As we (temporarily?) retire from our BataliWatch (or perhaps hand the reins to our sister-in-law, Eater LA), we turn from lovingly prepared, high-end ingredients to...chain restaurants. This winter, everybody gets one!
Beverly Hills: When we think chain restaurants, pehaps Beverly Hills isn't the first burg that comes to mind, but let's remember this is the birthplace of the Cheesecake Factory. And La Cienega has become a restaurant row of upscale chains, with Gyu-Kaku and Fogo de Chao. Now you can add Gonpachi, a Tokyo-based izakaya owned by Global Dining Inc., who also owns Monsoon Cafe in Santa Monica and La Boheme in West Hollywood. And expect to see more, since the company plans to another 1,000 restaurants in the US by 2013. Yes, you read that right. Famima better hurry if it plans to remain our favorite ubiquitious Japanese import.
Burbank: Should we actually report on another chain restaurant that's opened in Burbank? Isn't it like reporting Lindsay Lohan flashed her naughty bits? Or that Bai Ling showed up at a party looking like a vegas showgirl cum hollywood hooker cum punk ballerina? Its just so...expected. But duty calls. Granville's recently opened in Burbank. Calling themselves a "casual gourmet cafe" Burbankians now have a choice between Chipotle Grill, Granville, and our personal pick, Ikea's swedish meatball deal. And that's what America's all about: choice.
Beverly/Fairfax: The Farmer's Market gets another restaurant. In all fairness, we don't think this one is a chain, just a teppan and sushi bar that reeks of chain restaurant desperation in its Craigslist ads: "We are HIP, TRENDY, UPSCALE, and FUN." Oh no. They'll also be the largest restaurant in the Farmer's Market, taking on the nearby Grove eateries like...The Cheesecake Factory. See what we did there? We brought it all back. It always comes back to Cheesecake for us.