A New Chow: Michael Chow, owner of Mr. Chow's in Beverly Hills, London and New York, is expanding his empire with a Westwood location at the end of the summer. The new place, at 1099 Westwood Blvd., will sport a thoroughly modern look. Chow is calling this place Eurochow, rather than Mr. Chow's, because " 'Euro' will be the most used word in the 21st century." Y-y-yeah, that and the fact that the chow itself will be a blend of Chinese and Italian cuisines, resulting in a European version of sashimi, for instance, and lots of seafood generally. Chow describes the new menu as moderately priced and the new atmosphere as high-energy. He plans to keep it open until 1 a.m. Eurochow will seat about 200 with room for 50 on the patio. Look for it around August or September.
New Chef at Coco Pazzo: Perhaps Paolo Sari got tired of working under the not-so-flattering title of "crazy chef" (coco pazzo)? Anyway, he's left Coco Pazzo, that tony Philippe Starck-designed restaurant in Hotel Mondrian where beautiful people hang out, for projects as yet undecided. Replacing him is Roberto Ivan from the Veneto region of Italy. Ivan most recently cooked in Monaco and Brazil, but before that he was chef of Chianti Cucina in L.A. Though much of the menu will remain the same, Ivan is allowed to lighten things up a bit. "I'm using my philosophy: Just freshness, quality and keep an eye on the health of the people," says Ivan. "And no hairy dishes." By which he means over-complicated, ultra-nouvelle stuff. He swears he'll keep things simple and light.
* Coco Pazzo, the Mondrian Hotel, 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (213) 848-6000.
Baran to Trader Vic's: Tony Baran moves over from Terrace il Ristorante in Century Plaza to Trader Vic's. His cuisine will stay in keeping with the restaurant's venerable Polynesian theme and focus on flavors and spices from the Far East and Pacific Islands. Some of his new dishes include spicy crab cakes and Chilean sea bass with Thai basil lobster essence.
* Trader Vic's, the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 274-7777.
L.A. Takes 'Cue Sauce Crown: Daly Thompson, chef-owner of Victor Hodd's in West Hollywood, and a few of his friends, including his wife--pastry chef Liz Thompson--and chef Claude Beltran, formerly of DickinsonWest in Pasadena, apparently know a thing or two about barbecue. Two weekends ago they took first place in the sauce category at the 21st Annual World Champion BBQ Cooking Contest in Memphis, Tenn. The "L.A. Porkers," as Thompson dubbed his international team of barbecue artists (some from Los Angeles, some from lower Alabama and one from Lower Auckland, New Zealand), beat out 249 teams for that prize. You can sample the stuff when Victor Hodd's opens for lunch sometime this summer. Also on the lunch menu: honey-dipped fried chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, an onion ring loaf and a drunken chicken smoked with garlic.
* Victor Hodd's, 7953 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; (213) 822-9652.
Emilio's to Emi to L'Angolo: For more than 30 years, it was Emilio's; then Emilio Baglioni brought in developer Antonio Alessi and chef Enrico Glaudo (from Primi) last year, and the three remodeled the Hollywood landmark, changed its menu and renamed it Emi. And then Baglioni retired.
So now Alessi and Glaudo have made the place over once again. This time, renamed L'Angolo (which means "the corner"), it's a modern Italian restaurant. By which they mean a bright color scheme of blue, green and orange; new booths in the dining room, and contemporary art on the walls. Glaudo gets a brand-new 2,000-square-foot kitchen, complete with tables and chairs, where he'll be teaching cooking classes soon. The menu has also been revamped with dishes ranging from penne pasta with oven-roasted tomatoes, raisins and pine nuts ($7.50) to grilled veal chop with shiitake mushrooms ($18). There's also a mixed cheese plate for $5. Open for dinner only, Monday through Saturday.
* L'Angolo, 6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; (213) 935-4922.