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The Magic Castle Hires New Chef to Helm the Historic Hollywood Venue

Plus, HBO’s Barry is giving away donuts this weekend, and a book signing and barbecue for Kevin Bludso

A castle-like building at night.
The Magic Castle
The Magic Castle

The Magic Castle announced that a new executive chef is on board to navigate a new menu direction, while also opening an outdoor dining space. The landmark restaurant and venue announced that French-Canadian chef Benoit “Ben” LaFleche will assume the role. LaFleche spent time curating menus at Cheviot Hills’ members-only Griffin Club, and managing three restaurants at the Hilton’s Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach.

Regulars and locals know the food isn’t always the primary draw for Magic Castle, a place that has cycled through multiple chefs over the last decade, including Jason Sperber and a short stint by Jason Fullilove. LaFleche’s hiring could mark the start of a revamp for the 59-year-old venue. In 2020, the Los Angeles Times dropped a bombshell report that outlined multiple instances of alleged sexual misconduct and racism at the historic property that spanned years.

About that new outdoor dining area, it’s the first time in decades that there’s been an open-air dining option at the Magic Castle. Before it was enclosed in the 1960s, there was a second-floor balcony that eventually became the terrace dining room.

An outdoor dining patio with white seats and tables.
Magic Castle outdoor dining area
Courtesy of the Magic Castle

Donuts and HBO’s Barry

As Barry premieres season three this Sunday, HBO announced that a promotional roving food truck will hand out free donuts while driving throughout Los Angeles this Saturday. Follow HBO, HBO Max, and Fooji Twitter to find out where the truck will be serving. If not up for a scavenger hunt, the truck will be parked at Melrose Trading Post all day on Sunday, until it runs out. Keep an eye out on the Fooji account and use the #Barry and #donutpromo hashtags to access a same-day delivery service this Sunday as well.

Donuts on a plate at HBO’s Barry premiere.
Donuts at HBO’s Barry premiere
Courtesy of HBO

Emo-themed brunch at the Bourbon Room

Feel like busting out some black skinny jeans and inner angst for a meal? Hollywood’s Bourbon Room is hosting an emo-themed brunch now until May 29. Taking place weekends-only with 90-minute sessions starting at 10 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. with “pancakes! at the disco” and “Jimmy eats French toast.” All the details for the $50 brunch are here.

Bludso’s first book and a barbecue pop-up

Kevin Bludso published his first cookbook “Bludso’s BBQ Cookbook: A Family Affair in Smoke and Soul” this month, and Now Serving LA will host an event tonight to celebrate the acclaimed LA pitmaster. Bludso and co-author Noah Galuten will be interviewed by Smorgasburg LA market manager Zach Brooks. Tickets are $35 which includes a signed copy and some barbecue.

Magic Castle Hotel

7025 Franklin Avenue, , CA 90028 (323) 851-0800 Visit Website

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