Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Restaurant Anniversary

Picturing Chez Panisse at 40

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There has been so much written about Chez Panisse, Alice Waters and the 40th anniversary celebration at the end of August, but I just stumbled across yet another site that you really ought to visit. It's by photographer Eric Wolfinger, who shoots for Vogue, among others. And the pictures he took of two of the dinners -- one intimate affair at Waters' home and another more public one at the restaurant -- are just terrific.

As well they ought to be -- Wolfinger once worked for former Chez Panisse chef Christopher Lee [UPDATED: An earlier version of this story said Wolfinger worked for Lee at Chez Panisse]. Check it out for the wonderful candid shots of the great and good -- Waters, Slow Food President Carlo Petrini, opera impresario Peter Sellars, Margrit Mondavi, and Sacramento mayor (and former basketball star) Kevin Johnson among them. Oh, yes, and the spectacularly dapper former Chez Panisse chef Jeremiah Tower, who forwarded the link to me.

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Food Events: Tomato Festival, Corkbar and brunch

High on the hog in Napa

-- Russ Parsons

Photo: Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower. Credit: Eric Wolfinger

4 Food Events You Should Know About: Drago tasting menu; Public Kitchen happy hour; Yujean Kang's 20th anniversary; Surfrider dinner at Cafe del Rey

Peaches Seasonal tasting menu: On June 27, executive chef Evan Gotanda and two guest chefs will create a five-course tasting menu highlighting local and seasonal ingredients at Santa Monica's Drago restaurant. Dishes include pan-seared branzino and chai-spiced duck. The menu is $65 per person with an option to add cocktail pairings for an extra $25. For a reservation call (310) 828-1585. 2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.

5 for 5 happy hour: Public Kitchen at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is offering five signature menu items priced at $5 for happy hour. The specialty cocktail and appetizers change daily, meaning one night you might devour chickpea-and-three-cheese fritters, and the next time chicharrones with chili and lime. 3 to 7p.m. Monday to Friday. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 769-8888.

20th-anniversary specials: Yujean Kang's Chinese restaurant is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The restaurant will be serving two different menus priced at $20 per person.  A four-course chef's tasting menu will be offered Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, a family-style dinner for two will be served. Menu items will change monthly. 67 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 858-0855.

Saturday soiree: Cafe del Rey is teaming up with Surfrider Foundation's West L.A./Malibu chapter to commemorate the restaurant's 20th anniversary. The event will include live music and a Champagne tasting, and executive chef Daniel Roberts will make Mediterranean-inspired hors d'oeuvres. The celebration will be held June 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. The Surfrider Foundation is asking for a $20 donation per guest.  4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, (310) 823-6395.

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-- Leah Rodrigues

Photo credit: La Grande Farmers' Market

Angeli celebrates 25 years, and Mom's 90th birthday

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Angeli Caffe and the woman who made it possible celebrated their birthdays Sunday night with a party at the Melrose Avenue restaurant known as a pioneer of Cal-Italian food.

The woman in question? Not Angeli’s chef-owner, Evan Kleiman, but her mother, Edith.

“The only reason I’m here is because you all love Evan,” Edith told the guests, to enthusiastic applause. “And the only reason Evan is here is because of me.”

The party marked Edith’s 90th birthday and the restaurant’s 25th – though Angeli’s actual anniversary was in December. The guest list reflected Kleiman’s longtime support for farmers and the Santa Monica farmers market in particular, as well as fans of her Saturday morning radio show, “Good Food,” on KCRW.

Among the 120 diners were farmers – Alex Weiser and Bill Coleman among them – food writer Amelia Saltsman; the Santa Monica market manager, Laura Avery; Jane Lynch, the actress who played Julia Child’s sister in  the movie “Julie & Julia,” who just happened to go to the restaurant with a friend, Kleiman said; former auto union executive Paul Schrade; and cinematographer Michael Chapman and his wife, screenwriter Amy Holden Jones.

Some of Kleiman’s longtime staff, including chef Kathy Temay, who got her own applause, were there to celebrate.

Among the dishes on the menu were pillowy ricotta gnocchi; a juicy pork loin flavored with fennel seed, rosemary and garlic; and a lively salad of asparagus, beets, feta and almonds. Many people ate enough for two. Desserts – chocolate tart, caramel cheesecake and a lemon tiramisu -- were made by Angeli alumnae Sandy Soto and Cindy Mushet.

Kleiman greeted her guests sporting a purple top and a flower in her hair. Her mother was dressed in red and wore a crown.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Evan Kleiman removes bread from the oven at Angeli Caffe. Credit: Bret Hartman / For The Times

Citrus at Social Hollywood closes

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LA Weekly's Squid Ink reports that Citrus at Social Hollywood has closed. The writing may have been on the wall when the restaurant announced last year that it would open for only three days a week, after having rotated through a number of chefs. (Chef Michel Richard also left last year.) At the time, Jeffrey Chodorow, an owner of restaurant operator China Grill Management, said that he had no plans to close the restaurant and that he intended to expand hours again when the economy recovered. The recession seems to have outlasted his intentions.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: David Sprague / For The Times

Small Bites: Chaya Brasserie turns 25; Forty Deuce burlesque at Cafe Was; raclette on Balboa Island

Chaya

Chaya celebrates: Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills launches a new menu for its 25th anniversary, still focusing on its mix of French and Japanese cuisine (heavy on the French): fruits de mer, rillettes served en cocotte, daily specials such as cote de boeuf and entrees such as boudin blanc. A new bar menu, titled "La Petite Chaya," in honor of the first restaurant that the Tsunoda family opened in California in1982, features small plates, sushi and dessert. Executive chef Shigefumi Tachibe also is offering a $25 prix-fixe dinner special for the month of October served with anniversary-edition wines by the glass from Au Bon Climat Winery. Proceeds from $25 tickets for an Oct. 25 celebration will benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program. 8741 Alden Drive, Los Angeles, (310) 859-8833, www.thechaya.com.

Forty Deuce Fridays: Starting this week Ivan Kane brings back his Forty Deuce burlesque show. Kane's Cafe Was will host Forty Deuce Fridays with shows at 10 p.m. and midnight. 1521 N. Vine St., Hollywood, (323) 466-5400, www.cafewas.com.  

Balboa Island raclette: Raclette night returns to Swiss-French restaurant Basilic on Tuesday. For $21.50, all-you-can-eat raclette is served with fingerling potatoes, cornichons and pickled onions; for an additional $7, a selection of Bundnerfleisch (Swiss air-dried beef), prosciutto and saucisson sec. 217 Marine Ave., Balboa Island, (949) 673-0570, www.basilicrestaurant.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Chaya Brasserie.

Campanile turns 20, celebrates with style

CampanileBeginning June 15 and running through June 20, Campanile will celebrate its 20th birthday with a special series of dinners. Monday  will feature chef Mark Peel's fried chicken family dinner. On Tuesday diners will be treated to a specially created "birthday menu" that highlights favorite dishes spanning two decades. On Wednesday two former Campanile employees (chef de cuisine Chris Kidder and pastry chef Kim Sklar) will return to guest chef and share stories. Thursday sees the expansion of one of the restaurant's most famous events, grilled cheese night, with the addition of a 20-bottle wine list, each bottle priced at $20. The following day, Friday Night Flights will sell for, you guessed it, $20 each.

The week of decadence will wrap up Saturday at 4 p.m. when Peel hosts a pig roast, because nothing says "Thank you, L.A." like a pig roast.

Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave., L.A. (323) 938-1447.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: A steak at Campanile with white beans, greens and wine sauce. Credit: Anacleto Rapping / For The Times

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