Bruce Marder, several partners from his other restaurants (Capo, Broadway Deli, Cora's and Brentwood Restaurant and Lounge) and his son Max have joined forces to open the Cal-Ital café/restaurant House on the former Pastis premises on Beverly. Head chef is Ricky Moreno, of Capo and Cora's.
Twenty-five years in the making, House is the result of "a lot of love and effort," according to general manager (and wine buyer) Rod Bonios. The attention to detail is evident throughout, from the menu (a "greatest hits" collection from the other eateries, plus some additions) to the décor (black-and-white checkered floor, gorgeous Turkish lanterns on the patio out front) to the music (jazz, Journey, "whatever makes sense at the time.")
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The beverages, too, are interesting, with soft drinks such as Turkish tea and cane sugar coca cola, six beers on draft and a global wine list. You can also BYOB ($15 for the first bottle, $30 for the second) and buy bottles to go at 45 per cent off their menu price.
Prices are lower than at Capo, but I'm not sure the location--a dullsville stretch of Beverly with few people-watching opportunities--is worthy enough to justify charging, say, $25 for lamb couscous. Admittedly that's one of the most expensive items on the menu: Breakfast (available all day) is more reasonable, while appetizers are generally around $11 or $12, pastas upwards of $12 and entrées from $14 to $26. Maybe the price tags make more sense at night, when diners can settle into the cozy interior for the night (or snuggle up outside) and work their way through the temptations on the wine list.
House: 8114 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-5553.