A few months ago, we shared the announcement of StarChefs.com's Rising Stars of L.A. and San Diego, including Kuniko Yagi of Sona, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo at Animal, Church and State's Walter Manzke, Rory Herrmann at Bouchon, Diana Stavaridis at BLD, Pizzeria Ortica's Stephan Samson and Zachary Pollack, Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio who now runs The Dining Room at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, and then two San Diego chefs. Now it's time to see what they can do at the StarChefs Rising Star Revue at FIG at the Fairmont from 7:00-9:30pm on Thursday, March 18. Tickets for the walk-around tasting, where you can chill and chat with the chefs as they prepare their specialties, cost $95 per person, and proceeds benefit Project Angel Food. For more information, check out StarChefs.com(http://www.starchefs.com).
101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 319-3111
To celebrate the L.A. Marathon (which finishes on the Westside), JDV's hip Hotel Erwin in Venice is offering a happy hour special at its rooftop bar, High, from noon-3:00pm. Any runners who bring their bib and Finisher's Medal will be given complimentary bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary's (that'll speed recovery), while other well-wishers can enjoy "26.2 (mile) Drink Specials" like a bucket of six beers, choice of three signature cocktails, bottomless mimosas or Bloody Mary's for two people, or choice of three appetizers, all for just $26.20 each. It almost makes us want to take up running.
1697 Pacific Ave., Venice, CA 90291, (310) 452-1111
Starting Sunday, March 21, guests who opt for Sunday brunch at the Peninsula Beverly Hills' The Belvedere restaurant can follow their meal with a chauffeured drive along the famous streets of Beverly Hills in a restored classic car thanks to the hotel's partnership with the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo. Museum docents will be on hand to take guests out for a spin in classic cars like a 1932 Studebaker Commander, and a 1961 Ford T-Bird. This special opportunity will be available every Sunday through April 25, from 11:00am-2:30pm. Included in the price of $59 per person ($69 with champagne) and $32 per child under 12 years old, is a three-course brunch featuring dishes like smoked salmon with watercress, red onions, cumin roasted potatoes and dill aioli; PEI mussels wit saffron aioli in a bouillabaisse broth; and a croquet madame on truffled brioche with aged country ham, fontina and organic eggs. The ride in the car is just an extra $20 donation to the Automobile Driving Museum. Reservations re highly recommended.
9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, (310) 975-2736
Sunday night is family night, so launching this Sunday, March 21, Cecconi's is creating a weekly "Sunday Family Supper" meal for up to four guests priced at a total of $50 (and more people can be added for $12.50 per person). Feel like ending the weekend with a bottle of wine? It's just an extra $25 for a bottle of house red or white. This week, the special will include two bowls of pasta (mezzemaniche Bolognese and Arrabiata), and two pizzas (buffalo mozzarella, and ham and mushroom) to share family-style. The menu will change weekly, but will always feature two mix-and-match pastas and pizzas, though guests who want to order from the normal menu will still be able to do so. The supper is available from 5:00-11:00pm.
8764 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90069, (310) 432-2000
You've heard of pop-up restaurants, but Chaya GO is a Pop-Up With A Purpose from Chaya Venice, as it prepares to undergo a minor facelift for its 20th anniversary. The new bar-lounge pop up will be located just around the corner from the main restaurant, and will serve an all-you-can-eat menu of popular sushi selections like spicy tuna, salmon sushi, veggie rolls, beer, wine and sake, all for $20 per person. It will be around for just five days, from Saturday-Wednesday, March 27-31, and will benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, which trains high school students interested in pursuing a career in the restaurant industry.
110 Navy St., Venice, CA 90291, (310) 396-1179
It's gone through a few incarnations, but the latest version of Catch, Casa Del Mar's restaurant, is a casual California eatery, and you can still grab some sashimi and crudo if you're Atkins-ing it. The new menu starts with small plates to share like a few flatbreads, grilled lamb sliders with manchego and romesco, huge Dungeness crab cakes with corn relish, and tender grilled octopus with potatoes and capers. The charcuterie plate is a veritable cornucopia of smoked meats, though there are also small and large salads for those of you getting in shape for summer already. As for entrees and "second mortgage plates," there's Maine lobster risotto, an assortment of steak cuts that come with truffle-cheese fries, prapardelle with braised veal and wild mushrooms, beautifully roasted scallops over English pea puree with chanterelles, and a hung of wild striped bass that soaks up the flavor of smoked bacon and cockles (yes, we said cockles). Try the cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted brioche balls with caramel dipping sauce for dessert.
1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405, (310) 581-7714
Every Wednesday night, this pizza pub will be serving gourmet mini burgers and penny pitchers of beer. The sliders come with your choice of ground beef or turkey patty in gourmet combos like brie, prosciutto, truffle oil and arugula; gruyere, sliced tomatoes, roasted red onions and Cajun sauce; and goat cheese hummus, caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes and roasted garlic aioli. You get your choice of three for just $9. Order a pitcher of beer, and then when you finish that and order a second (come on, it's hump day!), you get it for just a penny. Suddenly the second half of the week is starting to look a whole lot better.
829 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, (310) 659-8848