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New Rebecca's to Expand Hours, Menu Choices

Restaurateur Bruce Marder vacates Venice site with plans to reopen next week in Santa Monivecfiad.

October 08, 1998|ANGELA PETTERA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Ciao, Venice: Rebecca's, the restaurant named for the wife of restaurateur Bruce Marder (Capo, Broadway Deli), has found a new home in Santa Monica, on Broadway at Ocean Avenue. You may remember that back in August, James' Beach owners James Evans and Daniel Samakow bought Rebecca's previous space (on Pacific Avenue in Venice) to turn it into the soon-to-open Canal Club. Rebecca's closed its Venice doors on Saturday and will open on Broadway for dinner a week from Friday.

The hours will be 11:30 a.m. to midnight during the week, until 2 a.m. on weekends. You may have noticed that those hours include lunch, a meal Rebecca's wasn't able to serve at the old spot. There will also be extended happy hours, 3 to 6:30 p.m. daily.

"This is going to be a new Rebecca's," says Ms. Marder. Husband Bruce will be updating the menu, adding American dishes to the mostly Mexican list. The decor is in soft, natural colors juxtaposed with strong materials such as wood, glass, bamboo, zinc and concrete. And there's a patio out front on which you can sip margaritas and take in the ocean breeze.

* Rebecca's, 101 Broadway, Santa Monica; (310) 260-1100.

Coastal Cuisine: There's a new restaurant in Manhattan Beach: Anacapa, named for the smallest of the Channel Islands. "Anacapa" is a Chumash word, said to mean "ever-changing," and, in honor of the fishing skills of the Chumash, Anacapa (the restaurant) specializes in the seafood dishes of coastal towns around the Americas (plus Hawaii). Chef David Fickes, from Infusion in San Francisco, has designed a small menu of dishes such as grilled ono with green mango juice, plantain empanadas and ceviche avocado cocktail. The wine list is mostly filled by California labels and listed according to price, nothing more than $42 a bottle.

Owner Greg McNally spent the last eight years in San Francisco, but came back to his hometown of Manhattan Beach to open this beach-style restaurant in the old 12th Street Grill space. He's filled it with wicker chairs, banana-leaf palms and tables with white tablecloths. In the bar and lounge area are wicker couches. The atrium up front seats about 30.

* Anacapa, 304 12th St., Manhattan Beach; (310) 546-4777.

Long Beach, Will You Be Mayan?: Central America moves north in a few weeks with the opening of a new theme restaurant in Long Beach--Tikal, named after the ancient capital of the Mayan empire (and a very big town for pyramids). Chef James Rigdon from Bistro Bistro in Virginia cut his chef's teeth on Latin American cuisine, so he's comfortable using ingredients of the Yucatan Peninsula such as banana leaves, tamarind, boniato (a type of sweet potato), sugar cane, prickly pear, chiles and rum.

It took owner Tony Guillen and his partners, Ira and Fred Gagon, seven months to pull together the three-level tribute to Mayan culture, complete with 25-foot waterfalls, 35-foot temples, two tropical patios and three live macaws in glass cages. The furniture was handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico; the dinnerware is being made to look like stone. The staff uniforms are a modern take on ancient Mayan costumes. Fancy artifacts, furniture and (as a matter of fact) the aforementioned dinnerware will be for sale in a small shop at the back of the restaurant. Mayan dancers from Merida are scheduled to perform from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Guillen sums up the theme of his place this way: "We want people to be on vacation."

* Tikal, 217 Pine Ave., Long Beach; (562) 436-2842.

Turf to Surf in One Night: Porter's steak house on San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood will be closing tonight to undergo a sea change. It reopens Friday as Cambria, named after that resort town up the coast just above San Luis Obispo. Chef Jeff Perlman has worked under Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck and Mark Peel, so you know the seasonal menu, featuring lots of specials, will be kinda in the California cuisine category.

Porter's owner Alex Resnik remains owner of Cambria. He brought on consultant Richard Drapkin, of the now-closed Les Anges restaurant. Says Drapkin of the change to the location: "Cambria is slightly more formal [than Porter's], but in California terms. The cuisine is certainly more serious."

* Cambria, 11690 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 826-1446.

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