Posts for January 4, 2013

Irv's Burgers May Be Fighting For Its Life...Again

Irv's Burgers

While the fate of Henry's Tacos still hangs in the balance, a West Hollywood restaurant that was saved from the wrecking ball in 2004 after earning historic landmark status is again being pressured to move. Irv's Burgers owner Sonia Hong claims she's been threatened with rent increases that are designed to force her to move the 62-year-old burger stand she bought in 2000, that remains the only surviving example of Route 66's old roadside restaurants in L.A. Irv's shares its lot with an incoming Thomas Schoos-designed cafe. Hong tells We-Ho Patch associates of the project are making the threats, convinced the businesses' owners want to turn her family business into their "own mini-Johnny Rockets." Meanwhile property owner Steven Bohbot insists he wants to incorporate the burger stand in any new design and will not make it vacate the place. Still, the concerns of The Hong family are real enough to draw defense from West Hollywood mayor Jeffrey Prang, who wrote a letter to Bohbot pleading the family's case and urging him to "allow the Hongs to continue to operate their hard earned family business."

Irv's Burgers Owner Claims Pressure by New Neighbors [Patch]

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Paul Shoemaker's Juicy Lucy Now Serving Nitro-Injected Cheese Burgers and Sriracha Fries to Downtown

Juicy Lucy burger with Sriracha cheese friesPhoto: Javier Cabral

Despite previous reports that it would debut on Tuesday, chef Paul Shoemaker's new burger joint, Juicy Lucy, is now open and serving the Taste food court at Figat7th in Downtown. Named for those Midwest-born burgers that tuck the cheese into the meat, Juicy Lucy is the former Bastide and Savory chef's first step into the world of fast-casual concepts. Vapor oven-cooked burgers are the focus here, centering on market produce toppings and grass-fed beef from Santa Ynez that gets nitro-injected with Shoemaker's handmade cheese fondue, a blend of three cheeses. Checking in on Lucy, we saw a small crowd gathered to order beef burgers and their turkey counterparts, along with aguas frescas and the Sriracha cheese fries you see above. Check out a few more shots of the restaurant's look and food offerings, and the full menu, down below.

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First Look Into Oleego By Park's BBQ, Now Open at Downtown's Figat7th

Park's BBQ and Don Dae Gam founder Jenee Kim debuted a new concept today called Oleego at the food court of Downtown's recently revitalized Figat7th mall. Unfortunately, this is not the second coming of her dearly departed LaOn Dining, though the name curiously does translate to "lay on." Instead, Oleego is a fast-casual, counter-service quick-fix offerings rice bowls to the lunch hour crowd, bearing the look and feel of a Pinkberry, right down to its signage, crisp to-go packaging, and the use yogurt bowls used to hold the rice. It is not easily recognizable as an appendage to Park's, that well-loved L.A. paragon of gogi gui, except in name only. And what makes on the menu?

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Besha Basks in Bestia; O.C. Weekly Tears Into Fast Food Maven

Ori Menashe at BestiaPhoto: Bestia

Electing salumi, pasta, and pizza to the triumvirate of modern Italian-U.S. cooking, Besha Rodell notes that "the holy trinity is in full effect" at Ori Menashe's Bestia. Drinking in the impressive space's industrial sheen, she observes that tje "aggressive aesthetic of meat-obsessed chef culture is on full display." After taking a dig at Test Kitchen's service, she notes the smooth runnings here, while Menashe takes handcrafted Italian " its cheffy extremes." The chef's salumi is prepared to "great results," the pastas are "extremely well-executed," Genevieve Gergis' desserts are sterling, but the "too floppy, too doughy" pizza pies "are an anomaly on a menu where most everything else is spot-on." Noting his small plates, Rodell doles out respect to the chef's anitpasti, where he "most flexes his creative muscles" and nails the smallest details. Three stars! [LAW]

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Michael Zislis Bringing Octavio Becerra and Julian Cox To Circa in Manhattan Beach

Julian Cox's Tejocote at RiveraPhoto: KevinEats

The South Bay is heating up. Following yesterday's report of a forthcoming new seafood restaurant from David LeFevre, whispers emerge today that Michael Zislis, the entrepreneur who imported Neal Fraser to The Strand House, is crafting a new chef-driven concept called Circa in the former home of Mucho Ultima, his Mexican restaurant that shuttered with the new year.

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Sonagi Korean Replacing Dae Sung Oak

SonagiPhoto: Joshua Lurie

Sonagi is set to open any day now on OIympic Blvd., serving prime cuts via table-side barbecue, as well as a menu Korean dishes that are rooted in the country's traditional cooking. Replacing the worthy Dae Sung Oak, Sonagi's menu will include dishes like junbok dol gui (sliced abalone) served on a hot stone, seafood, vegetarian, and kalbi bibimbap, naengmyun (cold noodles), and a sampler of jeon, among other dishes. The restaurant is also among those taking part in dineLA's Restaurant Week, offering a $25 lunch and $35 menu starting January 21.

Sonagi Korean BBQ, 2585 W. Olympic Blvd. Koreatown; 213-973-9292.

SBE Finally Tapping The Speakeasy Trend at The Emerson Theatre, Opening Wednesday

The Emerson

Once multiple venues starting tripping over their cow-heeled shoes trying to be like The Edison in the late-aughts, it wasn't long before the Roaring Twenties craze hit its saturation point. That isn't stopping Sam Nazarian's SBE from ditching sparkly shirts and cheap cologne for vests, Barbasol, and suspenders. The hospitality empire is opening The Emerson Theatre in Hollywood next Wednesday, January 9, engineered to "channel the vintage glamour of [The] 1920's" in the shuttered MyHouse space.

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Patrick Dempsey Buys Tully’s Coffee Chain for $9 Million

National treasure.

Rejoice: Patrick Dempsey has succeeded in his heroic mission to save Tully's Coffee, a Seattle-based company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. "We met the green monster, looked her in the eye, and ... SHE BLINKED! We got it! Thank you Seattle!" McDreamy tweeted last night. (Somewhere, Hugh Jackman is brooding.)

Should we now call him McSteamy? »

Pasadena Losing The Royce

The RoycePhoto: The Royce

The hemorrhaging of admired local restaurants tragically continues. Eater reports that The Royce is the latest victim of fine-dining phobia, with plans to call it quits on January 26. The restaurant is the legendary Langham (née The Huntington) Hotel's attempt to reboot its dining room following the departure of strange bedfellow Michael Voltaggio, who left the hotel's Dining Room at The Langham to open ink. after racking up major post-Top Chef kudos. David Feau, the gifted French chef and vocal foie gras activist who ran the restaurant with meticulous tasting menus, is splitting with the property. Which probably makes sense, seeing as the high-end restaurant is reportedly being re-imagined into an American steakhouse concept, with a debut expected in late February.

The Royce at The Langham Hotel Ends Three Year Run [Eater]
Earlier: Brad A. Praises David Feau, Slams The Service at The Royce [GS]

Subway Clerk Threatens to Kill Man Who Wanted Ketchup on His Cheesesteak

Eat fresh, but watch your back.

A man named Luis Martinez was feeling hungry on Tuesday night, so he went to the Subway shop inside his local Orange Country, Florida (of course), Wal-Mart and proceeded to order a Philly cheesesteak with American cheese, onions, and ketchup. That's when things went horribly wrong.

"That's when I flew off the handle." »

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