Is the Italian chophouse concept on the rise, or not? It’s a trend that can’t seem to make up its mind, apparently, as witnessed by yesterday’s news that Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena, which switched to a steak-heavy format a few months ago, couldn’t sustain itself and will shutter by month’s end. Then there’s Ori Menashe’s Bestia, the popular (and quite meaty) Arts District spot, which has gotten such a rave response that the team there is overhauling its charcuterie program to help bring more consistency to the table.
Now comes word that Sherman Oaks is ready for some Italian beef cuts of their own. Epic Bar and Lounge, situated on the second floor of a strip mall in the former longtime Spazio space, has been a decent draw for late night bites and lively music in the area since it opened last summer, but wasn’t exactly a culinary destination unto itself. Enter Kevin O’Connell (late of Carson House and 9 Olives), who emerges as a chef/partner in the Epic rebrand, which is underway now.
The plan is to give the restaurant a turn towards the upscale (no word on whether Epic will go full concept change and swap the name), chiefly by partnering with local pasta maker Dominick DiBartolomeo to bring fresh daily pastas to the menu. On the chophouse side, O’Connell intends to bring in certified Piedmontese Beef straight from Italy. Either way, look for a heavy Italian feel, with California influences throughout.
Peg this as another step in the Valley’s latest come-uppance, alongside the rest of Ventura Blvd.’s recent slate of new eateries. Epic’s overhaul looks to be completed by mid-February, (potentially) in time for Valentine’s Day.
14755 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403