[Photos: David Morris]
Victor Drai's Rare on Sunset, in the former BLT space, is finally ready for its prime time debut this Saturday. Tonight the restaurant will hold a private cocktail reception and Friday it's closed for a buyout. Last night Eater attended a preview party inside the renovated space, which bears no resemblance to its predecessor.
As patrons enter Rare they are greeted by a long black bar lit by red sconces and candlelight. Denizens of The Roosevelt hotel may recognize Library Bar's Chris Hewes (worked under Matthew Biancaniello and is also responsible for the drink menu at Rustic Canyon) who Drai has tapped to cultivate a seasonal cocktail program. Hewes tells us that his program is ingredient driven and will therefore change regularly. Working alongside him is Lauren September from The Roosevelt's Spare Room.
As for chef Patrick Florendo's food, expect an evolution of what he created under Botero's Mark Lorusso and at Drai's Hollywood, with very little use of cream. Florendo states, "We will be focusing on lighter cuisine that is olive oil based." On the opening menu one will find steak and tuna tartars, steamed mussels, whole roasted loup de mar, peppered steaks, plenty of Snake River Farms wagu and the like. Food will arrive to diners seated in rich leather booths or in plush chairs in a room reminiscent of Drai's original La Cienga eatery and his Vegas afterhours haunt. Expect plenty of crimson reds and floral prints. Based on the menu and concept, nearby Boa may be in for some stiff competition.
· All Victor Drai Coverage [~ELA~]
— David Morris