From the return of L.A.’s biggest restaurateur to a new pizzeria in Dana Point, here’s what’s happening in our food and drink world.
Bill Chait has arguably made more of a mark on the Los Angeles dining scene in the last 10 years than any other restaurateur. Exhibit A: Bestia, chef Ori Menashe’s Arts District restaurant that helped turn the area into an actual destination. When Chait was part of the Sprout Restaurant Group (he left the company he founded in 2015), he helped create Walter Manzke’s La Brea Boulevard French restaurant République, the Rose in Venice, Ray Garcia’s downtown L.A. restaurant Broken Spanish and Timothy Hollingsworth’s Otium, next to the Broad. And now he’s set to open Tesse, his first L.A. restaurant in more than two years, next to the Fred Segal store on Sunset Boulevard at La Cienega Boulevard, on June 19. Chait said the restaurant’s origin story was twofold: a request from Creative Artists Agency to create a concept that merged food and fashion, and a meeting with chef Raphael Francois, who previously cooked at Le Cirque in New York City and at Le DeSales in Washington, D.C. Tesse will be loosely tied to fashion, in that it’s next to Fred Segal, but Chait says that based on a suggestion from Decades vintage store founder Cameron Silver, you can expect to see more of a through-line once it opens, with a possible adjacent salon that will host talks on fashion.
The restaurant, named for the French word for “délicatesse,” the French term used for charcuterie, is based on Francois’ idea to create a bar that serves charcuterie. While his house-made pâtés and sausages will be at the core of the menu, expect to see dishes inspired by our local farmers markets and pastries from chef Sally Camacho Mueller. Managing partner Jordan Ogron is also behind Boutellier, a wine store adjacent to the restaurant, opening later this year.
“Like with all my restaurants, I try to say is this something that could live for 30 years,” said Chait, who believes the restaurant represents a new wave for this stretch of Sunset Boulevard. “We’re doing what I think is the most serious restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. I think Night + Market is a great restaurant down the street and Kris [Yenbamroong] is a spectacular young chef. It’s the beginning of another new leg of what Sunset could be.” 8500 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 360-3866 www.tesserestaurant.com.
The KTOWN Night Market music and food festival is happening on Saturday and Sunday at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. In addition to performances by Ted Park, the Feels, FYKE and Justin Park, there will be plenty of tteokbokki (rice cakes), fish cakes and kimbap (Korean rice rolls). Belly Bombz, Okamoto Kitchen, Kogi BBQ, Rice Balls of Fire and Keep it C’asian are some of the participating restaurants and food trucks. The festival takes place from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available for pre-sale online ($5 for a 2-day pass) and also at the door ($5 for 1-day pass). 701 S. Catalina St., Los Angeles, (626) 280-8588, ktownnightmarket.com.
Parallel Pizza, a new pizzeria off Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, is now open. Co-owners and chefs Ryan Adams and James Nunn are touting New Haven, Conn.-inspired, oblong-shaped pizzas with thin, crispy crust. There’s a clam pie, a mashed potato pie and a pizza called Killer Dana topped with sweet cherry peppers, cilantro pesto, Italian chicken sausage and Parmesan. And because this is SoCal, there’s the option to order a gluten-free cauliflower crust as well. Alongside the pies, meatball and hoagie sandwiches and salads. Parallel Pizza also has 14 beers and four wines on tap. 34255 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 101-102, Dana Point, (949) 441-7406, www.parallelpizzeria.com.
Palm Springs pastrami
Chef Micah Wexler and partner Michael Kassar are bringing their Wexler’s Deli restaurant (they’ve got locations at Grand Central Market, in Santa Monica and Century City) to Palm Springs. The duo plan to open a Wexler’s Deli at the Arrive hotel in Palm Springs in October. The deli will replace the Reservoir restaurant at the hotel. The deli, known for its house-smoked meat, fish and bagels, plans to bring all of its signature sandwiches to the desert, including the MacArthur Park (a pastrami sandwich on rye inspired by the #19 at Langer’s Deli) and the double-smoked pastrami lox and cream cheese. Wexler also plans to introduce items specific to the Palm Springs location, such as a pastrami burger and pancakes. 1551 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, (760) 507-1650, arrivehotels.com .
What’s for dinner
If you’ve been down Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz over the past decade and a half, you’ve noticed Alcove. The tree-lined bungalows are home to one of the most impressive bakery cases in the city, a great bar, and some well-dressed diners. It’s mostly a daytime, counter-service hangout for coffee, tea and a pastry. But owner Tom Trellis has just introduced a new dinner menu, and a new chef. You can still order the cafe’s sandwiches and salads at the counter, or opt for full table service during dinner Thursday through Sunday evenings and all day on the weekends. Matt Sieger, who has previously cooked at Bon Marche in San Francisco and the Village Pub in Woodside, has taken over as executive chef, revamping the breakfast and lunch menus and creating a new dinner menu. Dinner highlights include a roasted Jidori half-chicken with barley porridge; local halibut with carrot Vadouvan; and a grilled flat-iron steak with potatoes and green garlic chimichurri.1929 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 644-0100, www.alcovecafe.com.