Another addition to Hollywood’s sudden upscale dining boom opens tonight with Magari. The Japanese-Italian restaurant has been in the works since late 2021 and features a collection of award-winning chefs known for cooking Michelin-level food across the globe. The new Magari’s glassy front sits next to Sugarfish and Neuehouse Hollywood at Sunset and Gower.
Chef Yoshiyuki Okuno — who earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand for his Tokyo restaurant La Brianza — will work alongside Sicilian-born Enrico Merendino, with 2019 James Beard Foundation Award winner for Best Northeast chef Tony Messina to serve as consulting chef. Together, they plan to offer LA a slew of Japanese-Italian options alongside spots like Little Tokyo’s Pasta e Pasta or Gardena’s Akane Chaya — or even the new Tokyo-inspired pizza shop Pizzeria Sei over at Pico and Robertson. Magari is probably best compared to chef Josef Centeno’s Orsa & Winston, which developed a menu that has been incorporating Japanese and Italian flavors since 2013.
Okuno organized the menu with three sections: crudo, pasta, and wood-fired grill. That means dishes like a tuna crudo with eggplant caponata with burrata, and basil; a yuzu tagliatelle with crab, poppyseed, and parmigiano; and a karaage-style chicken milanese. Heavier portions include a Wagyu steak and other smoke-heavy meats and greens coming from the grill. The opening menu can be found here.
Cocktails were developed by Bavel’s Liam Baer and New York barman Payman Bahmani who worked at New York speakeasy Please Don’t Tell. The pair developed a rework to the old fashioned called the kodawari with whiskey, sesame, banana, amontillado, and black walnut. The tachinomi includes sour vodka, passionfruit, aperol, citrus, cacao, and Japanese cinnamon.
Architect Cass Calder Smith incorporated ash wood lattice and a Japanese paper lantern-inspired light that winds throughout the former Paley space. The outdoor patio fits plenty, along with a lounge to one side that includes fire pits. The entire Magari team operates alongside Ozumo Concepts, which runs Ozumo restaurant in San Francisco. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday to Saturday until 11 p.m. at 6115 Sunset Boulevard.