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Ubon Will Open an Outpost in Malibu

Noodles, with meat, chicken or seafood, are menu mainstays.


New Ubon: Nobu Matsuhisa is making his way to Malibu with another Ubon (that's "Nobu" backward), his casual, no-reservations-taken noodle restaurant. The new Ubon sits inside the old Bambu space in the Country Mart Shopping Center (3835 Cross Creek Road). It will have the same menu as the original Ubon in the Beverly Center--udon and soba noodles covered with chicken, beef or seafood and topped with tempura and seaweed--with the addition of sushi. Appetizers range from fried calamari to tomato ceviche to soft-shell crab spring rolls. Most dishes are $5 to $15, but specials can run up to $20 for a whole fish. Architects Sophie Harvey and Ralph Gentile will be designing the space (she did Morton's, he did Le Colonial, together they did Ago). Look for it to open later in the year.

More Zen: The owners of Zen Grill on 3rd Street in L.A. have decided to open another in Sherman Oaks (14543 Ventura Blvd.), slated for early June. It will have the same Asian temple decor (wood floor and ceiling beams, an antique distressed wood door--and, yes, a Buddha in the window) but in a place twice as large. Chef and owner Ryuichi Hamada will oversee the menu--dishes from China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia--at both places. Partner Elaine Johnston tells us they may add a few sushi items in the Valley.

Tasty Tidbits: For those who like to know whose hands have been on their raw fish, here's a sushi chef update. Akio Kato has migrated from Hama Sushi in Venice to Chaya Venice at 110 Navy St. in Venice. He'll be rolling fish and rice from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 5 p.m. until midnight daily. No reservations taken at the sushi bar, but the phone number is (310) 396-1179. . . . Zenzero, the Cal-Asian restaurant in Santa Monica, has a new chef. Chio Shiotsugu last cooked at the Getty Center (before Gwen Kvavli Gulliksen got there). Shiotsugu will stick to the Mediterranean/Cal-Asian feel of the menu, but she's reducing the fat a bit (she used to cook for a private sports club). Her new menu is in place now. Call (310) 451-4455 for reservations.

R.I.P.: Beverly Hills' Bistro K, in the location formerly known as Chez Gilles, has closed its doors. Owner Jean Denoyer, who also owns Le Colonial in West Hollywood, re-created the place in February of last year when chef Gilles Epie took off. He was replaced by Lionel Deniaud, who was replaced six months later by his sous chef, Ann Marie Delorie. . . . The Pasadena Papashon on Raymond Avenue closed after dinner Saturday. You may remember that the Beverly Hills Papashon closed in March. So what's left? The Encino Papashon at 15910 Ventura Blvd. and the Long Beach Papashon at 200 Pine Ave., which just opened in September.

Get to Know Asia in One Day: The nonprofit Asia Society is having its second annual Pacific Rim Fusion Food and Wine Festival May 2. It takes place from 1-4 p.m. at the Westwood Marquis Hotel & Gardens, 930 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. Poolside booths will feature tastes from California wineries and restaurants such as Joss, Yujean Kang's, ObaChine, A Thousand Cranes, Maui Beach Cafe, J.R. Seafood, Fins and Xiomara. While you're noshing, you can watch demonstrations in the art of noodle making, tea serving, Chinese opera face painting, Chinese knotting and other things. Tickets are $50 for one person, but group discounts are available for two or more. Call (213) 624-0945 for tickets.

Santa Monica Cinco: Rebecca's Nueva Mexicana Restaurant celebrates Cinco de Mayo May 3-7. For those five days, the Gran Marnier Cadillac margaritas will be specially priced: $6 instead of the usual $8. On May 5, a drawing will be held for a trip to Mexico. No reservations will be taken, however, so plan accordingly.

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

Movin' On Up: Derek's, the American restaurant in Pasadena, has a new chef who's not really a new chef at all. Juan Dominguez has been cooking at Derek's since it opened as DickinsonWest. He was sous chef there to Claude Beltran and then to Smith Roberts (who has left to pursue his own project). Partly to show off the fact that he's there, and partly to celebrate his Mexican heritage, Dominguez is cooking up a three-course dinner for $29 on May 5. It begins with a salmon tostadita canape, and then offers a choice of appetizer such as shellfish ceviche or albondigas soup. Entree choices include grilled swordfish, ranchera skirt steak and achiote chicken. Dessert is either flan de coco, tres leches con cafe cake or pastilla de chocolate y canela (molten chocolate in a thin pastry shell). Reservations will be taken from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

* Derek's, 181 E. Glenarm, Pasadena; (626) 799-5252.

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