Inside the new Basque bistro from New York’s Le Coucou chef
The highly anticipated restaurant from New York City and Paris chef Daniel Rose is open downtown, adding a bit of Basque flavor to the base of the Hoxton Hotel. Café Basque is the first California restaurant for the lauded Le Coucou chef, and it marks a more relaxed, rustic and casual style of cooking than what guests might have experienced in his classical, more formal French restaurants.
“The pleasure for me in doing this is to develop a style that’s still true to the French way but still has this very Basque point of view, which is very particular in some ways — and very different than the other things I cook in other places,” Rose told The Times.
The new restaurant is Rose’s ode to traditional Basque Country cooking, and while there are pintxos, his menu zeroes in on the French faction of the coastal European region, all seen through the lens of California sourcing and sensibility. The opening dinner menu includes raw oysters with Espelette gelée; duck breasts with almond purée and cherries; crab gratin; roast pork neck with cider, celery and apple; and California rockfish stew with squid, mussels, shrimp and saffron.
The California produce has made sourcing a dream, Rose says, and allows for items that are new to his cooking experience: He rarely used corn in France, where the vegetable is most often used as animal feed, but here, he is offering the Basque Country talo, a thin, almost tortilla-like corn disk, which he serves with either quail eggs and eggplant caviar or artichokes with ham. Red peppers, fresh California seafood and locally farmed pork and beef also feature. “It translates into what feels to me to be a very authentic Southwest France style of cooking,” Rose said.
Within the dining room, Café Basque maintained the long bar of Sibling Rival (the former restaurant at the Hoxton) and its modern-diner setup but replaced all kitchen equipment and expanded the outdoor patio to accommodate dozens of guests, now with seating that stretches down the block. The dinner menu can be ordered within the restaurant proper, as well as outdoors and throughout the lobby.
Originally timed to open in July, Rose cites administrative snags as the reason for Café Basque’s delay. (Rose is slated to open his Chicago brasserie, Le Select, in late January.)
As it stands, the format of the new restaurant is afternoon drinks, then dinner service, though breakfast and lunch will launch in the coming weeks, with breakfast offered all day. The lobby bar opens daily at 3 p.m., also serving a selection of pintxos in addition to cocktails, while dinner service begins at 5 p.m. The lobby coffee bar is open all day, serving coffee alongside pastries such as apple tarts and savory croissants. Café Basque and its bar are open from 3 to 11 p.m. daily (with dinner ending at 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday).
1060 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 725-5850, cafebasque.com
Anna May Bar
A Beverly Hills cocktail bar is now open within one of L.A.’s most lauded Vietnamese restaurants. Anna May Bar, named for legendary actor Anna May Wong, launched this month within Crustacean — Helene An’s European Vietnamese fusion restaurant — and serves some of An’s most famous dishes as bar bites, including her garlic noodles and tuna “cigars.” Also on offer are new items such as Dungeness crab toast; salmon tartare with ponzu sauce; steamed vegan dumplings with truffled chile sauce; and crab legs with Asian pesto. Cocktails include a tea-infused Penicillin with lavender cloud; Vietnamese gin with sake and butterfly tea; and mezcal and Aperol topped with a Champagne yuzu foam. The Anna May Bar is open noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
468 N. Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills, instagram.com/annamaybar
Boston seafood restaurant Saltie Girl now operates a West Coast outpost in West Hollywood, bringing a global-seafood menu inspired by coastal regions around the world to a former Wahlburgers location. Culinary director Kyle McClelland’s menu features a range of raw, smoked, torched, fried, seared and simmered seafoods, including three sizes of towers; lobster rolls; moules frites; lump-crab toast with stracciatella and pistachios; fried clams; escargots; lobster spaghetti; and a variety of New York-style smoked fish with bagels. Saltie Girl also serves steaks in addition to an extensive tinned-fish and caviar selection. (Even the martini involves caviar.) Desserts, helmed by founder Kathy Sidell’s son, Ben Sidell, include house-made soft-serve and yuzu persimmon tarts. Saltie Girl L.A. offers indoor seating and a 30-seat patio and is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Bar service remains open later.
8615 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, saltiegirl.com/location/saltie-girl-los-angeles
Mystyx Coffee Ritual
East L.A.’s goth coffee cart beloved for its White Magic, Black Magic, Inferno Tea and other caffeinated drinks, is now a bricks-and-mortar coffee shop. Mystyx Kafe, from partners Julian Anguiano and Sol Castillo, opened recently as Mystyx Coffee Ritual in Maravilla, now with an extended menu and more on the way. The coffee cart, which launched in 2020, was a way for a Tierra Mia and Kreation vet to branch out on his own. “I got inspired by the taco vendors: Maybe do something like this with coffee, maybe it would attract a different crowd and attention — and bring the gothic aesthetic into it,” Anguiano told The Times. “I used to do it [barista] in Beverly Hills for so long and it got kind of vanilla, like everybody was doing the same thing.” In their new space, Anguiano and Castillo play Xmal Deutschland, Sisters of Mercy, Clan of Xymox, Linea Aspera and other goth, new-wave and ’80s-leaning bands, and have fleshed out their coffee and tea offerings with smoothies. Fresh pastries such as croissants and muffins are available alongside avocado toast. Future plans for the location include painting everything black and adding a sandwich program. Mystyx Coffee Ritual is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Next year the team plans to reinstate the Mystyx Kafe cart.
346 N. Ford Blvd., Los Angeles, instagram.com/mystyxkafe
Canadian chef and restaurateur Sean MacDonald is set to open his first U.S. restaurant next month, debuting a Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Santa Monica. Bar Monette, named for his wife and filling the former Little Ruby space, will serve as a wine bar and offer tapas and other fare from Italy and Spain. Pizzas will be topped with seasonal ingredients such as squash blossoms or crab, while a range of sauces and dips, such as jalapeño tonnato, will be served for dipping. Bar Monette also will offer small plates, plus add-ons of caviar and truffles, all blocks from the beach. Bar Monette is set to launch in January and will be open noon to midnight Monday to Saturday.
109 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, barmonette.com
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