THE POPCORN REEL PRESENTS AROUND
TOWN/LOS ANGELES NIGHTS -- OSCAR WEEKEND: KATE MANTILINI RESTAURANT
A rare photo inside Kate Mantilini, an L.A.
restaurant known for its architectural values. Two placards above the
entrance highlight the fact that the coffee talk scene from Michael Mann's 1995
film "Heat" featuring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro (right photo), was shot at
the restaurant, which has a strict policy against photography. Special
permission was granted to take this picture. (Photo: Omar P.L. Moore)
Acting, Architecture and Eating,
Within Earshot of The Academy
Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
Beverly Hills, California
February 23, 2008
The food here may be a little overpriced, but nonetheless worth the
experience of savoring a great place to be ensconced in movie memories and revelry.
The restaurant is Kate Mantilini, an American-style establishment that flaunts
architecture as its strong suit, so much so that the writer of this story had to
obtain special clearance to get the snapshot of its interior. Kate Mantilini has three Southern California locations including the one pictured above
that is located on
Wilshire Boulevard and Doheny Drive, a mere block and a half from the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences headquarters at the famed Samuel Goldwyn
Building. This particular Mantilini locale happens to be the place where
the central scene of the Michael Mann epic "Heat" was shot in 1995, featuring
acting titans Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, conversing over coffee.
Movie posters and photographs of actors and actresses from Hollywood's past and
present adorn this location, which opened on St. Patrick's Day in 1987.
The wait staff is decked out in white and black, and as they bustle from table
to table they briskly attend to their patrons, whom on this rainy Saturday
evening filled approximately three-quarters of this spacious establishment.
Kate Mantilini is named after the 1940's boxing promoter, and at this location a
large photo mural of the Thomas Hearns-Marvin Hagler classic fight of the 1980's takes center stage.
There are also pictures of movie legends like director Billy Wilder whose signature
proclaims the restaurant the best movie food place in town. If you stick
around long enough you will see some of the movie actors and the famous dining
here. And while no such event occurred on this rainy Saturday night, the
star of the Kate Mantilini was the architecture. The maitre'd wore black, with a
high-heeled shoe that added a 1940's look to a sleek modern-day Los Angeles
black top and skirt -- the kind of color that has been a trademark of hip and
chic New Yorkers alike for years.
Seafood is served here, as are the standard fare: burgers, fries, chicken dishes
and salads. With glasses of red and white wines ranging from $8 and up --
a Ravenswood Old Zinfandel from 2005 of the Sonoma County variety caught the eye
and the taste palette -- one couldn't go wrong. While the decor isn't the
most comfortable, the wait staff was polite and attentive.
Kate Mantilini is definitely a restaurant that Vincent Hanna and Neil McCauley
would be at home in. Austere, moody and comfortable enough for a night out
and decent dining. If you play your cards right, a Hollywood star might
shine there tonight. After all, it is a place to see and be seen.
Kate Mantilini restaurant, located on Wilshire
Boulevard and Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo: Omar P.L.
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