He's Game for Citrus: The old Citrus...


He's Game for Citrus: The old Citrus space at 6703 Melrose Ave. has been snapped up by Alex Scrimgeour, the chef of Saddle Peak Lodge. One of his investors is Saddle Peak owner Ann Graham Ehringer. The new restaurant, to be called Alex, will hang Scrimgeour's mother's artwork, and the family tartan (he has some Scottish in his background) will be rendered on the walls. "It's a very personalized restaurant," says Scrimgeour. "I think this is going to have a genuine warmth to it." He plans to serve modern European cuisine on a menu divided into first courses, second courses, main courses and desserts. The portions will be sized for a four-course meal, but patrons can order as many or as few courses as they like. Alex is slated to open for dinner in November.

Meanwhile, Back at Saddle Peak: Saddle Peak Lodge managing partner Gerhard Tratter has been interviewing chefs to replace Scrimgeour, who departs Aug. 26. Tratter has narrowed his choice to two finalists. Regardless, the menu at Saddle Peak won't look any different for a while. Tratter wants any changes to come on very slowly.* Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas; (818) 222-3888.

Fred's Two: Fred Eric has two projects on the burner. The first to be finished (sometime in December) is a movie-theater renovation in Eagle Rock. "I'm all for building up Eagle Rock," he tells us. Eric wants to turn the old theater on Eagle Rock Boulevard into a Richard Neutra-esque viewing and noshing space.

Next to the theater, Eric will install another edition of Fred 62, his 24-hour Los Feliz diner. The theater seating will consist of couches in the front row and free-standing chairs behind. Moviegoers will be able to order sushi and other whimsical concession snacks throughout a show.

Project No. 2 is a Middle-America-style dining hall and beer garden

Eric wants it to be casual with an earthy, rural feel--in short, he says, "everything the Staples Center is not." The main dining hall will be dressed with booths and long communal tables; the outdoor garden will have family and individual tables. A private dining room seating about 28 features a stone fireplace.

Eric likes to call the cooking style "live cooking": live shellfish steamed or baked up before your eyes. Lou C's other entrees might run to barbecued brisket, aged prime steaks and birds on the rotisserie. Eric will also dish out salads and sandwiches, including a po'-boy with fried oysters and a "rich girl" sandwich with lobster. One of the pasta dishes is named spaghetti western: chili on buttered spaghetti. Lou C's should open around February at 1037 Flower St., downtown L.A. Palladin Fund-Raiser: Jean-Louis Palladin, who was the youngest chef (at 28) to earn two Michelin stars for his restaurant La Table de Cordeliers in Gascony, France, is fighting lung cancer. He's been living and working in the U.S. since 1979, when he moved to Washington, D.C., to open Restaurant Jean-Louis at the Watergate Hotel. Currently he is the executive chef at Napa restaurant in the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas.

Chefs across the nation, wanting to help Palladin with his medical bills, put together a series of "Chefs Helping Chefs" dinners. The Los Angeles dinner takes place July 18 at the Regency Club, 10900 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; (310) 208-1443.

The chefs who will be cooking for this event are Michel Blanchet (Michel Blanchet Cordon Bleu catering company), Jean Pierre Bosc (Mimosa and Cafe des Artistes), Josiah Citrin (Melisse), Camille Crochet (Moustache Cafe), Alain Giraud (the not-yet-open Bastide), Jean-Pierre Giron (Brasserie des Artistes), Lee Hefter (Spago Beverly Hills), Akira Hirose (Maison Akira), Patrick Jamon (Regency Club), Josie LeBalch (Josie), Ludovic Lefebvre (L'Orangerie), Raphael Lunetta (JiRaffe), Jean-Francois Meteigner (La Cachette), Joe Miller (Joe's), Mark Peel (Campanile), Christian Rassinoux (Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel), Peter Roelant (Four Oaks), Pierre Sauvaget (Bel-Air Bay Club), Claude Segal (who just left the Sunset Room), Yvan Valentin (Sweet Temptations catering company) and Donald Wressel (pastry chef at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills). Each chef will make an hors d'oeuvres and collaborate on the six-course meal to follow. The price is $175. Call La Cachette to make reservations at (310) 470-4992.

Angela Pettera can be reached at pettera@prodigy.net.

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