George Abou-Daoud is still on a mission to turn L.A. into Manhattan. The owner of The Bowery, Delancey, and Mission Cantina has two new restaurants coming to Sunset Blvd. this fall. Mercantile will unveil its exposed brick and raw woods in September, throwing charcuterie and cheese plates our way in a market of artisanal goods among shelves of reasonably-priced wines. Chef Kris Morningstar has twisted his brain over a few bizarre sandwich interpretations, like a "Sloppy Jo" with braised beef flank and farmhouse cheddar, or a pressed Reuben with comte gruyere and sauerkraut slaw on Russian rye. House-made ice cream is another lure.
Abou-Daoud's District, planned for late fall, will command an industrial space in a near centurion building, with toney bistro eats again by Morningstar, who will pay strict attention to what's in season. A raw bar is in the works, homemade breads (duck fat Yorkshire pudding with thyme and flaky biscuits anyone?) will come aided by spreads like garlic-chive, black truffle, or kumquat butter, and a charcuterie menu will have the option of pig butter or duck liverwurst spreads. Dishes get serious in slow-cooked lamb neck with summer bean salad; sweet breads with bacon-date puree, and sea urchin gratin with bay scallops, mushroom puree, and tomato confit. George has a solid track record so far, especially with his Bowery burger, and we're looking forward to his latest New York claim on our turf. Now can he help us with our subway system?