Cheers to Kate’s and her many visionaries who celebrate 25 years

September 9, 2011

Landmark Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills is getting ready to toast its 25th anniversary next year. Opened in 1987 as an original concept of the Lewis family who owned Hamburger Hamlet (1950-1987) and Hamlet Gardens, Kate’s on Wilshire Blvd. at Doheny makes an ideal spot to grab a happy hour bite before film screenings. You remember Hamburger Hamlet where you could have a reliably satisfying meal with friends and not take out a bank loan?

Back to Kate’s. Before becoming a restauranteur, Harry Lewis was a contract player with Warner Bros. during the ‘40’s and acted in many films like the classic “Key Largo” with Humphrey Bogart and Edward G Robinson.  When they sold the Hamlet chain, they kept Kate Mantilini and operate it with distinction.  Today, Kate’s is run by sons David, the Executive Chef, and Adam who is in charge of all operations.  “They hold their family’s standards as sacred.” The website, a blog, portioned and sectioned is very much like the restaurant’s architecture.

The distinctive building on Wilshire Boulevard at Doheny was designed and built by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis. includes the following description of Kate Mantilini project: “The open hall-like space becomes a theater for observing the swank and swagger of the local glitterati. The murals and images adorning the walls tend to underscore this cult of personality, part of a strategy that unites the discrete elements of the building, fresco, and sculpture into a single framework.” Mayne founded SciArc, Southern California Institute of Architecture where he serves as a Trustee.

According to Grub Street on September 9 :

“There are big, boozy developments going on over at Kate Mantilini these days, as a source reveals that none other than superstar mixologists Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest are working on a new cocktail menu and overhaul of the bar program before the restaurant has its 25th birthday in 2012. The duo, who united last year under the consulting firm Tello/Demarest Liquid Assets, will likely debut the new drink selection next month. In addition, the restaurant plans a new catering division, an outdoor patio, new eats on the menu, and will re-introduce its late-night hours. Nothing like a milestone birthday to push an L.A. legend towards a little nip and tuck.”

Cheers to Kate’s and the many visionaries that contributed to make it one of the more satisfying places to dine in Los Angeles!


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