Alma tasting menus

Starting Nov. 29, Alma downtown will offer a five-course menu for $65 and a longer tasting menu for $110. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / September 20, 2013)

Alma, chef Ari Taymor’s downtown restaurant that highlights locally grown ingredients through modern techniques, is changing its menu format. Starting Nov. 29, it will offer a five-course menu for $65 and a longer tasting menu for $110. Beverage pairings are optional; the a la carte menu won't be available. "We are making these moves based on feedback from our guests that seem to enjoy our tasting menu experiences more than a la carte," Taymor says, "and we would like to offer more people a curated experience." Saturday brunch will begin in December or January.

952 Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 244-1422, www.alma-la.com.

Rao's, the Hollywood outpost of the infamously hard-to-get-into red-sauce Italian spot in East Harlem, opened this week on Seward Street. This is the third Rao's location, following Las Vegas. Family-run for 117 years, the restaurant chain serves Rao’s classics such as meatballs and lemon chicken, with more contemporary dishes created just for Hollywood by Executive Chef Nicole Grimes. Both indoor and outdoor seating accommodate about 95 guests, who probably can get a reservation relatively easily. Open Monday to Friday 5 to 10:30 p.m.

1006 Seward St., Hollywood, (323) 962-7267, www.raos.com.

Umami Burger opens its latest store in downtown's Arts District (around the corner from sausage spot Wurstkuche) on Monday. The new 60-seat Umami Burger includes a patio in the back and custom furniture in a space designed by Westin Mitchell. The menu of Umami's "greatest hits" and specials will be accompanied by a local beer list, with eight on tap and 22 bottles from Southern California.

738 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 263-8626, www.umami.com.

Another Kind of Sunrise is set to open in Venice this weekend, "a cereal-centric takeaway cafe, specializing in high-quality, organic food and drink," according to a release. "We will offer the highest-quality pre-made, traditional cereals in their simple, whole grain form such as corn flakes, rice krispies, raisin bran, frosted flakes, etc." Also on the menu: paleo granola, acai bowls and chia porridge, as well as organic, whole milk and yogurt and organic almond milk with toppings such as seasonal fresh fruits, sprouted nuts, flax seed, goji and golden berries, raw honey, coconut, hemp hearts and cocoa nibs. Juices from Moon Juice and coconut water and almond milk from Mylkman produce, coffee from Handsome Coffee Roasters.

1629 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, www.anotherkindofsunrise.com.

The Ace Hotel, slated to open downtown next year, has tapped former "Top Chef" contestant Micah Fields as executive chef of its restaurant LA Chapter, says Eater LA. Fields is currently executive chef at the Standard in downtown L.A.

929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, (503) 546-9772, www.acehotel.com/losangeles

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