Opening Alert: GC Marketplace by Gary Arabia

Following the recent openings of Mercado and the new SunCafe from the outer edge of Ventura Blvd to Cahuenga Boulevard West, just a stone's throw from Universal and around the bend from Studio City, comes GC Marketplace by Gary Arabia, which opened November 17—a sleek culinary destination perfect for a coffee meeting, dine-in meal, grab-and-go bite, wine and cheese, dessert, at-home catering and more.

Gary Arabia's company, Global Cuisine, is known as one of Los Angeles' premiere catering and event production companies (with more than 4,000 events since 2000), producing lavish, extravagant, celebrity-driven affairs including Seth MacFarlane’s post-Oscar party. With his new brick-and-mortar retail front, he is introducing his personal style and cuisine so it is accessible to the public. Quirky trivia: Gary is known as the innovator of "body sushi" in the U.S. Remember The Surreal Life?

“GC Marketplace is 30 years in the making,” says Gary. “The concept is a culmination of everything I love, and the vision was to create a luxury shop with the finest products and ingredients available.”  

The lowdown: A sophisticated yet casual (order-at-the-counter) culinary boutique that features a French-style boulangerie, a cheese-and-charcuterie counter, rotisserie, premium blend coffee, wine bar and marketplace .

The eats: Gary, along with executive chef James Dame and executive pastry chef Kelly Dame, has crafted a sophisticated, all-day dining menu that includes an eclectic gourmet selection of omelets, scrambles, Benedicts, French toast, pancakes, breakfast bowls, salads, soups, pizza, piadini, burgers, wok dishes, hand-carved sandwiches, pasta, paella, rotisserie and smoked meats, and an array of desserts. Expect ingredients in dishes to include: pork belly, house-smoked salmon, crab, salumi, truffles, porchetta, lamb fennel sausage, prime rib, Asian duck, seasonal vegetables and more. Weekly four-course family meals are handily available and prepared for take-out.

The drinks: A coffee bar by day turns into a wine bar by night, featuring 12 wines on tap by the glass in addition to Champagne, craft brews and hard ciders. The retail wine section houses more than 300 bottles available for sale, offering small-production wines from around the world. 

Service you need to know about: The "catering concierge" can help with menu selections for a family meal or a party at home.

Cool factor: Reserve the Chef’s Table (for up to 12 people) inside the kitchen for an exclusive, up-close dining experience with a specially created menu and a wine-pairing option.  

The design: The former Oak-Crest Market has been completely gutted; however, designer Jennifer Charleston has kept the architectural integrity of the 80-year-old building intact, complete with 22-foot vaulted lamella ceilings. The original Oak-Crest Market sign was brought inside and is a crown gem over the entry. White walls, marble-topped tables and a mix of modern chairs fill the space that is surrounded by wraparound food counters set in front of an open kitchen, rotisserie and wood-burning oven. A centerpiece fresh flower table greets you upon entering.

Photos: Karen Young

Delicious eats at the pre-opening preview party last week included crab and truffle risotto, crab cakes, samosas, Asian duck pizza, roast beef sliders, tomato soup and crème brûlée.

Preparing crab cakes with lemon aioli to pass around at the preview party.

The neon sign from the long-standing Oak-Crest Market was brought inside.

The boulangerie is part of the wine/coffee bar.

More than 90 varieties of local and international cheese will be available, as well as an extensive selection of charcuterie.

Charcuterie will air-dry and be freshly cut.

Order a sandwich on a plate or to take home.

Wood-fire oven and pizza (below)

Grab-and-go hand-carved sandwiches

House-cured salmon

Various salads will be available in the deli case.

Rotisserie and smoked meats, along with sides, in front of the open kitchen.

The marketplace carries gourmet goods, such as truffle oil, pasta, salt and sauces, and GC signature products, of course.

The coffee bar turns into a wine bar in the evening with a sommelier available.

Wine wall with 300 bottles of wine from around the world.

GC Marketplace is located at 3315 Cahuenga Boulevard. Open Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.