Has This New Venice Restaurant Reached Peak Abbot Kinney?
Got your Highly Anticipated Westside Restaurant Opening bingo card handy? OK, let’s see…
* Is located in a building that could double as an art installation
Since 1996, restaurant group Meizhou Dongpo has served millions of customers in over a hundred fine-dining locations in China, all with an emphasis on perfecting traditional Sichuanese cuisine in a formal setting.
Owners Chef Wang Gang and his wife, Liang Li, brought their fine-dining concept to Los Angeles in 2013 but were looking for other brand expressions. Located at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, Dongpo Kitchen is their first casual-dining location. It features an open kitchen and seating for more than 100, including an open-air patio.
If you haven’t heard the buzz, Birds & Bees is kind of a big deal. Not just because it serves classic cocktails in a dim, Don Draper–esque den that transports you to the 1950s. Not even because it’s another signifier of downtown L.A.’s culinary renaissance, or because it has a hidden, underground entrance in a random parking lot that makes you feel cool for knowing about it. All these things are true, but what’s really remarkable is how faithfully it synthesizes L.A.’s 1940s and ’50s cocktail history with contemporary tastes. The post-Prohibition era saw the best of tiki trends mixed with classic cocktails, all livened with fresh juices and homemade tinctures, and Birds & Bees increases the nostalgia factor with the addition of vermouth, brandy and sherry.
It’s almost time for Bäcoshop, the long-awaited downtown Culver City offering from chef Josef Centeno. The star restaurateur is known for owning a particularly busy block of Downtown with his restaurants Ledlow, PYT, Orsa & Winston, Bar Ama, and Bäco Mercat, but is now spinning off those bäco sandwiches with their own standalone casual space well to the west.
Coffee-rubbed steak with charred scallion crema; braised pork cooked with berbere Doro Wat-style; and buttermilk cucumbers with pickled grapes. This is how chef Josef Centeno does fast-casual dining.