Nibbles and Bits Around Town: Lucques Lunches, Villa Blanca's White Lights, BabyCakes Joins Downtown Crowd, Next to French Dips

Villa Blanca: Knew you'd be a vision in white
Villa Blanca: Knew you'd be a vision in white

Sunday Supper at Lucques is a standing weekly event that brings new surprises to help chase away the Sunday-night blues. Now the restaurant eases the weekday doldrums with a prix-fixe lunch. A two-course lunch is $25; three courses is $30. From now through May 5 they're kicking it off with arugula-and-blood-orange salad with tapenade toast, grilled Jidori chicken served with polenta pudding and French feta salsa verde, then crème fraîche semifreddo with strawberries and acacia honey. Who needs the three-martini lunch anymore? We feel better already, especially thinking ahead to Suzanne Goin's dinner in honor of legendary Sicilian cooking instructor Fabrizia Lanza during her American tour on Monday, May 18. This dinner follows Lanza's stop at Chez Panisse on May 12.

8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 655-6277 or www.lucques.com.

Villa Blanca opens today at the Beverly Hills corner of Camden and Brighton following the closing of Trilussa and a presto change-o quickie turn around rehab. Owners Lisa Vanderpump Todd and Ken Todd (SUR in West Hollywood and a lot of London restaurants that Angeleno Anglophiles might know of) have brought on Executive Chef Francis Dimitrius (Koi, Matsuhisa Aspen, Chez Melange Redondo Beach) to serve up a wide menu with nods to European, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. Open seven days with weekday happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Based on photos of the restaurant's interior, the Villa Blanca appears to be no misnomer at all.

9601 Brighton Ave., Beverly Hills, (310) 859-7600 or www.villablancarestaurant.com.

It's been buzzing around the Internet for a little while now that the L.A. outpost of NYC vegan bakery BabyCakes will not be Grove-adjacent as initially planned. Instead it will join fellow food businesses downtown. Blogdowntown has the real nitty gritty about the Pacific Electric Building spot on the building's north 6th Street section. It's fabulous news, since those 1905 P.E. Building storefronts have been primed for some time, with the alteration sins of years past partially remedied in recent years. Fortunately BabyCakes's space comes with simpatico neighbors (even if not in all technical food respects) who will help support the simple but brilliantly true urban planning adage that people attract people -- and food definitely helps. In addition to jumping through all those County Department of Health hoops, the BabyCakes folks might also need a little help navigating Building and Safety permitting and historic preservation processes. Much like championing veganism, occupying a landmark space is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. OK, must step off soapbox now. Enjoy those cupcakes when BabyCakes opens shop and dispatches its dessert truck around town.


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