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Wes Whitsell Returns to LA With Manuela, the Arts District's Newest Heavy Hitter

Coming this summer.

Manuela, Arts District
Manuela, Arts District
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.

Boy, Arts District residents looking to avoid the constant construction in their neck of the woods just can’t seem to catch a break. Right when it felt as though the place might be saturated enough for developers and designers to start looking elsewhere, here comes Manuela, an all-day eatery to be attached to a fine art gallery.

The LA Times has details on the upcoming project, which is being put together by chef Wes Whitsell. You might be familiar with that name from a few years ago, as Whitsell helped to open Gjelina in Venice before moving on to Blair’s in Silver Lake and ultimately Osteria La Buca. He spent some time back east at places like Soho House, but has returned to Southern California to stage his first solo project. With the help of some big-money art financiers, of course.

The forthcoming Manuela will be situated on the site of the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel arts complex on Third Street, essentially across the street from Blacktop Coffee and right next door to the inbound Arts District outlet of Salt & Straw (which, sorry neighbors, is also still under construction). The plan is to put the restaurant inside, attached to the center courtyard, and surrounded by glass. The 5,000 square foot space, says the Times, will be designed by Matt Winter and feature selected works of art from the gallery itself.

If all goes well, Manuela should arrive by summer, with plans to serve three square meals a day, using Whitsell’s Texas roots and L.A.’s Mexican heritage as inspirations.

909 E. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA