Laurent Tourondel's pre-opener for BLT Steak brought out all the usual suspects. It's not open to the public yet, but there's a slight chance it can happen this weekend, but a better one it will be next week. Until then, the night that was.
1) Like Nobu transforming the L'Orangerie space, no signs of the former Le Dome to be had. One big room, clean lines, big booths side by side, long bar, nowhere to hide except the private wine room with views down the hill. Nice patio out front.
2) The chef-welcome wagon was in full swing: Suzanne Goin and David Lentz, Nancy Silverton, Ben Ford, Sang Yoon, Jill Davie, Miho Travi (Jason was working) and Alain Giraud. Ford, we've learned, is the restaurant handyman of Culver City. Giraud said hello and then, "No blah blah blah, OK?" Whatever that means.
3) Put out a charcuterie and cheese station, and people will actually wait in line for it, especially when passed apps are few and far between. Best course of action: Make friends with whoever is standing in front of the raw bar. Don't move for at least 30 minutes.
4) Early take: BLT will become the Craft for the Strip (ever hear that B-L-T stands for "Be Like Tom?"), and the obvious choice for Industry power dinners, cocktails, meat. Also like Craft, there will be enough reason to go whether that's your game or not. The ambience is nothing like trendy One to the west, and Tourondel's food is eons away from the mediocrity at Sunset Plaza to the east. Another NY import that found its home on the West Coast.