Mike Gardner
Chin Lin in Los Angeles evokes the striking colors and tone of Hong Kong.
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Birth Announcements: July/August

Juliet Glass / July 2013

Los Angeles
The West Hollywood–based Innovative Dining Group added another glitzy restaurant to its roster—this time centered on Chinese fine dining—with the May unveiling of Chi Lin at 9201 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. The Los Angeles Studio Collective is behind the high-end design of the 100-seater. Its ebonized oak and black granite floor, hand-lacquered red Chinese wood doors, and main dining room illuminated by hundreds of handmade Chinese lanterns evoke a sophisticated metropolitan Chinese city. The menu, designed by Cecile T’ang of Joss Cuisine/Traditional, is a multiregional exploration of Hong Kong cuisine. Apps ($8 to $22): lobster and fresh corn chowder; fresh kale salad with crispy shiitake mushrooms, tofu skins, white asparagus, and sesame vinaigrette. Mains ($13 to $56): wok-tossed prawns with piquant Peking sauce on a bed of chive blossoms; crispy filet mignon with scorched Chinese hot pepper, dried tangerine skin, and freshly shaved kumquats. Desserts ($11): matcha cake; yuzu cheesecake.

Washington, D.C.
On the heels of opening Table this winter, chef Frederik de Pue unveiled Azur, another Penn Quarter eatery, at 405 8th Street NW (formerly home to America Eats Tavern) in April. With a classic European seafood-focused menu, the 135 seat multilevel space evokes an aquatic theme, with aquamarine colors and subtle nautical touches such as captain’s mirrors, exposed pipes, and a custom-made chandelier that re-creates underwater air bubbles with over 60 different size globes. Apps ($10 to $18): clam cappuccino with fennel compote and saffron essence; crispy calamari with nuoc cham vinaigrette, spiced peanuts, and mint. Mains ($22 to $38): grilled tiger prawns with snap peas, popcorn grits, and red pepper bisque; hand-harvested sea scallops with asparagus, pine nut puree, grapefruit sections, and red quinoa. Desserts ($8): strawberry/mint salad with puff pastry crisps and balsamic gelato; blackberry tart with coconut/lime cream and blackberry compote.

Bay City, Wisconsin
Life partners chef Lisa Carlson and pastry chef Carrie Summer, who ditched high caliber restaurant jobs for the itinerant life of cooking out of food trucks in the Twin Cities, opened Chef Shack, their first brick-and-mortar venture, at W6379 Main Street in March. The site has been a tavern since the 1920s and was a fish processing plant before that. French country cuisine by way of the Upper Midwest is served in a 45 seat, cozy cabin setting outfitted with wood salvaged from the Summer family’s old horse barn and gently lit with Edison bulbs. Apps ($4 to $12): smoked trout with wild watercress and leeks; roasted quail with early kale. Mains ($20 to $30): oven-roasted Lake Superior herring; skillet pork chops with black-eyed peas. Desserts ($6 to $8): Key lime parfaits and rhubarb ice cream; chocolate cake with ganache and house-made chocolate ice cream.

Las Vegas
In June, Bradley Ogden and his newly formed West Coast–based development company, Bradley Ogden Hospitality, along with partners chef Bryan Ogden (his son), Tony Angotti, and Bill Feather, joined forces with the Las Vegas–based Epicurean Ventures to unveil Ogden’s Hops & Harvest at 450 South Rampart Boulevard in Summerlin’s Tivoli Village. The upscale pub stays true to Ogden’s culinary roots with a robust farm-to-table menu. The 180 seat space feels like a homey loft, with polished concrete floors, pressed tin ceilings, and enveloping booths. Apps ($7.50 to $17.50): short rib “nachos” of potato chips, melted cheddar, and horseradish sour cream; seared bigeye tuna with hen of the woods mushrooms and hearts of palm. Mains ($12.50 to $35): fried chicken salad with gemstone lettuce, pickled beets, and buttermilk/herb dressing; summer vegetable hash with slow-cooked farm egg, Parmesan, and crispy sage. Desserts ($9): strawberry shortcake with lemon/buttermilk ice cream; cinnamon sugar doughnut holes with milk chocolate custard.