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The Buzz on the Beach

Newport Beach restaurateur opens a third place, brings shabu shabu to Aysia 101.


Buzz Cut: John Sharpe (Aysia 101 and Bistro 201 in Newport Beach) has teamed up with a few investors, among them John Paul de Joria of Paul Mitchell hair care products, to open another restaurant in Newport Beach. The new place, which opened on St. Patrick's Day, is called Buzz. Sharpe hopes to lure "families and definitely the beach crowd" to play pool or video games, watch extreme sports videos, or dance on the upstairs patio. Once they've worked up an appetite, they can chow down on "small plates"--pizzas, burgers, grilled and fried seafood, lamb chops, pot stickers and ceviche. The choices, which include a children's menu, are "the consummate grazing menu," Sharpe says. Buzz is open for lunch and dinner daily.

* Buzz, Lido Village, 3450 Via Oporto, Newport Beach; (949) 673-4700.

Boil Your Own: Sharpe's Aysia 101 now offers three Chinese Steamboat Dinners on Sundays and Mondays and by special order. Diners cook thinly sliced meats, seafood and vegetables in boiling broth at their tables, shabu shabu-style. Afterward, noodles are added to the broth to make a soup. The price ranges from $39.88 per couple to $59.88 per couple.

* Aysia 101, 2901 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach; (949) 722-4128.

A Fish Tail: The Los Feliz sushi restaurant Katsu is no more. Owner Katsu Michite was hoping to move it to Santa Monica, but the lease deal fell through at the last minute. For now, his other place, Katsu on Third, remains open in L.A. while Michite continues to look for a space in the Westside. Taking over the Los Feliz space is Restaurant Shin, serving mostly sushi and sashimi, both American or traditional Japanese style. Owner Shin Kikawa is also the head chef. The name change merely recognizes a fait accompli: Kikawa actually bought Katsu from Michite six months ago. Of the difference between the Katsu and the Shin menus, Kikawa says, "Our menu is appetizers only, with specials, too." Restaurant Shin is open for dinner from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. daily and for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays.

* Restaurant Shin, 1972 N. Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; (323) 664-1891.

Grand Openings: One, the restaurant owned by chef Serge Burckel and his wife at 672 S. La Brea Ave. (where Gadsby's used to be), opened its doors on Monday. For now it's serving dinner from 6-10:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Lunch should follow soon, (323) 692-0540. . . . Aubergine, the first restaurant of Tim and Liza Goodell (who also own Troquet in South Coast Plaza), has reopened after its renovation. You can dine there from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The restaurant's address is the same (508 29th St., Newport Beach), but note the area code change on the phone number: (949) 723-4150. . . . The Madison, built to recall the elegant dining establishments of old, opened Wednesday at 102 N. Pine Ave. in Long Beach. It's open for lunch and dinner daily, (562) 628-8866. . . .

Restaurants That Give Because the Tax Man Taketh Away: The Farm of Beverly Hills (439 N. Beverly Drive, [310] 273-5578) is offering heavily taxed diners some relief at lunch and dinner Monday through April 16. Daily specials will cost just $10.40, regular menu items will be 15% off. . . . The Round Table Restaurant (2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica) will give you a three-course lunch or dinner for $28.50 on April 15. And martinis are two-for-one between 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Live jazz and swing music begin at 5 p.m., (310) 828-2217.

Louise Turns 21: Now that Louise's Trattoria, the Italian chain eatery with 14 locations across Southern California, is 21 years old, she's having a party. The celebration, which lasts from Monday through April 16, also aims to underscore recent renovations to the restaurants. Every location will join the promotion with four lunch and dinner dine-in specials for 1978 prices: $1.99 to $3.99 per entree. While eating, you can also enter to win a drawing for a trip to Italy.

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