Now open: Scarpetta in Beverly Hills, Pal Cabron in Koreatown, the Luggage Room in Pasadena
Beverly Hills Italo: Chef Scott Conant's Italian restaurant Scarpetta opens Monday night at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills. It's the L.A. outpost of his New York original and the fourth Scarpetta in his growing restaurant empire. (There are others in Miami and Toronto, with another expected to open this year in Las Vegas.) The menu of "soulful, seasonally inspired Italian dishes" includes autumn vegetable salad with black trumpet mushrooms, hazelnuts and foie gras emulsion; pumpkin soup with farr, almonds, spiced croutons and pumpkin oil; Conant's signature spaghetti with tomato and basil; Sorrento-style pasta with Dungeness crab and sea urchin; orata rosa with watercress gremolata; and ash-spiced venison loin with braised radicchio and smoked polenta dumplings. The new decor in what was the Parq restaurant is "Old Hollywood-inspired."
225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 860-7970, www.montagebeverlyhills.com.
Cemitas galore: Bricia and Fernando Lopez of L.A.'s Guelaguetza Oaxacan restaurants have transformed the Guelaguetza on 8th Street into their second outpost of cemitas and tlayudas shop Pal Cabron. The first one (also formerly a Guelaguetza restaurant) opened in Huntington Park last year. Their father, Fernando Lopez Mateos, opened the original Guelaguetza in 1994 and another on Olympic Boulevard several years later. "My father and I decided to close the [8th Street] location," Bricia says. "We were losing money and I figured it would be better to move clients to the Olympic location... My valet guy said, 'Why don't you just turn it into a Pal Cabron, I mean, how much could it cost you?' I had a eureka moment and we were repainting" the next day. That was less than two weeks ago. Pal Cabron Dos debuted last weekend, serving its signature cemitas (Puebla-style sandwiches) stuffed with avocado, onions, Oaxacan cheese and your choice of meats such as cesina or tasajo; tlayudas (big, thin, crispy tortillas) smeared with beans, cheese and meat; and now tacos too.
3337-1/2 W. 8th St., Los Angeles, (213) 427-0601, www.lascabronas.com.
Suitcase depository goes pizza parlor: La Grande Orange in Pasadena (located in the 1935 Del Mar train depot) has opened its pizza-parlor satellite next door, dubbed the Luggage Room in recognition of its former incarnation as, well, a luggage room for the train station. Pizzas of the thin-and-crispy variety include the Gladiator with spicy Italian sausage, Salumeria Biellese pepperoni and tomato sauce; the Mushroom Party with duxelle of crimini, button and oyster mushrooms along with sweet onion and fennel; and the Free Bird with spicy chicken sausage, clams and rapini. There are cocktails too. Choo-choo.
260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 356-4440, www.lgohospitality.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Pal Cabron cemita. Credit: Johanna Jacobson