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Los Angeles: Hatfield's re-opens

LOS ANGELES With the re-opening of Hatfield’s in the new location on Melrose Avenue, chefs and co-owners Quinn and Karen Hatfield once again realize their dream – only this time, bigger and better. Thanks to such acclaim as being selected Best New Restaurant of 2006 by Los Angeles magazine, being named one of the Top 10 Restaurants of the Decade by Los Angeles Zagat editors and achieving a Michelin star in 2008, the new Hatfield’s presents the young couple’s California-French cuisine in a space that showcases their culinary vision.
Karen and Quinn, who met while working at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, each spent time in the New York kitchen’s of such culinary legends as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Bouley and, in Karen’s case, pastry chef Claudia Fleming of Gramercy Tavern. Upon their return to the west coast in 2002, they achieved great success at Cortez in San Francisco before returning to Karen’s hometown of Los Angeles to open their eponymous restaurant three years later. With the original Hatfield’s, they earned the praise of Los Angeles magazine, which effused, “The dishes are exquisitely calibrated so that one ingredient plays off another, the whole edging ever closer to the sublime,” and, “Intimate and passionate, Hatfield’s is a breathtaking and accomplished restaurant from two young cooks at the top of their game.”
The new Hatfield’s space includes a full bar, conservatory and a private dining room, growing their eponymous restaurant to almost double its previous size. By extension the Hatfields, who split chef duties between the savory and the sweet, have also expanded their menu offerings in the new location. In addition to the a la carte, seasonal prix fixe and chef’s tasting menus, the new Hatfield’s offers a full bar menu and private dining options, all crafted in an exhibition kitchen where the culinary team is on display. In addition, Quinn has added an extensive vegetarian section to the menu with items like Hand-cut Papardelle Carbonara with smoked parsnip “bacon” and a Roasted Sunchoke Salad with French feta and fava bean “falafel crumble” ensuring no diner is an afterthought. Favorites like Executive Chef Quinn’s Croque Madame with prosciutto and hamachi and Pastry Chef Karen’s Sugar and Spice Beignets with chocolate fondue and a milkshake shot appear alongside equally bold dishes like Loup de Mer with red onion soubise and almond dried apricot crunch and Coconut Custard Macaroon with tapioca sauce and passion fruit- elderflower sorbet.
With its beverage program, the new Hatfield’s presents a parallel accompaniment to its award-winning cuisine. Under the supervision of general manager and beverage director Peter Birmingham, Hatfield’s features a selection of more than 100 wines, including up to 15 by the glass. The list is comprised of California gems, unsung boutique producers and Old World bastions of oneology. In addition, an extensive cocktail list features both "Classics", such as the Vesper, Jack Rose and Dark & Stormy as well as “Originals” that include the High-Rose Caipirinha (cachaca, orangecello, pomegranate and grapefruit juices) and the Peruvian Cooler (Plymouth gin, Canton, cerbada). Meanwhile, Quinn’s bar menu features such dishes as the Hangtown Fry (fried oyster, soft-scrambled egg and braised bacon) and Braised Short Rib Rueben, which guests can enjoy while seated on 1940’s-style stools at the brushed steel-and-marble-topped bar.
Recognizing that the new incarnation of their culinary gem must be handled with care, the Hatfields hired local designer Alexis Readinger of Preen Design to oversee the décor. Readinger sought to preserve the intimate feeling of the original location despite the expanded space. Taking inspiration from the natural landscape, Readinger created a canvas for the celebrated, market-driven cuisine by employing a palette of acorn, flint, olive and walnut, incorporating such elements as wide plank wood floors and creating a “living wall” covered in airplants and epiphytes. Design details such as a linen chandelier that spells out the chemical components of honey and an oversized cement casted apple situated in a planter box provide whimsical counterpoints to the perceived formality of white tablecloths and fine-dining service. Hatfield’s, located at 6703 Melrose Avenue, is open seven days a week for dinner. Lunch service will begin in the Spring.
For more information, call (323) 935-2977 or visit

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4 February 2010
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