A Family Thing. Daly Thompson, former executive chef of Wyndham LAX, and his wife, Liz Thompson--a former pastry chef at another Wyndham hotel, Checkers--have taken a second big leap (their 1995 marriage after meeting at Checkers was the first). Maybe the birth of their daughter inspired them. Or maybe, as Daly Thompson puts it, "It was time to get out of hotels."
At any rate, they have decided to open their own restaurant in West Hollywood, in partnership with Tom Doherty, owner of the same city's Cafe D'Etoile. The Santa Monica Boulevard establishment will be named Victor Hodds after Doherty's Irish grandfather, who once moved to L.A. in hopes of becoming a writer. (It didn't work out, but he did start a family--obviously.)
Victor Hodds will feature regional American cooking with Daly chefing and Liz handling the desserts. The target opening date is Sept. 1, with a grand opening party somewhere down the road.
Scandia's Legacy: the Update. In April we reported that the old Scandia site on Sunset Boulevard was being turned into a six-room "dining experience" named Legacy, complete with cabaret and cigar lounge. Its PR rep says the renovations will end up costing about $3 million and will take until at least November to complete. So you can get off the edge of your seat.
In the meantime, the restaurant's designated chef, David McMillan, is impatient to get cooking, so he has joined up with David Merrell of An Original Occasion catering company, which they have turned into the catering arm of Legacy. If you want a sneak preview of a variant of what Legacy is up to, get them to cater a private party by calling (714) 892-2111. As an example of what they can do, they tout a recent meal re-creating a 1957 state dinner attended by Nikita Khrushchev, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon for their respective offspring: Sergei Khrushchev, David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon Eisenhower. Now, that's a legacy.
Vincenti on Vicente. Maureen Vincenti and Gino Angelini, both formerly of Rex, are hoping to open Vincenti, their newest venture, by mid-September. They've gutted the interior of Lotus West on San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood and are now installing an open kitchen with a rotisserie and wood-burning oven. Says Maureen Vincenti of (what seems to her as) the fast-approaching opening date, "Things are making me very nervous right now--bringing all the final little touches together."
Typhoon Under the Moon. On Aug. 18 from 6 p.m. to midnight, Typhoon will be holding its annual Asian Night Market, which features food and entertainment (think Thai folk dancers and origami lessons) representing the cultures of China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Fiji, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Booths will be set up along the runway of Santa Monica Airport to serve dim sum, various satays, noodles--and stir-fried crickets. (If you miss the fair, you can always get the crickets as an appetizer at Typhoon.) A new booth this year will serve kava, a Fijian drink of goodwill and respect made from the the kava plant, a Polynesian member of the pepper family.
Admission, which includes all you can eat of the food, is $22.50. And if you arrive wearing a sarong, you'll be given a prize (maybe a cricket stir-fry kit).
* Typhoon, 3221 Donald Douglas Loop South (off Airport Avenue), Santa Monica; (310) 390-6565.
Beijing Yujean. Yujean Kang's West Hollywood presents a new Beijing menu, available in addition to the regular menu, at both lunch and dinner. Kang, whose family is from Beijing, is cooking less well-known dishes in the common, as again courtly, style of the capital. Beijing duck can be ordered in two services. There's also a small section of the menu devoted to Beijing "wraps," which predate the current fad by a certain number of millenniums.
* Yujean Kang's, 8826 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (310) 288-0806.
Too Many Cooks. Shakedown at Rix in Santa Monica after its first weekend open: Chef Matt McLinn, formerly of Morton's, who shared head chef duties at Rix with former Michael's chef Chris Bocchino, has left the kitchen and the restaurant. "It really didn't take more than one chef to make mashed potatoes," said partner Chris Schaeffer. "The owners and McLinn had different ideas about what the menu should be. But it was an amicable parting." They opened Friday. And by Tuesday Bocchino had rewritten the menu. He said he'll keep it changing every few weeks or so.
A Chicken on Every Plate. Les Freres Taix is blowing out its roast chicken dinners again. Normally offered at $8.95, the chicken dinner, which has been on the menu since the restaurant's 1927 opening, will be offered again this August for only $5.95, dinner only, Monday through Friday. This year it kicks off Les Freres Taix's 70th anniversary, which will be celebrated with even more specials throughout the year, so stay tuned. The cheap chicken dinner includes soup, salad, and sherbet.
You definitely need reservations, says owner Mike Taix: "Toward the end of the month it's just nuts."
That's noix to you and me.
* Les Freres Taix, 1911 Sunset Blvd., L.A.; (213) 484-1265.