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Small Bites: Chef changes at Hotel Shangri-La and the Bazaar; former 'Top Chef' contestant gets a restaurant

June 25, 2009 |  5:47 pm


New chef at Shangri-La: The Hotel Shangri-La has tapped Dakota Weiss as the new chef at its restaurant, replacing Noah Rosen (you might recall him tweeting about the fact that he had been fired earlier this month). Weiss started Monday, the same day she moved back to L.A. from Philadelphia, where she had helped restaurateur Stephen Starr (Buddakan, Morimoto) open Parc. Weiss previously was chef at the Tower Bar at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Hollywood. Weiss says she is slowly rolling out her menu, starting with a couple of new items Friday. "Very fresh, very simple, no foams," Weiss says. "Lots of seafood, a big raw bar menu." Plus, look for her "thousand-dollar pretzels." 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 394-2791, www.shangrila-hotel.com.

Recent changes at the Bazaar: Michael Voltaggio quietly exited Jose Andres' Bazaar at the SLS Hotel at the end of April as chef de cuisine, succeeded by Jorge Chicas, who has long been part of Andres' core culinary team and also helped open the Bazaar. Look for Voltaggio as a guest chef at Noriyuki Sugie's "Hatchi" dinner series at Breadbar next month. Meanwhile, according to @SLSHotel: "Chef Jose Andres is in town today ... getting ready for a busy weekend!" 465 S. La Cienga Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 246-5555, www.thebazaar.com.

Top Cheffer takes over restaurant: Former "Top Chef" contestant Stefan Richter is opening a restaurant in Santa Monica; he's partnering with the owner of L.A. Farm on Olympic Boulevard. According to a news release, "Stefan's at L.A. Farm will bring a cosmopolitan classiness to the Santa Monica dining scene," because, of course, Richter is known for being classy. The menu will feature "light California cuisine," including tapas at dinner. There will be cocktails too, along with Milwaukee's Best and Pabst Blue Ribbon. An August opening is scheduled. 3000 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 449-4000, www.lafarmrestaurant.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Hotel Shangri-La. Credit: Hotel Shangri-La