A Higher Level

Joseph Elevado balances Italy and Asia at Livello

The lobby of Beverly Hills' L'Ermitage hotel seems purposefully chameleon-like, able to suit any number of activities.

So when you walk through it to the hotel's new restaurant, Livello, it doesn't seem odd that at one low-set table a pair of waifish twins wearing matching headbands are attacking a platter of fries, while just feet away, men in shimmering gray suits conference over whatever business they're involved with.

Run by Nobu Las Vegas veteran Joseph Elevado, Livello, with its gently curving walls and succession of small dining rooms, could conform to any occasion as well.

But be it an anniversary dinner or a tryst, the food sticks to Elevado's particular Asian-Italian rubric. Rather than blending the two cuisines, Livello, Italian for "level," finds parallels between the two. So risotto with mussels, chorizo and fennel ($20) might be followed by Wagyu flat iron steak topped with ponzu-dressed fried broccoli ($20).

Elevado shows the seafood skills he learned at Nobu in an austere presentation of raw fluke and uni ($16). Straddling the line between sashimi and crudo, the white-and-yellow duo are merely scattered with salt and shiso, then sluiced with fruity olive oil–and that's all they need.

Livello, 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills; 310-278-3344 or lermitagebh.com