Italian Cuisine

Restaurant Turned Wine Bar: Goodfellas on Melrose Becomes Cellar 55

Comments (0)


Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 12:17 PM
click to enlarge Cellar 55 back patio, now with fire - N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten
  • Cellar 55 back patio, now with fire

Earlier this month, Goodfellas, the Italian eatery on Melrose, changed concepts and became a wine bar called Cellar 55. The wine bar and restaurant now features live piano music inside, and a spacious outdoor back patio. It is run by chef/owner Suzy Mnatsakanyan, and her brother Mike Mnatsakanyan. But why the change-over? "Because it was never mine," said Ms. Mnatsakanyan.

After training at Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles, Mnatsakanyan lived and worked in New York before coming back to Los Angeles, and eventually operating her own catering business. Then, in 2006, "Goodfellas happened to be available so I just took over." Four years later, she is changing the business into something with a bit more personal appeal.

The menu is certainly different, but does still has a lot of Italian fare, like pizzas and pastas. It also dabbles in American comfort foods, with steak, crab cakes, beef sliders, chocolate lava cake, and the like. "I was so limited with the cuisine [before] but now I am very free. I can play with my menu. Anything I want."

The back patio has a covered seating area, with a dining table as well as couches. Inside, there will be regular live jazz music on weekends, though the schedule is subject to change (and of course, updates can be found on their Twitter feed). The wine list is handled by sommelier Chris Miller (formerly of Mozza), with no specific allegiance to any one country.

Cellar 55 is currently open from noon until 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends -- though they plan to eventually stay open later. They are closed on Tuesdays.

Cellar 55: 7455 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 951-1555.

click to enlarge The interior of Cellar 55 - N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten
  • The interior of Cellar 55

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.