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RESTAURANT NOTEBOOK

Now, From The Man Who Brought You Rebecca's...

March 08, 1987|COLMAN ANDREWS

Bruce Marder, whose Rebecca's and West Beach Cafe in Venice (which he runs in partnership with his wife, the eponymous Rebecca herself) are among the hottest restaurants in Los Angeles today, has announced plans to create a third establishment.

The new place, tentatively named DC-3, will be suspended between an office building and an aeronautical museum, both as-yet unbuilt, on the northwest end of Santa Monica Airport--which is in the process of redesign and redevelopment. Marder and noted local artist Chuck Arnoldi will design the 12,500-square-foot airborne restaurant, budgeted at $2.5 million. Estimated opening date is April 1, 1988. August Spier, a veteran of the West Beach and of nearby 72 Market Street, will manage and co-own DC-3, with Bill Hufferd, now chef at Rebecca's, in charge of the kitchen.

Marder describes the fare as "California-ized bar-and-grill food with a twist--appetizers, salads, fish, steaks and chops--everything made to order, and everything a la carte." There'll also be a "mini-deli" attached to the bar, he reports, serving things like caviar with homemade blini. "It'll be like a classic but nouvelle Musso & Frank's."

BACK ON TOP: The peripatetic Joachim Splichal, one of our very finest chefs by anybody's reckoning, has returned, it might be said, to the roost: He first gained his local reputation in the kitchen at the exclusive rooftop Regency Club in Westwood, then went on to create spectacular food at the Seventh Street Bistro downtown and Max au Triangle in Beverly Hills. When the latter closed last year, he undertook a number of consulting projects, most significant among them the highly rated Q.V. in New York (where he cooked for several months) and the soon-to-open Firehouse near the Seventh Street Bistro.

Now, though, he is back at the Regency Club as chef/consultant for four months.

"I will redo the menu," he said, "and implement new dishes, and will cook every night." Meanwhile, he reports that he is about to close a deal for a 50- or 60-seat restaurant of his own. Watch this space.

SIDE ORDERS: The Belle-Vue in Santa Monica celebrates its 50th anniversary this month and offers a free glass of champagne with all regular diners March 16 through 22. . . . Chadney's in Burbank challenges customers to guess how many prime-rib dinners it has served since moving to its current location in 1974. First prize is $500. . . . Sabatino Russo, longtime pasta maker, baker and dessert chef at the now-defunct Villa Capri in Hollywood, has opened his own bakery, Sabatino's, in North Hollywood. . . . Harry's Bar & American Grill in Century City has introduced a new menu, including a daily "colazione" selection of light luncheon dishes in the $6-$10 range. . . . Chefs Jean-Francois Meteigner (L'Orangerie), Dale Payne (Bistango), Michael Roberts (Trumps), and John Sedlar (St. Estephe) will teach in a "Grand Master Chefs of Los Angeles" series, starting Saturday. Call (800) 221-0057 for information and reservations. . . . The singles-only Wine & Dine Gourmet Club plans a dinner next Sunday at Marino's in Hollywood for $36 a head, all inclusive. Call (213) 859-7086 for more. . . . Pontevecchio in Santa Monica celebrates the "L.A. Cucina Italiana" program in progress around Los Angeles with a nightly $25 prix - fixe dinner through the end of March. . . . Restaurant writer and radio personality Paul Wallach will join Bill Lee, proprietor of Century City's Jade West restaurant, on a dining tour of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and mainland China beginning April 9. Call (213) 749-1084 or 277-4336 for details.

CHANGES: Franco Galli, whose official job title at Spectrum Foods was "Maestro," has resigned from that organization. He has not announced any future plans, but industry gossip has it that he will join his former boss, Spectrum co-founder Laurence B. Mindel, at the Il Fornaio America Corp., which operates high-quality Italian-style bakeries around the state. . . . Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze, who opened a branch of their two-star Parisian seafood restaurant, Le Bernardin, in New York last year to cheers and huzzahs all around, have sold the Paris original--to another two-star chef, Guy Savoy, who has been looking for larger quarters for several years. The new Savoy will doubtless be a place to reckon with. . . . And a San Francisco landmark, the 37-year-old Hippo Hamburgers establishment, has closed its doors. Hippo was a pioneer in the "gourmet burger" market and offered all manner of toppings for its patties, conventional and outlandish--including, in the latter category, hamburger topped with a scoop of ice cream, hot fudge and a cherry!

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