought the place from Sofi Lazarides Konstantinides before she returned to Greece a few years ago.) The patio is larger and a bar has been added to connect the patio with the dining room inside. New floors have also been installed and the decor has been given a more Mediterranean tone. Michailidis has also hired a new chef. And guess what? He’s from Greece, too.
* Sofi, 8030 W. 3rd St., L.A.; (323) 651-0346.
Singing the Swedish Blues: The House of Blues is bringing in chef Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit in New York City to do some cooking. At 7:45 p.m. July 27, the Swedish-trained Samuelsson will be whipping up a five-course Scandinavian summer meal. Each course is paired with wine, and the cost is $100 per person, unless you’re a member of the James Beard Foundation or the House of Blues Foundation; then it’s $85 per person. Champagne reception begins at 7 p.m. in the Foundation Room. For reservations, call Camille at the House of Blues Foundation reservation line at (213) 650-0242.
* The House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 848-5100.
Gilroy or Bust: In case you can’t make it to Gilroy to attend the Garlic Festival there next weekend, the Stinking Rose, a garlic-themed restaurant in Beverly Hills, is hosting a Garlic Symposium on Sunday. Chester Aaron (who usually speaks at the Gilroy festival) will be lecturing on the stinky bulb from 10 a.m. until noon. He’s a garlic grower himself and will be autographing his book, titled simply “The Great Garlic Book.” From 1 to 3 p.m. chefs Tony Lia of the Stinking Rose; Claude Beltran, formerly of DickinsonWest in Pasadena; and Barbara Jacobs of Just Like Home Cafe in Marina del Rey will be demonstrating how to cook with garlic. Admission is free.
* The Stinking Rose of Beverly Hills, 55 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 652-7673.
Tidbits: China Grill from New York and Miami will be coming to Beverly Hills in 1999. Its “world cuisine” is served family style, viz. in big plates of food set down in the middle of the table for everyone to share. . . . Lumpy Gravy, the eye-popping eatery/artist hangout on Beverly Boulevard, has yet another new chef. Andrea Tamburini from Farfalla is, to be exact, the seventh chef to grace the kitchen in a year and a half. Maybe no one can make the gravy lumpy enough for owner Gabor Csupos, animator and creator of the “Rugrats” cartoon. Or maybe he needs a cartoon chef. Previous Lumpy chef David Fouts has departed for bluer waters to join Josie LeBalch at Liza Utter’s Beach House on Channel Road in Santa Monica.
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