By Alesandra Dubin Posted March 22, 2010, 2:59 PM EDT
One of the final pieces of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills' $33 million renovation project is Culina, Modern Italian. The airy new restaurant managed by the hotel has indoor and outdoor dining, as well as a bar and lounge area with an interactive crudo bar the venue bills as the only one of its kind in Los Angeles.
Chef Victor Casanova's Italian menu includes dishes that make use of aged balsamic vinegars from Modena and first-press olive oils bottled by Monini of Umbria under Culina’s exclusive label. Pastas are made in-house daily, and brick ovens bake Culina’s thin-crust pizzas. Bistecca alla Fiorentina for two is 28 ounces of prime T-bone steak with Tuscan fries and salsa verde. Pastry chef Federico Fernandez serves up tiramisu with a coffee bean meringue and cannolis with olive oil gelato filling and crystallized pistachios. Culina’s wine list includes more than 200 labels.
EDG Interior Architecture & Design is behind the look of the space, which includes wine-tasting tables carved from a salvaged 200-year-old magnolia tree, herringbone tile floors, and decor done primarily in earth tones. White place mats and napkins and amber water glasses specially designed for Culina make clean, simple settings at olive-wood finish tabletops.
In the bar area with crudo bar and lounge, servers offer espresso, pastries, and panini. A wine room displays bottles through windows etched with Italian recipes. In the main dining area, a 25-foot light fixture of hand-blown Czechoslovakian glass dresses the ceiling.
A semiprivate glass-enclosed room holds 10, and a private room holds 40. Half of the restaurant’s 236 seats are on the sprawling patio, where succulents add to the lush landscaping.