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A Longtime Spago Chef Debuts an Upscale Restaurant in Arcadia This Week

Plus, the ramen burger chef’s next move, and lots of Star Chefs to know in LA

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A prepared seafood plate with scallops and uni and lots of greens on the side.
Seared scallops and uni
Eddie Sanchez
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s a surprising new restaurant to know about in Arcadia this week, as the Le Méridien Pasadena Arcadia hotel prepares to open its anchor restaurant Mélange to the world. The project is centered around the food of chef Makoto Tanaka, a Japanese native and longtime Angeleno who opened Chinois on Main with Wolfgang Puck before emerging as the executive chef of Spago pre-2000. Tanaka also ran his popular namesake restaurant Mako for more than a decade in Beverly Hills, before closing it in 2011 after the building’s lease came up for renewal.

Now, after turns at other projects and with consulting, Tanaka is on to oversee Mélange, an upscale Asian-European hotel restaurant turning out dishes like roasted duck leg confit and peppercorn-heavy New York strip steaks with porcini mushrooms, plus garlic noodles, tuna tataki, and lots of cocktails and wine. The opening menus are below; look for an opening at 130 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia on Friday, June 11.

In other news:

  • The Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara has a new restaurant tenant: Costa Kitchen & Bar. The cheery coastal Mediterranean spot debuted this month.
  • Sprinkles is once again supporting Pride all month long, with direct donations as well as a one-off colorful cupcake.
  • The Go Go Bird team is popping up at Citizen Public Market in Culver City from Friday to Sunday with tenders, a chicken sandwich, gyoza, and more.
  • The Row on Harbor, the new retail development in the La Habra area, is hosting a big opening party this weekend. The party will include a large beer garden and live band, plus food from tenants like MGD Korean Kitchen and Bar, Akafuji Japanese restaurant, and more.
  • The creator of the once-viral ramen burger, Keizo Shimamoto, is opening a new restaurant in San Juan Capistrano, says the LA Times.
  • The latest round of rising star chefs is here, including well-known names like Spencer Bezaire of Eszett; Arturo Enciso of Gusto Bread in Long Beach; Kyungbin Min from Hanchic; Vivian Ku of Joy and Pine & Crane; and Gemma Matsuyama of Ototo and Tsubaki. Check out the full list at Star Chefs.