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It's Moving Time

Chefs at L'Ermitage, Rix and the Restaurant at the Bel-Air Hotel are leaving their posts.

August 17, 2000|ANGELA PETTERA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Whoever said breaking up is hard to do obviously never spent any time around professional chefs. Here's the latest round of splits between chefs and restaurants:

Joe Has to Go: Joseph Antonishek leaves L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills Friday, even though his food has been favorably received there. Like many chefs before him, he found himself bridling under the restrictions of hotel management--again. Before L'Ermitage, Antonishek had cooked at Coco Pazzo when it was still in the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. But the hotel life has lost its charms. "It's time to get on the path of restaurateuring," he tells us. Don't expect him to open up his own place too soon, however. He wants to put in some time working in hotel-free restaurants for a while.

Gordon's Gone: Gordon Naccarato has parted company with Rix restaurant in Santa Monica. His last day was Tuesday. "I've been there a year," he said, "and now I want to pursue other opportunities." Naccarato came to replace Neal Fraser and to help get the restaurant back on track. Now that Rix is changing its concept somewhat, Naccarato says he feels he isn't needed there any longer. He might open his own place again (he and Bruce Paltrow owned Gordon's restaurant in Aspen, Colo., for many years) or work for someone else. In short, he says, "I'm available."

Coming Up: Gary Clauson has left Bel-Air Hotel for health reasons, but his replacement is someone who's no stranger to the Restaurant there. Thomas Hanson has been Clauson's executive sous chef for the past year and a half. Before that he was cooking in Seattle, and before that he was Clauson's executive sous chef for an earlier stint (back in '94). About his cooking canon, he tells us, "I think all chefs have the same philosophy: Use the best and the freshest ingredients." But since the dining room of the Bel-Air Hotel is such a destination restaurant, Hanson adds, he feels that eye-appeal is also a major consideration. His new dinner menu debuts tonight. On it: abalone doree with artichoke appetizer ($40), lobster and corn custard in lobster reduction ($30), peppered tuna and monkfish noisettes with saffron whipped potatoes ($32) and vegetarian shepherd's pie ($22).

* The Restaurant, Bel-Air Hotel, 701 Stone Canyon Road, Bel-Air; (310) 472-1211.

Have a Crispy Cricket: It's time once again for Typhoon's Asian Night Market. From 6 p.m. to midnight this Saturday, the ramp next to runway 21 (in front of the restaurant) will be lined with booths dishing up Asian food from Typhoon and the Hump, its overhead sushi bar. Dim sum, Chinese-style roast pig, Filipino pork adobo and Taiwanese stir-fried crickets are some of the foods being served for the night. Japanese taiko drummers, northern Thai lion dancers and a guy who makes animal shapes out of pulled sugar are scheduled to perform. Guests are encouraged to dress in sarongs or kimonos. The price for food, drink and entertainment is $38.50. Kids get in for half-price. Alcohol and helicopter rides (not necessarily together) cost more.

* Typhoon, at the Santa Monica Airport, 3221 Donald Douglas Loop South, Santa Monica; (310) 390-6565.

Bits and Bites: Another Zen Grill is opening, this one in Beverly Hills. These casual Asian bistros (branches on 3rd Street in L.A. and in Sherman Oaks) serve sushi, chicken satay, shrimp dumplings, crispy calamari salad, noodle dishes and pan-fried tofu steak, with prices running from $3.50 to $11.95 for appetizers and entrees. Expect the same deal at the new Zen Grill. It opens this week at 9111 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 278-7773. . . . Dropping in for dinner at the Restaurant at the Getty Center just got easier. Parking reservations are no longer required after 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday nights, the very nights that the Restaurant and Cafe stay open until 8:30 p.m. (The Getty itself is open until 9 those nights.) Parking is $5. The Restaurant at the Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A., (310) 440-7300. . . . The Sisley Italian Kitchen group of restaurants now has its own in-house bakery, which will provide the Sisleys with cakes, tarts, cannoli and so on, for service to diners or to go. Some of those cakes: black & white mousse cake, German chocolate, strawberry short, carrot and chocolate-almond meringue. Sisley Italian Kitchens are at 10800 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A., (310) 446-3030; 24201 W. Valencia Blvd., Valencia, (661) 287-4444; 15300 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 905-8444; and 446 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, (805) 777-7511.

*

Angela Pettera can be reached at (213) 237-3153 or at pettera@prodigy.net

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