I have been traveling so much this year that I have had to keep a running list of Los Angeles restaurants that I want to try when I am home. So finally, I made it to The Ponte in West Hollywood, which opened in February. Replacing Terrine, owner Stephane Bombet has partnered with Chef Scott Conant to offer a casual contemporary Italian restaurant.
My first introduction to Scott Conant was at a food and wine event in Beaver Creek. I was blown away by his pasta dish. At that time, he was based in New York so when I would travel to New York, I would go to his restaurant Scarpetta. I was thrilled when he opened Scarpetta in Los Angeles and that is where I fell in love with the seasonal mushroom boscaiola with polenta that just melts in the mouth and his infamous pasta al pomodoro. I was sad when Scarpetta closed in 2016 and then Terrine closed suddenly at the end of the year as well. Two months later, Scott Conant was back, along with his Executive Chef Freddy Vargas as The Ponte opened.
One of the best parts of The Ponte is the space. The outdoor patio is one of the best in Los Angeles. Seating is centered around the large tree in the middle of the space with lights dangling from above. The interior is also lovely, with a softer and more neutral look than Terrine. But if you can, sit outside!
Korean BBQ has come to the westside! Located in Culver City, on Main Street next to The Wallace, Hanjip Korean BBQ is the result of partners Stephane Bombet (Terrine, Viviane) and Francois Renaud (Terrine) and Chef Chris Oh (Seoul Sausage).
Inside, the decor is modern and eye catching. The walls, as well as the ventilation systems above each table, are covered with black and white geometric lines.
Korean BBQ is meant to be shared with friends. While you can sit at a table for two or four people, the booths and round tables in the center are better for parties of six. With the amount of food you will probably eat, the bigger the group, the better!
As soon as we sat, we were served an array of banchan. Fish cakes, kim chi, potato salad, spicy cucumber and bean sprouts are some of the banchan. The standout was the crispy octopus banchan.