Bringing another LA Food Show Grill & Bar into the world has been a labor of love for Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield, co-chief executives of California Pizza Kitchen.
The chain is scheduled to open an LA Food Show in Beverly Hills on Oct. 23, a year late and five years after opening the first such location.
Flax and Rosenfield, who founded CPK in 1985 but later left, had opened the first LA Food Show in Manhattan Beach in 2003. When they returned to CPK the same year, they sold the LA Food Show concept to their company.
The Beverly Hills location, which will be next to the new Montage hotel, is in a 50-year-old building that had to be gutted more extensively than planned, delaying the restaurant's opening by a year.
Flax declined to say how much this location cost to build, though he acknowledged it was more than anticipated.
LA Food Show, which features an exhibition kitchen where dishes ranging from fish tacos to rib-eye steak are prepared, has an extensive burger menu, comparable to CPK's pizza list. The most expensive item on the restaurant's menu, steak and fries, is priced at $23.99.
"We tried to price the menu so it's really quite affordable for families, even in Beverly Hills," Flax said. "Just because it's in Beverly Hills doesn't mean people don't want to economize."
Flax and Rosenfield don't necessarily want the concept to become a chain like CPK, and so far, there are no plans for additional locations. While they said CPK will always come first, they don't want to suggest that LA Food Show comes second.
"We can take our time to develop it," Flax said. "We're waiting for this location to help put us on the map."
It's a Go for Caruso
It's been a long fight for Rick Caruso to get his Santa Barbara-area hotel going, but it appears that he is nearing the finish line thanks to an approval by the Montecito Planning Commission.
After the Montecito Water District showed there was enough water to supply the site of the former Miramar resort site, the commission was satisfied, said Caruso, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Caruso Affiliated.
"Miramar has been a customer for over 100 years this isn't virgin territory," he said. "Once all the facts were in, the Planning Commission went ahead."
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