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Top Chef Winner Mei Lin Takes to the Arts District With New Nightshade Project

Expect the flavors of Los Angeles from inside one of the city’s buzziest neighborhoods

Chef Mei Lin in Los Angeles, California.
Mei Lin
Dylan + Jeni
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.

After years of anticipation, star chef Mei Lin is finally ready to reveal her next project: Nightshade, an upscale casual new dinner spot opening in the heart of the Arts District.

Lin is already in R&D mode for her new restaurant, reports Eater Restaurant Editor Hillary Dixler Canavan. That means she’s in the kitchen now, offering her own takes on things like Nashville-style hot chicken or General Tso’s octopus to friends and family. The restaurant space itself is getting built out in the Arts District, right off already-busy 3rd Street.

Nightshade will take the location of defunct casual Mexican restaurant Cerveteca, a slight walk from the street down a loading dock that offers both intimacy and a pretty stunning wow factor once inside. Details are still scarce on the look of the place, but Lin tells Eater she is hoping for “fine food in a casual setting.” Already a Top Chef winner and Eater 2014 Young Gun while working under Michael Voltaggio at Ink., Nightshade immediately becomes one of the most anticipated openings in Los Angeles this year.

As for the Arts District in particular, Lin is just the latest chef to land a location in what is still one of the city’s buzziest neighborhoods. Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes will be opening Cosme across from Bestia later this year or early next, while Ori Menashe is almost ready to open Bavel not far away. Bruce Kalman recently signed on to spearhead a project in the Arts District, and Wes Avila is still building his new Guerrilla Tacos up from the studs. As for Mei Lin, expect a Nightshade opening sometime in summer of this year.

923 E. 3rd St. #109
Los Angeles, CA