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SMALL BITES A GRACE-FUL TRANSITION.

Byline: Larry Lipson

Saying grace before your meal will soon have new meaning.

That's because Grace is the name to be given to the restaurant previously known as Muse at 7360 Beverly Blvd., says Grace managing partner Richard Drapkin.

Grace, with escrow due to close by the end of this month, is named after the daughter of chef-partner Neil Fraser. His new American food was heralded at Boxer, Jimmy's and Rix. The new restaurant is targeting a mid-to-late-September opening with Amy Knoll as the general manager and third partner.

Drapkin said the plans are to change the front of the restaurant by opening up the facade, thus giving it more visibility from the road.

A reformatted kitchen will enable Fraser to produce such dishes as Thai lobster soup, pumpkin soup with sweet Maine shrimp, a sauteed scallop dish with a parsnip puree, braised rabbit, sauteed foie gras, fresh sardines, a tandoor quail, sauteed skate, wild boar tenderloin and a charred hanger steak.

The Grace dessert menu will include such items as a chestnut gateau, chocolate souffle, peanut butter chocolate box and a selection of imported and domestic cheeses.

Let's hope that Grace will be amazing.

BRUNCH IN BEL-AIR: The upscale Sunday brunch at Four Oaks, 2181 N. Beverly Glen Blvd., Bel-Air, is a summer tradition.

Chef Peter Roelant's sit-down brunch ($37) is a lavish meal that includes croissants, chocolate muffins, cornbread, orange-scented butter and natural marmalade.

The first course has six dish options, one standout being a chilled organic tomato soup with a dollop of horseradish-vodka-flavored creme fraiche.

Nine second-course items run the gamut from egg dishes to a bourbon- marinated pork loin filet.

A half-dozen dessert possibilities reveal a glazed whiskey and sour cherry bread pudding and vanilla ice cream profiteroles with a warm chocolate sauce.

Information and reservations: (310) 470-2265.

WE HAVE MAIL: Reader Patricia M. Okada of Glendale asks if I've ever reviewed an Afghan restaurant.

Yes, I have, Patricia. The latest one is called Afghan House and it's located at 8516 Reseda Blvd. in Northridge.

It earned a three-star rating and is very inexpensive.

I recommend its leek and onion dumplings, potato puffs, potato turnovers, kebabs (chicken, seasoned ground beef or lamb loin chops), sauteed spinach or eggplant, ground beef dumplings, and its yogurt and mint drink.

Information: (818) 709-6233.

FOR A LIMITED TIME: The Il Fornaio and El Torito chains continue their monthly, regional, special menus with the Il Fornaio restaurants showing off the Friuli-Venezia Giulia area of Italy with 10 dishes and three wines and El Torito offering eight Yucatan, Mexico, specialties and a special mango margarita.

Il Fornaio's special menu runs through June 16, El Torito's through June 30.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 7, 2002
Words:446
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