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Location rotation

September 28, 2006|Leslee Komaiko

L'Orangerie is closing at the end of the year, with its space slated to reopen by next summer as Nobu Matsuhisa's latest. It won't be the first piece of Southland real estate to have seen multiple tenants.

Camden House

The Mandarin was a Beverly Hills fixture, an old-school Chinese place that many were surprised to see go. This spring, this modern French-Asian spot with a popular lounge opened in its place. Olivier Rousselle, ex of Michael's, does crab cakes with a yuzu dressing. On Friday nights, live Brazilian music provides a little sizzle.

* Crab cakes, $14. 430 N. Camden Drive, (310) 285-9848.

Red Pearl Kitchen

Citrus, Michel Richard's Cal-

French bistro, was the best-known name at this address. Then came Alex, then Tim and Liza Goodell's Meson G. Meson G never found its niche. A couple of weeks ago, the Goodells opened a modern Asian spot here. Highlights include spicy tuna on tempura eggplant and shaking Kobe beef.

* Kobe beef, $17. 6703 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 525-1415.


Joe Miller and Hans Rockenwagner worked together in Chicago early in their careers. So when Rockenwagner, whose first L.A. restaurant was on Abbot Kinney, was ready to move into larger digs, he called his buddy. It's been 15 years since Miller opened his spot, which recently underwent a face lift. At dinner, the prix fixe menu, now starring heirloom tomatoes, is always a winning choice.

* Prix fixe dinner, $75. 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-5811.


Bistro Garden was a popular "ladies who lunch" place. Among its most loyal fans? Nancy Reagan. Then Wolfgang Puck bought the property and then-wife Barbara Lazaroff redid the interior. Almost 10 years later, the new Spago is still hot, hot, hot. One reason: chef Lee Hefter's inspired food, like pan-roasted turbot with caramelized cauliflower.

* Turbot, $42. 176 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 385-0880.

Sonora Cafe

Through much of the '80s and into the early '90s, this address was home to Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger's cool, eclectic City Restaurant. Sonora, which had previously been in downtown L.A., moved there in 1994. Its upscale take on Southwestern cuisine includes a barbecued pork chop served with a sweet potato tamale.

* Pork chop, $27.50. 180 S. La Brea Ave., L.A., (323) 857-1800.

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