Some of L.A.’s best sushi is headed to Culver City with a new outpost, and dry-aged fish
Brothers Sushi Culver City
Some of L.A.’s best sushi is headed to Culver City this month. The Brothers Sushi is expanding with its third Japanese restaurant specializing in dry-aged and fresh fish served in omakase, cut rolls, sashimi and nigiri, alongside some of the best caviar dishes in the city.
The latest Brothers Sushi, a 101 List awardee from Asanebo vet Mark Okuda, will offer a menu more similar to the original Woodland Hills location, which features a more casual setting and a less formal omakase than the edomae-style version found in Santa Monica. He’s taking over the former K-Zo space, which served Culver City for nearly two decades before closing last month, and retaining much of the K-Zo staff. Okuda hopes the new outpost especially will serve as a training ground for his staffers who hope to one day open their own sushi bars.
“We have kind of a new generation of chefs that could lead,” said Okuda, who’ll be splitting his time among all three locations. “I want them to actually have to run the restaurant and, eventually, if they want to open their own restaurant, they’ll be more prepared.”
Much like in Woodland Hills and Santa Monica, the new Brothers Sushi will feature at least one dry-aging fridge to process fish sourced by Liwei Liao of the Joint. The offerings will include toro, sea bream, amberjack, yellowtail, ora and salmon.
In Culver City, Okuda’s revamping the sake menu, adding more imported draft beer and offering roughly 60 seats spread across the dining room, sushi bar and on a patio, along with a designated bar that will also offer the full food menu. Okuda plans to open in mid- to late November, operating noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. daily.
“I hope people in Culver City will really enjoy it,” he said.
9240 Culver Blvd., Culver City, thebrotherssushi.com
A new Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant in West Hollywood showcases the style of a former “Top Chef: Middle East & North Africa” winner. Ladyhawk comes from Beirut-born executive chef Charbel Hayek, who cooked in Santa Monica’s Michelin-starred Mélisse before competing on the culinary reality show in Saudi Arabia, winning with a dish of Spanish ahi crudo — a version of which is available at his West Hollywood restaurant. Ladyhawk specializes in shareable dishes at the base of the La Peer Hotel, offering an array of mezze such as falafel, garlic labneh with pickled eggplant, muhammara, matbucha, fresh hummus and more that can be ordered a la carte or via a rotating sampler platter for the table. There’s fried cauliflower with dukkah, charred cabbage with pomegranate, dry-aged duck with rose blossom, wood-fired whole fish with zhoug, skirt steak shawarma and more. The cocktail program also showcases the flavors of the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean, with options such as a persimmon sour; the Mamara & Black, with Levantine spirit arak and Turkish-coffee demerara; and the Souq of Byblos, named for a market in Charbel’s hometown and featuring gin, cardamom and rose cordial, while wines are sourced from Lebanon, Israel, Italy, Georgia, Spain, California and beyond. Ladyhawk is open 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, with lunch and brunch service planned for the future.
623 N. La Peer Drive, West Hollywood, (213) 296-3036, ladyhawkrestaurant.com
A sprawling alfresco French wine bar is now open in the Arts District with escargots, stuffed gougères, jambon-beurre, Gruyère-topped burgers and more. Le Champ is the first restaurant and bar from Matt Bronfeld and Justin Hilbert, who met while working for chef Matthew Kenney’s hospitality group. Hilbert is heading up the kitchen, serving both a set a la carte menu and a daily list of plats du jour with specials that include oysters, chicken liver terrine with port gelée, beet-and-endive salad with shaved Gouda and lamb with carrot and coriander. The wine program offers a broad price range, with all bottles under $70, pulling old-world and newer natural wines from France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain and California.
“I want to be here and hang out like zero pretension,” said Hilbert. “This is a place to chill with your friends or go on a date, as affordable as possible.”
The 3,000-square-foot patio is home to roughly 100 bistro-inspired seats and hanging bulb lights, with an adjacent outdoor space and an indoor reception area. Le Champ is open noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
1200 E. 5th St., Los Angeles, lechampla.com
Saucy Chick and Goat Mafia Pasadena
A lauded double restaurant has relocated from West 3rd Street to East Pasadena, offering more space, a larger kitchen and new items from Mexican-and-Indian rotisserie Saucy Chick and birria specialist Goat Mafia. L.A. Times Food critic Bill Addison called the dual restaurant a marriage of “two of L.A.’s most exciting pop-ups” when it opened earlier this year; it serves jeera and pibil roast chickens, sides, nachos and “chaat”-chos from husband-and-wife team Marcel Michel and Rhea Patel Michel alongside birria tacos, burritos and bowls from Goat Mafia founder and fourth-generation birriero Juan Garcia. They closed the joint restaurant in late summer, and recently reopened in the former Tacocita space with new items such as smoked chicken wings, papas con chorizo and popped mustard seed masala potatoes.
