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First Bite: Bridge 

Wednesday, May 10 2006
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“Would you recommend Barolo with the swordfish? Pinot Grigio? Something like Chardonnay?’’ The dude shuts the massive wine list with a sigh and looks up at the glowing Pilates balls hanging from the ceiling as if the answer is contained within. “Oh, to hell with it,’’ he says. “Bring me a Grey Goose. On the rocks with a twist.’’ Bridge is the newest restaurant from the group that owns Koi, which means that the music is banging, the guy at the next table really is Ludacris, complete with posse, and that the food, pan-peninsular Italian in this case, tends to be light, based on impeccable ingredients, and lovely to behold: thin petals of vitello tonnato arranged like fugu sashimi; delicate asparagus ravioli with butter and sage; a truly lovely, Koi-quality tuna tartare. The quality of the cooking here will never quite measure up to that of the glorious prime of Alto Palato, which used to occupy its space, but the cuisine created by Dolce alum Mirko Paderno can be almost as sparkling as the crowd. 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 659-3535, www.bridgela.com.

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