February 18, 1999 |
Serge Surges Ahead: Chef Serge Burckel has handed in his two-week notice at the Euro-Cal-Asian cuisine Splash. He's leaving the Redondo Beach restaurant at the end of the month to open his own eatery because, as he puts it, "I'm waiting 20 years to do my own place." Burckel bought Robert Gadsby's old space on La BreaAvenue and will turn it into a contemporary restaurant called One. His wife will run the front ofthe house, while he handles the kitchen.
July 31, 1997 |
A Family Thing. Daly Thompson, former executive chef of Wyndham LAX, and his wife, Liz Thompson--a former pastry chef at another Wyndham hotel, Checkers--have taken a second big leap (their 1995 marriage after meeting at Checkers was the first). Maybe the birth of their daughter inspired them. Or maybe, as Daly Thompson puts it, "It was time to get out of hotels."
February 24, 1991 |
There's something missing from the popular Celestino in Beverly Hills these days: chef/co-owner Celestino Drago himself. In a dispute with his partner, investor Art Vella, Drago quit the restaurant as of Feb. 13. He retains his 50% interest in the establishment, and the place will keep the Celestino name--but he says he has no further involvement with it either as a chef or a manager. "I hope Art will do very well with the place," Drago says.
September 2, 1994 |
Seven years ago Patrick Terrail closed his Hollywood Diner on Fairfax, the Franco-American bistro he opened after the demise of Ma Maison, his original establishment. Terrail, who still owned the Diner's building, then leased the space to Silvio De Mori and turned his energy to re-creating Ma Maison at the new Sofitel Hotel on the corner of Beverly and La Cienega. De Mori ran the former Hollywood Diner as Tutto Bene until filing for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy last year.
November 22, 2001 |
Just off the crowded sidewalks of Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena's Old Town is another block-long restaurant row on North Raymond Avenue. The oldest residents are the formerly French, now nuevo Cubano Xiomara and the modern Chinese bistro Yujean Kang's, with Cafe Bizou carrying the banner for budget French on the far corner. Nonya has just joined the lineup.
November 29, 2001 |
West Coast Bernardin: New York's four-star Le Bernardin now has an outpost on the West Coast--sort of. Named Azur by Le Bernardin, it just opened in the 75-year-old La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta. To catch you up on Le Bernardin's history: Maguy Le Coze and her brother, Gilbert, opened their first Le Bernardin in Paris in 1972. In 1986 they opened the second in New York; shortly thereafter, the New York Times awarded it four stars.
January 2, 1994 |
Openings, closings, grease fires, chefs' tantrums, snotty maitre d's . . . and that's in an ordinary year. But last year was not ordinary. True, Wolfgang Puck didn't close a restaurant, but the economy was crummier than ever.
May 5, 1995 |
The star search is over. L'Orangerie's Gerard and Virginie Ferry have finally found a chef to replace Jean-Claude Parachini, who left the deluxe French restaurant more than four months ago. It's Gilles Epie (hey-pee-AY), formerly chef-owner of the one-star Miravile and the more casual Campagne & Provence, and recently food consultant for Lanvin--all in Paris. "It's such a change to deal with somebody who has a sense of reality," says Gerard Ferry. "Most cooks are a pain in the you-know-what.
July 14, 1994 |
One might assume that particle physicists talk about nothing but quarks and bosons and such. But Bipin Desai, a professor of theoretical physics at the University of California Riverside, got a surprise when he visited a nuclear research center on the French-Swiss border in 1965. "I was a vegetarian and a teetotaler," says Desai between sips of an old Vouvray at Mario's, his favorite Riverside Italian spot, "and all the particle physicists talked about was wine and food."
December 19, 1999 |
Because our day-to-day lives tend toward the hectic, my wife and I have increasingly become fans of what we call "mini-vacs," weekend-long vacations that give us the respite we need. What we've become less enamored of is going through airports to take them. Wouldn't it be nice, we thought, to find the same things we travel for--museums, architecture, bookstores, good restaurants--in a place we'd not properly explored and without getting on an airplane to do it?