After an 18-month hiatus, Bel Air Bar & Grill will unveil its completely remodeled space in early November. Purchased by Susan Disney Lord (Walt's niece and Roy's daughter) in 2007, the restaurant will have 50% more space, a new kitchen, a three-story building next door which houses the Roy Disney Family Foundation, a 1,100 square-foot Sunset Room for special events and 35 additional parking spaces.
The menu offers Neiman Ranch prime filet mignon, mac-n-cheese, chopped salad and several new additions, including a nut burger and grilled jumbo sea scallops. Lunch prices range from $15-25 and dinner entrees are $25-35. There's also a less expensive to-go coffee shop and café, The Shack in the Back, serving breakfast, sandwiches, coffee, beer, wine and soft drinks.
Covering the exterior of the restaurant is a 22-foot glass wall with translucent red bougainvillea blossoms, designed by Amanda Weil, which will go up Oct. 1. It's located on Sepulveda Blvd. near Moraga Drive. "We were hit bad [traffic-wise] before we closed," said Lord, who is hopeful about the timing of the reopening.
Unlike many L.A.-area restaurants that announce a new chef every season, Bel Air Bar & Grill prides itself on holding onto the same ones since 1998. Brothers Gonzalo and Rafa have been consistently fabulous through the years, Lord says.
Before opening the restaurant, the mother of five did her research. "There was a place called Cartoonsville," she said, "but the food wasn't good." She wanted a place to go for a date night out or a spot to dine with your kids. The first step was investing in Running a Restaurant for Dummies, which warned, if you think you want to own a restaurant and sit at the bar enjoying a cocktail, you're sadly mistaken. It's hard work, she says, but it's worth it. Regulars have included Bob Newhart and Britney Spears, who signed her divorce papers at a table near the bar.
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