Enrique Olvera, the world-renowned chef behind the stunning Mexico City fine-dining destination Pujol, as well as hit New York City restaurants Cosme and Atla, plans a hybrid restaurant for his Los Angeles debut. Although early reports suggested Olvera’s first LA restaurant would in fact be the second-ever location of Cosme, one of Eater critic Bill Addison’s 2016 Best Restaurants, Olvera now confirms that the plan is far more fluid.
“We’re currently working on the menu,” the chef says. “We know it won’t be identical — the name won’t be Cosme. It’s a combination between Pujol and Cosme.”
Located in the Arts District — a burgeoning downtown LA neighborhood that’s already home to Bestia, and soon-to-be home to eagerly awaited openings from Mei Lin and Jessica Largey — Olvera’s new restaurant will have a terrace for outdoor dining as well as a counter reminiscent of the taco bar at Pujol. But there will be no prix-fixe menu. Olvera says the still-in-development menu, like Cosme, will focus on a la carte dining. Cosme and Tørst alum Jesús Cervantes will be the head chef.
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Olvera also has a daytime plan. Citing slowish lunch business in the Arts District, Olvera will have an adjacent taqueria — or, as he puts it, “a small taco window” — for take away and casual lunches, rather than keeping his whole restaurant open. “I am trying to understand what the LA market wants and to adapt to that,” Olvera says.
He’s not alone in that search. Several big name out-of-towners have decamped to Los Angeles in recent years, resulting in some of the most exciting new restaurants in town. Both David Chang and the Nomad team of Will Guidara and Daniel Humm made the New York to Los Angeles jump this year, while Chicago star Dave Beran opened his Los Angeles tasting temple this past fall.
A highly anticipated joint venture from Arizona’s pizza maestro Chris Bianco and San Francisco’s iconic Tartine is also still in the works for LA, as is the a location of Saison chef Joshua Skenes casual restaurant-to-be Angler (but that has to open in SF first).
Olvera plans to open the as-yet-unnamed restaurant in late 2018 or early 2019.