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Bestia opens downtown on Friday

November 21, 2012|By Betty Hallock
  • Housemade salumi at Bestia, which opens on Friday downtown.
Housemade salumi at Bestia, which opens on Friday downtown. (Bestia )

New Italian restaurant Bestia opens Friday on the edge of downtown's Arts District, a 140-seat trattoria from chef Ori Menashe, pastry chef Genevieve Gergis and partner Bill Chait, located in a former factory building converted into lofts near the L.A. River. 

The 4,100-square-foot Bestia (Italian for "beast"), designed by Studio Unlimited, is meant to channel contemporary Italian spaces that mix modern interiors with centuries-old architecture: A "bar fight" wall covering, meat hook chandeliers that hang from steel tracks, booth seating and a copper bar are some of the elements. 

Menashe is former executive chef of Angelini Osteria, and his menu is multi-regional Italian: grilled octopus with warm lentils, guanciale and salsa di acciughe; housemade salumi; housemade spicy ‘nduja, mozzarella and scallion pizza; spaghetti mancini with squid ink, mullet bottarga and Calabrian chiles; hand-rolled fusilli with braised goat, ricotta salata and pistachio oil; and grilled hen, borlotti beans and chicken liver crostino.

Gergis, who contributed to the restaurant's design and also runs the front of the house, is making Italian-inspired desserts, such as chocolate crostata with cacao crust, bittersweet chocolate budino, olive oil and salted caramel.

And Julian Cox, whose title is executive beverage director, is helming the cocktail menu; Maxwell Leer is the sommelier.

2121 E. 7th Place, Los Angeles, (213) 514-5724,

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