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RESTAURANT NEWS

Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Reed's

July 04, 1993|KATHIE JENKINS

When Hans Rockenwagner moved to a bigger restaurant two years ago, he left his pretty 16-table storefront in Venice to Joe Miller, who turned the space into Joe's, one of the hardest weekend reservations in town. Now Miller and former Four Seasons Hotel chef Brandon Reed (they cooked together 10 years ago at L'Orangerie) have taken over the bankrupt St. Estephe restaurant in Manhattan Beach, and will call it Reed's. (Joe's will remain unchanged.) Reed's will serve Joe's California-French cuisine. They plan a September opening.

Before they open, the partners will make a few changes to the landmark restaurant. "When I heard St. Estephe went out of business, I went down there to take a look at the space," says Miller. "I found they had added on this big enclosed patio. It was too much space. So we made a deal with the landlord to put the restaurant back the way it was. It's still about 1,000 square feet more than I have now."

VENICE SOUTH: "I think Redondo Beach is ready for something like a Hal's, or a casual version of what I do," says Greg Gevurtz, executive chef/co-owner of the art- and artist-filled Venice Beach hangout. So Gevurtz has taken over the former Sushi Boat and turned it into Zack's. Hal's other co-owner, Hal Frederick, is not involved in the Zack's project. Gevurtz, who has cooked at Primi, West Beach and Rebecca's, will spend time at both restaurants.

Unlike Hal's, where the menu changes weekly, Zack's will have a set menu, featuring the best of Hal's: meat loaf, grilled half chicken, Caesar salad. "It's accessible food," Gevurtz says, "nothing too weird." But, he stresses, "some of the menu items will be different. The atmosphere is different too. More casual, less expensive. We want to be family friendly."

STOCKPOT: In what may, or may not, be the last garlic menu at Ken Frank's La Toque Restaurant in West Hollywood (the place has been for sale since January), $36 buys four garlic courses and a non-garlic dessert at lunch and dinner starting tomorrow. And if you want even more garlic, the L.A. Garlic Festival, featuring over 70 garlic dishes--even garlic cookies--will take place July 17 and 18 at the Federal Building, at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue in Westwood.

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