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More and More, Prominent LA Chefs Are Betting Big on the Valley’s Success

Plus bartending for a cause, a new Ferrari-inspired Italian menu, and more

SOCA, Sherman Oaks
Wonho Frank Lee

It’s all about the Valley

The dining scene in the Valley has been on the up and up for years, moving beyond its place as a harbinger of hidden gems into the more mainstream conversation. Ventura Boulevard is still the showcase for much of that restaurant action, but as LA Magazine notes, it (and surrounding boulevards) are beginning to attract some pretty important restaurant clientele.

The article ticks off a few different reasons that some of the city’s best chefs are heading over the hill, starting with one simple fact: Lots of chefs live there. Whether it’s tony Studio City or hometown memories of having lived there like Phillip Frankland Lee, the place is still home. It’s also cheaper, of course, though there is in many parts a distinct lack of foot traffic that can prove beguiling to even the most seasoned restaurant veteran (see also: Andre Guerrero). But ultimately, with chefs like Ted Hopson, Ludo Lefebvre, and many more making roots here, it’s a good time to be eating in the Valley.

The automotive museum’s new Ferrari menu

Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum is doing something fun, with a new limited-run tasting menu that acts as an ode to Enzo Ferrari and his famous car company. The $48 dinner can also be purchased a la carte, and includes a variety of regional Italian specialties. It starts Saturday and runs through most of the summer.

Good move, The Ponte

It’s a give-back weekend for The Ponte on Beverly Boulevard, as bartender Ryan Wainwright joins the nationwide Bartenders Against Sexual Assault movement. He and the bar team will be donating their entire Friday night tips, if you feel like getting out there, supporting, and having a cocktail.

Happy Honeybird

Honeybird in La Cañada Flintridge is turning one, and to celebrate the all-day fried chicken destination is throwing a big party with raffles, free doughnuts, and a ton more fun stuff for the whole family.

How it starts

One of The Daily Bruin’s young columnists decided to head out to Smorgasburg recently for their first-ever taste of foie gras, and the results are predictably hilarious. The story reads at first like the newly adventurous eater didn’t like the stuff at all, but a few smears in (and with some jam on top) it turns out there’s something to like after all.

What it costs

LA Weekly put out an interesting story on the true cost of a single dish, this one the $32 soft shell crab from PYT in Downtown. Rodell and Centeno chat over email about where that number comes from, sustainability in the restaurant marketplace, and a number of other must-know details for interested diners.

April Bloomfield’s burger love

LA Times took out April Bloomfield for an hours-long burger crawl through LA recently, stopping everywhere from Belcampo to Cassell’s. The amazing part is, Bloomfield never gets fatigued in the least, which means she kept her faculties enough to not spill too much about her upcoming (and still unnamed) restaurant in Hollywood.

After all this time

There’s an awesome-looking ten year anniversary happening soon for Downtown’s beloved Seven Grand. The party on May 3 will include lots of whiskey of course, as well as live music, $7 cocktails, and tons of other fun stuff all night long.

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