Bossa Nova's Beverly Hills outpost recently shuttered, some were happy, some were sad, some didn't even know it existed. Well, put this one on your radar: Pici (prounced pee-chee), a new old school (yes, new old school) rustic Italian eatery taking over the space named after the pici pasta shape, a long hand-rolled tube that looks like a skinny stretched out corissant. Construction is just about to begin on the project helmed by Jeff Vespa (co-founder of WireImage) and Chef J, aka Jason Harley formerly of BlackSteel which then became Shereen Arazm's Parc on Hollywood Blvd. The restaurant changed, the chef did not.
After a nine month search, Jeff and J (J&J) decided on the smallish Beverly Drive location and have hired Kris Keith/Spacecraft to spin the space into a Godfather-inspired eatery. For real. When designing the interior, J&J referenced that scene in Godfather I, the first time Al Pacino shoots someone, which takes place inside that classic Italian restaurant with the black and white checkered floors... Anyway, those floors will appear inside Pici, in addition to banquettes, marble tabletops, and a tin ceiling. Overall they want this place to be a cozy spot for a neighborhood lunch or dinner. And if anyone can remember the lack of seating back in Bossa Nova days, J&J have committed to reducing the size of the kitchen to allow for more seating indoors (however, a few seats will also be available on the sidewalk for warmer al fresco nights).
As for the menu, all dishes will be priced under $12 (what a deal!) with a focus on extra thin crust pizzas (lemongrass with caramelized onions and crispy leeks; black bean and garlic; Mediterranean feta and olive) in addition to freshly made pici pastas (tomato, basil, garlic; bolognese; arribiata), a few salads (burrata caprese; wedge with crispy prosciutto; arugula and tomato), and some antipasti. For dessert: varying flavors of Chef J's famous cheesecake. During dinner service, the idea is to offer a few specials, perhaps a special seasonal ravioli, a meat dish, and/or a fish. And rather than offer bread on the table pre-meal, guests will receive fried gnocchi with marinara sauce. Yum.
Also pretty funny, California Pizza Kitchen is just across the street and those $12 and under prices render Pici actually less expensive that CPK!
Down the line, J&J hope to offer some of their goods to go, probably some pasta, bottled sauces, maybe olive oil, and such. They are working on developing their own Italian soda, limonata to be offered in custom Pici bottles as well.
Also down the line and pending Pici's success, they would love to open additional Picis throughout Los Angeles in neighborhoods like Los Feliz and Santa Monica. However, for the time being, the first location should be opening between mid-November and mid-December.
·The Shutter: Game Over For Beverly Hills' Bossa Nova [~ELA~]