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Eater Preview: Luau

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It doesn't open until later this week, but here's an inside look at Luau in Beverly Hills. As discussed earlier, isn't so much a replica of the original Luau, the once tikified favorite for celebs in the 60s, but more a contemporary ode to the original. The connections are subtle: There's a print of the original Luau salt-and-pepper shakers hanging on one wall; Makoto Tanaka's (Mako, Robata-Ya) menu has the requisite pupu platter, albeit one with Wagyu meatballs and firecracker shrimp; and designer Loree Rodkin worked with Ben "Bamboo Ben" Bassham, grandson of the original's designer and builder. But probably the most significant throw-back is tikiologist Jeff Berry's cocktail list: After talking with Luau's former bartenders, he "cracked the code" to the legendary rum-centric drinks like the Bo-Lo, Luau Coconut and Pearl Diver, some of which are served in fresh pineapple or coconut shells. There's a good chance this will be just as much a celeb magnet as the original because Andy Hewitt, owner of tabloid-favorite Il Sole, backs the operation (as do the Maloof brothers, but that's a whole other story.) Private tastings are taking place over the next few nights, and Luau opens to the public for dinner on Friday. (369 North Bedford Dr, 310.274.0090)
· Eater Progress Report: Luau Beverly Hills [~ELA~]