It's been quite a ride in the restaurant world in 2006. We got everything from high-falutin' pizza to pocky. High-profile spots have come and gone. Institutions have closed. But it's time to move on and take a look at what's in store for the dining and nightlife scene in 2007. We have quite a list, so we'll break it up for easy listening. Let us know what's on your calendar and let the official countdown begin. Tomorrow: Celebrity Chefs and The Rest.
· Ketchup: Every restaurant that's opened in the ill-fated Sunset Millennium complex on the Sunset Strip has had a quick death (Rika, Central) or a slow, painful one (sigh? Norman's), but the Dolce Group (Dolce, Geisha House, Les Deux) will try their hand with this American comfort food spot. For an opening date, one of the owners told us they're "at the mercy of West Hollywood, hopefully sometime in January." Other reports have it opening in spring. We'll go out on a limb and say summer. [EaterWire]
· Charcoal: Nightlife guru Michael Sutton and restaurateur Adolfo Suaya (both co-own Lodge and Memphis) team up once again to open this steakhousey supper club near the Arclight. (Could this be why Chris Breed and crew decided to change Sterling Steakhouse to Sideways Lounge across the street?) On the Lodge website, it says that Charcoal will open this year, plus two others, Goa and Asia. Obviously, that didn't happen, so '07 might be a big year for the Sutton/Suaya group. Until we hear otherwise, we'll say spring 2007 for Charcoal. [EaterWire]
· M/X: Douglas Wickard, formerly of Simon LA, and Steve Marlton, Girbraltar Films producer, will retool Pearl into a fusion restaurant and nightclub. Nadav Bashan, ex sous chef at Providence, will be the executive chef and serve up, wait for it, "Mexican-style plates infused with the flavors of Asia." [EaterWire Inbox]
Up next: Santa Monica spots...
· Tengu and Adobe: Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica will get a couple new tenants next year. First, Tengu, which takes over the former Ivy at the Shore space (already running ads for jobs, so they're close). And a new upscale Southwestern restaurant, Adobe, will open behind Tengu. [Zagat]
· French Brasserie: Saying this is "L.A.'s answer to NYC's Balthazar" is setting some high expectations. The group behind Falcon, Voda, and Pearl Dragon plan to open this brasserie on the Third Street Promenade early in the year. [Zagat]