Jeremy Fox and Texas Toast
Jeremy Fox, the James Beard-nominated chef of Rustic Canyon, will open Birdie G’s on June 21 in Santa Monica. Named after Fox’s daughter and his grandmother, the restaurant focuses on comfort food and family recipes. Menu items include Grandma Gladys’ lengua pot roast, a Hangtown fry/matzoh brei hybrid and a section dedicated to Texas toast.
2421 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 310-3616, birdiegsla.com
Al Pastor Expansion
Leo’s Tacos, one of the most celebrated food trucks in L.A. for tacos al pastor, has a new location in Studio City with the same menu as the original on La Brea Avenue.
At Vineland Ave. and Moorpark St., leostacostruck.com
Antico Arrives in Larchmont
Antico opened last week in Larchmont Village. The restaurant comes from Chad Colby, a longtime veteran of Nancy Silverton’s restaurants including a stint as chef at Chi Spacca. Vintage Italian wines and Southern Italian-influenced cooking over an open fire are the main attractions, with a menu featuring handmade pastas, steaks, lamb chops with mint and pistachio, and whole kanpachi cooked over almond wood.
4653 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 510-3093, antico-la.com
Jon & Vinny’s in Venice. Sort of.
Jon & Vinny’s has a small, green-and-white-striped stand serving $5 soft-serve ice cream in front of Madhappy on Abbot Kinney. Chocolate, vanilla and swirls are available, with plans to stay in Venice through July.
1420 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, jonandvinnys.com
A little more Momo
Carnitas el Momo is now serving its tacos inside Los Quetzales Bakery in Bakersfield, which is owned by a relative of the family that runs the popular Boyle Heights food truck.
2427 Niles St., Bakersfield, (323) 503-3743, facebook.com/pages/Carnitas-El-Momo/245869002180480
Shabuya opened its first O.C. location in Fountain Valley last week. At the all-you-can-eat shabu shabu chain, diners pick a soup base before adding meats, seafood and vegetables to their hot pots.
18279 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 860-7772, shabuya.net
Canary replacing West End
A new cocktail bar named Canary is taking over the West End nightclub space in downtown Santa Monica this summer. Bartender Devin Espinosa will be behind a menu of tropical drinks; there will also be food, D.J.s and live performances each night.
1301 5th St., Santa Monica, canarysm.com
Pizza... with lobster tail
Taproom Pizza Co. is now open in Culver City from the owners of Lobster & Beer. You’ll find five beers on draft, plus meatballs marinara, chicken Parmesan sandwiches and 13 pizzas, including “the Maine Event” with lobster-infused tomato sauce, clarified butter and broiled lobster tails.
10712 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, (424) 603-4399, taproompizzaco.com
The merger of Church & State
Church & State LA reopened June 11 under new partners Bill Chait, chef David Féau and sommelier Taylor Parsons, who remodeled the Parisian bistro. Féau, formerly at the Royce and Wally’s Santa Monica, will oversee a selection of French classics and plats du jour, including white-wine-poached mackerel, ahi tuna piperade, hanger steak with shallots, and a Grand Marnier soufflé.
1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles, (213) 405-1434, churchandstatela.com
A Hollywood legend rides again
The Formosa Cafe’s reopening is scheduled for June 28 in West Hollywood. The 80-year-old restaurant and bar — a place where Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Ava Gardner were frequent customers — has been restored by 1933 Group, owners of bars such as Sassafras, Bigfoot Lodge and Harlowe. The new look includes a restored Pacific Electric train dining car, terrazzo tiles that mirror those on the Walk of Fame and Bugsy Siegel’s actual safe. Expect new cocktail menus and dim sum from Little Fatty chef David Kuo.
7156 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, theformosacafe.com
Sin City Chocolates
Ethel M Chocolates, a candy company from Las Vegas, recently opened its first California store. Located in the Glendale Galleria, the shop offers 30-minute tastings of milk and dark chocolate, and also sells sweets such as liqueur-spiked truffles and pecan brittle.
100 W. Broadway, Glendale, (747) 240-3987, ethelm.com
Pizzana slides into West Hollywood
Pizzana opened a new West Hollywood location last week. You can still get pizzaiolo Daniele Uditi’s cacio e pepe pie, as well as a new pie inspired by Spago’s classic smoked salmon pizza, and eat them on an outdoor patio with olive trees and a 100-year-old brick wall. After 10p.m., New York-style cheese and pepperoni slices will be available until closing.
460 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 657-4662, pizzana.com
Jinsol Gukbap Doubles Down in KTown
Busan-style pork specialist Jinsol Gukbap recently opened a second restaurant, Jinsol Gukbap 2, also in Koreatown. The new location, just two blocks away, features the same small menu as the original, with a few additions such as yukgaejang and dolsot bibimbap.
4031 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (213) 365-0097, facebook.com/Jinsol-Gukbap-837157393060315/
Lemonshark...doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Lemonshark Poke, a Southern California-based chain with franchises stretching to Orlando, is now open in Culver City.
10601 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 876-0348, lemonsharkpoke.com
A Mediterranean touch in Burbank
Santuari will open on June 20 at the Toluca Lake Tennis Club in Burbank. Former Wilshire chef de cuisine Brendan Mica’s Mediterranean menu includes a linguine Bolognese with seafood, a 28-oz. bone-in rib-eye and short ribs braised with ras el hanout and dried apricots.
6711 Forest Lawn Dr., Los Angeles, (323) 902-9700, santuarirestaurant.com
A big name in Szechuan hot pot
Hibiscus Tree, a chain from Chengdu, China, that serves Szechuan-style hot pot, is now open in San Gabriel. Hot pots can be ordered with bases made from Szechuan pepper, red chili oil or tomato. Marinated intestine, duck gizzard and pork belly are among the broad selection of skewered meats, seafood and vegetables.
534 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, (626) 872-0140
Ribs on demand
Studio City Ribs is a new, weekend-only, takeout-only business in the San Fernando Valley. The sole offering is pork ribs, dry-rubbed and oven-cooked for five hours, and orders have to be placed via email.
Jaffa hits Palms with new dishes
Jaffa, an Israeli restaurant on West 3rd Street, opened a second location in Palms last week. In addition to favorites such as BLTs made with lamb bacon, expect location-exclusive dishes including beef brisket pastrami sandwiches and carrot cavatelli with dried figs and lamb.
10306 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, (424) 298-8180, jaffa.la/palms
Tokyo Delve’s Sushi Bar was seriously damaged in a large fire that also affected several neighboring businesses on its North Hollywood block. The 33-year-old restaurant was known for its lively atmosphere, which included singing servers and dancing patrons.
Bánh Mí is closed in Venice after four years.
Hayden closed in Culver City on June 14 after nearly two years.
The Wilshire is closed in Santa Monica. According to the restaurant, “a reimagined garden concept” will replace the restaurant this summer.