There has been no more improbable rise in the restaurant world in the past few years than that of chef Daniel Humm and his co-owner, Will Guidara. They steered New York’s 11 Madison Park out of Danny Meyer’s portfolio and into three Michelin stars and the number 5 spot in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the highest of any restaurant in the United States. Their Nomad, a mad, over-the-top restaurant located a few blocks north in the Nomad Hotel, won last year’s James Beard award for best bar.
So it is probably biggish news that Humm and Guidara announced Wednesday their plans for a second Nomad in Los Angeles, their first restaurant outside Manhattan, to open sometime in the fall of 2017.
The restaurant will be located in the Giannini Place complex at 7th and Olive streets downtown, an ornate neoclassical structure built in 1923 as an office building for A.P. Giannini’s Bank of Italy, which eventually would become Bank of America. The building was designed by Los Angeles architects Morgan, Walls & Clements, who also designed the Wiltern and Mayan theaters. The complex also will house a new Los Angeles version of the Nomad Hotel.
"There will definitely be a lot that is similar to the New York restaurant," Guidara said by phone Wednesday morning from New York. "But we are determined not to just cut and paste either the décor or the menu. Right now, I’m just overwhelmed by the space; the ceiling is amazing."
The Nomad in Manhattan is a warren of intimate dining rooms and lounges that seem inspired by the louche, clubby interiors Evelyn Waugh once wrote about. The Los Angeles Nomad will occupy a vast, soaring hall with opulent fixturework, solid wooden columns and a gilded ceiling.
"We’ll be serving the seafood plateau, the foie gras-stuffed chicken and the suckling pig from New York — the classics,’’ Guidara said. "But the more time we spend out in Los Angeles, the more excited we become about the possibilities out there, and the real vitality of the chefs’ community.
"Daniel’s cooking changed a lot when he moved from Switzerland to San Francisco, and it changed when he moved from San Francisco to New York. And I know that he’s already excited about what’s in the farmers markets there. There’s so much great stuff to cook."
FOR THE RECORD
5:16 p.m.: An earlier version of this report said that Daniel Humm lived in Chicago; he lived in San Francisco. The spelling of Will Guidara's name also has been corrected.
So might there be a possibility of a sort of haute cuisine restaurant like 11 Madison Park?
"An L.A. 11 Madison Park is not in the plans at the moment," Guidara said. "But when we took over 11 Madison Park, we had no idea we’d be doing Nomad. Once we begin spending more time in Los Angeles, you never know what could happen."