Bavel is Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’ follow-up restaurant to the wildly successful Bestia. Located just a few blocks away from Bestia, the restaurant provides another option for downtown Arts District diners. The food here is Middle Eastern, reflecting Menashe’s heritage. I haven’t had a ton of exposure to the cuisine, but figured I was in great hands given my love of the food at Bestia.
The NoMad Hotel, located in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, opened in January. The hotel opening brought with it two imports from the NYC original – the highly-regarded NoMad Bar as well as NoMad Restaurant. The dining is overseen by Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park fame, whose NoMad in NYC has garnered one Michelin star. As such, this has been a highly anticipated restaurant ever since it was announced.
I’ve dined at NYC’s NoMad once, for lunch, and was very excited to try the Los Angeles restaurant for dinner. There are two concepts at the hotel – the Lobby for more casual all-day dining and the upstairs dinner-only Mezzanine for more formal dining.
Felix has been one of the most popular restaurants in the city since opening almost a year ago. Here, Evan Funke (Rustic Canyon, Bucato) is getting a lot of attention for his pasta program which is regarded as one of the best in the city. The pasta making room is showcased with a direct view from the dining room, where diners can see the exacting precision and attention to detail that goes into each and every bite.
David Chang’s Majordomo opened at the end of January, easily one of the biggest restaurant openings this year. Chang’s popularity has never been higher given the success of his Netflix documentary Ugly Delicious, and it’s reflected in the reservations – it’s one of the toughest tables in town. I lucked out in getting a four-top reservation just two days prior.
The cuisine at Majordomo is pan-Asian with a bunch of other influences. The menu is categorized into sections for bing flatbread (with accompaniments), raw, market/vegetables, noodles, fish and meat. In addition, there are a handful of large-format dishes meant to be shared with larger groups. We ordered a sprinkling of items throughout each of the categories.
Bouchon’s Beverly Hills location closed at the end of last year after eight years. I came here for one last meal, coinciding with the restaurant’s last Ad Hoc fried chicken Monday. The restaurant holds a special place with this blog. My two visits during the restaurant’s opening weekend was the first post on this blog, ever, and it’s also the place that I sat next to Thomas Keller for dinner.
Naruki Matsumoto was the longtime chef of Hirozen which served sushi on this mid-city corner for two decades. In 2016 the ownership of the restaurant changed hands to Matsumoto, who renamed the restaurant. The restaurant is small with just a few tables and a sushi bar seating about ten.
Cosa Buona is one of the most talked about restaurants openings in LA this summer. The restaurant is from Zach Pollack, who first opened Sotto with co-chef Steve Samson then opened Alimento. Cosa Buona is the most casual and simple of his restaurants so far, meant to be a neighborhood pizza joint. In fact, the restaurant replaces a similarly-named pizza joint (Pizza Buona) which had been at this location for over 50 years.
It’s been a couple of years since I last dined at Melisse. One of the few real fine dining establishments left in the city, the restaurant is still going strong 18 years in. To celebrate their anniversary, the restaurant was running a promotional 4-course anniversary menu for $99 (it felt more like 7 courses). There were a couple of options for each course, giving us the ability to try a number of different menu offerings.