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Trilussa to close Saturday; Villa Blanca to replace it in April

March 27, 2009 |  6:05 pm

TrilussaThe Beverly Hills trattoria Trilussa will close its doors Saturday after 20 years of business. Replacing it will be Villa Blanca, a Mediterranean-influenced bar and restaurant from super-charged restaurateurs Lisa Vanderpump Todd and Ken Todd. The Todds also own West Hollywood's popular SUR restaurant as well as more than 20 London dining establishments and clubs.

The duo hope to revamp the restaurant and reopen for business by mid-April, with a grand opening tentatively slated for the end of April. Ambitious given how dicey the inspection process can be? Yes, but reps for the restaurant say that all the needed licenses are in place because of the existing business.

Speaking of Trilussa, its existence hasn't stopped Lisa (who also designed SUR) from beginning work on Villa Blanca. She's already replaced the flooring with Italian marble and has stripped and painted the walls. Next up, the lighting and furnishings will be redone and the bar completely transformed into a large destination spot, which the Todds hope will open to the outside dining area and street (expect a killer happy hour). When Lisa is done,the space will look light, lush and airy. Emphasis will also be placed on lovely floral arrangements, which she is known for.

Francis Dimitrius from Koi has been named executive chef and is busy creating a menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes with winks and nods to Asian-fusion cuisine. Selections already being trumpeted as standouts include seafood paella, Moroccan-spiced braised chicken with golden raisin couscous, shrimp and chorizo potato pizza, Guinness-battered Chilean sea bass and chips, a classic burger, and a peppercorn filet with Port wine reduction.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo of Trilussa: The Guide.