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Whimsical 90-Year-Old Clifton’s Republic Reopens Downtown for Dinner and Drinks

Plus, a new chef at Frogtown’s Salazar, some more pizza and pasta in the South Bay, and the return of OC Restaurant Week

A dim, red-hued tiki bar with lots of bamboo.
Pacific Seas tiki bar inside Clifton’s Republic.
Wonho Frank Lee

Historic Downtown LA hospitality property Clifton’s Republic is reopening this weekend, at least on a limited basis. The company’s Instagram page notes a return slated for this Friday, February 11, just in time for the Super Bowl. Friday and Saturday hours will be 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a Sunday opening scheduled for 5 p.m., with a limited run of drink and food options as well as DJs and other fun activities late into the night. The space isn’t taking reservations, though, and not all areas of the 1932-era building will be available — so plan on tiki drinks and good vibes at Pacific Seas.

South Bay’s new pasta and pizza contender

Need some takeout pizza before this weekend’s big game? There’s a new South Bay spot to know about, Piccini by Gaetano’s Italian Restaurant in Torrance at 4642 Del Amo Boulevard. The new restaurant also offers pasta, sandwiches, and more for takeout.

An overhead shot of pizza and pasta at a new restaurant at daytime.
Jonathan Young

Returns, newcomers, and build-outs

Hollywood’s Japan House restaurant is reopening after an extended hiatus, and they’re starting back up with a wagyu bang. A new $125 per person five-course meal will offer the high-end Japanese beef in a variety of preparations, with add-ons like whiskey pairings available as well.

Meanwhile Eightfold Coffee is now open in the Arts District at 555 Mateo Street, meaning more coffee, matcha, and other AM drinks for greater Downtown. Up in North Hollywood, Tabula Rasa’s second bar and bottle shop is now fully under construction, with an opening date still to be determined.

Eating out in the OC world

Orange County Restaurant Week returns this year, launching Sunday, March 6 and running through Saturday, March 12. Some of the region’s biggest names will be participating (the historic Anaheim White House, the splashy new Bottega Angelina, Newport’s busy Lido Bottle Works, among others) in a variety of ways, from prix fixe menus to luxurious lunches and beyond.

A fresh face from familiar places

Outdoor dining hotspot Salazar in Frogtown has a new chef running the kitchen. Esteban Lluis was previously the chef de cuisine at Cala in San Francisco, and before that was helping to run the kitchen of the vaunted Corazon de Tierra in the Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico. Expect new menu items like a pork belly taco, oysters, and beyond.

A chef in glasses stands with arms crossed at a restaurant.
Chef Esteban Lluis.

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