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L.A. Group to Take Over Bowers Cafe

ORANGE COUNTY CALENDAR: ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT, LEISURE

September 19, 2000|VIVIAN LETRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A top-rated Los Angeles restaurateur will move into the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana with a cafe replacing Topaz, which vacated the site over Labor Day weekend.

The famed Patina Group will swing open its museum cafe doors Sept. 29--a sneak preview of what's to come will be revealed this weekend at a special event Saturday in conjunction with the Sights and Sounds of Santa Ana, a three-day celebration of jazz and the visual arts.

The turnaround for the popular outdoor eatery at the museum came so quickly the cafe has not been christened.

"We didn't have enough time to come up with a really good name," said Pamela Mosher, director of public relations and marketing for the L.A.-based Patina Group, operated by chef Joachim Splichal and his wife, Christine.

Besides the flagship Patina on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood--routinely rated one of the best restaurants in Southern California in the Zagat survey--the Patina Group owns four cafes, a catering company and six restaurants, including Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

"We have successful museum cafes at MOCA [Patinette at the Museum of Contemporary Art] and LACMA [Pentimento at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art]. We were a logical choice for the people at Bowers."

The restaurateurs also plan to open two restaurants in Disneyland. Both will open in January.

The new cafe will feature international tapas-style cuisine and be remodeled in a Mediterranean motif.

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