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Brian Malarkey opening L.A. restaurant -- on New Year's Eve

Brian Malarkey, the winning chef-mentor from last season’s “The Taste” and a former “Top Chef” competitor, will be opening a restaurant in West Hollywood’s Mondrian hotel this winter. And get this scheduled opening date: Dec. 31. Yup, he’s opening on one of the single busiest restaurant days of the year.

Malarkey doesn’t just play a chef on television. With his company, the Fabric of Social Dining, he runs several restaurants in the San Diego area, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Austin, Tx.

He says he hasn’t yet decided what the restaurant at the Mondrian will be like, but it will probably fit in one of his existing restaurant themes. Malarkey has named them after clothing material. “Searsucker” in Scottsdale, Austin, Del Mar and San Diego’s Gaslamp District offers what he calls “playful twists on New American classic cuisine.” “Herringbone” in La Jolla is more oriented to “ocean to table, farm fresh cuisine.” He also has the casual “Gabardine” in Point Loma, which is more of a neighborhood spot.

Malarkey seems jazzed about the Los Angeles opening, despite the challenges of opening on New Year’s Eve. “All eyes are on L.A. for the newest trends in fashion, food, music and culture!” he said in an email. “L.A. is where great trends become classics..... And like a great suit of Herringbone, Searsucker or Gabardine we aim to be a New American Classic!  ‘We Love LA’ and I started my culinary career here at the Citrus a few years back!"

Malarkey attended Cordon Bleu cooking school in Portland and worked for Michel Richard at Citrus and the Oceanaire Seafood Room in San Diego. He competed on “Top Chef Miami,” the third season, making it all the way to the next-to-the-last round before being ousted by Casey Thompson, Dale Levitski and Hung Huynh, who went on to win.

As coach on the premier season of “The Taste” last year, Malarkey guided West Hollywood private chef Khristianne Uy to victory. Despite the win, he was not brought back for the second season.

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