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El Cholo's Next Generation Opens Its Doors in Pasadena


Keeping It in the Family: Restaurateur Ron Salisbury's son Blair has followed in his father's footsteps by opening the newest El Cholo restaurant in the former John Bull Pub space in Pasadena. Blair Salisbury's El Cholo Cafe looks very much like its Santa Monica cousin but seats a whopping 450 people. The remodeled space includes two patios for alfresco dining. The Mexican menu should be familiar; it's similar to the ones at the El Cholos in Santa Monica and on Western Avenue in L.A. El Cholo Cafe is open for lunch and dinner daily.

* El Cholo Cafe, 958 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; (626) 441-4353.

Melt With Me: Fondue Nights in Billy's Clubhouse may sound like something teenagers did in the '70s. Actually, it's a new dining concept at Rock restaurant in Marina del Rey. Following a suggestion by artist Billy Al Bengston, chef-owner Hans Rockenwagner (who moonlights as a carpenter) has built a small house and plopped it down in the middle of Rock's dining room. The "clubhouse" seats 12 around a table built by artist Laddie John Dill. What will be served inside is fondue, either savory and sweet. Voila, Fondue Nights in Billy's Clubhouse. Wednesday night is the kickoff party for this concept. The guests will nosh on fondue from 6 to 8 p.m.; after that, the fondue menu will be served only in the clubhouse, which must be reserved at least a day in advance.

* Rock, Villa Marina Marketplace, 13455 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey; (310) 822-8979.

Tasty Tidbits: Alto Palato has a new bar menu, served from 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Pizzas run $4.95 to $6.95; other small dishes, such as fried calamari and mussels in broth, are $4.95. These items are available only at the bar, along with drink specials and wine and beer by the glass. Alto Palato is at 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 657-9271. . . . Andy Nakano, Jozu's owner, has gotten his hands on some matsutake mushrooms from the forests of the Pacific Northwest (where they grow on pine needles). Jozu chef Hisashi Yoshiara will make the Japanese clear broth dobin mushi with them. He'll also toss them into some dinner specials beginning this week. Jozu is at 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 655-5600. . . . Esquire magazine named Linq one of its "Best New Restaurants" in its December issue. Linq is the only Los Angeles restaurant to get a nod. Chef Andre Guerrero and pastry chef Jan Purdy flew to New York this week to accept the honor. Linq is at 8338 West 3rd St., L.A.; (323) 655-4555. . . . Cafe Bizou opened its third location this week in Santa Monica. The biggest space so far for owners Neal Rogers and Phillipe Gris, the new Bizou will seat around 280 once the patio is fully open. Until then it's serving only in the dining room and bar. Cafe Bizou, open for lunch Mondays through Fridays and for dinner nightly, is on the ground floor of the Water Garden building at 2450 Colorado Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 582-8203.

The Nouveau Is Coming: The new vintage of Beaujolais hits these shores Nov. 16. As they do every year, French restaurants all over Los Angeles will be uncorking the young wine and pouring it liberally with dinner. Here are a few places to go next Thursday night to partake of the festivities. (Warning: Entertainment is likely to include accordion players.)

At 71 Palm in Ventura, Didier Poirier will be serving a three-course meal of a butcher plate or salad Lyonnaise to start, followed by coq au vin or salmon bearnaise and warm apple tart for dessert. It's $35 plus tax and tip. One glass of Beaujolais Nouveau comes with dinner; it's also available for $28 per bottle.

* 71 Palm, 71 N. Palm St., Ventura; (805) 653-7222.

The Westlake Village Inn pours its Beaujolais Nouveau to the accompaniment of fondues, pa^tes, chateaubriand and bananas Foster from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The price is $40 per person, $75 per couple.

* Westlake Village Inn, 31943 Agoura Road, Westlake Village; (818) 889-0230.

Taix celebrates the glories of the young Gamay at dinner, Nov. 16-19. The four-course meal selections include soup, sauteed sea scallops, grilled entreco^te of beef and sorbet. The tab is $18.95 plus tax and tip. The wine is extra: $5.50 a glass, $18 a bottle.

* Taix French Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., L.A.; (213) 484-1265.

Italy Responds: The newly reopened Ristorante Positano in West L.A. (it used to be on Main Street in Santa Monica) does the Italian version of this celebration of new wine. It pours an Italian aperitif and then serves a buffet dinner with Mionetto Novello 2000, a blend of Merlot and Corvina grapes. The price is $30 plus tax and tip.

* Ristorante Positano, 11047 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; (310) 312-6664.


Angela Pettera can be reached at (213) 237-3153 or at

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