Coming Soon: Ceremony To Replace Next Door in Studio City

Studio City restaurateur Frank Leon could be called the “godfather” of the Ventura Boulevard dining scene as he first made his culinary mark with La Loggia 29 years ago. It was the most popular 818 business meeting place of the time, with many deals brokered. Frank also owns The Village, which he switched up from the […]

Studio City restaurateur Frank Leon could be called the “godfather” of the Ventura Boulevard dining scene as he first made his culinary mark with La Loggia 29 years ago. It was the most popular 818 business meeting place of the time, with many deals brokered. Frank also owns The Village, which he switched up from the former Bokado. Now with Next Door, his tapas restaurant adjacent to La Loggia, he's keeping up with the area’s changes and switching out Next Door with a new restaurant bar theme—Ceremony—that will merge Mexican heritage with European cuisine. It's scheduled to open at the end of March.

The 2,200-square-foot restaurant and 800-square­-foot patio will feature a 17-foot x 7-foot retractable wall that opens to Ventura Boulevard. Graffiti-style art and Dia de los Muertos murals painted throughout the restaurant create an atmosphere of the neighborhoods and culture of Mexico. Frank envisions it as a "one-stop-shop for your entire evening … a place where people come for amazing food, delicious cocktails, nightlife and late-night eats."

A unique highlight of the indoor/outdoor space is a restored 1969 Volkswagen Kombi Bus transformed into a taco stand serving Baja California-​style tacos and Cuban sandwiches. Frank, who is Cuban, says he was inspired by the film Chef, so this is his tribute to his culture. For more flavor, there will be a complimentary shoeshine service (which he recalls from his nightclub days), plus the VIP Library Room located upstairs that accommodates 20 people and is available for private parties.

Frank says the menu will include creative versions of classic Mexican dishes, including octopus tostada, chicken enchiladas, steak and eggs, and salmon with habanero sauce. Vegetarian choices will include corn salad with hummus, stuffed poblano chiles with walnut cream sauce and vegetarian tacos. Brunch will also be offered on Saturday and Sunday.

A full bar will feature signature, handcrafted cocktails curated by The Village’s head mixologist, Matty Taylor, who will do his own inspired take on ingredients such as mezcal, hibiscus and fresh tropical fruits. Artisan beers and wine will also be available.

Ceremony is located at 11814 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.

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