Southern Hospitality is more than just a quaint saying, it is an earnest way of life. Opening one’s home is akin to opening one’s heart, andPreux & Proper, the preeminent Southern house on the west coast, would like to officially introduce Proper Dining Hall and Executive Chef Sammy Monsour’s innovative new dining menu of tantalizing New American cuisine with a Southern foundation!
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the spawn of bootleggers and retail giants, Preux & Proper Owner and Operator Joshua Kopel first launched New Orleans style bar Five0Four along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, establishing a slice of down home revelry in the heart of Tinseltown. Four years later, Kopel then set his sights on Downtown L.A. to broaden his focus beyond The Big Easy; a haven to exemplify Kopel’s passion for hospitality and Southern heritage to the fullest capacity in a concept that would encompass the entirety of what the American South has to offer.
Straddling the Broadway Theater District and the Fashion District, Preux & Proper is housed in one of the rarest architectural gems in all of Los Angeles, a historic turn-of-the-century flatiron wedge building that has stood witness to the tremendous evolution of Downtown. However, it was not until Partner and Executive Chef Sammy Monsour joined the family that Preux & Proper officially transformed into a true Southern home. “Everything fell into place when Sammy came on board,” says Kopel.
“His food is the vehicle for our guests to experience the warmth of the Southern table.”
A third-generation chef, Monsour was born in New York and raised in North Carolina, growing up among a large extended family centered by his immigrant grandparents, who brought the flavors and traditions from Beirut to their new home in the American South. Spending his formative years in the kitchen of his parent’s restaurant in Chapel Hill, Monsour became head cook by the time he was seventeen, with a menu featuring an eclectic range of Southern cuisine, stretching from the Carolinas all the way down to Texas.
After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, Chef Monsour spent four years in the catering industry in the Hudson Valley before he embarked upon an eighteen-month culinary expedition throughout the United States, working his way through twenty-five cities, tasting and connecting with an immeasurable amount of American people and their culture, until he finally landed in Boston where he became the Executive Chef of JM Curley Barroom and Bogie’s Place Steakhouse.
With his hand stirring many pots at any given time, Chef Monsour co-authored American Burger Revival: Brazen Recipes to Electrify a Timeless Classic and made numerous cooking appearances on programs such as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, The Untitled Action Bronson Show, Man Finds Food, Food Paradise, while also flexing his improvisational skills competing on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen.
After a series of successful pop-up dinners in Los Angeles, Chef Monsour met business partner and kindred spirit Joshua Kopel and came full circle with his return to Southern cooking as they began crafting the vision for Preux & Proper.
“These are the flavors of our forebears. I am honoring the rich tapestry of people that make up the South, while consistently pushing the boundaries on what defines American cuisine.”
Situated upstairs, Preux & Proper’s new Proper Dining Hall provides an unrivaled, upscale intimacy for those seeking an evening of sumptuous Southern dining. Thursday evening kicks-off the weekend’s festivities with Live Jazz & Oysters, featuring the weekly offering of three unique varieties of raw oysters, freshly shucked and served with chunky horseradish cocktail sauce, fresh lemon, and apple cider mignonette, while jazz musician Ryan Cross & Friends entertain guests with their eclectic repertoire.
Friday and Saturday evenings are for weekend revelers on the hunt for that extraordinary dining destination ideal for creating memorable nights of love and laughter over delicious dinner and drinks. Offering three enchanting occasions to experience Southern charm at its finest, the Preux & Proper, Proper Dining Hall is a jewel box of convivial opulence.
Implementing the vast repertoire of regional techniques and variations acquired throughout Monsour’s travels, the beautifully rustic new Proper Dining Hall Dinner Menu is served in true Southern style, as guests are encouraged to share with the entire table. The rich bounty of a seasonal harvest is exemplified with Vegetables for the Table beginning with the Grilled Yellow Sweet Corn with pork cracklins, queso fresco, aleppo, and smoky miso aioli.
Like many Southern dinners, the evening starts with the iconic Holy Trinity, traditionally a blend of celery, bell pepper, and onion, but as Monsour elaborates, “Trinity is the foundation of Southern cooking and unites our menu, but I see the full spectrum of each component; I won’t solely utilize bell pepper, but the perfect pepper combination that will best service the dish.”
The Marinated Cauliflower Romanesco Salad, comprised of celery heart, Anaheim romesco, and Cajun dukkah is inspired by Monsour’s Lebanese heritage and his Grandma’s garden; the earthy Spicy Roasted Carrots is the perfect balancing act of texture, flavor, and color, featuring golden beets, labneh kefir, roasted greens, crunchy jerk chickpeas, and okra leaf. Balance out that greenery with Handmade Charcuterie featuring selections such as the Smoked Beef Heart Pastrami Toast, with rancho gordo domingo rojo beans, lemon, and shaved trinity, or the creamy Burrata, accompanied with house Tasso ham, toasted benne seeds, muffaletta relish, grilled bread, and mustard flowers.
