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New La Cienega Player

Boulevard of restaurants gets Amadeus, adorned in French cha^teau and with a piano bar--and pizza.


New Music: Stacy Mitchell Gantzos, the former maitre d' at Spago Beverly Hills and Drai's, has just opened her own place on La Cienega in Beverly Hills, Amadeus Restaurant and Mozart Bar. She's decorated it in a period style she calls French cha^teau and will have a pianist playing--what else?--a little Mozart. ("I like everything in the 18th century," explains Gantzos.) The menu, however, is a thoroughly modern mix of pizzas, pastas, salads and grilled items. Chef Paul Martel, who has cooked at the Four Oaks, L'Orangerie, Drai's and the late, lamented Ma Maison, is serving things like grilled tenderloin with garlic potato puree, braised Sonoma squab with wild mushroom risotto and poached whitefish with snow peas, grapefruit and a curry nage. Amadeus Restaurant and Mozart Bar, 133 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 360-1777.

Sea Change: Water Grill is undergoing an ambitious make-over. "Our plan," says Joachim Sandbichler, general manager of the downtown seafood palace, "is to make our restaurant the finest seafood restaurant in America." To that end, Michael Cimarusti, the former Spago chef hired months ago, will finally get to write his own menu. A new pastry chef, Wonyee Tom from Gotham Bar & Grill in New York City, has just arrived. The new wine steward, Michael Baker, plans to expand the wine list with wines from all over the world. Even the tableware and glassware will be changed, and the dining room will be reupholstered in leather and mohair. Water Grill will stay open throughout the transformation, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of May. Water Grill, 544 S. Grand Ave.; (213) 891-0900.

La Serenata III: Jose Rodriguez, chef-owner of La Serenata de Garibaldi in Boyle Heights and the more casual La Serenata Gourmet in West L.A., plans another La Serenata de Garibaldi on 4th Street in Santa Monica in the old Picasso Cafe space. It should be open in about two weeks. (The Boyle Heights location has been closed since the end of last year to rebuild the kitchen, add a parking lot and expand the dining room next door. It should be ready toward the middle of May.) La Serenata de Garibaldi, 1416 4th St., Santa Monica, (310) 656-7017; also 1842 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights, (213) 265-2887; La Serenata Gourmet, 10924 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A., (310) 441-7978.

Gerri's Guest: Gilliland's Restaurant is hosting Irish cook and author Darina Allen on Friday. Allen owns the famous Ballymaloe cooking school in West Cork, Ireland, and has a cooking show on Irish television. She'll be at Gilliland's signing her newest cookbook and presenting a dinner of dishes she teaches her students to cook. For $65 you'll get Ballymaloe brown bread, pea and coriander soup, Ballycotton shrimp with chile, cilantro and lemongrass, salmon with potato wafers, pork with crackling and spiced eggplant with goat cheese and rocket leaves, praline dessert with poached kumquats, and cardamom cream with strawberry and rhubarb compote. Reservations must be made with a credit card. Allen's cookbook, "Ballymaloe Seasons," will be available for $29.95. Gilliland's, 2424 Main St., Santa Monica; (310) 392-3901.

La Toque's New Home: Ken Frank, who left Fenix at the Argyle a few months back, followed his dream north. There he will re-create his restaurant La Toque in Rancho Caymus Inn, Rutherford. He's taken over an old restaurant and is completely gutting the place, building himself a dream kitchen. It should be ready some time this summer. We'll let you know.

Limboing Chefs: Derek Harrison, who was the chef and co-owner of Mobay in Venice, has sold out to his partner there and is now the chef at Limbo Caribbean Cuisine on 3rd Street, where you'll now find more eclectic Caribbean dishes like curry goat, jerk ribeye and smoked tuna with avocado mousse and flying fish roe. Limbo Caribbean Cuisine, 8338 W. 3rd St.; (213) 866-8258.

The Last of Adriano's: Bel-Air fixture Adriano's Ristorante will be no more after April 24; new owner Rocco Somazzi plans to change it into a continental restaurant (with Asian touches) featuring live entertainment. Chef Hiro Bairin will remain when the place reopens as Rocco's, but that won't be until sometime in June. Meanwhile, you have a chance to say goodbye to Adriano's, which has been on Beverly Glen Circle for 22 years. For its last night, Adriano's will serve an eight-course goodbye dinner prepared by Bairin and Adriano's original chef, Hulie Huegli. Cocktails begin at 7 p.m., dinner is at 8. The tab is $90 per person, wine included. Adriano's Ristorante, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Bel-Air; (310) 475-9807.

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