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Bow & Truss cooks up new menu and Federal kicks off Sunday brunch

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Have you tried the Bow & Truss? It's that cool Spanish restaurant with the big courtyard snuggled in between some of the NoHo little theaters (near where the Avery Schreiber Theater used to be) and in a converted auto body shop. This Latin-inspired restaurant just about to celebrate its two-year anniversary and was the mastermind of local Knitting Factory exec Morgan Margolis, who also opened the very popular Federal Bar around the corner in a converted bank building.

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It's all going to kick-off for Valentine's Day.

Bow & Truss in the heart of the NoHo Arts District just announced that Aaron Grissom has joined the Latin-inspired restaurant as Executive Chef and is replacing Stefhanie Meyers who has moved on to pursue other opportunities. (I've known Stefhanie since before the restaurant's opening in June 2012 and she created healthy food that was fun to share with a Spanish flare.)

"I believe cooking is about evolution, but with that being said, it is important to remember where we evolved from," says Grissom, who is inspired by chefs such as Ferran Adria, David Chang and Thomas Keller. "Tradition is important. The goal is to give people a feeling of dishes they may be familiar with but with an original spin."

So, for example, his tacos will include lamb, fig, goat cheese and mint, while the main courses with chicken will have a Catalan xato sauce and collards—not something you'll see in other parts of Los Angeles

The new chef moved to Los Angeles from Dirty Oscar Annex in Tacoma, Washington where he honed his craft infusing classic American cuisine with French accents and modern technique. Grissom designed the new Bow & Truss menu with a mind for mixing traditional Latin flavors with an inventive twist. Grissom is dedicated to local and sustainable practices and says he ideally wants to use only seasonal, hyper-local ingredients.

"I want to be able to source 50 miles from the restaurant, I'm talking hyper-local," Grissom insists. He is working with local farmers markets and wants his fish to be "caught in the Pacific Ocean, no further north than Oregon."

The 2,000-square-foot restaurant used to be an auto body shop and has an outdoor bar and wood tables with lounges, giving it a garden feel, with tall brick walls.

For Valentine's Day, there's a special four-course prix fixe menu to celebrate the romantic holiday, featuring Latin dishes from the new menu. Selections include: Komodo Oysters, Squash soup, Kale and Quinoa Salad, Pork Loin, a Fish Bowl, Mary's Chicken, and chocolate-covered cherries for dessert. Wine and beverages are included. $65 per person.

The Federal Bar Sunday Brunch is a special that includes two entrees and all the Mimosas you can drink for $25!

This neighborhood bar offers comedy, burlesque, singing, science fiction readings, all kinds of live performances in its upstairs theater, and a casual family setting downstairs. (Click here for the schedule.)

The BowandTruss.com is open seven days a week and serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The FederalBar.com is open in North Hollywood and Long Beach

Morgan Margolis is becoming the King of the Restaurant Row in NoHo because he has now successfully opened up two hot restaurants in a market where longtime venues have continued to close shop.

The chief executive officer of the Knitting Factory, who lives nearby with his wife Heide and three sons, says, "We plan to be part of the changes for this area—it is one of the best-kept secrets in Los Angeles. But people are getting to know it, and our company hopes to be part of that change."

That venue employs about 80 people and their payroll by the end of the year will possibly exceed $1 million. The new venue will nearly double that, driving more jobs and economic development to the community.

"The Federal has exceeded all of our wildest expectations, people have embraced the concept, people living in the neighborhood have become regulars, and people are even driving in from places like Santa Monica, the Westside and Pasadena to try us out and see what'’s going on," said Margolis, who is trying out jazz, ‘'90s dance nights, comedy, burlesque and other forms of entertainment at The Federal, under the help of general manager Ed Levy. Margolis also credits with The Federal's success to Executive Chef Shad Davis.

His inspiration for The Federal was more of a general gastro-pub mix, appropriate for families, and eclectic entertainment. Bow & Truss is geared to the more high-end frat crowd, or the young artsy crowd, with a diverse menu—think —and with a good assortment of wine and draft beer, like The Federal. With a movie complex planned a few blocks away and construction going on all around, Margolis said he hopes to capitalize on the renewed interest of the area.

"We're going to try to grow with the neighborhood," he says.

He draws from his experience again, traveling as a child and teen and growing up in the creative bar culture—both his parents, Jacqueline and Mark Margolis—are actors in New York. “I'’ve always been around artists and designers and creative people,” he says.

"I depend on my gut instinct and I feel pretty good about this location and the idea,” Margolis explains. "The area is one of the untapped gems of the city, and I hope to keep adding to it. Furthermore, this is far from a one-man operation, I have a tremendous company behind me and I give major kudos to my team."

Check them both out!

For more about local openings and closings, check out Karen Young's Ventura Blvd. Sauce column by clicking here: ourventurablvd.com/Blogs/The-Sauce

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