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A Star Chef Slings Wood-Fired Pizzas From a Venice Garden Soon

Plus, a Curb Your Enthusiasm coffee pop-up, a review of Ladyhawk, and more

A male chef wearing a brown apron finishes makes a pizza.
Chef Michael Fiorelli makes pizza from a mobile pizza oven.
Fiorelli Pizza
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Chef Michael Fiorelli, previously of Olivetta in West Hollywood and Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach, is partnering with the Cook’s Garden in Venice to open a wood-fired pizza restaurant this March. While Fiorelli’s previous restaurants offered well-appointed dining rooms, full service, and cocktails, this new partnership along with Liz Gutierrez trades in expected bells and whistles for an easy garden vibe in Venice.

Beyond wood-fired pizzas, whose toppings include Ezzo pepperoni, roasted mushrooms, and a take on the supreme, Fiorelli serves salads, sardines, chile-garlic cucumbers, a fried eggplant sandwich with artichokes, and a version of a classic Italian deli sandwich. Brown sugar pudding and chocolate chip cookies offer a sweet finish.

Fiorelli hopes this more approachable, affordable meal right on Abbot Kinney will resonate with Venice locals who love casual dining (e.g. eating on crates next to Gjelina Take Away). Once it opens in mid-March, expect Fiorelli Pizza to operate Thursday to Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. at the Cook’s Garden (1033 Abbot Kinney Boulevard). Check Instagram for more updates.

Curb Your Enthusiasm for this coffee

Do you remember the spite store in Larry David’s comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm? To help promote the show’s final season on Max, two outlets of Menotti’s coffee are transforming into Latte Larry’s, the name of David’s spite store, from February 2 to 4, with “spiteful” brews and scones, as well as limited edition merch. Check out more intel here in Los Angeles Magazine.

Checking in on Horses

Taste writer Jason Stewart offers a comedic outlook on Hollywood’s Horses, a restaurant embroiled in controversy after reports came out last year of an alleged marital dispute between partners and chefs Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson. Stewart somewhat appreciates how the turmoil, which included alleged racism, physical abuse, verbal assaults, and other shocking behavior, ultimately helped cull the customer base: “Sometimes, when a restaurant gets so popular, it needs a transgression or two to cull its customer base, like filing for bankruptcy when you’re making too much money.” Stewart’s sarcasm equivocates those going to Horses with conflicted Tesla drivers or viewers of Miramax films (a company co-founded by Harvey Weinstein).

Korean comes to Santa Monica

Jin Cook, a Korean restaurant with outlets in Glendale, Buena Park, and Santa Clarita, is opening in Santa Monica, an area mostly bereft of Korean cooking, in the former Luna Grill at 3001 Wilshire Boulevard. Westside blogger Toddrickallen says paper window covers hint at a menu of dolsot bibimbap, pancakes, katsu, and other Korean comfort food favorites.

Praise for Ladyhawk

Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Bill Addison praises the Lebanese cooking from chef Charbel Hayek, a former Top Chef: Middle East winner and line cook at Mélisse, at Ladyhawk in West Hollywood. The roast chicken conjures shawarma in a more pleasing package: “Roast chicken is a clever entree. Besides a tidy tuft of little gem lettuces, whipped toum (garlic sauce) and tiny pickles flank the bird. These are the classic flavors in a Lebanese chicken shawarma, deconstructed here for universal appeal — an implied directive in a hotel restaurant — while still shouting out the home country.” Some other dishes aren’t as successful, like the lamb chops with dehydrated olives, but Addison declares Ladyhawk the most compelling Lebanese restaurant in LA.


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