Abernethy’s, the new restaurant at the Music Center Plaza in downtown L.A., is scheduled to open Sept. 5. Named after the center’s board vice chair Robert J. Abernethy, it will feature a new chef every three months. Shirley Chung, chef at Ms. Chi in Culver City, will be the restaurant’s inaugural chef.
Other chefs who will step into Abernethy’s kitchen include Pla and Fern Kaewtathip of Noree Thai and Luv2eat Thai Bistro, Ryan Costanza of Freedman’s, Jason Fullilove of the Magic Castle and Geter Atienza of Broken Spanish.
Abernethy’s is part of the Music Center’s $41-million renovation, which also includes a coffee bar run by Go Get Em Tiger. The center enlisted the help of a group of culinary advisers to curate Abernethy’s lineup of chefs. Some of the advisers include Border Grill’s Susan Feniger, n/naka’s Niki Nakayama, “Somebody Feed Phil” host Phil Rosenthal and Gwen chef Curtis Stone.
“The whole idea of the plaza is to be a place where all of Los Angeles can gather and be exposed to the arts and have arts education,” Jill Baldauf, Music Center board member and chair of the advisers, said. “The idea for the restaurant is very similar. It’s going to be reflective of the diversity of Los Angeles and our emerging chefs with food from all across L.A.”
Chung said she was encouraged by the culinary advisers to not worry about the Music Center’s “typical clientele” or about being approachable with her menu.
“This is a dream,” Chung said. “They are handing me a menu and saying do three months of whatever you want. I had a price point and it’s Chinese American, but it’s more avant-garde than Ms. Chi.”
Chung’s opening menu will include a hot and sour sable fish with preserved kale sprout inspired by the Sichuan chef Yu Bo. She’ll also be making a meat and bone herbal tea; a cacio e pepe with Northern China-style noodles, tofu and Pecorino cream and Sichuan peppercorn; and a braised and pressed Beijing lamb belly with fermented leek sesame sauce.
For diners hoping for Chung’s famous dumplings, she’ll be making those as well, including chicken potstickers with pomegranate sweet and sour sauce and pickled Fresno chiles; and pork and shrimp wontons in black vinegar and chile oil.
Abernethy’s will be open for dinner during the week and for lunch and dinner on the weekends.
220 N. Hope St., Los Angeles, abernethysla.com.