The Hotel Californian Is Revamping Its Restaurants

••• The Hotel Californian has installed a new culinary team for the entire property, reports the Restaurant Guy: “Executive Chef Travis Watson, joined by Chef de Cuisine Paul Osborne and Pastry Chef Ronald Viloria, will collaborate to create a fresh culinary experience at Blackbird [above]. The signature restaurant will relaunch in Fall 2019 as Bar Blackbird, an upscale bar-first concept, featuring a cocktail program from Houston Hospitality veteran Devon Espinosa and celebrating the intersection of food and beverage on our Central Coast. The team will also infuse new culinary inspiration throughout the resort, including breakfast, lunch and dinner al-fresco at Goat Tree; the Djinn library bar; Tan-Tan rooftop pool deck; and the banquets and in-room dining programs.” It’s a shame Blackbird didn’t work out; the food was often very good. The concept always seemed too ambitious for that hotel and location (and possibly this city).

••• The first Taste of Coast Village [Road] is Saturday, September 14. “The ‘Taste’ is a lifestyle event featuring local food purveyors, wine makers, artisans and entertainers. It will highlight our diverse culinary scene along Coast Village Road and surrounding areas with an aim to celebrate our unique, resilient and hard-working community.” Tickets are $95 for VIP entry at 1 p.m. or $65 for entry at 2-5 p.m. Participants so far include: Bettina, Ca’Dario, Caffe Luxxe, Cava, Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, Folded Hills Winery, Four Seasons the Biltmore, Here’s the Scoop, Juice Ranch, Khao Kaeng, Kopu Water, Lilac Pâtisserie, Los Arroyos, Margerum Wine Co. and Barden Wines, Merci Montecito, MSpecial, Oliver’s, Panino, Pressed Juicery, Renaud’s Bakery and Bistro, Rosewood Miramar Beach, Sweet Wheel Farm & Flowers, T.W. Hollister & Co., The Honor Bar, The Liquor & Wine Grotto, Topa Topa Brewing Co., Tre Lune, Viva Oliva, Water with Life, Wenzlau Vineyard Co.

••• The Sentinel gushes over the Project on State Street: “It’s a curated Tequila and Mescal bar, a bustling restaurant with table service and an epicurean wine list and will soon be a much-needed breakfast location, creating a new heartbeat in the Funk Zone.” It gets worse from there.

••• Les Marchands set a closing date of September 8. If you were wondering what would come of its wine: “They are folding their brick and mortar retail operation into the Santa Barbara Wine Collective; The Lark will offer their robust selection of wine from around the world; and Les Marchands will continue to offer their wine clubs and allocated selections online.” No word yet on what the new concept for the space will be.

••• The Independent announced its 2019 Foodie Awards, which seem more than a little random. No disrespect to the winners, but any such list that doesn’t include Bettina or Tyger Tyger is suspect.

••• Goleta restaurant Ming Dynasty has closed after 32 years. —Edhat

••• The chocolate chip cookie at Bossie’s Kitchen was the best I’ve ever had.