For fans of Mirko Paderno who have followed his trajectory of working through a string of Los Angeles kitchens (Dolce, Drago, All'Angelo, Cecconi's), good news has surfaced. "It's a new concept, a new opening," Executive Chef Paderno enthusiastically told Squid Ink about his latest home, Oliverio at the Avalon. Oliverio replaces the Beverly Hills hotel's erstwhile Blue on Blue.
Paderno notes that this environment isn't "the same classic Italian restaurant" genre that he's largely used to. Also known as superstar interior designer (and subject of a recent New Yorker profile and spread in this month's Vogue) Kelly Wearstler's first significant hotel project, Wearstler's firm has given the former retirement home building on Olympic near Beverly Drive a presto-chango redo. The lobby and dining room has gone from a clean American mid-century aesthetic to a "distinct 1950s Italian vibe," according to press info. Paderno says the "young crowd" and poolside factor have influenced Oliverio's direction somewhat, since the restaurant and hotel will have a full bar menu yet "some of the dishes are things I've done in the past." He's "tried to keep a really traditional Italian food with modern presentation." But, unlike some of Wearstler's infamous choices, there'll be "nothing crazy."
And yes, he says he'll bring his signature masterful octopus carpaccio with him, along with items like risotto with saffron and pan-seared bone marrow that's "been with me forever." Natural for Milan native, of course. Oliverio's price range is $9-16 for apps, $16-30 for entrees, $8 desserts, and $12 cocktails. The bar food offerings will compliment the retooled cocktail list, which Paderno describes as heavy on Italian components; it's another avenue to explore classics and the new generation involving negronis, Aperol, Campari, Sicilian blood orange juice, and the like.
Once things get underway at the end of the month following the current soft opening, Paderno will start scheduling events like winemaker dinners, in addition to gatherings like the regular Thursday DJ nights.
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Oliverio at the Avalon Beverly Hills: 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 407-7791.