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Moomba Does the Mambo Into the Former LunaPark

November 23, 2000|ANGELA PETTERA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

And Are My Arms Tired: A New Yorker is coming to town--Moomba, known in the West Village for hipster style and serious food. Proprietor Jeff Gossett is taking over the West Hollywood nightclub LunaPark to create his West Coast edition. The interior, designed with the help of architect Hagy Belzberg, will be environmentally chic (i.e. done in "cruelty-free," natural, sometimes recycled fabrics). But the food will definitely involve animal death. Frank Falcinelli, the chef of the New York Moomba, will set up Moomba L.A.'s menu and install a chef du cuisine to run the show out here. New American cuisine will be served at lunch, dinner and late at night all over the rambling space. The outside patio will have built-in banquettes for lunching. The upper level will feature more built-in seating plus free-standing tables. The bar area on the upper level will dish out bar food, and the supper club side will have changeable seating depending on what kind of entertainment is taking place on stage. The lower level will have its own bar and lots of couches for lounging around and nibbling on that bar menu. Moomba is scheduled to open around February.

Speaking of Bar Food: Neal Fraser, formerly of Jimmy's II and Rix, finds himself at a bar. He's the consulting chef of Deep, a nightclub owned by Ivan Kane (of Kane on Melrose). The place is, um, a little different, with a dance floor walled in by one-way mirrors (you can see the dancing queens, but they can't see you) and peekaboo mirrors behind the bar showing off risque female dancers. Dave Northrup, formerly of Flint's, executes the menu of appetizer-sized dishes and desserts. Barbecued quail under brick comes with red wine risotto ($14); filet of beef with potato gratin, Swiss chard and molten Gorgonzola ($25). Fair warning: $15 cover charge after 9 p.m.

* Deep, 1707 N. Vine St., Hollywood; (323) 462-1144.

Meatball With That Martini? Devon Possarelli, one of the owners of Padri in Agoura Hills, called to tell us about the new chef there. He's Davide Giani, most recently the chef at Il Fornaio in Beverly Hills. Giani knows Saverio Possarelli (Devon's husband) from their school days in Tuscany. He plans to focus Padri's menu on authentic dishes of Tuscany and Florence. Pastas include spaghetti con le polpettine (those being ricotta meatballs; $10.25) and fettuccine Bolognese ($10.95). Among the secondi, a grilled pork chop with sauteed cabbage ($16.95), and osso buco ($17.50). The drinks at the martini bar remain very Californian.

* Padri Cucina Italiana & Martini Bar, 29008 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills; (818) 865-3700.

Splitsville: Agostino Sciandri has split with 12-year partner Mike Gordon. The two operated Ago in West Hollywood, Toscana in Brentwood and the Rosti restaurants (four locations). Gordon gets Toscana and the Rostis; Sciandri keeps Ago. "I'll be concentrating on Ago 100%," Sciandri says.

R.I.P.: 72 Market Street Oyster Bar & Grill in Venice, the recently opened Pizzeria Gusto in Redondo Beach and Perroche in Studio City.

Last Chance for Turkey: For the procrastinators and the spontaneous among you, here are a few more places to eat on Thanksgiving Day (that would be today, if you haven't noticed).

Azalea Restaurant in the New Otani in Little Tokyo offers choices other than turkey on its buffet. Honey-baked ham, New York steak and baked halibut play alongside the gobbler. All sorts of sides and desserts play supporting roles. Served 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. $25.25 for adults; $17.25 for children under 10; $21.25 for seniors.

* Azalea, New Otani Hotel & Garden, 120 S. Los Angeles St., L.A.; (213) 253-9235.

La Cachette takes the French route with its four-course Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey is stuffed with chestnuts and spinach and dressed in a mushroom sauce. Reservations taken between 4:30 and 9 p.m. (not all times are still available). $42 plus tax and tip.

* La Cachette, 10506 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City; (310) 470-4992.

The Los Feliz won't be jazzing you up tonight (the Jazz Spot will be empty), but it will feed you. The six-course dinner includes a Roquefort-stuffed baked pear and a roasted free-range turkey with stuffing and truffle gravy. $38 plus tax and tip.

* The Los Feliz, 2138 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; (323) 666-8666.

McCormick & Schmick's in El Segundo has four menu choices, all including soup or salad, entree and dessert. The entrees range from turkey to baked ham to prime rib to Atlantic salmon. The restaurant will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Prices range from $14.50 to $39.95 plus tax and tip.

* McCormick & Schmick's, 2101 Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo; (310) 416-1123.

The Sky Room offers a three-course meal with your choice of entree: either turkey, ham, pan-seared ahi or New York steak. It's served from 2 to 9 p.m.; $49.95 plus tax and tip.

* The Sky Room, the Breakers, 40 S. Locust Ave., Long Beach; (562) 983-2707.

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

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