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Ex-Cadet Chef Kris Tominaga Returns to The Hart & The Hunter With Big Plans

The Paligroup property was keen for the Southern-inclined chef to return.

Kris Tominaga
Kris Tominaga
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Looks like Kris Tominaga is heading back to one of his earlier gigs, with official news today that the affable chef of the short-lived Cadet has moved back into the fold at The Hart & The Hunter inside the Palihotel on Melrose.

Tominaga’s returning role has been flying under the radar for a few weeks, with the hotel only just now confirming things on their end. The move back to Melrose not only places the chef back into the role (and the restaurant) that first gained him a name in Los Angeles (though he was successful at Wolf in Sheep's Clothing before that), it also propels him into the overall Paligroup portfolio, with Tominaga stepping in to become the hospitality and hotel company’s Group Executive Chef for all properties.

On the more micro scale, Tominaga’s return to The Hart & The Hunter should immediately increase the popularity of the place. Things have floundered a bit since the loss of Tominaga and Brian Dunsmoor (who now runs Hatchet Hall in Culver City), but now that he's back on site the returning chef has already overhauled the dinner menu, which re-launches officially tonight.

Cadet, Tominaga’s Santa Monica small plates French spot, shuttered last month after a run that lasted just over one year. Partner Jeff Weinstein (The Counter, Freddy Smalls) is still in charge of the address, and will reportedly be adding something new there.