This week in L.A. restaurants: Brasserie Mes Amis debuts, Bavel and Bestia team launches Saffy’s

An overhead photo of a spread from Mes Amis, including roast chicken, terrine, and a seafood tower.
Hollywood’s new brasserie marks the return of Lincoln Carson and the chef’s classic-minded French cuisine and pastries.
(Wonho Frank Lee/Mes Amis)

Plus, new tapas in Santa Monica, some of L.A.’s best barbecue celebrates all month and more.


Mes Amis

Mes Amis, the anticipated French restaurant from Lincoln Carson, is now open in Hollywood. The Coast Range (and former Bon Temps) chef is serving California riffs on traditional brasserie cuisine with a raw bar; large-format lamb Wellington; steak au poivre with potato millefeuille; chicken liver mousse with cherry gastrique and puff pastry; and black truffle risotto. Carson, a former pastry chef for Michael Mina’s restaurant group, also is overseeing the pastry program with French dessert classics such as chocolate soufflé and a gateaux St. Honoré with pecan mousseline. The dinner-only restaurant sits at the base of the Thompson Hollywood hotel, accessed through a separate entrance; last summer Bar Lis, the restaurant’s sibling bar and lounge, opened on the hotel’s rooftop. Mes Amis is now open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

1541 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 410-6200,

An overhead photo of hands ripping open fresh, green falafel next to a plate of roasted carrots and a glass of wine.
At Saffy’s, the new restaurant from Genevieve Gergis and Ori Menashe, the team will offer daytime service — a first for the Bavel and Bestia chef-restaurateurs.
(Joseph Weaver/Saffy’s)


With shawarma, roasted seasonal vegetables, freshly made falafel, hummus and lamb and beef kebabs, Saffy’s, the new neighborhood restaurant from the chef-owners of Bavel and Bestia, is ready to open on June 1. Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’s casual Hollywood restaurant is named for the couple’s daughter, Saffron. It will open first for dinner service — with the likes of crudos, small plates and larger shareable dishes such as red snapper tagine — and later expand to daytime hours for a more casual setup and menu for daytime pastries and pita sandwiches. The culinary focus at Saffy’s is on Middle Eastern flavors, bringing Gergis’s desserts and Menashe’s savory dishes to the former Five Leaves space in East Hollywood. Saffy’s will open initially from 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.

4845 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, (424) 699-4845,


A new Spanish restaurant from the team behind Fia and Fia Steak will open June 3 with a California take on tapas, wood-grilled meats, escabeches and more. Chef Brendan Collins leads the kitchen of Santa Monica’s Dono, which will offer conservas, cured meats and imported cheeses along with dishes such as grilled octopus with latke-inspired potatoes; squash blossoms with goat cheese, jamón and honey; albondigas with cucumber and mint; and steak with romesco. Gabriella Mlynarczyk (formerly of the Hearth & Hound and Accomplice) is running the beverage program, which involves a range of sangrias and sherry cocktails. Dono features both indoor and outdoor dining, and will open Tuesday to Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight.

2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 356-9369,

An overhead photo of a spread of forthcoming dishes from Lemon Grove, including pizza, seafood crudo and seasonal vegetables.
“Top Chef” runner-up Sam Talbot will open a rooftop restaurant in August with a focus on sustainability and waste reduction in both its food and drink programs.
(Patrick Chin/Lemon Grove)

Lemon Grove

A new rooftop restaurant and bar will crown the Aster hotel in Hollywood, which is set to open this summer. Lemon Grove, fronted by “Top Chef” alum Sam Talbot, is expected to launch in August with dishes such as snapper crudo with lemon ponzu; pizza with truffled salami and pesto; and lentils alla vodka with goat cheese and grilled vegetables. Beverages will include cocktails, Champagne and no-ABV drinks, including a juice program focused on reduced produce waste. The California cuisine restaurant will echo the Aster’s semiprivate format in that hotel guests and annual members of the hotel’s private club will be granted lunchtime access; nonmembers will be able to visit Lemon Grove for dinner Wednesday to Sunday, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Lemon Grove will offer indoor and outdoor seating and a private dining room on the 7,200-square-foot rooftop.


1717 Vine St., Los Angeles,

Moo’s Craft Barbecue anniversary month

The bricks-and-mortar restaurant of Texas-style, L.A.-inspired barbecue outfit Moo’s Craft Barbecue turns 1 in June, and to celebrate, owners Andrew and Michelle Muñoz are throwing a month of pop-ups and collaborations. Each weekend, the Lincoln Heights restaurant will host “Moo’s and Friends,” featuring whole-hog barbecue from Flatpoint Barbecue on June 5; an appearance by Heritage Barbecue on June 12; a crawfish boil with Zef BBQ on June 18; and a pop-up from the Central Coast’s Priedite on June 25. A raffle for gift cards, a cooler and more will run the whole month and benefit No Kid Hungry, a campaign to end food insecurity.

2118 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, (323) 686-4133,

An overhead photo of a barbecue tray from Moo's Craft Barbecue featuring brisket, sausage, mac and cheese, and potato salad.
The restaurant of former pop-up Moo’s Craft Barbecue turns one year old this month. To mark the occasion, look for specials and weekend pop-ups from visiting chefs in addition to the full Moo’s menu.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)