Roughly 18 months since opening up her buzzy new beachside restaurant Leona, chef Nyesha Arrington is stepping away to pursue other projects. Her final night of service is slated to be February 11, while the restaurant will move in an entirely new direction. She was awarded Eater LA’s chef of the year in 2015.
The news first broke late Friday night when Arrington herself posted about the situation on Facebook, saying “Unfortunately this is not the place for me any more,” before adding that she wishes the remaining staff and ownership the best. Reached by phone, Arrington adds that there is no bad blood between the sides, just that it was time for her to move on and start to formulate plans or a new project down the road.
Don’t worry, she promised not to leave Los Angeles, but will be taking some time to travel, cook around at places, and put her next plan into motion. Whatever that ends up being, it’ll still be local.
As for Leona, a spokesperson leaves the following statement with Eater:
LEONA will soon announce a new concept. Our team is proud to have achieved amazing accolades and have built a strong foundation. We are excited for Chef Nyesha's future and the spirit she brought to LEONA.