Tag Archives: los angeles restaurants

The Sunset Marquis’ New Cavatina Restaurant

Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews... WHAT? Yes!
Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews… WHAT? Yes!

Between Beverly Hills and the beaches, and mere steps from the world famous Sunset Strip, The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, CA has been an institution since before I happened upon their scene. With over 150 luxe suites and villas intertwined within a 3.5-acre oasis of gardens and private retreats, since opening its doors in 1963, the hotel has served as a home-away-from-home to rock legends, filmmakers, writers, actors and discerning guests from around the world. The 2008 expansion introduced several new amenities too, and now features indoor and al fresco dining in its world-class restaurant, two heated outdoor pools, the iconic BAR 1200, and a full-service spa that’s open to local and out of town guests. Additional guest amenities include Nightbird Recording Studios, home to many Grammy winning artists, and Morrison Hotel Gallery, featuring a collection of some of the most renowned celebrity photography, of which more than $1 million worth lines the walls and corridors of Sunset Marquis.

Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar
Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar

Now they have Cavatina, which officially opened about two weeks ago and features interesting, yet uncomplicated dishes prepared by renowned Chef/Restauranteur Michael Schlow. As a huge fan of the Sunset Marquis, Schlow was enlisted to create the restaurant’s vision. “It is one of my favorite hotels in the world and… getting to cook with all of the beautiful products California has to offer, is a dream come true. We want to cook the foods and products that are local, then present them with a fresh and full flavored approach. Mother Nature has done most of the work, all we need to do is add a little acid, salt, and chiles, to make the food sing.”

Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise
Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise

PS. Schlow, a decorated chef and restauranteur whose accolades include The James Beard Award of Excellence For Best Chef, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in America, and Sante Magazine’s Best Chef in America, is considered to be one of the most respected culinary professionals in the U.S.

Michael Schlow
Michael Schlow

Dinner will set the bar high with a menu that is broken into four categories, offering guests snacks, a crudo section, small-plates, and entrees. Highlights include Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Lobster and CaviarBeef Tongue with Lentils, Rosemary, and Salsa VerdeCrunchy Olives with Cabrales and Speck Powder; and Simply Prepared Mediterranean Sea Bass with Shaved Vegetables.

For lunch, Schlow and his team will prepare fresh, delicious salads, fantastic sandwiches, simple fish dishes, and Schlow’s award-winning burger. Cavatina will offer breakfast seven days a week, and will continue the hotel’s tradition of a fabulous brunch on Sundays as well as provide room service to the hotel and poolside dining.

So book your room, bring your geetar, and have some yellowtail crudo, will ya?


Obikà LA: A Mozzarella Bar!

Obikà's Mozzarella Bar

A Mozzarella Extravaganza!

Now this is a new restaurant to dine for. Obikà Mozzarella Bar opens at the Century City Westfield in September and we’re counting down the days.

There are currently 13 locations in five countries (can you believe?) and this will be Los Angeles’ first! The star of Obikà is that white, creamy madness we can’t live without… also known as Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP (Protected Origin Domination), flown in regularly from Italy’s Paestrum and Agro Pontino regions. Additional mozzarellas will include smoked Affumicata and sweet, creamy Stracciatella di Burrata.

Other usual suspects: salads, cured Italian meats, appetizers, pastas, and desserts. A sleek, contemporary design in a sophisticated, yet casual setting, diners can grab lunch, dinner, or, our personal favourite: “aperitivo hour” – Italy’s counterpart to happy hour, paired with a snack or light dinner accompanied by wine or a cocktail (or three). It was actually a visit to Obikà in Rome that inspired acclaimed Los Angeles Chef Nancy Silverton to develop her own mozzarella bar at Osteria Mozza.“I saw Obikà and said, ‘Perfect – a mozzarella bar,’” she told The New York Times.

Well, now there’s an Obikà in LA!


