WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU that on Sunday, March 27th, LA’s iconic neighborhood Italian eatery, Osteria La Buca, will shutter its doors.  However…

The restaurant will remain closed for the following nine days ONLY, during which time designer Brendan Ravenhill will magically transform the interiors of the space.  Ravenhill secured the commission with La Buca owner Graham Snyder more than one year ago, when Snyder happened upon one particular invention of Ravenhill’s in a national Italian culinary magazine.  That invention – a simple, beautiful, wooden bottle opener – forged an aesthetic connection between the two that lead to an exhaustive plan to re-imagine the entire space.  Ravenhill’s vision?  Same as the bottle opener, if perhaps a bit unorthodox in Los Angeles – design items with an artful eye, with the expressed intention that they become more beautiful with age and wear.

Bottle Opener on Table

Bottle Opener with magnet cap

Originally owned and opened by Snyder as a tiny, twenty seat eatery, La Buca burst onto the LA culinary scene as one of the most difficult reservations in town.  At the time, guests were seated at a cluster of Formica topped tables, often as close to the pizza oven as they were to their dining companions.  Three years later, Snyder claimed the adjoining space, a quinceanera dress shop, and quadrupled the size of the restaurant.  A full bar was added, where once only wine was poured. Blazing red neon signage was draped across a new entrance, fronted by a wall of glass.  Quirky chandeliers of reclaimed wine bottles dangled from the double story entrance, as guests seated in the new upper level enjoyed dining by open fire, with a romantic rooftop that opened to the sky.  La Buca was reborn, critically acclaimed and, again, a reservation that often required advanced planning.

Snyder has again claimed a vacated space that adjoins the restaurant’s eastern wall.  Guests will soon be greeted at this new entrance, an open and vast space designed by Ravenhill for the enjoyment of wine & charcuterie.  Walls will be decked in shelving laden with merchandise, around which is built seating and an elongated table surface that wraps the circumference of the room.  There is a large, temperature controlled wine vault to the rear, above which sits the glass-paned “Pasta Room.”  During daylight hours, fresh pasta will be produced for service.  During evening hours, the room will transform into a private dining space high above the hurried traffic of Melrose Avenue.  Three of the walls are upholstered with distressed, reclaimed barn wood meticulously sourced by Ravenhill and Snyder from across the country.  The fourth wall will vanish, along with the oversized Fellini portrait, providing a seamless entrance into the cozy warmth of the newly bespoke dining rooms of Osteria La Buca.

Gone is the marble bar top, replaced by a slab of custom molded zinc. Gone is the large back bar and enomatic wine dispenser, replaced by a low slung, spare row of wooden shelving with a curated selection of boutique spirits and tap beers. Gone, too, are the bar stools, replaced by hand-built high rise seating designed by Ravenhill to enhance the weathered aesthetic of the new room.  In fact, all of the furnishings have been replaced by those of Ravenhill’s design – chairs and tabletops, lighting fixtures and accessories.  The entire restaurant has been wrapped in a warm blanket of barn wood.  Where once there existed a vast expanse of individual tables, sleek rows of custom-designed booths now unite one room with the next.  Dimly designed lighting effects now highlight the stone fireplace and open air rooftop that continue to serve as a design landmark for the upper level dining room.  And yes, the blazing red neon has been replaced by stylish hand-stenciled lettering, illuminated by antique metal lighting fixtures.

Osteria La Buca will debut the newly appointed dining rooms & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WED APRIL 6, 2011.

For more information on La Buca designer, Brendan Ravenhill, please visit Brendan Ravenhill Design.

Osteria La Buca | 5210 Melrose Avenue | LA, CA | 90038 | 1.323.462.1900 | Osteria La Buca