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Two LA Culinary Giants Collaborate on Academy Museum Restaurant This Fall

Plus, big news from the Kismet team, and a new job for former Times critic Patricia Escárcega

Los Angeles Exteriors And Landmarks - 2020
The upcoming home of the Academy Museum of Motion Picturews
Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

More details are beginning to emerge about the dining plan at the years-in-the-making Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Wilshire. Per the LA Times, operator Bill Chait (Tesse, Tartine, and formerly of Republique, Bestia, and beyond) and star chef Wolfgang Puck’s catering arm are collaborating on a 10,000 square foot restaurant that will span two floors and include both traditional sit-down dining spaces as well as a lounge and market. The restaurant will be named Fanny’s, a nod to old Hollywood’s Fanny Brice of Funny Girl fame.

Puck’s catering company has fed Oscars attendees for more than two decades, so it’s not surprising to see his name attached to the museum’s restaurant, which plans to open in late September. Reps say the restaurant’s formal staff announcements (like who will be doing the actual cooking) and cuisine have not yet been announced, but Fanny’s is expected to offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus daily. Meanwhile Puck is staying busy around town, running his longstanding restaurants while also opening a pair of new projects at the newly-opened Pendry West Hollywood hotel.

In other news:

  • Former LA Times co-critic Patricia Escárcega has a new gig at the Counter, where she says she’ll be “charting COVID-19 recovery efforts through the lens of food.”
  • Nerano is hosting a virtual wine dinner on May 25. The five-course takeout meal will offer bites from across the Toscana Restaurant Group collection of restaurants, including Nerano, S.Y. Kitchen, Nella Kitchen & Bar, and Toscana itself, with wines paired by California’s Chalk Hill.
  • A new location of the Brews Hall is opening tomorrow at the Hermosa Beach Pier. The project features bites from multiple different restaurant menus under one roof, from celebrity names like George Lopez to Colin Cowherd. The first location of the Brews Hall opened in Torrance in 2019.
  • The Ace Hotel’s Upstairs rooftop experience is rolling out a new brunch menu, called Brunch Over Broadway. Expect lighter fare like oysters and burrata toast with drinks from cocktails and wine to pitchers of Aperol spritz. Best Girl, at the ground floor level, remains closed for now.
  • Well-regarded Downtown cocktail bar the Varnish reopens this week for walk-in service only. Meanwhile Margo’s has reopened in Santa Monica, per Toddrickallen.
  • The Kismet team of Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer have formally split from the Jon & Vinny restaurant empire, saying in a social media post over the weekend that the “mutual decision” didn’t come easy, but made sense for both parties. Kismet and Kismet Rotisserie will remain in action under their sole stewardship; check out their full note below.

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