Batali, Colicchio, and Tourondel aren't the only New York chefs heading west: Add Chassagne to the list. To those who only know chefs from the Food Network, the name might not ring a bell, but Claude Chassagne has had a successful career at NY restaurants like Montparnasse, Rick Moonen's Water Club, and a number of Michelin-starred French restaurants, but most recently for his little Lower East Side charmer, Chubo. In 2003, the New York Times said:
It would be a mistake to oversell Chubo. Mr. Chassagne is working small, with a small budget and limitations that press in on every side. Half the pleasure lies in seeing how much he can do with humble ingredients and a price ceiling for a three-course dinner that would barely buy an entree in Midtown. The answer is, a lot more than you might think.Our NY brothers called it the "most underrated restaurant on Clinton Street." Maybe all those recent NY Times articles on Los Angeles are starting to have an impact: Chassagne wants to bring Chubo to LA's Little Tokyo.
The chef/owner admitted to Eater LA that he hasn't been to the neighborhood a whole lot, but thinks his restaurant concept will fit right in with what's going on downtown these days. Even if the concept is the same (intimate space, fresh Franco-Japanese fare, focused menu ) in a similar nabe (up-and-coming, artsy), he said that after four years in NY "it's just time to do something different." This doesn't mean he's closing Chubo NY down (at least that's what he said); just expanding and hopefully by the fall. But since he's still looking for a space (preferably an existing restaurant), we suspect that's ambitous. We'll keep you posted.
· Restaurant Chubo Seeks Investors [Craigslist]
· Chubo [Official Site]