What started in October as phase one negotiations comes to fruition this weekend, as Michel Richard opens Citrus at Social, the restaurant that's taken over Jeffrey Chodorow's very pretty ghost town, Social. The official wording on this venture is that Richard is 'joining' Jeffrey Chodorow to open the restaurant, and that it'll have a seperate entrance and bar area. This is code for Social Hollywood, take two. Alright, fine, we can't keep the full press release from you for another second:
PIONEERING CHEF MICHEL RICHARD JOINS WITH JEFFREY CHODOROW TO OPEN CITRUS AT SOCIAL
California-French Free Standing Restaurant at Social Hollywood to Open February 8
Hollywood, CA (February 8, 2008) – More than two decades after he pioneered French/California cuisine at the former Citrus on Melrose Avenue, world-renowned chef Michel Richard has joined preeminent restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow to bring a restored classic back to Los Angeles – much as Chodorow did in transforming the venerable Hollywood Athletic Club into Social Hollywood. On February 8, the doors will open to Citrus at Social, a new dining experience at Social Hollywood guided by Michel Richard and executed by acclaimed Chef de Cuisine Rémi Lauvand.
At once a part of Social Hollywood and a freestanding restaurant with its own entrance and waiting area, Citrus at Social will offer a fresh and vibrant interior design that complements the venue’s new menu. Built off its rising central mirrored columns are banquettes offering comfortable seating in a palette of citrus-green fabrics, with accents of silver. Up- lit sheer lemon-yellow draperies line the room, complemented by modern cylinders of amber lighting. Apart from the adjacent Bar at Social Hollywood, Citrus at Social also offers its own bar and cocktail area.
Emphasizing fresh local ingredients with a distinct European sensibility, the new Cali-French menu of Citrus at Social will appeal to health aficionados and gourmands alike. Its dinner menu begins with “Michel’s Favorite Bistro Classics,” perfect preambles to share, which include GOUGERES, cheese puffs; CHICKEN FAUX GRAS; and ONION TART, plain or with smoked salmon and crème fraîche, followed by appetizers such as TARTINE CRAB “ROBAIRE,” MOSAIC, a Carpaccio of “surf,” “turf,” and “earth;” LOBSTER “BEGULA” Pearls; ESCARGOTS in the Garden, nut crumble; FRIZZY FRISÉE SALAD, with crispy poached egg and lardons; BEET & TUNA SALAD; SCALLOP SCRAMBLE, not “Eggsactly”, and CUTTLEFISH CARBONARA.
Entrées, spotlighting a diversity of innovative meat and fish dishes, include LOBSTER FENNEL, with tomato, fava bean and licorice jus; ROCKFISH, with swiss chard gnocchi and roasted potato jus; HALIBUT, with orange, lime and lemon-grass essence; ARTIC CHAR, with pancetta, potato grits and vinegar drizzle; 72-HOUR SHORT RIB FRITES; COLORADO LAMB, with “gigantes” beans, jalapeño sauce; LOBSTER BURGER and ROASTED CHICKEN, with garlic, peewee potato or tater tots; as well as steak, duck and other main courses.
Michel Richard is justly famous for his desserts, having started his career as a pastry chef. Among the desserts offered at Citrus at Social are such delicious and decadent offerings as MICHEL’S CHEESECAKE with dulce de leche sauce, CHOCOLATE GATEAUX, ORANGE SOUFFLE, APPLE-LIKE TATIN, CRÈME BRULÉE, MUSHROOM VACHERIN, CELEBRATION CAKE, KIT KAT BAR with sauce noisette, and a variety of house-made ice creams and sorbets.
Even the menu covers for Citrus at Social have been designed by Michel Richard, whose former flagship, Citrus on Melrose Avenue, was voted best restaurant in America by Traveler’s magazine, fully establishing him as a pioneer in French/California cuisine. In 2007, Richard was chosen by the James Beard Foundation as Outstanding Chef in the U.S. for his culinary brilliance at Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C.
In the full time position of Chef de Cuisine at Citrus at Social is Rémi Lauvand, himself one of the most well-respected and highly acclaimed chefs in the country. Remi, who grew up in a small village in Périgord, a southwest region of France best known for producing foie gras and black truffles, initially embarked on his culinary career with a position on the legendary Orient Express, cooking and traveling throughout Europe. He then secured a position at the acclaimed Michelin 2-Star restaurant of Gerard Pangaud, before Madame Gisele Masson, owner of New York’s famed La Grenouille, offered him the position of Sous-Chef at her restaurant and brought him to America.
In 1988, Daniel Boulud invited Remi to work as his Executive Sous-Chef at New York's most famous restaurant, Le Cirque, where he worked with Daniel for the next five years, until Daniel left to open his own restaurant. In 1997 he joined restaurateur Drew Neiporent as Executive Chef of the world famous restaurant Montrachet. In November 1998, Ruth Reichl, restaurant critic for the New York Times, gave the restaurant a coveted three-star review, solidifying Remi’s reputation as one of New York’s most highly skilled and talented chefs.
To prepare for his new role at Citrus at Social Remi has trained extensively with Chef Richard at Citronelle in Washington, D.C. His most recent posting was as Executive Chef at Miro at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara (recognized as one of the best new restaurants on the west coast by numerous national magazines), a perfect segue way to his association with Michel Richard.
Citrus at Social will be open from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and from 6:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Valet parking available, reservations recommended: (323) 337-9797. Citrus at Social will also be offering “catering by Michel Richard” both at Social Hollywood’s magnificent venue on Sunset and at off-premise remote locations throughout the Los Angeles area.
About Social Hollywood
Opened in May 2006, Social Hollywood seamlessly blends old with new, American audacity with international flair. The venue, which unites restaurant, lounge, event and VIP space in a two-story edifice is located in the historic Hollywood Athletic Club building, which during its heyday served as an exclusive retreat for the city’s best-known stars. Retaining the sophisticated air and spacious ambience of its storied past, Social Hollywood adds another major hotspot to the international portfolio of Jeffrey Chodorow.
For nearly two decades, Chodorow’s China Grill Management has created exciting culinary experiences, whether as a keystone attraction for hotel brands or as freestanding destinations. China Grill’s first-class restaurant and nightlife creations worldwide include, among others, the flagship China Grill in New York, Miami, Mexico City, Las Vegas, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale; Kobe Club in New York and Miami; Blue Door at Delano in Miami; Asia de Cuba in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Scottsdale and London; Ono at Hotel Gansevoort in New York, and Social Hollywood’s east coast cousin, Social Miami at Sagamore.