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Craft?

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I read that Craft will be opening up a branch at Century City.

Curious since the boards were buzzing way before Mozza opened, that this seems to be relatively quiet news, considering that Top Chef 2 is generating similar buzz.

Does anyone know when it's going to be opened, and anybody else going?

I have to say that I am intrigued by the restaurant's concept - and it's not because it's another celebrity chef restaurant. That they just serve the best ingredients, well prepared, and simply. What a concept in this world of menus that read like a book...

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  1. What do you mean by 'anybody else going'?
    It's the lead story on Eater LA just now: -- it says March.
    http://la.eater.com/archives/2007/01/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Besides me, that is. ;)

    2. i'll be going, for sure. i was at craft in nyc in the summer, and had a tremendously gorgeous and memorable meal. it's a real class act without the pretention, and lots of lovely extra touches, like being sent home with a scone for breakfast the next morning along with a little bag of caramel corn to nibble on in the cab ride, and getting a thank you letter post-visit. i can't wait!

      1. Yay, another Craft fan :)

        I went day after Thanksgiving in NYC, and it was my next favorite meal there (next to Per Se, naturally). I believe it is slated for March/April. SUPPOSED to be open already but they had "construction problems". It's going in the Century City shopping complex.

        Oh, we cannot wait! Menu concept was the best part. We ordered like there was no tomorrow, and it was worth it. Parting gifts were a lovely touch. See you there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: brekkie_fan

          So what's good or "signature" must order?

          1. re: notmartha

            sorry notmartha, but it took a while to find our receipt :)

            Here's what we ordered (not incl. beverages):

            * Peruvian Octopus
            * Mache Salad
            * Loup de Mer
            * Braised Beef Short Rib
            * Smoked Goat Cheese Tortelloni (mmmm..cheese...)
            * Roasted Greenmarket Onions
            * Chocolate Souffle
            * Doughnuts (!!)
            * Brioche Pain Perdu
            * Roasted Banana
            * Cinnamon Ice Cream

            No complaints, except that Century City would hurry up and open already.

            1. re: brekkie_fan

              Thanks! Guess have to wait until June now...

        2. I emailed Craft and they told me that it will be opening in May.

          1. I called and Johanna told me they're looking at June. Typical...

            1. I emailed my buddy Jacob and he asked "What's Craft?"

              So sue me if I don't know any insiders. :D

              I think the lack of buzz is that we're all waiting with cautious optimism.

              1. Craft is going into the new building at 2000 Avenue of the Stars where CAA just moved. I have been to the one in NY and it is awesome!

                1. This is great news -- Craft is one of my three favorite high-end places in NYC. Very simple, hearty, and delicious dishes.

                  1. I emailed them the other day and they said they're opening in July now. Hopefully it won't get pushed back much further. I also read on their website that Coliccio shops at the SM farmer's market for ingredients for his NY restaurants in the winter- so LA seems a natural choice.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jenjunum

                      That seems beyond bizarre and a financial mistake. Not only should there be no legitimate reason for such a long delay following CAA's opening, but the restaurant will miss a hugh opportunity to make money. All of the law firms in Century City bring in law students that they wine and dine during the summer. Craft would be a very attractive place for those expensed lunches and dinners.

                      1. re: Jwsel

                        Actually, I think it's probably wise. Colicchio got a lot of flack for expanding his empire too quickly (e.g., Craftsteak). I'm glad to see him taking the time that's needed to make Craft LA a quality experience from the start.

                      2. re: jenjunum

                        Huh? Produce you mean? I thought they have agriculture inspections - so not sure how he can take veggies/fruits to NYC?

                        Also thought the reason he open a Craft here is since the last 2 Top Chefs are taped in the West Coast it's convenient for him to tape and check his restaurant empire here at the same time.

                        Anyway, sounds like maybe a candidate for a visit in the fall for an all-out birthday dinner. Give it a couple of months to work out the kinks.

                        1. re: notmartha

                          http://www.craftrestaurant.com/press/... See the last part of the 5th paragraph. There are lots of restrictions coming INTO California but not leaving it. Most other states don't have as stringent of rules for produce. Probably because a lot of produce is grown here and CA doesn't want people bringing bugs or other nasties in. I doubt they'd publish it in the LA Times if it wasn't allowed.

                          His wife is also in the movie business. Plus the Top Chef thing obviously.

                      3. Top Chef was taped in LA last and now it's in Miami. SF for season 1. he's probably opening here because for some reason LA is attractive to so many NY chefs now: Batali, Tourondel, now him. It's like they all used to stop at Vegas. I bet as Jenjunum says, if his wife is in the industry, she has connections, automatic clientele, etc.

                        As far as opening a restaurant goes, there are always hiccups. Licensing, design, who knows. And for those lawyers and CAA agents waiting to dine at Craft...they'll all still be there when it opens. Craft isn't missing out on money. That place is going to be rolling in it from the get go.