Steve Livigni Archives - Please The Palate
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The team behind one of my favorite Valley spots, Black Market Liquor Bar, has come to the Westside with Scopa Italian Roots. Located in a former Szechwan Chinese restaurant space on Washington Blvd near Abbott Kinney, and next door to Sunny Spot, Scopa Italian Roots offers traditional home-cooked Italian food, inspired by Chef Antonia Lafaso’s upbringing.   Steve Livigni, Pablo Moix and Antonia Lafaso have been busily working on this new project for months. At an event this summer, they were serving drinks under the name Old Lightening which is the name of the bar that is opening adjacent to Scopa in the coming weeks.
I finally have a neighborhood cocktail spot - Plan Check Kitchen + Bar.  As I willingly drive all over Los Angeles for great cocktails, an easy 10 minute walk from my place makes this rather exciting!  The excitement might make me biased but the truth is the food and cocktails live up to the expectation.  One cannot expect anything less as Chef Ernesto Uchimura (Umami Burger) is behind the food and the cocktail program was designed by the powerhouse duo Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix, who are also responsible for La Descarga, Harvard and Stone and Black Market Liquor Bar.
As a native Los Angeleno who was raised in Studio City, it was “cool” to be a valley girl in the early 80s. But then it passed and by the time I was a teenager, it wasn’t as “cool” anymore.  Fortunately, I grew up in the hills close to Mulholland and had a ‘323’ phone number and was able to deflect any negative valley remarks as I “lived in the Hollywood Hills”. Despite this stigma, Studio City has always been a great area.  It is a community of professionals and artists, singles and families of all ages.  Over the years, boutiques have opened along Ventura Blvd between Laurel Canyon and Whitsett that equal those found on the west side.  And now, great restaurants and bars are opening their doors in the east valley, drawing a thirsty and hungry crowd who are as happy as I am to have tasty local neighborhood spots.