Last week, the team behind Santa Monica-based Hosteria del Piccolo opened CiBOTECA, an Italian deli and cafe. The main attraction here are the panini—pork belly; veal parmesan; bresaloa; bufala—though desserts by Piccolo's pastry chef, Yukari Kamiya, have a whole colorful case to themselves. Chef Bobo Ivan is also putting out petite pots of bean pesto, cured meats, cheeses, and plump mattresses of lasagna and eggplant parmesan. All are available to stay or to-go. > 606 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-458-3366 or ciboteca.com.
Los Feliz gets some new blood this week in the form of Stamp Proper Foods, a marketplace and cafe. Owners Cat Baker and David Beckwith are keen on the organic, local, vegan, and gluten-free. The menu includes Baker's enthusiastic mimicry of Mexican food (a mole omelet with mashed black beans and brown rice; tamales rancheros with salsa verde) and cafe classics like eggs benedict with a house-made yellow tomato béarnaise—instead of the usual hollandaise. Avocado toast, garden vegetable hash, and more can be made vegan and/or gluten free. Merchandise includes cookbooks, skincare products, accessories, and packaged foods. Now open daily from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. > 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-953-5181 or stampproperfoods.com.
The Grove has remodeled and refreshed The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge, a restaurant and bar that's long had chef Anthony Jacquet behind the stoves. "The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge has been a preeminent mainstay over the past decade. We married its classic, old Hollywood feel with a refreshed sophisticated, hip vibe," said Rick J. Caruso, CEO of Caruso Affiliated (and developer of The Grove), in a release. The menu now includes a vegan cobb salad, kale Waldorf, lobster fettuccine, and grilled skirt steak with miso butter baste. The cocktail list has also been somewhat revamped—a touch more whiskey, a dab less vodka. Now open for lunch, dinner, and drinks daily. > 189 The Grove Dr., Beverly Grove, WhisperLoungeLA.com.
Downtown delivers a bit more Justice in the form of a new urban tavern from chef Francis Dimitrius, best known for having run the kitchen at Villa Blanca (owned by Lisa Vanderpump, a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). The menu—which spans breakfast, lunch, and dinner—includes a hodgepodge of L.A.-style eats including pastrami, smoked wings, chicken schnitzel, and Angel City IPA-battered pacific cod with hand-cut fries, slaw, and Old Bay tartar. Prices are on the reasonable side. The restaurant is now open daily. > 120 S. Los Angeles St., Downtown, 213-253-9235 or justicela.com.