That was quiet, and without very much fanfare. Tapenade, the sort of Med-New American spot tucked away on Sawtelle has been replaced by Avenue Italy, run by the Mario Zanetti, who also owns La Stada in Long Beach. The decor hasn't changed much (it was workable to begin with) but the menu is a complete departure from the rather confusing Tapenade offerings. Tri Nyugen had recently replaced opening chef Ressul Rassallat but to no avail.
Back to Avenue Italy, think a Buca di Beppo-esque lineup of calamari fritti, beef carpaccio, pizzas, veal parmesan, pastas and more. So while Sawtelle loses out on a semi-ambitious non-Asian eatery, it at least gets a reliable Italian restaurant with wider appeal. And with 2117 in danger of folding any week now, this sort of cooking will start standing out more on the block
· All Sawtelle Coverage [~ELA~]