Now open: Red Medicine in Beverly Hills, Bar Toscana in Brentwood, l'Epicerie Market in Culver City
On Brentwood's Italian-restaurant row, Toscana has opened a next-door lounge, inspired by Negroni-pouring Milano (even though Milan's in Lombardy, not Tuscany, but whatever). Bar Toscana has Italian-inspired cocktails and market-driven stuzzichini, or small plates, from executive chef Luca Crestanelli (a native of Verona). Highlights include lobster salad with tomato; Sardinian flatbread; and fava bean purée, tomato jam and artichoke spread. Francesco Lafranconi came up with the cocktails, executed by bar manager William Perbellini, such as a Negroni Sbagliato, made with Campari, sweet vermouth, Prosecco, orange and a dry olive rim, a tribute to the cocktail developed in the '70s at Milan's Bar Basso.
11633 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 820-2448 or visit www.bartoscana.com.
Red Medicine opened last week on Wilshire Boulevard on the edge of Beverly Hills in the former Hokusai space. Chef Jordan Kahn, ex-pastry chef of Michael Mina's XIV, is cranking out his own take on Vietnamese cuisine: for example, pork chaud-froid with crispy chicken skin, lychee, clove and pistachio; green papaya salad with pickled roots, crispy taro chips and tree nuts; and sweetbreads with curry, yam and turmeric root jam. Managing partner Noah Ellis oversees the cocktails, at least one of which is served in a pineapple and comes with several straws.
8400 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (323) 651-5500, www.redmedicinela.com.
After a false start or two, Culver City cafe and retail shop l'Epicerie Market is open. The cafe serves breakfast (good morning, crepes), lunch and dinner. The marketplace carries infused olive oils, housemade tapenades, pasta sauces, French cheeses, saucisson and charcuterie, macarons, fresh bread, petit fours and mille-feuille.
9900 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 815-1600, www.lepiceriemarket.com.
-- Betty Hallock