Daniel Boulud to open Café Boulud in L.A., his first West Coast restaurant
The iconic and prolific French chef behind two-Michelin-starred Daniel in New York just announced a forthcoming Beverly Hills restaurant — his first West Coast location in his 50-year-plus culinary career. In late 2023 or early ’24, Boulud is expected to open his lauded Café Boulud at the base of the Mandarin Oriental Residences, where he will also oversee a members-only dining program for the luxury condominium complex, including a poolside lounge.
“L.A. is a big food town,” Boulud said. “Nobody is deprived of anything good, but I think L.A. always embraces something new, and we hope to be embraced by L.A. I told Wolfgang [Puck] that if he opened in New York, I’ll open in L.A., and of course Wolfgang opened in New York [in 2016]; I said, ‘Well, maybe I’m keeping my promises to Wolfgang.’”
Café Boulud — with locations in New York, the Bahamas, Toronto, Palm Beach, Fla., and Lenox, Mass. — takes its name from the chef’s great-grandparents’ former cafe located outside Lyon, France.
L.A.’s menu will take the format of New York’s, which famously involves four chapters from which to order a la carte: La Tradition, for classic French dishes such as lamb Provençal or foie gras torchon; La Saison, for seasonal items such as duck with peaches and grits or beef Wellington with root vegetables; Le Potager, with produce-forward creations, including roasted carrot salad or Swiss chard ravioli; and Le Voyage, which reinterprets global cuisines through a French lens for items like Vietnamese-inspired crab bisque. At breakfast or lunch, which the chef intends to launch at a subsequent date, Boulud sees the menu as being a bit more flexible and casual, with light, nutritious and less elaborate dishes than one would find on the four-chapter dinner menu.
From caviar service with all of the accoutrements to fun takes like ‘caviar bumps’ and more, this high-end snack is taking the Los Angeles dining scene by storm.
“It’s going to be different in a sense that the cuisine can be a little bit more summery,” Boulud said. “It starts with very good ingredients, of course, and I have no doubt that in L.A. they have the finest ingredients when it comes to freshness and opportunity to embrace what the farmers market produced. I think it’s going to be very interesting. I mean, in New York we depend a lot on California.”
The wine program, given its proximity to California’s Central Coast and the Napa region, will heavily feature West Coast wines in addition to French. The 60-seat restaurant, roughly 2,000 square feet, will feature a slightly tropical, garden-like design with retro-inspired accents such as large brass palm fronds.
The residents-only food program, called Boulud Privé, will be designed for convenience, the chef says, with items such as avocado tartine or lobster rolls.
9200 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, cafeboulud.com
A new hand-roll bar from one of the country’s dry-aged-fish specialists is now open at Culver City’s Citizen Public Market food hall. Liwei Liao sells retail and wholesale seafood through his Sherman Oaks fish market and seafood counter the Joint and at his new temaki and chirashi bar, his years-long specialty — dry-aged fish — is on full display. Tapping chef Hiroo Nagahara (of Silver Paper and formerly Bao Hiroo) to help construct the menu and hand-roll program, Liao’s Uoichiba serves temaki in three- to six-roll tasting sets with bites such as fatty tuna; steelhead with dehydrated shiso; ginger-marinated prawns; and daily specials such as lump crab with shiso and crunchy rice crackers, all with a keen eye toward both texture and temperature. Rice is cooked continuously in small batches throughout the day, and a small, heated box keeps sheets of nori warm but still crisp. House-made soups, such as fish stock or a miso fish fumet, also are available, as are to-go sashimi bento sets. Look for a market-price chirashi bowl when Liao, also known as “dry-aged fish guy,” is behind the counter. Uoichiba is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
9355 Culver Blvd., Culver City, instagram.com/uoichiba.la
Din Tai Fung Santa Monica
Din Tai Fung, home of handmade xiao long bao and other Chinese and Taiwanese specialties, is headed to the Westside. The Taiwan-founded chain with nearly 200 locations globally is set to open a sprawling, 10,615-square-foot restaurant on the third floor of outdoor shopping center Santa Monica Place; currently there is no estimated opening date. The new outpost will offer indoor and outdoor seating, plus ocean views. Across town, the Glendale Din Tai Fung, currently housed at the Americana at Brand, is scheduled to relocate to the adjacent Glendale Galleria later this year, while another location is slated for Anaheim’s Downtown Disney.
395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, dintaifungusa.com/us
Love Hour Bar
The team behind one of L.A.’s most popular smashburgers now operates a bar in Koreatown. Love Hour began as a pop-up but now serves burgers, seasoned fries, chicken nuggets and one of the city’s best fried fish sandwiches from a walk-up window. The adjacent space that was once home to Beer Belly (from Love Hour co-owner Jimmy Han) is open as Love Hour Bar with beer and wine. According to co-owner Michael Pak (Koreatown Run Club), the bar has been in the works for about 18 months.
“To be honest, we just wanted a simple window situation to serve burgers and get everyone out quick, but to build community, we were like, ‘How do we do something inside four walls?’” said Pak. “We figured a bar is a great place where everyone can come in and hang out and end the week.”
The tight menu of natural wines will rotate every month or so and focus on natural wines primarily from California. The craft beer menu also prioritizes local makers, with options such as Torrance’s Smog City Brewing Co. and Inglewood’s Three Weavers Brewing Co. Guests can order Love Hour food from the walk-up window and bring their meals into the bar, though in coming months Love Hour Bar will launch its own unique bar-food menu inspired by the owners’ childhood favorite dishes. The space offers booth seating, 10 barstools and a patio, plus a photo booth, and will host guest bartenders, weekend DJ sets and other programming. Love Hour Bar is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight, with burgers available until 10 p.m.
532 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, love-hour.com
Burritos La Palma Highland Park
The lauded local chain from Albert Bañuelos — which serves some of Jonathan Gold’s favorite burritos in Los Angeles — has expanded to Highland Park, taking over a food stall at La Tropicana Market. The newest outpost of Burritos La Palma serves an identical menu to the original El Monte location, including signature burritos of house-made flour tortillas filled with long-simmered birria; refried beans with cheese; chicken tinga with potatoes; or shredded beef with green chiles and potatoes. Plates and quesadillas are available, as are packs of fresh flour tortillas. A fan-favorite torta featuring pork, Canadian bacon and cheese will be available soon, with only 30 of the sandwiches made each day. Burritos La Palma is open in Highland Park Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
5200 Monte Vista St., Los Angeles, (323) 740-5624, burritoslapalma.com
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