Patel Michel said she regularly asks herself how her small business can help others grow. Beyond teaming up with Goat Mafia, Saucy Chick stocks items from other local vendors, such as Lei’d Cookies. “My hope is as we grow, everybody grows, and all boats rise with the tide,” she said. Saucy Chick and Goat Mafia are open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
203 S. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 391-3600, saucychickgoatmafia.com
With flavors like Yakult, lychee strawberry, hojicha and mango calamansi, the San Gabriel Valley’s new soft-serve shop is riffing on beloved pan-Asian flavors. The open-late sweets spot from founders Waldo Yan and Amber Tan took over beloved local shop Ace Frozen Yogurt, giving their pandemic-spurred soft-serve pop-up and wholesale operation a permanent home.
Yan, who grew up in his parents’ restaurant, spearheaded the flavor development, sourcing ingredients such as roasted sugar cane and directly imported Japanese hojicha tea. Toppings include American classics of Butterfingers and other candy bars; Asian classics such as mochi, haw flakes wafers, li hing powder and kinako; and pastry-inspired bites such as cacao nibs, feuilletine and hazelnut praline, with sauces like chamoy, pomegranate molasses and aloe jelly sauce.
“We like working in food because we like seeing people happy,” said Yan. “When you eat something delicious, it makes you happy, and I think ice cream is about the happiest one around.”
626 Hospitality is open noon to 11 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and noon to midnight Friday and Saturday, and will launch a beverage program featuring Asian-origin teas and coffees such as Vietnamese-bean cold brew with house-made black sesame milk creamer in the coming weeks.
160 E. Duarte Road, Suite E, Arcadia, instagram.com/626hospitalitygroup
A Panama City chef recently launched his first Los Angeles restaurant with Si! Mon in Venice, blending Central American dishes with California touches. Fonda Lo Que Hay chef José Olmedo Carles Rojas is widening the scope of his previous restaurants, focusing not only on Panamanian but also broader Central American cuisine, though a few of his signature dishes can be found in L.A. too.
His labor-intensive yuca tostadas, which take two days to make, are offered two ways at Si! Mon: with tuna carpaccio and with pixbae hummus. New items include oysters, less ubiquitous in Panama, baked with caramelized shallot butter and toasted coconut, while his guacho, a rice porridge normally thicker in Panama, feeds Venice in a lighter version with rum-braised clams. There are Afro-Caribbean shrimp dumplings, fish cooked in banana leaves, jerk shrimp and more.
“Si! Mon is almost an exploration of what does it mean to be a Central American restaurant in a place like L.A. that has so many cultures,” Carles Rojas said. “It’s a very personal vision.”
The restaurant is a collaboration between Carles Rojas and seasoned L.A. restaurateurs Louie and Netty Ryan (Townhouse, Hatchet Hall), and it fills the former James Beach space. Beverage director Mitch Ono Bushell of Townhouse (formerly of Accomplice Bar and Gran Blanco) designed a cocktail menu inspired by the food, with options such as the Aguachile Sipper, made with tequila, St.-Germain, cucumber, lime and aguachile.
Carles’ first restaurant outside of Panama partially opened in late summer in part of its space and just held its grand opening, nearly tripling in size. Si! Mon is open 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
60 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, (310) 302-0016, si-mon.la
A new Culver City restaurant combines two red-sauce classics in a portmanteau that says it all: Parmizza serves a range of parms with an array of toppings, in addition to salads, antipasti, desserts, cocktails and mains such as pasta and baked sea bass.
“It was built around the idea of crispy chicken parm: When you think about it, there’s pizza toppings on it,” said co-founder and head chef Martin Heierling. “It started to take on its own life from there. It’s something that puts smiles on people’s faces because they’re so familiar with it, but we do it in a really unexpected way.”
Heierling — formerly of SBE, Wynn Resorts and Starr Restaurant Group — hopes to one day expand with additional locations, and he devised a menu of parm bases that include chicken, veal, pork and gluten-free-breaded cauliflower. They come topped with the likes of mozzarella, ricotta, jalapeño and garlic; mushrooms, grilled onions and robiola; and pecorino, bacon, parmesan crisps and a runny egg. Mix-and-match antipasti include house bread, marinated anchovies, mortadella, burrata, spicy salami spread and more, while the bar specializes in spritzes. Parmizza is open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
3833 Main St., Culver City, parmizza.com
The gourmet neighborhood market owned by chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo recently expanded to Larchmont with its largest location yet. The new, split-level Cookbook Market offers rows of locally grown produce, spice blends, fresh flowers, a coffee bar with pastries and ready-made sandwiches, loaves of fresh bread, bottles of wine, home goods such as cookbooks, donabes and candles, and frozen and refrigerated goods from some of the region’s most popular restaurants, ice cream shops and other purveyors. The Larchmont location also features a soon-to-open cafe complete with its own seating area, as well as a patio. Cookbook Market is open in Larchmont 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
310 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 686-9009, cookbookla.com
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