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Life after the Manufactory: Lolo, an East Hollywood wine bar, gets a new chef

Delaney Renee and Ryan Townley, center, enjoy an evening at Lolo in East Hollywood.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

When downtown lost the Manufactory in December, a small wine bar in East Hollywood gained a prized new chef.

Angelo Emiliani, 27, executive chef at 3-month-old Lolo Wine Bar and Restaurant, is a Houston native whose decade-long career includes stretches at Ad Hoc in Napa, L’Oca d’Oro in Austin, Texas, and Kim Alter’s Nightbird in Northern California.

In April of 2018, he landed in Los Angeles, taking the role of sous chef at Chris Bianco’s Alameda Supper Club at the Manufactory at the Row DTLA.

The restaurant’s demise after just nine months “was a huge disappointment,” he said. “I was close with everyone there. It was unfortunate.”

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Now he leads the kitchen at Lolo, an intimate, low-lit gem of worn leather sofas, French bistro tables, embossed ceiling tiles and a charming patio, squeezed between a storage depot and a nursing home on a rough-edged Sunset Boulevard block.

Inside Lolo Wine Bar and Restaurant in East Hollywood.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Jesse Matty, who helped open Felix in Venice, is by his side as sous chef.

Lolo was opened in October by Laurie Mulstay, owner of Bar Chloe in Santa Monica. It was Bianco, a friend, who endorsed Emiliani for the job.

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“He’s one of the brightest young chefs I’ve worked with in the country,” Bianco said.

As “Rock Steady” warbles from a vintage record player, dates and trios of friends cluster for Emiliani’s modest menu of handmade pastas and straightforward proteins and a tall transparent fridge heavy on natural wine.

The wine program was put together by restaurateur Frank Falcinelli and John Burns Paterson, who worked at NoMad and Falcinelli’s Frankies Spuntino Group in New York.

Critic Bill Addison recommends L.A. wine bars and restaurants with excellent wine lists

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Starters include thick, rustic toast from Clark Street Bread piled high with ricotta, mint and slivers of crunchy snap pea and spicy radish.

Pastas include sizable, fluffy gnocchi tossed with hunks of sharp Bucheron cheese and roasted romanesco you smell the instant the plate hits your table.

Tagliarini gets a generous ration of Hope Ranch mussels cooked with a splash of Pernod; every strand of pasta is saturated with garlic and the essence of the sea.

Toast from Clark Street Bread with ricotta, mint, crunch snap pea and spicy radish at Lolo.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
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Tagliarini with Hope Ranch mussels, cooked with Pernod, from Lolo.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
Freshly baked madeleines from Lolo.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

The still-growing menu includes a peppery flatiron steak sauced with Marsala and maitake mushrooms and a brick chicken with panzanella.

There are just-baked madeleines for dessert as well as a white chocolate budino.

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“The biggest thing I learned from Chris is just the beauty of simplicity,” Emiliani said of his time working with Bianco at Alameda Supper Club. “We were subtracting a lot and just getting to the essence of what made it great.”

He is particularly excited for Sundays, when you’ll find a menu of grilled cheese sandwiches paired with specific wines.

One of them sees pain de mie bookending tangy whipped Bucheron, gooey fontina, roasted red onion and Meyer lemon jam coupled with a green-apple-scented Loire Valley Chenin Blanc from Manoir de la Tête Rouge.

Emiliani named it “the Bianco.”

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5140 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 665-5656, lolowinebar.com


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