John-Pierre Bosc, who left Fennel to replace long-time La Serre chef John-Pierre Peiny just three months ago, is gone again. "We, the owner and I, did not have the same objective. My cooking style wasn't what he wanted for LaSerre."
"It just didn't work out," said a LaSerre spokesman. "But we have two sous-chefs (Jose Noel and David D'Amore) with enormous experience, who will act as co-chefs. And then we've just brought Bruno Fillion in from Quebec to do meats and we are just going to go with a lot of youth and create a new menu."
Bosc, who came from France to open Fennel, says he plans to remain in Los Angeles. "I am going to look for a restaurant where I can do my own cooking."
GOING, GOING . . .: L'Ermitage Restaurant, which closed suddenly last week after 16 years, is about to be sold. Real estate broker Irv Siegel who is handling the sale of the restaurant through his Santa Monica firm, Siegel Co., says he expects to have the contract signed in the next few days. "We have just finished the assessment of the wine cellar, and it's coming down to the wire," he says. Siegel declined to disclose the name of the buyer. "Let's just say the parties are all qualified restaurateurs."
OUT OF THE ASHES: John Strobel knows how to keep a secret. The restaurateur, who split up with his Angeli partner Evan Kleiman four months ago, says he will open Fenix Cafe-Bar in Beverly Hills on July 28. "I've been keeping it quiet. It's a little nerve-wracking, it being my first solo outing and I want things correct. I didn't want to jump the gun."
Strobel, who took over the location of the former Yanks Restaurant, says "I think we've made a really major statement without spending real major money. We have not done a lot of construction, mostly a lot of painting." Strobel doesn't plan on charging major prices for his food either. "We've priced most everything down and we keep lowering the prices. I think that's what people are looking for these days. "
Karen Norbe, formerly a chef at Border Grill in Santa Monica and City Restaurant on La Brea, will be the chef; the food will be Latin/Caribbean inspired food. "I think there are enough Italian restaurants out there," says Strobel.
NEWCOMERS: Glendale residents can now wake up and smell the coffee: It's coming from Piacere Espresso Bar, which roasts its beans on the premises and has just opened for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday. The address is 1101 Air Way in Glendale . . . J & J Wholesale Fish has opened Dukey's Seafood Express, featuring flame-broiled fish for less than $5, at 5511 Reseda Blvd., Tarzana . . . and Jerry's Famous Deli in Studio City and Encino is now looking to be famous in Marina del Rey at 13181 Mindanao Way.
Restaurant News moves to Sunday Calendar Aug. 4.