Just six months after the opening of Simone, the highly anticipated Arts District restaurant, executive chef Jessica Largey has departed.
The decision was made over the weekend, according to a statement by the restaurant. Simone’s chef de cuisine Jason Beberman has taken her place.
Largey, who previously cooked at Providence in Los Angeles and at Manresa in Los Gatos, was named Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2015 by the James Beard Foundation while she was chef de cuisine at the two-Michelin-starred Bay Area restaurant.
She left to open her own restaurant in Los Angeles shortly thereafter. Simone, an elaborate project that took three years to complete, opened in September and was expected to be one of the year’s most important new restaurants.
But despite a splashy debut and its star chef, Simone struggled to find its footing.
The Times’ restaurant critic Bill Addison reviewed Simone in February, writing that he “could play ping-pong ticking off the kitchen’s hits and misses,” but that he was looking forward to Largey bringing an upcoming tasting menu component — something he’d loved when she was at Manresa — to Simone.
“It has been an honor to work with Jessica; her craftsmanship and culinary prowess is truly a sight to behold,” Simone owner Joe Russo said in the statement.
Beberman, who previously cooked at Empellón and Gramercy Tavern in New York City, will overhaul Simone’s brunch and dinner menus. The tasting menu is no longer being offered.
“I’m looking forward to taking some time for myself and then I’ll be ready to share news,” Largey said via text.
449 Hewitt St., Los Angeles, (424) 433-3000, simoneartsdistrict.com.
4:20 p.m.: This post has been updated to include a quote from chef Jessica Largey.