Oh what a fun packed week we've had! Not only did we officially launch, but we gave you a taste of several good things to come, including The Dish, The Deathwatch, The Mail Bag, and now… drum roll please… Plywood Reports! With Plywood, we offer news on restaurants that haven't quite made it to their soft openings yet. Seen something brewing in your neighborhood? Email along your report; bonus points for attaching digital photos.
(1) Boulevard Lounge: What was once warm and yellow is now blue: Mix at the corner of Crescent Hts. and Santa Monica is slowly becoming The Boulevard Lounge. After hearing about the switch on LA.com, we snapped a pic on our way through WeHo the other day. Looks like its coming along nicely. The phone message says coming in mid-December. [Eater LA, LA.com]
(2) Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen: A new Santa Monica spot will open in the former Lotus space (across from Melisse) on Wilshire between 11th and 12th in a few weeks. The casual boite and bistro will feature seasonal cuisine from chef Samir Mohajer, ex The Little Door and Axe. Co-owner Josh Loeb, who also worked with Bruce Marder (Capo, Broadway Market), hand-selected eclectic boutique wines for the list. According to co-owner Pamela Kasden: "We wanted to have family-style food, sharing, communal tables, and we want it to be less formal, more neighborhood focused." Think of it as A.O.C.-light. They're looking at a mid-December/early-January opening if everything goes as planned. (310-393-7050; www.rusticanyonwinebar.com) [Eater LA]
Read on for The Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel, Comme Ca, Romanov, and more freakin' Pinkberrys
(3) The Penthouse at the Huntley: In answer to a reader's question about Toppers at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica—by February, we'll see The Penthouse. In case the name didn't give it away, the restaurant is on the top floor, with 360-degree views up and down the coast and the city. The chef is Michael Reidt, formerly Sevilla in Santa Barbara. There was some chef confusion for awhile (Yi's Rod Aglibot was on board in the beginning) which may or may not have caused the opening delay (website says "Coming Fall 2006"), but it seems smoothed out now. Designed by Thomas Schoos (O-Bar, Koi, Wilshire, Tao in Vegas), there are fireplaces in the bar and restaurant, some sort of shell motif, a chocolate and cream color palette, and private cabanas. As one insider put it: "Frankly, it's sick." She means that in a good way. [Eater LA]
(4) Comme Ca: David Meyers has decided not to open Japanese-inspired Sokyo in the former Noura Café space, a collaboration between him and Kazunori Nozawa. Instead he'll open a French brasserie because "the market is getting too saturated with Japanese concepts." And LA has no lack of brasserie/bistros? [LA Times]
(5) Romanov: Republic owner Mikayel Israyelyen will open Romanov in Studio City sometime this month. According to LA.com: "Dumplings, quail Kiev, and tableside-carved whole roast duck are on the menu; look for the turrets outside and the 24-karat gold-leaf ceilings on the inside." Insert "That's hot" in Russian, here. [LA.com]
(6) Pinkberry: The proliferation of Pinkberrys just. won't. stop. Westside Chowhounds are jonesin' for some froyo, and anticipating the opening of the Sawtelle location any day now. [Chowhound]