Chef Jason Francisco’s latest venture The Gray Tavern makes its Studio City debut this Friday. Francisco took his experience at
Providence and his two-year restaurant The Sherman, and parlayed it into a new menu with influences from Spain, Italy, France, and California.
There’s plenty to like before stepping in the door. The Gray Tavern is ideally located on Ventura Boulevard near Vineland, and only blocks away from the Red Line Metro station. The Gray will keep its doors open until 1 a.m., for those looking for a late night drink or hangout spot with a patio in the Valley.
Small plates are divided into three sections, where Francisco adds distinct touches to local vegetables, meats that includes a bone marrow dish, along with a hamachi crudo and Spanish-style octopus rounding off the seafood. Large platters are all under $30, with a wild salmon risotto and freshly made bucatini highlighting the entrees.
Francisco’s resume spans across some of LA’s most noteworthy, including Comme Ça, and work with Michael Cimarusti at Eataly’s Il Pesce and Providence. “Love of food is what drew me into this career,” says Francisco. “Love of merging cultures is what drew me to The Gray.”
General manager and beverage director Phil Collins (no relation to the famous singer) put together a strong wine and beer list, as well as cocktails with fresh juices and custom ingredients. The What’s Up Doc uses Calabrian chili oil, vodka, ginger liqueur, carrot juice, bell pepper syrup, and orange blossom water to finish. Collins continues to develop cocktail menus throughout LA, the most recent at Sake Dojo in Little Tokyo.
The Gray Tavern hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Gray Tavern. 10964 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA
Update: An earlier version of this article stated that Francisco worked at Providence. While he was preparing to open Il Pesce, Fransisco was working with Providence chef Michael Cimarusti at Providence to develop the Il Pesce menu.