Culina to open this week at Four Seasons
Restaurant Culina, Modern Italian is scheduled to open Wednesday at the Four Seasons Hotel on Doheny Drive. The sleek wood- and chartreuse-accented dining room replaces the hotel's Gardens restaurant, with an indoor-outdoor design meant to evoke an enoteca -- or at least the Beverly Hills version of one. Communal wine-tasting tables made from a 200-year-old fallen magnolia tree stand next to the wine room, there are displays of artisan products (some of which are for sale) and a glass urn of house-made limoncello sits atop the bar.
Chef de cuisine Victor Casanova (what a name!) says he has created a menu that parallels his approach to the Italian kitchen, emphasizing simplicity. Casanova cites influences from Tuscany, Sardinia, Rome, Calabria and Piedmonte. "The aim was to make it make sense for the L.A. market. The key is recipes aren't that complex, they're pretty simple and highlight the amazing produce here."
The restaurant features a crudo bar, and Casanova's menu spans antipasti such as baby octopus with harissa; salads that include wild arugula with fennel, mozzarella and citrus basil pesto prepared tableside; house-made pasta and pizzas; and entrees such as California swordfish with eggplant caponata. The wine list has more than 200 entries, mostly Italian with some French and Californian bottles. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served.
300 S. Doheny Drive (at the Four Seasons), Los Angeles, (310) 860-4000, www.culinarestaurant.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photos: Betty Hallock