Hot New Restaurant -- The Village
THR’s pick of the week for industry dining finds rustic Italian cooking at a mod space over the hill in Studio City.
The Quick Pitch: Frank Leon — the chef/owner responsible for Studio City favorites La Loggia and Next Door Tapas Bar, which regularly draw the likes of Shia LaBeouf and Jennifer Love Hewitt — has taken plenty of culinary and design cues from Pizzeria Mozza, Gjelina, Mercato di Vetro and other new-school city-side Italian spots at this 2,400-square-foot small bites bistro just down the road in the Valley. Thin-crust pizzas bearing de rigueur ingredients like jamón iberico and zucchini blossoms emerge from a wood-burning oven. The cheese bar serves Burricotti (yep, that’s burrata stuffed with ricotta). And the Brussels sprouts are prepared in the comfort-over-nutrition contemporary fashion: sautéed with a sweet cider glaze.
The Insider’s Dish: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, for whom Leon has worked as a personal chef in the past, were at one point going to use the space for a vegan restaurant concept that never progressed past the idea phase.
The Must-Order Item: A devilishly accurate clone of Nancy Silverton’s widely admired butterscotch budino dessert — right down to the sea salt and rosemary pine nut cookie on the side.
The Industry Neighbor: CBS Radford Studios is an oven-baked meatball’s toss away.
12345 Ventura Blvd., L.A., thevillagestudiocity.com