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Le Petit Four Owners Taking Their Sweet Time

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It’s a Pastry, It’s a Bistro: The West Hollywood restaurant Le Petit Four has been bought by Robert Bigonnet, who used to own Le Chardonnay, and Alex Morgenthaler, who used to work the front of the house for Citrus and Le Dome. The two will take their time in assessing and reworking Le Petit Four. Says Bigonnet: “We will go through maybe a whole year just to know where we are.” While they did just hire a second chef to add more bistro-type dishes to the menu, it will probably be summer before it is completely overhauled.

* Le Petit Four, 8654 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 652-3863.

News Niblets: Cienega, the new American restaurant opened in January by two chefs and a sommelier, all former employees of Joachim Splichal, is now open for lunch Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Cienega’s at 730 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood. Call (310) 358-8585 for reservations. . . . The Long Beach restaurant Alegria has expanded. Crediting the nearby Long Beach Aquarium for bumping up their traffic, Alegria’s owners have added 60 seats by enclosing the patio. They’ve also expanded their tapas menu with Latin American and more Spanish dishes, and on Saturday nights salsa bands now play after 9:30. It’s at 115 N. Pine Ave., (562) 436-3388. . . . David’s, the Redondo Beach strip mall restaurant where chef-owner David Slatkin once dished out his fusion cuisine, is closed.

Donation Day: March 25 is the date of the fourth annual “Life Is Precious” fund-raiser, when certain restaurants donate 20% of the day’s take to local HIV/AIDS services. Restaurants helping the cause in Hermosa Beach include Brewski’s, Java Man, Hennessy’s Tavern and Pointe 705. In Redondo Beach, Cafe Piccolo (among others) has signed up, and in Manhattan Beach, Reed’s is one of the donating dining places. For a full list of participating restaurants, call Rick Hankus at (310) 318-3798.

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A Seder Selection: Passover, the Jewish celebration of liberation from bondage, is being celebrated this year from sundown March 31 to sundown April 8. A number of restaurants serve Passover dinners.

Jozu on Melrose Avenue features an Asian-inflected Seder meal at 6 p.m. on March 31. After appetizers are passed around, the meal opens with a roasted beet salad. Then comes a matsutake mushroom consomme with matzo ball and cho sum (Chinese greens). The main course is your choice of braised lamb shank or sauteed halibut, followed by dessert; $80 per adult, $35 per child under 10. Jozu, 8360 Melrose Ave., (323) 655-5600.

The Roll ‘n’ Rye restaurant and delicatessen offers a Passover dinner March 31 and April 1 from 3 to 9 p.m. Start with gefilte fish, matzo, charoset, parsley and eggs with salt water. Next comes matzo ball soup. The entree is either chicken or roast brisket, accompanied by vegetables and potato kugel. Sponge cake and macaroons finish it off. Coffee or tea and a glass of kosher wine are included in the price: $17.25 per person. The Roll ‘n’ Rye, 10990 W. Jefferson Blvd., Culver City; (310) 390-3497.

Connolly’s is serving a Passover dinner March 31 and April 1. It begins with two kinds of gefilte fish: One is salmon with dill and the other is whitefish with chives and green onions. Then comes chicken soup with herb matzo ball. The entree is braised brisket or roasted rosemary chicken. Both are served with root vegetables and potato latkes topped with applesauce and creme frai^che. Dessert is crisp Italian meringue layered with chocolate and strawberry sorbets and topped with fresh berries and a berry coulis. It’s $35 per person. Connolly’s, 11510 W. Pico Blvd., (310) 479-2133.

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Chef Toribio Prado is putting his own spin on the Seder dinner at his Spanish restaurant, Cava. Co-hosting the April 4 dinner for the fifth year in a row is the Seasonal Table Cooking School. Robin and Roy Rose of Robin Rose Ice Cream will lead the Seder, with explanations of the foods and their significance to the holiday. The meal opens with Moroccan chicken soup and moves to an Indian toasted mango salad. The main course is dry-rubbed Tunisian roast lamb, Georgian wild salmon or white fish with a quince walnut sauce. Dessert is Turkish almond tart with honey and marinated figs, Uzbek buttered tea with walnuts, and Robin Rose sorbets. Kosher wines are served with each course. It starts at 6:30, and it’s $55 per grown-up, $30 per child under 12. Cava, 8384 W. 3rd St., (323) 658-8898.

Got Zagat?: Those folks who edit the Los Angeles Zagat Guide need your two cents’ worth. If you receive, fill out and return your questionnaire by May 10, you’ll get a free copy of next year’s guide. To participate, send a self-addressed business-sized envelope to: Zagat Survey, 12618 Homewood Way, L.A., CA 90049.

Send tips and other information to pettera@cwix.com.


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