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L.A. steals Bay Area players

April 12, 2006|Laurie Winer; Leslee Komaiko

THE bad news: The Hatfields are leaving San Francisco. The good news: The Hatfields are leaving San Francisco for Los Angeles.

Who, you may ask, are the Hatfields? And are there any McCoys?

Quinn and Karen Hatfield, he a chef, she a pastry chef, wowed San Francisco when they opened their restaurant Cortez in the Adagio hotel in 2003. Their bold-flavored Mediterranean cooking inspired the San Francisco Chronicle to name them "rising stars" almost immediately.

Now they plan a return to Karen's hometown to open, you guessed it, Hatfields.

With luck, they will open in May in the old Le Chine Wok space on Beverly Boulevard. Besides her pastry chef duties, Karen will run the front of the small house; Quinn will serve as chef, natch.

Karen envisions a small dinner-only menu, to change frequently, along with a reasonably priced three-course market menu and a higher-end tasting menu with six or seven courses.

The Hatfields are thinking charred Japanese octopus with red wine olive puree, crispy poussin with white asparagus ragu, blueberry meringue napoleon with cream cheese sorbet and lime sabayon. That kind of thing.

The couple first met 10 years ago in the Spago kitchen. After that they lived and worked in New York -- he at Union Pacific, Jean Georges and Bouley, she with Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Mercer Kitchen, JoJo and Vong.

Quinn was also chef at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica. Karen said he was surprisingly ready to move back to Los Angeles. "I think right now he's skateboarding in Laurel Canyon," she noted. "With kneepads."

-- Laurie Winer

Small bites

* A new sushi restaurant has opened in Beverly Hills in the shoebox of a space that once housed the French-Japanese restaurant Cafe Blanc. (There is no relationship between the two eateries.) Sushi Dokoro Ki Ra La has sushi chef vets of Hump in Santa Monica and Take Sushi on Sunset Boulevard behind the counter.

Sushi Dokoro Ki Ra La, 9777 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 275-9003.

* BlackSteel has opened in Hollywood. The restaurant, from personal chef-to-celebs Jason Harley, a.k.a. Chef J, whose clients include Pamela Anderson (also a partner in the restaurant), is currently serving an abbreviated menu. Look for a full menu of sushi and Franco-Japanese dishes starting Friday.

BlackSteel, 6683 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 469-3433.

* Table 8 has introduced a prix fixe small-plates option on Monday evenings. Diners choose three savory items from the regular menu, one cheese and one dessert. The price is $50 a person exclusive of tax and tip. Bonus: Corkage is waived Monday evenings too.

Table 8, 7661 Melrose Ave., L.A. (323) 782-8258.

-- Leslee Komaiko

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