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To Morocco, Sardinia and Points In-Between

The new Chameau goes French-Moroccan, Il Fornaio visits an island, and chefs hit the road.


A Camel in Silver Lake: Chameau Restaurant & Catering has opened in the old Paio location. New owners Kelly Klemovich and Adel Chagar bought it almost on a whim one day after having eaten dinner there the night before. The pair have catered events for Paramount Pictures for the last five years, Klemovich owning Lobster Mania catering and Chagar being the chef of special events and functions for Paramount. Before going studio, Morocco-born Chagar was the chef of the Gardens restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in L.A. Here at Chameau (the name is French for "camel"), he's producing what he calls French-Moroccan fusion, but some other Mediterranean cuisines seem to be fusing in there too. First courses range from mussels in white wine with saffron broth ($7.95) to the traditional Moroccan chicken pie bestila ($7.50) to almond-crusted calamari with a Catalan romesco dipping sauce ($8.50). The entree of pan-roasted halibut comes with baby clams and Moroccan merguez sausage and harissa sauce ($17.95). Peppered beef tenderloin comes with sweet onion compote and potato millefeuille ($19.50). The menu will be changing in a couple of weeks to accommodate seasonal produce. Chameau is open Tuesday through Saturday nights for dinner. Attention, Silver Lake: You don't have to learn a new phone number--Chameau is keeping the old Paio number.

* Chameau Restaurant, 2520 Hyperion Ave.; (323) 953-1973.

Swinging Doors: The Porch restaurant at the House of Blues has a new chef. Former white coat James O'Donnell is leaving this town for Las Vegas, where he'll work at Rumjungle, the Brazilian fire-pit restaurant in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Taking his place at the Porch is Dana Dare from King's Fish House in Calabasas. Dare has just stepped into his new position, so give him a few weeks before you expect to see new dishes on the menu. And don't expect a major culinary overhaul. "It's basically tweaking it a little here and there," he said about his plans for changing the menu. The Southern food theme will remain intact.

* The Porch, the House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 848-5123.

Some Goings On: Brett Thompson and Robert Fogarty have left their positions--chef and general manager, respectively--at DC3 restaurant at the Santa Monica airport. Dan Ryan has taken over as general manager, but DC3 still needs a chef. Now's the time to send those resumes. . . . Chadwick, the upscale restaurant with organic ambitions that recently opened in Beverly Hills, has started serving lunch. Appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees run from about $7 to $20. There's grilled quail with sweet corn and campfire potatoes, a lobster BLT with avocado and steak tartare with truffled French fries. Lunch is available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Chadwick is at 267 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 205-9424.

The Food Stops Here: Il Fornaio stops at the island of Sardegna (that's Sardinia, to you and me) on its culinary tour of Italy. From now until Sept. 17, dinner specials will reflect the food of this sparsely populated island off the coast of Italy. The saffron dumplings with lamb and sausage in a tomato sauce are $13.50. The lobster with tomatoes in a brandy sauce is $18.50. Other specials include bread, soup, antipastos and dessert. Available at all three Los Angeles-area locations.

* Il Fornaio, 24 W. Union St., Pasadena, (626) 683-9797; 301 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 550-8330; 1551 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 451-7800.

Chef Fest: As an epilogue to this year's American Wine & Food Festival to be held at Universal Studios Sept. 16, Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff will host their guest chefs in a dinner at Spago Beverly Hills. The dinner, which benefits the Meals on Wheels program of L.A. (as does the Wine & Food Festival itself), takes place Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. Puck and Lee Hefter, chef of Spago Beverly Hills, will be cooking with Charlie Palmer of Aureole in New York, Francois Payard of Payard Pa^tisserie and Bistro in New York, Nobu Matsuhisa of Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, Joachim Splichal of Patina in L.A., and Lydia Shire and Susan Regis of Biba in Boston. Each chef will prepare a course, and wine will be paired with each dish. The tab is $325 a head. For reservations, call general manager Tracey Spillane at (310) 385-0880.

* Spago Beverly Hills, 176 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 385-0880.


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

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