In less than a year, chef-owner Leonard Jay's Roosevelt Row restaurant has undergone three name changes.
What started last April as Vinery 214 morphed into Bambino Bistro by the end of the year. I'd recently heard that it shut down -- which, based on last month's gnarly inspection report, wouldn't have surprised me. The inspector's notes read:
WARNING: DUE TO REPEATED, SEVERE, AND/OR NUMEROUS VIOLATIONS NOTED ON THIS INSPECTION LEGAL ACTION IS BEING INITIATED. FAILURE TO PERMANENTLY CORRECT VIOLATIONS NOTED ON THIS INSPECTION MAY RESULT IN PROBATION AND/OR CLOSURE OF YOUR ESTABLISHMENT. BASED UPON YOUR FAILURE TO PERMANENTLY CORRECT VIOLATIONS NOTED ON PREVIOUS INSPECTIONS, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT IMMEDIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO REVOKE YOUR PERMIT TO OPERATE.
Shortly thereafter, a sign went up with a new name, LaBella Bistro, indicating new management. Jay tells me he's still the owner but is in the process of selling the business.
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That's not all he has in the works.
Jay says he recently became the chef at Rosario Ristorante in Glendale, where he'll be revamping the Italian menu.
In addition, he's trying to get the former Trente-Cinq 35 space on 7th Street to put in a new Mediterranean fusion restaurant called CiaoChow. He hasn't signed a lease, though.
According to landlord Sal Calvano, two restaurateurs are interested in the space, but he couldn't reveal whom -- or which one he'll ultimately work with.