Indulge in an array of Southern Frieddelectables, such as the quintessential Fried Mississippi Catfish, comprised of buttermilk marinade, cornmeal crust, house pickles, celery salt, and red remoulade. Crispy and succulent, the Chicken Fried Pork Belly features pickled radish, refried red beans, pineapple verde, blue corn crumble, and pomegranate glaze. Inspired by the mole from his Chef de Cuisine’s mother-in-law, Chef Monsour incorporates elements from the surrounding L.A. culture to create the vegetarian Squash Blossom Chile Relleno, with Humboldt Fog goat cheese, midnight bean succotash, cornmeal crust, and pumpkin seed mole.
On the seafaring side of the menu, Fresh Off the Hook has your catch of the day with choices like the Dungeness Crab Hushpuppies, with house bourbon barrel aged green hot sauce, boil spice, and charred poblano butter. For a taste of the classics, go for the Cast Iron Seafood Gumbo Pot, comprised of Louisiana crawfish, tiger prawns, Willapa Bay oysters, PEI mussels, rice, and tobacco leeks. Proudly partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, all of the seafood is certified green and sustainable on a global scale, with many selections sourced by Cape Seafood & Provisions. Founded by Michelin starred Chef Michael Cimarusti, Cape Seafood & Provisions connects chefs to the fisherman with a weekly dock report, allowing Chef Monsour to plan for the limited available, seasonal Weekend Seafood Special.
If meat is what guests seek, meat is what guests shall receive with selections from 16 oz. Cuts, starting with a twist on a familiar Southern dish, the Rabbit Jambalaya, comprised of bone-in half rabbit sourced from the highly sustainable Oz Family Farm, accompanied by asparagus and sugar snap pea risotto, mint, clothbound cheddar, charred lemon, and Thai basil.
The 36 Hour Prime Boneless Beef Rib is a feast for the whole party, with garnet yam purée, crispy parsnips, charred leeks, trumpet mushrooms, and potlikker demi, while the Liberty Farms Organic Duck Breastprovides a happy medium, featuring Anson Mills grits, white truffle, foie gras butter, roasted kale, and huckleberry jus. Keeping the Sweets classic and simple, Preux & Proper Proper Dining Halloffers three desserts to conclude the meal with, starting with the Beignets, comprised of Pâté a choux dough with “bananas foster” dulce de leche and powdered sugar.
Mum’s the word on the secret recipe for Kassady’s Mama’s Key Lime Pie, served with whipped cream and limited availability. Rounding out the sweet selections is the Seasonal Cobbler, served with lemon verbena, brown butter crumble, and homemade frozen custard.
Privileged to facilitate the camaraderie between individuals drinking at the same time in the same place, the Proper Dining Hall Bar is the ideal nook for guests to pull up a chair to sip and savor a thirst-quenching libation. Crafting her cocktails with Chef Monsour’s cuisine in mind, Beverage Director Kassady Wiggins ensures that every drink is blended seamlessly with the dinner menu. Applying the heart and soul from her Greenville, South Carolina upbringing, Wiggins infuses culture from various regions of the South with Dirty South Remedies, Low Country Cures, and Appalachian Elixirs. Compelling and revivifying from the first sip, each cocktail is perfectly balanced with freshly squeezed juices, house-made accoutrements and artisanal spirits.
For guests seeking a laid-back atmosphere with cold libations and a Southern spin on familiar bites, the ground floor Barroom is open seven days a week, the perfect neighborhood bar to unwind from the daily grind with co-workers and friends alike. Relax and enjoy a refreshing beverage from the open air Frozen Daiquiri Bar, and if you are feeling peckish, the Barroom offers an array ofBarroom Eats filled with true grit American cuisine. House Favorites like the Baked Mac & Cheese, Southern Sandwiches such as the Crawfish Roll, and three varieties of Deep Dish Biscuit Dough Pizza. Should the sweet siren call of a proper meal to stir your curiosity and cravings, the full dining menu is also available.
Fundamental to the principles of Preux & Proper is a passionate commitment to sustainability. A Local Leader for the Chefs Collaborative, a national network of chefs to stay up-to-date on methods to maintain sustainability, educate, and share the good food movement, Chef Monsour finds deeper meaning in all aspects of his career, from selecting food for the dining menu, to reducing landfill waste by implementing compost and recycling. “Our pledge to understanding the food system and how we play a part in it is paramount to the foundations of Preux & Proper,” says Chef Monsour. “Our guests can taste it in the food.”
As Chef Monsour eloquently says, “We don’t see customers, we see guests being welcomed into our home.” Whether it is day or night, a weeknight adventure or celebrating the weekend, there are no strangers at Preux & Proper, only friends you have yet to meet!
The Preux & Proper Proper Dining Hall is open for Dinner every Thursday from 6:00 pm to 12:00 Midnight, every Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 12:00 Midnight, and every Sunday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
The Preux & Proper Barroom is open every Monday and Tuesday from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, every Wednesday through Saturday from 4:00 pm to 12:00 Midnight, and every Sunday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Preux & Proper Happy Hour is offered every Monday through Saturday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and every Sunday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Preux & Proper also serves Brunch every Sunday from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 pm. For more information or reservations, please visit www.PruexandProper.com or call Preux & Proper directly at 213.896.0090.