La Dolce Vita, Funke and Steak 48 Lead a Wave of New Beverly Hills Restaurants
With the opening of Funke this month — and last year’s arrival of a Jon & Vinny’s as well as Mexican steakhouse Hideaway — the Beverly Hills dining scene is on a roll. Three other new restaurants of note have just debuted as well as a slew of others on the way.
French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s namesake restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has closed after six years. Taking its place is Espelette from Waldorf Astoria culinary director Steve Benjamin, focusing on simple, coastal European dishes. 9850 Wilshire Blvd.
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LA DOLCE VITA
The legendary Hollywood hotspot — which initially bowed in 1966 with the help of Frank Sinatra as an investor — has reopened in its longtime Beverly Hills location under the restaurant’s third owners in its 57 years. With restaurateurs Marc Rose and Med Abrous of Call Mom (The Spare Room, Genghis Cohen) at the helm, the old-world flair of the classic Italian eatery is getting an update by way of elevated service and tableside presentations like Caesar salads. “Some of the menu has been informed by the style of service we want to implement. Our menu is simple, but executed extraordinarily well and so it was important to incorporate high touch service elements that add a little theater to the experience while still being classic in nature,” Abrous says. The culinary team is led by executive chef Nick Russo (Ink, Nightshade), and his Italian-American menu centers on classics like a chicken parmesan, buffalo mozzarella with eggplant caponata, and clams oreganata. Says Rose: “Inspiration came from a lot of different places, from classic Los Angeles restaurants like Chasen’s and Perino’s to films like Scorsese’s Casino and, of course, Beverly Hills itself. We really wanted to give La Dolce Vita its own sense of place, and that means embracing the very famous zip code in which it resides.” 9785 S. Santa Monica Blvd.
James Beard-nominated brothers Jeffrey and Michael Mastro of Mastro’s Steakhouse and Ocean Club fame have opened the first West Coast location of American steakhouse chain Steak 48. “As a family business, my brother Mike and I are grateful to have the opportunity to be back in Beverly Hills with our newest concept, Steak 48,” says CEO Jeffrey Mastro. Known for its 28-day wet-aged steaks (straight from the restaurant’s in-house butcher shop) and seafood (like Alaskan king crab on display in a custom raw bar adjacent to the open kitchen), the restaurant is a destination for its food menu as well as its 3,000-bottle wine vault. “There are lots of wonderful restaurants here in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles and when so many people are choosing us for dinner that is a great compliment, one that we do not take for granted,” Jeff Mastro adds. “We are passionate about genuine hospitality and are very fortunate to have an amazing culinary and service staff that create a total experience of great food and luxury personal service for our guests every night.” 9680 Wilshire Blvd.
ANNA MAY BAR
The Anna May Bar at Crustacean Beverly Hills pays homage to iconic Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong, who was an advocate for increased representation and more multidimensional roles for Asian American actors. The bar’s food menu is composed of reimagined Crustacean classics: modern Vietnamese and European fusion plates — and the “midnight caller” cocktail is made with Song Cai Vietnamese Gin, sake, butterfly pea flower tea, and lavender bitters. 468 N Bedford Dr.
A new bar and dining room that appeals to executives, tourists and local Beverly Hills residents, Beverly Bar is the only boutique bar in the area’s “golden triangle,” furnished with unique craft beer and wine selections. Photographs of Sean Connery, Marylin Monroe and Elvis Presley line the walls, and the menu is rounded out with items like salmon crudo, a chopped salad and a crispy chicken sandwich. 434 North Camden Dr.
The café and marketplace at UTA’s Beverly Hills headquarters, described as “California fresh with a Mediterranean twist,” opened in fall 2022, and offers a daily rotating menu of items like Greek salad with chicken, falafel wraps, Italian sandwiches and more. While it caters to agency employees, Leora is also open to the public and provides a 20 percent discount to all city workers and select Beverly Hills businesses in the surrounding community. UTA Plaza, 9346 Civic Center Dr., Suite 125
AND COMING SOON …
Maple & Ash, one of Chicago’s most prized steakhouses, is expected to open in the coming months at the MGM Studios building on Beverly Drive, and famed sushi chef Daisuke Nakazawa is set to launch the first L.A. location of his namesake Sushi Nakazawa this year. In addition, chef Daniel Boulud’s first West Coast operation, a Café Boulud, will bow at the Mandarin Oriental Residences Beverly Hills later this year, and New York power dining spot Marea arrives on Camden Drive in 2024.
A version of this story first appeared in the May 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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