We are happy to find the old Dar Maghreb Sunset interiors are still recognizable from the dramatic white pillars to Byzantine tiles and mosaic floors to the sexy lounge area and hand painted ceilings of the new Acabar dining room. Thanks to the French team, behind the iconic and romantic Little Door in West Hollywood, the new incarnation of a former tacky belly dancing meets Moroccan restaurant now follows the French’s gastronomic influence on the Spice Trail. With Octavio Becerra, formerly of Palate Food + Wine in the kitchen, you can now graze on small plates of Vietnamese pho with oxtail; lamb merguez meatballs with white bean hummus; Turkish cured salmon with potato latke; fattoush bread salad; squash blossoms Provencal and then end with a whole crispy seabass or Indochine duck to share. They have recently started serving a three course $40 prix fixe menu on Sunday along with the ‘cheese palette’ and a party punch bowl serving 6-8 people, all to the backdrop of live jazz and world music. Mixologist gurus Julian Cox and Josh Goldman designed the cocktail menu spanning from 1798 to the Present, and a new raw bar is also in the works.Chef and Comme Ca owner David Myers has joined forces with Chef de Cuisine Attila Bollok to turn the modern meets traditional fare at his beloved French staple on Melrose into a new menu focusing on the seasonal bounty from California and the Paris’ bistronomy, gastro-bistro movement. You can expect a light blue crab toast with harissa aioli and grapefruit; tomato pesto salad with warm brie; roasted lobster with sweet corn bacon and spinach plus duck confit ravioli salmon or rack of lamb with eggplant gratin. Die-hard fans can rest assured that the massive burger is staying on the menu – it is one of the best in the city after all, and also the crispy duck leg confit. For cocktails, the ‘Gypsy Queen’ is a concoction of basil, lime and gin shaken and served with a champagne float that seems to pair perfectly with the entire new menu.
If you just want to celebrate the wines of France with a little entertainment on the side, check out the new Riviera 31 Lounge inside the Estérel restaurant at the Sofitel Hotel on LaCienega and Beverly. Every night this week (and we hope continuing), a different wine region will be represented. From a kick-off with Champagne then onto Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cote du Rhone and Sancerre, sip and swirl while listening to the songs of Piaf, Kaas, Brel, Dassin, Goldman, Zaz, Aznavour, Macias and more by Paris Chansons. In the tradition of the Moulin Rouge in Paris, Cabaret Versatile is the only authentic French cabaret troupe in California to feature singers, dancers, acrobats and magicians who will also entertain you during the night.