1/02/2013 01:16:00 PM

Hot Opening Alert: Jason Travi's Littlefork Debuts Friday

Littlefork readies for its debut
So what's Jason Travi (Fraiche, La Terza, Spago) been up to the last couple of years? After he left Riva (which later became another Fraiche in Santa Monica and finally closed over the holidays), there have been babies, travel, consulting and guest cheffing. But now he finally finds a new home at Littlefork, which debuts in Hollywood's former Shin Korean barbecue joint this weekend.

For a restaurant that's been flying under the radar until now, there are some big names behind the North Atlantic-focused spot, including David Reiss (A-Frame, Sunny Spot) and A-Frame designer Sean Knibb. The soft-opening menu reads like it's more personal to Travi, a combination of where he's from and where he is now, which means some Massachusetts, some California and a lot of pickling.

The name references the little cocktail fork you get with raw bar items like oysters on the half shell, which coincidentally, Littlefork will be serving along with other things like clam cakes and Portuguese musssels with linguica, chickpeas and beer. Travi, a raging Red Sox fan if memory serves, also spent time in Montreal, so there's poutine on the menu, only this one is made with his own house-smoked meats. You'll also see things like crispy head cheese, oyster sliders, malt vinegar pork rinds, chowder, smoked maple ham with whiskey apple compote. In fact, there's a lot of smoking and pickling going on here, as well as a focus on seasonal ingredients. His pastry chef wife, Miho, is consulting on the dessert menu.

The dark Shin space has been redone with a lot of natural woods, clean lines and some some vintage touches. There's a full bar with its own "snacks" menu, plus a patio covered with a retractable roof that opens during warmer months. Littlefork opens for dinner on Friday night (Jan. 4), and will add brunch and a weekend late-night menu soon. patio, which will open up during warmer months.

1600 Wilcox Ave.; 323-465-3675


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