A Name of a Thousand Letters: Beverly Hills Samurai Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar just opened on La Cienega Boulevard. The owners also have Ton Ten Ko in San Gabriel, TTK in Rowland Heights and TT Shabu in Monterey Park. The chef is Tokyo-born Takashi Watanabe. He serves everything from sushi and sashimi to tempura, noodles, soups, and elaborate, Kaiseki-style dinners. To wash that down, Samurai offers a full bar with a choice of more than 25 brands of saki. Samurai is open for lunch Monday through Friday and for dinner nightly.
* Beverly Hills Samurai Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, 268 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 360-9688.
Revolving Kitchen Doors: Somebody must have sent up a signal, because chefs all over town are darting in and out of kitchens as if they're playing musical ranges. Le Colonial now has Mako Antonishek (she's the wife of Joseph Antonishek, the chef at L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills) turning out Vietnamese food. She's made some slight changes to the menu, but for the most part, she says, "we're sticking to authentic Vietnamese food downstairs." Upstairs, the lounge menu offers a mix of Vietnamese and more Americanized appetizers and noshes. Some of her new dishes (downstairs) are ga xao xa ot (lemon-grass-marinated chicken breast stir-fried with chiles, long beans and onions) and goi tom ngo sen (a lotus-root salad with shrimp, jicama, cucumber, mint and cilantro). It's at 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 289-0660. . . . First, Mark Silver replaced Ben Ford as chef at the Farm of Beverly Hills. We'll have an update on Ford soon; but Silver has already departed, and in his stead is Hans Goplen, who'll serve up new treats like soft-shell crab wraps, lobster tacos and citrus salad (the Farm of Beverly Hills, 439 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills;  273-5578). . . . Granita in Malibu has a new pastry chef. Darcy Tizio has stepped in for Gustavo Escalante, who's on a leave of absence to be with his family in Guatemala. Tizio has worked with Bradley Ogden at the Lark Creek Inn up north in Larkspur.
Serge Does Sureriewa: Serge Burckel is now serving what he calls Sureriewa Sundays at his restaurant One. It means you sit at a communal table (seatings at 6 or 8 p.m.) and down Alsatian choucroute garnie (sauerkraut with sausage, knockwurst, salt pork and bacon). The servings are family-style and the price is $17 a person.
* One, 672 S. La Brea Ave., L.A.; (323) 692-0540.
Picnic Season: Since the stores are full of cute picnic baskets at this season, we thought we'd give you some ideas for filling them for a night at the Hollywood Bowl or just a summer picnic.
Joan's on Third is a catering company that put down roots as a gourmet food store. It even has tables, so you can nosh on the goodies from the deli case without having to drive somewhere else first. The Moveable Feast menu lists eight different meals packed in cardboard carrying cases and ranging in price from $16 to $26 a box. Meals include plastic ware and dessert. Order at least 24 hours in advance.
* Joan's on Third, 8350 W. 3rd St., L.A.; (323) 655-2285.
Chianti Ristorante e Cucina has four different bowl boxes available at $17.50 to $21 a person. The three-course feasts come with bread and a half-bottle of 1997 Chianti Ruffino along with plastic glasses and a corkscrew. Order 24 hours in advance by phone, or fax your order to (323) 655-2390.
* Chianti Ristorante e Cucina, 7383 Melrose Ave., L.A.; (323) 653-8333.
Cha Cha Cha Encino packs up seven different California-Caribbean meals ranging from $17 to $23. Or you can put together your own to-go box from the complete menu, which you can view at http://www.chachachaencino.com. Order by phone at least 24 hours in advance.
* Cha Cha Cha Encino, 17499 Ventura Blvd., Encino; (818) 789-3600.
The Bistro Garden's takeout companion next to the restaurant, called BG to Go Cafe, offers six three- and four-course meals in a basket ranging from $18.95 to $32.50 each. Order an hour or so in advance.
* BG to Go Cafe, 12930 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 366-3246.
Angela Pettera can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.