Rustic NY-Style Italian Eatery, Pici, Claims Bossa Nova Home

From by Kat Odell – Bossa Nova’s Beverly Hills outpost recently shuttered, some were happy, some were sad, some didn’t even know it existed. Well, put this one on your radar: Pici (prounced pee-chee), a new old school (yes, new old school) rustic Italian eatery taking over the space named after the pici pasta shape, a long hand-rolled tube that looks like a skinny stretched out corissant. Construction is just about to being on the project helmed by Jeff Vespa (co-founder of WireImage) and Chef J, aka Jason Harley formerly of BlackSteel which then became Shereen Arazm’s Parc on Hollywood Blvd. The restaurant changed, the chef did not.

After a nine month search, Jeff and J (J&J) decided on the smallish Beverly Drive location and have hired Kris Keith/Spacecraft to spin the space into a Godfather-inspired eatery. For real. When designing the interior, J&J referenced that scene inGodfather I, the first time Al Pacino shoots someone, which takes place inside that classic Italian restaurant with the black and white checkered floors… Anyway, those floors will appear inside Pici, in addition to banquettes, marble tabletops, and a tin ceiling. Overall they want this place to be a cozy spot for a neighborhood lunch or dinner. And if anyone can remember the lack of seating back in Bossa Nova days, J&J have committed to reducing the size of the kitchen to allow for more seating indoors (however, a few seats will also be available on the sidewalk for warmer al fresco nights).

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Jessica Alba on the cover of LIFE

At the end of a secluded cul-de-sac in Los Angeles, inside her lush, light-filled home, one of Hollywood’s sexiest stars spends a Saturday doing the unthinkable: cooking for a bunch of people on her day off. But for Jessica Alba, whom you’ll next see kicking butt in the action-exploitation flick Machete (Sept. 3), this is far from drudgery. It’s a precious opportunity to play hostess, a role close to her heart. Among those lucky enough to score an invitation to the 29-year-old actress’ private dinner party on August 21 was photographer Jeff Vespa, who captured, exclusively for LIFE, a side of the star she was eager to share: Here, check out Alba, radiant and relaxed, as she shows off her kitchen skills, kicks back with an art book in her living room (pictured), and enjoys the view from what she calls her “woman’s room.”

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