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RESTAURANT JOURNAL

Small bites

May 14, 2003|Valli Herman-Cohen

* Brooke Williamson, the 24-year-old chef formerly at Zax, and her former sous chef Nick Roberts, 25, are set to open a casual restaurant by the end of May or in early June. Amuse, at 796 Main St. in Venice, derives its name from the amuse bouche -- small bites usually sent out by the chef -- that they'll serve at lunch and dinner. The restaurant also will serve breakfast and a tapas menu most afternoons beginning at 2 p.m.

* The name means "fresh" or "sweet" in Italian. At Dolce, the new restaurant at Melrose and Sweetzer avenues, owner Lonnie Moore has already packed the place with friends, friends of friends and foodies seeking chef Mirko Paderno's Italian specialties, as well as the small plates enoteca menu. Dolce, designed by Dodd Mitchell, is at 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles.

* Brentwood's new Coral Tree Cafe broadens the concept of a coffeehouse with chef Kalissa Krejcik's menu of breakfast panini, organic coffees, free-range eggs, vegan specials and tea drinks, including the Moroccan mint latte. The cafe at 11645 San Vicente Blvd. serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers high-speed connections for your laptop.

* The Asian fusion and sushi restaurant Tengu, 10853 Lindbrook Drive in Westwood Village, has a new chef. Travis Lett is adding new dishes for summer, including a seared togarashi beef with marinated enoki, micro arugula and white truffle oil.

* Come for the market, stay for the tapas. The South Pasadena open-air restaurant Firefly Bistro has introduced a new tapas menu to coincide with the farmers market that happens outside its doors Thursday nights. The seasonally changing menu is priced from $2.50 to $5 and features produce from the market.

-- Valli Herman-Cohen

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