Asterid, Brown Sheep, and Qué Bárbaro chef Ray Garcia is back on the Westside leading the kitchen at the Rose Venice. Garcia first made a name in the city helming the popular Fig restaurant inside Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar before hitting another level of fame with Broken Spanish and B.S. Taquería in Downtown. Now Garcia is back out west managing one of LA’s busiest restaurants with plans to refresh the California Italian menu that chef Jason Neroni previously oversaw for seven years. Late last year, Neroni parted ways with the Rose’s operator Sprout LA, coinciding with the closure of Best Bet in Culver City.
Garcia has been cooking at the Rose for a few weeks now and touts an improved breakfast burrito, among several tweaks to the menu. The menu should better reflect the chef’s sensibilities in another month but don’t expect dishes from Broken Spanish to show up as he’s focusing on the same bold flavors and seasonal produce that has made the Rose successful through the years.
Celebrity-favorite coastal Italian comes to LA
Conca del Sogno, one of the most popular restaurants in Italy’s Amalfi Coast — with celebrity clientele like Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara — commenced a one-month residency at West Hollywood’s Norah last week. The full menu from Conca del Sogno will be served during the month, like bluefin tuna tartare, fried calamari and zucchini, spaghetti alla nerano, and black truffle tagliatelle. Shareable entrees include branzino baked in salt and cotoletta alla Milanese (veal cutlet). Cocktails will reflect the sunny Amalfi Coast too, such as Malfy Italian gin lemonades and spritzes. Book a reservation on Dorsia here.
Tokyo noodles arrive in Culver City
Afuri Ramen, which landed with a big splash in the Arts District, opened a second LA-area location in Culver City last week. Located at the Culver Steps, which already houses several trendy restaurants, Afuri brings yuzu-flavored chicken and seafood shio ramen using its proprietary thin noodles. Beyond its yuzu shio, the shop serves tsukemen, spicy tan tan men, chashu pork rice bowls, and winged buta dumplings, plus gluten-free noodles and vegan broths. Afuri first opened in Tokyo in 2003 and has now expanded to over 30 locations worldwide.
The return of Kahani
After a brief hiatus, Kahani is reopening on February 6 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel with plans to settle in permanently in the former steakhouse space. The high-end Indian restaurant from chef Sanjay Rawat has generated enough buzz for the south Orange County resort that it warrants a long-term lease and a bigger menu. Inspired by Rawat’s recent travels to India, find pakoda chaat (onion fritters), Goan-style kothal (jackfruit) curry, and chicken tikka masala on the expanded menu. The space will also tout new artwork from local Indian American artist Arun Prem to add dashes of color to the wood-paneled dining room. Check out the new menu here.
An Oaxacan expansion to Melrose Hill
It’s not just cool-kid restaurants and James Beard semifinalist chefs opening in Melrose Hill. Oaxacan favorite Sabores Oaxaqueños, which operates a restaurant in Koreatown, is opening its second location at 5520 Santa Monica Boulevard near the corner of Western Avenue on February 7 in a vast strip mall. Expect a similar menu of moles, tlayudas, and other Oaxacan hits.