Hakobe: LA’s Latest Japanese Restaurant

New Los Angeles Restaurants HakobeHer name is Asako and she owns Hakobe, the latest restaurant on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row. The Row is tough to beat, competing with the likes of Matsuhisa, but Asako has done her best to assemble some of the top sushi chefs and operation staff to help her deliver a unique fine dining experience in the grand standard of the omakase style. Dishes like Steamed Sea bass in Light Soy Sauce Broth, Asparagus wrapped Wagyu, Baked Mussels with garlic butter sauce, Oysters on a half shell and various sushi rolls, make Hakobe well worth a visit.

Hip New LA Restaurant Hakobe

Tomo Kohyama, the Head Sushi Chef at Hakobe, is a master sushi chef having been trained in the art of sushi in his native Japan, as well as in some of the best kitchens in Los Angeles such as Chaya Venice, Katana and Koi.  In addition to his mastery of sushi, Tomo is classically trained in Japanese-French cuisine as well as California cuisine under the tutorage of the father of California cuisine, the great Wolfgang Puck.

So what are you waiting for? A flight to Nippon with your cuplet of sake?


14 La Cienega Blvd. Beverley Hills, CA  90211

P: 310.652.0007

LA Local Gem: Gonpachi on La Cienega

One word. “Naga.”

Short for Katsuo Nagasawa, originally from the Fukushima region of Japan. “Naga” (as he’s better known) is applauded in restaurant circles for his 20+ years in Pacific Rim cuisine. Recently appointed new Executive Chef of the year-old Gonpachi, Beverly Hills on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row, he joins Masa Yamamoto, the Executive Sushi Chef (and six-year veteran of Gonpachi Tokyo), and Yasu Kusano, Executive Chef of Soba and Sumi-Yaki, where they can be found grilling robata, dicing sashimi, and pounding buckwheat noodles by hand nightly, a highlight Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbilia deemed “worth a trip just to see, and taste.”

Under different management when it first opened, the word has been slow to get out, but JAUNT says, ‘Great place, solid cuisine.’ Weekends draw more of a crowd, while during the week it’s a bit quiet, so spread the word… we don’t want to see it go away. Located across the street from Matsuhisa and down the way from Benihana has kept it under wraps, but the prices are a little less painful and the food on par with the likes of Koi and Kantana.

The atmosphere?
Well, it happens to be a world apart.

Imagine a two-story 11,000-square-foot Japanese spectacle steeped in Japanese carpentry, cherry blossoms, lighting fixtures imported from Japan, Zen gardens, and intricately-designed roof tiles. The dining area consists of a large sushi bar, open seating in the center, booths lining the perimeter, and private rooms where you can sit with a group on the floor, straight up Japanese style. We here at JAUNT love to sit on the floor and it’s tough to find that in this part of town.

Pst. the only other Gonpachi’s are in Japan.

Chef Naga’s inventive new menu consists of an array of traditional and fusion Japanese items like the always tasty Yellowtail Carpaccio with enoki mushroom in a warm ginger jalapeno dressing and traditional hot robata plates.

They also present several interesting sobas, both hot and cold, and add unique touches to dishes like their baked dynamite by resting it on eggplant and topping with corn and the occasional spicy crunch of red peppercorns, a welcome revision from the sometimes deliciously mundane. Try the Yuba Roll with accents of madras curry and wasabi aioli wrapped in soy paper or the Flaming Grady, a mix of spicy lobster, albacore and jalapeno. With the introduction of new flavors to the already popular, standard sushi dishes around Los Angeles, Naga’s competing with the best.

“A restaurant of Gonpachi’s magnitude needs standout cuisine to rival its visual excellence,” reveals Naga amid his lavish new surroundings. “My goal is to help make an already-impressive experience…unforgettable.”

Gonpachi is open for dinner, sushi and cocktails seven nights a week, so let’s keep it in business. We could use somewhere good, cozy, close, and NEW to go.

134 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA
(310) 659-8887