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Fine Dining Chef Dave Beran Hopes to Add a Casual Restaurant in LA Too

The Chicago-bred chef also broadens out his plans for Dialogue in Santa Monica

Dave Beran
Barry Brecheisen
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.

It’s only been a year since James Beard-winning fine dining chef Dave Beran (he of Next and, before that, Alinea) moved to Los Angeles, but he’s already making some rather big waves. Just days ago Beran announced plans to drop an 18-seat tasting menu concept restaurant called Dialogue at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and now he’s apparently eyeing spaces elsewhere in Los Angeles to boot.

The reveal comes as part of a larger conversation with Eater national’s own Hillary Dixler, mostly centered around Dialogue, his ambitious future Westside restaurant. First, some details on that space:

It’ll be small. Like 800 square feet small, with an open kitchen and eight seats right at the bar. There will be ten others elsewhere in the space, but this is up-close dining at its literal finest.

It’ll be separate. Dialogue is technically a part of The Gallery, a new food hall that looks out onto touristy Third Street Promenade, but Beran tells Eater that he and staff will be doing everything they can to keep the restaurant separate. That includes a separate entrance elevator from the alleyway behind, and a locked door between Dialogue and the rest of the Promenade.

It’ll keep changing. Beran is in part a fan of the area because of the Santa Monica Farmers Market, which happens twice-weekly just steps from his new restaurant. That means tons of opportunity to keep updating the menu — and with possible guest chef series’ happening down the line, there are opportunities to change the staff, too.

The Gallery in Santa Monica
The Gallery

Now on to Beran’s second, unknown project. He tells Eater that the plan was originally to craft a much, much larger restaurant, one that had the tiny Dialogue inside it but was otherwise a more casual affair. The building all of that was predicated on ultimately fell through, leading Beran and his partners to rethink the whole thing.

Ultimately they pulled the two dueling concepts apart and agreed to plant them in different neighborhoods, in part as a way to make sure they stay as grounded to the city as possible. Beran says:

That's where outsiders fail, because they don't understand the city. They show up, and they're like, "I'm here. Embrace me," you know? When that [larger space] fell through and we started looking at different parts of the city, I realized that if we separated the concepts, we could really invest in communities with them.

There’s nothing concrete about that second location, what it will look like, or officially where it will be, but Beran lives Downtown and is a fan of the Arts District (both for its spaces and its people). Add in the fact that Beran and co. have always had sights on two different concepts in LA, and it seems just a matter of time before the next move gets announced. More on this as it comes.