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Small Bites: James Beard award nominees; SunGay Brunch, the gay brunch bus tour; Loteria Grill to open in Studio City

February 19, 2010 |  8:00 am


Awards season: The James Beard Foundation announced restaurant and chef semifinalists for its 2010 awards. A hometown rah-rah goes to Suzanne Goin of Lucques and Mark Peel of Campanile in the "outstanding chef" category. Finalists will be announced next month, and awards are handed out at the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception in May. Other Los Angeles semifinalists are: Benjamin Bailly of Petrossian for "rising star chef of the year"; Goin's Tavern for "best new restaurant"; Patina for "outstanding wine service"; the Dining Room at the Langham in Pasadena for "outstanding service"; Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Josiah Citrin of Melisse, Andrew Kirschner of Wilshire, Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza, John Rivera Sedlar of Rivera, and Craig Strong of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach for "best chef: Pacific."

The big gay brunch bus: The SunGay Brunch Tour, which claims it is "Hollywood's first and only gay bus tour that spans LGBT history from pre-Spanish settlement to present day in Los Angeles," starts rolling Sunday, Feb. 28. While exploring the "in's and especially out's" of gay L.A., brunch will be served in three courses at three restaurants. It starts with appetizers and Meximosas (Champagne and guava nectar) at Mexico Restaurante y Barra in West Hollywood. The bus meets up with the Buttermilk truck for pancakes, biscuit breakfast sandwiches, rosemary garlic hash browns and Hawaiian bread cinnamon French toast sticks. The tour ends with a trio of desserts at Flying Leap Cafe. Out & About Tours, the last Sunday of the month starting Feb. 28, 1 to 4 p.m.; $85 per person; tickets available at www.outandabout-tours.com.   

New in Studio City: Jimmy Shaw, owner of Loteria in the Original Farmers Market and Loteria Grill in Hollywood, opens another Loteria Grill in Studio City. The debut is set for today. 12050 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 508-5300, www.loteriagrill.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Suzanne Goin; credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times.