Prados to Mix Latin and French Tastes

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It Starts With a "C": Toribio Prado, the owner of Cava in the Beverly Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and the Cha Cha Cha restaurants in Silver Lake and Long Beach, has teamed again with his brother, Javier Prado (the two opened Prado together in Larchmont). This time, they're bringing you a sort of Latin-French brasserie named Confete. Says Toribio Prado: "I feel that the restaurant is Nuevo Latino." But he explains that the food will have classical French influences and that he'll marry ingredients from France with those from Mexico. For instance, a Saint Angel quesadilla is filled with Brie, black figs and Madeira wine ($8.95). A pork chop is marinated in mustard, thyme, lemon juice and champagne ($15.95). On the more traditional side: a chicken in mole poblano sauce ($14.95) and a bouillabaisse of lobster, crab, clams and halibut ($24.95).

A full bar will offer margaritas, Mojitos and sangria as well as wines from California, Spain, Chile, Mexico and France. Confete is scheduled to open July 9 for lunch and dinner daily.

* Confete, 7953 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 848-7700. Getting There: Gino Angelini is almost ready for his close-up. He left Vincenti Italian restaurant in Brentwood at the beginning of this year in order to work on opening his own place. Now he's taken over the old Solstice space (7313 Beverly Blvd., L.A.) with his partner, Betty Jane McLaury, for Angelini Osteria, slated to open in September. An osteria is a country-style Italian restaurant with the focus on comfort and simple food.

Angelini gets his inspiration--along with his tables, chairs, china and flatware--from his hometown of Rimini on the Adriatic Coast of Italy. He's also importing his son Luigi from back home to help manage the dining room. The menu hasn't been settled yet, but expect comforting, moderately priced dishes such as lamb ragout and pizzas from a wood-burning oven. Angelini also wants to offer small tastes of food--salami for instance--with piadina flatbread and plenty of wines by the glass to choose from. A communal table in the dining room will encourage people to drop by for a quick bite any time from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Angelini Osteria will be open for lunch and dinner every day. R.I.P.: Reata, the 400-seat cowboy restaurant in the Rodeo Collection, closed its doors June 10 after 16 months in business. The large, rambling space was well appointed with ranch-style furniture and paraphernalia, but the Texas-sized steaks (not to mention the calf's testicles) appear to have been too much for Rodeo Drive to handle. Problems with the Fort Worth Reata also forced an early closure of this location. The original Reata in Alpine, Texas, is still open .... Le Colonial French Vietnamese restaurant at 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, has closed. Word on the street is the city got too many complaints from local residents about the noise. Owner Jean Denoyer had two options: start closing the restaurant at 11 p.m. or close it altogether. He chose the latter. Menu Action: La Bruschetta Italian restaurant is joining the regional menu crowd. Every two to three weeks, owner Angelo Peloni will devise a special a la carte menu representing a particular region of Italy. He'll work from north to south, beginning with the Val d'Aosta and Lombardy July 1. He might also pair Italian and California wines with the dishes. Says Peloni, "In the last 17 years I've tried to be true to what we do in Italy." This is his way of getting more authentic Italian dishes on the menu for his customers to experiment with. La Bruschett a, 1621 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; (310) 477-1052 .... Restaurant 5 Dudley in Venice is now serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Prices are in the $8 to $15 range. Restaurant 5 Dudley, 5 Dudley Ave., Venice; (310) 399-6678. For the Record: This column stated the Farmers Market Northwest Corner reopening celebration at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street was happening last Saturday. In fact, it's happening this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Angela Pettera can be reached at pettera@prodigy.net

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