Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Nightlife

Muse to open new Hollywood club called Sound in August

Muse Lifestyle Group, the company that opened Hollywood's frenetic Playhouse nightclub, is set to open another Hollywood venue called Sound in early August.

Located on the hectic club row of Las Palmas, Sound will be a uber-modern space featuring a sleek industrial look and two bars. Projections, video content and state-of-the-art lighting and sound will be a big part of the experience and will be moderated by video servers developed by V Squared Labs.

V Squared founder Vello Virkhaus explains how the servers work in an email:

"The video servers are epic prime systems developed by V Squared Labs that send content to all the projectors at Sound to deliver a one-of-a-kind, truly dynamic environment. The video servers will be sending our customized 3D mapped content and effects to the 8 projected zones in the venue. The 3D projection effects developed include illusionistic video which is video mapping that tricks the eye into seeing what cannot be believed and executes real-time effects that react to the environment."

The servers will help Muse Lifestyle Group owner, Rob Vinokur, realize his goal of making Sound a different club with each visit.

"One night could be an outer space theme and the next might be a dark forest," says Vinokur. "It's designed to be an ever-changing, ever-evolving space, offering a new environment and adventure every night."


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--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Muse Lifestyle Group

Bobby Green's 1933 Group thinks big with Sassafras and Idle Hour

Bobby Green
Bobby Green, the face behind the 1933 Group, which owns Bigfoot Lodge, Bigfoot West, Thirsty Crow, Oldfield's Liquor Room and the recently opened La Cuevita in Highland Park, is taking his theme-bar flair to Hollywood with a new Southern-style bar called Sassafras.

Scheduled to open sometime in July, Sassafras is Green's most ambitious project to date. To build it he dismantled an old Gothic home from Savannah, Ga., and reassembled it in the bar. When you enter you can see three sides of the home and you can actually walk inside and get comfortable.

The booze list will focus on barrel-aged cocktails and house-made sodas and there will always be free hard-boiled eggs. In addition, small bar snacks will be on the menu, including gumbo and cornmeal biscuit sliders with smoked ham and blackberry jam.

Once he's done with Sassafras, Green will jump straight into his first full restaurant endeavor in North Hollywood. It's located in the barrel-shaped former La Cana restaurant, which was originally opened in the 1940s and called the Idle Hour. Green intends to restore both its original name and its original old-school feel.

For more on Green and 1933, check out this nightlife story in Calendar.


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--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Bobby Green inside his new Highland Park tequila bar, LA Cuevita. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Spotlight on clear spirits at the Wine House


When craft cocktails became all the rage several years ago, whiskey figured prominently in most menus. Today that's still the case. However, as bartenders vie to keep up with the next trending drink wave, eyes are turning toward clear spirits.

Vodka, gin, rum, cachaca and pisco are increasingly finding their way to the tops of menus as mixologists discover more about them and how to play up their more subtle flavor profiles in tasty drinks.

Learn more about clear spirits on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Wine House as a group of professional L.A.-area mixologists including Alex Straus, Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello pour tastes of these underrated liquors and explain their oft-overlooked qualities.

A live band will play and food will be served. Tickets cost $59 and can be purchased online.

The Wine House, 2311 Cotner Ave., Los Angeles (310) 479-3731.


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-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Tom Bergin's soft opening tonight

Tom Bergin's

After a lengthy closure and lots of anticipation about the outcome of a change of ownership and significant renovation, the historic Mid-City Irish pub Tom Bergin's will soft open tonight (Thursday).

Owners Brandon Boudet and Warner Ebbink (Little Dom's, 101 Coffee Shop) worked hard to maintain the bar's classic dark-wood look, which dates back to 1936, and brought on mixologists Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest to craft a lengthy menu of Irish whiskeys and imported beers.

Read all about the new menu and vibe in this sneak peek at the place before it opened.


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-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Brandon Boudet, left, and Warner Ebbink at Tom Bergin's. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Del Monte Speakeasy and the awesome history of Prohibition tunnels


Did you know that during Prohibition whiskey boats from Canada would anchor offshore of Venice and row their whiskey barrels to utility tunnels and catacombs under the Venice Pier that led to the tony hotels and bars that lined the boardwalk?

I didn't. But I love the idea. It's so very "Boardwalk Empire." Apparently the Del Monte Speakeasy below the nearly century-old bar the Townhouse was a major booze distribution hub, and rumor has it that a tunnel connected it to King Eddy's Saloon in downtown L.A. That may not be true, but if it is I'm going to find that tunnel and walk it myself (with a bottle of whiskey, of course).

Anyway, you can learn all about the history of Del Monte Speakeasy and more in this story from Friday's nightlife pages in Calendar.


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Fava beans and pecorino make for a nice snack

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: An Amaretto sour is served at the Del Monte Speakeasy. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

'Destination: Cocktail' is Bar Noir's 8 East 83rd

Destination Cocktail for blog

Bar Noir, the intimate bar inside the smoothly retro Beverly Hills boutique hotel Maison 140, is featuring a special list of Prohibition-era cocktails on a "Spring Back in Time" menu throughout the month of April. Our favorite creation is exclusive to Bar Noir and a homage to actress Lillian Gish and other artsy ladies of New York's Upper East Side where tea was covertly spiked with something a bit stronger. The drink, which is a tony mixture of rye, Earl Grey tea and tart lemon juice, is called 8 East 83rd — a shout-out to mixologist Nicholas Horton's former address in the Big Apple.

