Claudio Blotta of Barbrix to open new spot with Ammo chefs
Claudio Blotta and his wife, Adria Tennor, of Barbrix in Silver Lake are opening a new restaurant in the old Bistro LQ space on Beverly Boulevard. Their partners in the venture will be Dan Mattern and Roxana Jullapat, currently chef and pastry chef at Ammo. They’ll be staying on until the end of August there and then full steam ahead on the new project.
“I couldn’t be happier to be working with Claudio again,” Mattern says. "We worked together at Campanile when I was just starting out at the end of the '90s.”
The plan right now is to call the new place Cook County. (That’s where Dan was born in Illinois.) The concept? California rustic. Mattern plans on a constantly changing menu, showcasing the best of the farmers market. Right now he’s fixated on whole roasted fish and Dungeness crabs and Santa Barbara spot prawns cooked on a wood grill. He’s also intent on sourcing local meats -- rabbits, pigs, grass-fed beef, etc.
The partners are aiming for entrees priced at $22 and below. The menu won’t be small plates, though, but what they're calling reasonably sized portions. No doggie bags required. Blotta, of course, is doing the international wine list, which like the menu will change frequently.
For her part, Jullapat is obsessed with making everything in house whether it’s a bun for a burger or a special bread for the cheese plate. “I definitely take great pride in making puff pastry by hand,” she says. She also confesses she loves brunch and spends an inordinate amount of time thinking of morning pastries and other such dishes.
Cook County will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and brunch on the weekend. It will seat 50 inside, plus 20 more on the outdoor terrace in front. Blotta says they’re doing a light remodel, which should take two to three months. But you know how these things go ... Barbrix opened a year and a half late due to problems with the city. They’d be very very lucky to open by November. But you never know.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photo: Roxana Julapat and Daniel Mattern. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chu / Los Angeles Times