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Chez Nous Closes; Seafood Spot Moving In

A Toluca Lake restaurateur plans on serving sushi and other seafood items alongside a bakery left from a previous business.

Come the second week of March, Baret Lepejian will unveil Luca's, a seafood eatery replacing Chez Nous Restaurant and Bakery in Toluca Lake.

The restaurateur bought the French bistro last summer and halted everything except for the bakery.

While trying to figure out how to make his new venture "outside the box," Lepejian said he thought why not serve hot rolls and pastries under the same roof as catches from the deep?

"There's nothing in Toluca Lake quite like this," said Lepejian, who resides in the neighborhood. "It's an uncommon relationship between a bakery, traditional sushi and a bar/restaurant with cooked seafood."

A sushi bar is being installed right next to the bakery, while another chef was hired to prepare hot dishes like steamed halibut, he said.

Lepejian also owns Lucy's 51 a few blocks east of Luca's on Riverside Drive as well as burger joint Tinhorn Flats in Burbank.

Chez Nous was in business for 30 years, but Lepejian said fans of the French bistro can still buy their favorite baked goods.

"Most of the people that love Chez Nous went in for the bakery, for the breakfast. That's all going to stay," he said.

Remodeling for Luca's is currently wrapping up. Lepejian said he plans to add several TVs to the bar area and offer discounted sushi during a late night happy hour.

He added Luca's bakery will open at 6 a.m., while the sushi kitchen should start serving customers around noon.

Jinjer Hundley February 20, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Um, no thanks. Don't want croissants that smell like fish.
Jane Doe February 20, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Sounds disgusting. Should have stuck to dive bars -- that's what everything he touches turns into.
Saint Hubert February 20, 2013 at 03:49 PM
What an absolute shame.
irma glutz February 20, 2013 at 04:01 PM
I think it's a great idea...but must we have those infernal TVS and loud music like every other yuppie establishment here and in Studio City.. where can we go to have a nice quiet dinner with friends, family and business associates? glad you are keeping the bakery... and love seafoood.. just not those AWFUL TV's blaring and ultra loud "hipster" music..
maria muse February 20, 2013 at 05:00 PM
I agree with all of you. What a ridiculous combination! It doesn't work. Pastries and fish...counterintuitive. Hey! That would be the name of my joint! Counter -intuitive! No TVs, no fish. Gourmet comfort food and healthy food to Tom Waits and Jeff Buckley. Would you come?!
maria muse February 20, 2013 at 05:03 PM
But seriously... a Stinking Rose or an affordable gourmet restaurant would have been exquisite with that beautiful building.
U - M February 20, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Last time I was there with my partner wanting to have a nice dinner for Valentines day a few years ago they ignored us and didn't serve us. Glad they're gone. Those bigots.
Sherry Barnett February 20, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Sounds like the best of both worlds to me. Mornings with the best baked goods in the neighborhood ... new sushi w/cooked food for those who avoid raw fish ... and late night Sushi Happy Hour! Sounds great! I'll be there ...
JAGR February 23, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Sounds great to me, I love seafood and baked goods....Butch, I'm sorry that happened to you....it's 2013, you would think we would be beyond snubbing people for race or persuasion...
Jim Maurer March 07, 2013 at 06:52 AM
Is the piano going to be there? Because I know the best, perfect pianist for those romantic, quiet dinners!!
Lola Ciccone March 19, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Please no loud tv's or music! We need a classy joint in the area. A nice piano or jazz group would work better. Tv's in a restaurant are very tacky unless its a Sportsbar.
Bob Loblaw April 10, 2013 at 03:18 AM
I normally don't post about food, but felt compelled to do so. Let me start by saying the service is phenomenal. Having said that, had the plates been empty upon arrival at our table, the evening old have been perfect. Lobster bisque that had the consistency of water, and a pork chop so sweet that dessert sounded savory and I just wanted the check. We live local, and hoped for one resaurant that wasn't just appetizers and grog. Unfortunately, this isn't it.

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