Click here for the 8 East 83rd recipe by Nicholas Horton.


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-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Beerathon now less of a marathon, but there's still beer

Cups are lined up for participants at the 2011 NYC Beerathon. This year was planned as the inaugural Los Angeles event.
In today's Calendar, we profiled this Saturday's L.A. Beerathon, an offshoot of a five-year-old New York event that promised partygoers a single prepaid ticket that would land them a mid-to-high-end beer at 26 downtown bars and restaurants. For beer nerds, it seemed like a Disney FastPass for booze, and a Saturday to be remembered (or, perhaps, very swiftly forgotten).

But a late-hour dispute with the California ABC over the definition of what constitutes a "free drink," has prompted a last-minute and radical change in the event. The organizers announced that refunds will be issued for every prepurchased $55 ticket, and eventgoers will no longer be able to show a pass and receive the allotted drink, effectively canceling the Beerathon as a structured event.

Organizers are still encouraging fans to travel the 26-stop downtown route and sample the wares (and several food and drink specials) at regular individual prices. Which means the event now just resembles our typical Saturday afternoon. 


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Video: Spring ragout 

Make beer, eat sakura sushi, more 

--August Brown

Photo: Cups are lined up for participants at the 2011 NYC Beerathon. This year was planned as the inaugural Los Angeles event.

L.A. nightlife impresarios turn to restaurants with Il Covo

Friday's Calendar section features a profile on two of L.A.'s most noted nightlife players, Sean MacPherson and Jared Meisler. They own Bar Lubitsch and the Roger Room and recently purchased Ye Coach & Horses, the classic Sunset Boulevard dive.

However, for the past two years they have been quietly pouring their time and energy into a new Italian restaurant named Il Covo, located in the former Orso space on 3rd Street. Their chef is Milan-born Roberto Maggioni, who previously worked at Locando del Lago.

"This restaurant was very important to Sean," says Maggioni. "He wanted an Italian kitchen, similar to something you'd find in Italy but without spaghetti and meatballs. Just as authentic and simple as possible. Typical rustic recipes like my mom used to make."

And indeed, Maggioni admits that he did snag a few of his mother's recipes for the menu, which includes rich osso buco with saffron risotto; buttery black cod alla livornese with tomatoes, olives, capers and anchovies; crisp pizza with prosciutto di Parma and spicy arugula; and an addictive panna cotta with an aged balsamic vinegar reduction.

Read the full story here.


Obsession: Short Order's frisee lardon raft.

Groundwork wants to spice up your morning coffee.

Three reasons why a punishing hangover is a good thing.

--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Roasted baby beets with spinach, hazelnuts and Caprino, served at Il Covo. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Cabana cocktails at the Peninsula Beverly Hills


The Peninsula Beverly Hills is opening their rooftop pool cabanas to the public beginning September 6. The 12 pool huts, luxuries usually reserved for hotel guests, will for the first time, be available for private cabana cocktail parties.

The heated cabanas are furnished with an iPod station, flat screen television and JANUS et Cie patio furniture. Guests can sip on Peninsula signature cocktails such as the Pomegranate mojito, white peach and pear martini or the speckled jalapeño margarita (all $16).

An appetizer menu is available with dishes such as the sautéed dungeness crab cake with mango-papaya relish and spicy chili-garlic sauce, ahi tuna "chop chop" with avocado, pineapple and coquito nuts and steak quesadillas, all ranging in price from $14-20.

For dinner, guests can order larger entrees from the adjoining Roof Garden menu, and for a sweet treat, house-made ice cream sandwiches with chocolate dipping sauce.

Visit the Peninsula Beverly Hills website at peninsula.com/beverlyhills for more details.

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: The rooftop cabanas at The Peninsula hotel; Credit: Avablu Photography.

Public Kitchen: A new spot for pre-theater dining in Hollywood


I’m always getting letters from readers asking where they can eat before a performance at the Pantages or somewhere else nearby. And until Cleo at the Redbury Hotel and Delphine at the W Hollywood opened, I was stumped. Now we have one more place to add to the mix. Public Kitchen & Bar, Tim Goodell’s reworking of the restaurant in the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, has just launched a pre-theater menu. The $45 prix-fixe menu includes a choice of appetizer, entrée and cocktail. Just about the perfect amount if you’re going to sit through Cirque du Soleil’s "Iris" at the Kodak Theatre or Twyla Tharp's "Come Fly Away" at the Pantages Theater without falling asleep.

Of course, it all depends on what you get to eat for that $45. Appetizers include squash blossoms with three cheeses, chicharrones with chili and lime, crab cake with shaved vegetables or Neapolitan meatballs with pine nuts and currants. For your main course, choose from mussels steamed in Riesling, roasted chicken with preserved lemons and pan gravy, prime skirt steak with chimichurri aioli or the Public burger and more.

You can change out the cocktail for wine, but why should you when you can get a swell Spiced Cucumber Collins made with Hendrick’s gin or a Kentucky Brunch made with rye whiskey, egg white, lemon and, um, apricot marmalade. (There’s more.)

P.S. This is no funky dive, but a warmly elegant restaurant in the historic Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. 

Public Kitchen & Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7700 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 769-8888. Prix-fixe menu, $45, served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. daily.


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Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.