Young chef Nick Erven — formerly of Saint Martha in Koreatown — is plotting to have a very busy 2016, with news today that he’s officially taking over the kitchen at Fundamental LA. And with his plans to potentially do something in the fast casual arena with Eric Greenspan and Jim Hustead, Erven should stay mighty preoccupied this year.
The gig at Fundamental has been up for grabs since late last year, when it was announced that chef Philip Pretty had departed for a spot called Restauration in Long Beach. Luckily Fundamental has built up a solid local Westwood clientele thanks to the hard work of owners Jeffrey Faust and Woogene Lee, and comes complete with one of L.A.’s best (and Eater Young Guns-iest) sommeliers and GMs in Alicia Kemper.
As executive chef, Erven will oversee a revamped lunch and dinner menu, which means casual, quicker options (hopefully they aren't losing their longtime favorite sandwiches) during lunch, and more refined (but craveable) plates for dinner. Of course this stretch of Westwood Boulevard is still rather price conscious (especially being buttressed by UCLA students to the north), so don’t expect anything too outrageous.