Local in Silver Lake adds dinner. (Los Angeles Times )
Hatfield's opened Monday on Melrose Avenue: The white tablecloths, the toques worn by chef-owner Quinn Hatfield's kitchen staff and the tasting menus and painterly plating might be indicators of fine dining, but at the bar one can kick back to the emo rock and enjoy a cocktail or three.
The new Hatfield's is twice the size of the former Hatfield's on Beverly Boulevard, with an enclosed patio, private dining room and that full bar complete with lounge seating.
Along with Quinn Hatfield's California-French menu and wife Karen's desserts, there are a slew of cocktails created by general manager and beverage director Peter Birmingham (of Norman's, Il Grano and Pourtal). Among Birmingham's seasonal drinks is a tangy, agave-tinged cocktail called the Chimayo: Arette Blanco Suave, Cointreau, cassis and fresh apple and lemon juices. Bar snacks include crispy sous-vide chicken tenders with paprika honey sauce (called chick en nuggets).
There is just one thing missing thus far: bar hooks.
6703 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, (323) 935-2977, www.hatfieldsrestaurant .com.
The rum is flowing at La Descarga
When you reach the top of the stairs to enter La Descarga, a woman in a silky red dress may greet you from behind the desk. She'll check your reservation, then lead you to an armoire and proceed to open it with some flamboyance, bending over slightly to grasp the handles with both hands -- dramatic pause -- then swinging open the doors wide. She'll slide over a few guayabera shirts to reveal passage to La Descarga's interior. Step in to L.A.'s new rum bar.
On the menu are about 70 rums for sipping, from Aguardiente Cristal to Zaya. Steve Livigni (of the Doheny) and Pablo Moix (of Bacardi USA) oversee the drinks; cocktails include a house daiquiri with Diplomatico añejo rum and a Tropical Holiday with Velvet Falernum and bitters as well as lime and soda. A candlelit hallway leads to a cigar room.
At some point in the evening you will likely see a lithe dancer in hot pants appear on the mezzanine or the top of the bar, moving to the Afro-Cuban rhythms of a live band. And you might wonder whether you are in Hollywood -- or Havana.
1159 N. Western Ave., Hollywood, (323) 466-1324, www.ladescargala.com.
Forage is open in Silver Lake
Fresh gets fierce at Forage, the new restaurant that opened Friday in the old Town & Country space on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake. Chef-owner Jason Kim worked as a sous chef at Lucques. His partner in the endeavor is chef de cuisine Amanda Bacon, who also worked at Lucques as well as at Canelé.
The menu includes chicken pot pie with greens; braised Niman Ranch meatballs; cauliflower and curry soup; and chimichurri-rubbed flank steak with tomatillo salsa, among other made-from-scratch dishes.
Through the restaurant's foraging program, Bacon and Kim encourage diners to bring in fresh fruits and vegetables from their gardens. Kim and Bacon will create a dish, pastry or drink with them.
3823 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 663-6885; www.foragela.com.
Local: It's not just for brunch anymore
Local in Silver Lake has resumed dinner service, says chef-owner Jason Michaud. It had stopped serving about a month ago to deal with permitting issues. Dinner service is expected to run six nights a week, and Michaud says he'll be doing plenty of experimenting in the kitchen.
"A nice rabbit ragù, maybe confit a few things, get my pastry hat on and even work up some new vegan items," he says.
Michaud is hot on the heels of a beer-and-wine license. But no promises as to when that'll make its way through the city's red tape.
2943 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323) 662-4740.
A downtown food truck lot is set to debut Feb. 11, with three to four trucks participating daily, according to organizers.
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The Slaw Dogs, a new hot dog spot, is open in Pasadena.
720 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, (626) 808-9777, www.theslawdogs.com.
-- Betty Hallock and Jessica Gelt