West Hollywood: A City of Top ChefsBy: Esther Tseng
There’s a lot of culinary talent on display almost daily on Bravo and other networks, but did you know that some of them have set up shop in various West Hollywood kitchens?
The most vetted and acclaimed of those is Michael Cimarusti of Top Chef Masters Season 1 and who recently moved into the neighborhood with the already well-received Connie & Ted’s. The newly constructed seafood shack is anything but a shack; it’s actually massive inside with beautiful Midcentury Modern finishings and a glorious open kitchen for a front row view. The oyster selection is one of the most expansive and unique not only in West Hollywood but Los Angeles, but good luck passing over the lobster rolls, which come in both styles: Connecticut (made with butter, hot) and Maine (made with mayonnaise, cold). 8171 Santa Monica Boulevard, 323-848-CRAB
Up on The Sunset Strip is the first rate charcuterie and wine bar, Gorge, right on the Sunset Strip. Elia Aboumrad of Top Chef Season 2 and Pastry Chef Uyen Nguyen (Elia’s friend from culinary school inParis) have teamed up with Master Sommelier Darius Allyn to create a space that serves delicious housemade charcuterie and more and expertly pairs them with wines and beers. After all, fewer than 200 people have passed the Master Sommelier exam in the 40 years since its inception, so Elia isn’t the only talent, here. And don’t miss the beautiful and sumptuous Saint Honore pastries by Uyen – they are to die for. 8917 Sunset Boulevard, 310-657-MEAT
And down the street at Mondrian, we’ve got Top Chef Season 3 contestant and former The Taste judge, Brian Malarkey. He’ll be freshening up the former Asia de Cuba space with a restaurant called Herringbone, slated to open on New Year’s Eve. If it’s anything like his outpost in San Diego, we have fresh, line-caught seafood, quality meats and fresh-from-the-farm produce to look forward to in what will inevitably be a sophisticated revamp of the restaurant space. 8440 Sunset Boulevard, 323-650-8999
West Hollywood has always had movie star power, but we now have the culinary star power to match. It’s never been a more exciting time to eat in the neighborhood, with our taste buds taking us up front and center. It’s better than star maps!
Photo of Connie and Ted’s by Ricardo DeAratanha for the Los Angeles TimesTags: sunset strip , things to do , west hollywood dining , west hollywood restaurants