Small Bites: Latkes at the Foundry on Melrose; Sona's gingerbread house; All'Angelo, post-Mirko, and Mirko, post-Morton's
Persimmon-stuffed doughnuts and latkes in lots of flavors: Eric Greenspan of the Foundry on Melrose is offering a Hanukkah tasting menu on the first night of Hanukkah only — that's this Sunday, in case you didn't know. On the menu: chicken consommé with kreplach, carrots and truffle; beet latke with smoked salmon and caraway creme fraiche; beef brisket with Brussels sprouts and mustard; and persimmon-stuffed spiced doughnuts. It's $49 per person. There will also be three different specialty latkes — beet and carrot latkes with caraway creme fraiche, potato latkes with pear and black pepper marmalade and hazelnut creme fraiche, and celery root and red onion latkes with green tomato marmalade and horseradish creme fraiche — and sugared doughnuts, available for $9 each, through Dec. 27. 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 651-0915, thefoundryonmelrose.com
Don't throw stones at gingerbread houses: So maybe you haven't gotten around to building your gingerbread house yet. We all have the best intentions. But unlike many of the rest of us, Sona pastry chef Ramon Perez didn't slack. He made a gingerbread house that's an exact replica of Sona, on display at the restaurant, complete with chocolate tiles and a snowman. The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena also has its annual gingerbread house on display in the lobby lounge through Christmas. Sona, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 659-7708, sonarestaurant.com. The Langham, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave. Pasadena, (626) 568-3900, pasadena.langhamhotels.com
Mirko moves on; so does All'Angelo: There are no more white tablecloths or fine crystal at All'Angelo, and owner Stefano Ongaro has reformatted the menu — he's going trattoria (less formal than a ristorante), with casual service, wines by the glass and carafe, and lower prices. The new menu features rustic dishes from executive chef Ezio Puccioni, all priced at $20 or less. Meanwhile, former All'Angelo chef Mirko Paderno has landed as executive chef at the coming Cecconi's, scheduled to open in late February in West Hollywood where Morton's used to be. Cecconi's is focusing on relaxed Italian too. All'Angelo, 7166 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 933-9540.
Photo: Eric Greenspan's persimmon-stuffed doughnuts (foreground) and beet latkes. Credit: Los Angeles Times