Say hello to Tesse, a new dining establishment perched atop Sunset Blvd at the end of La Cienega Boulevard, an area long considered one of LA’s toughest places to open a restaurant. Bill Chait credits Night + Market for elevating the area’s scene, though others like Eveleigh, The Church Key, and Sushi Park have had varying degrees of success here. Once Tesse opens on June 19, it could herald a shift in Sunset Strip’s reputation.
Chait returns to Los Angeles after leaving a slew of restaurants he helped build, such as Bestia, Republique, and The Rose. He’s partnered with Jordan Ogron, who helped open Bestia, and talented chef Raphael Francois, who worked at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and also top places in D.C. and New York. Filipino chef and LA-native Sally Camacho Mueller helms the dessert side of things.
First, the space, designed by Alexis Readinger of Preen, Inc. It’s striking and modern, with clean lines and warm touches. A teak bar greets diners upon entering the room, with tan leather banquettes, sleek woods, and patterned tile accents encompassing the main dining space. There’s a heavy futuristic slant with a floating cork ceiling that gives the large room a more intimate feel.
The food starts with a strong charcuterie selection, a nod to the term delicatesse, which means “delicious,” but also refers to forcemeat and cured sausages. Think saucisse de Lyon, or pork sausage with Madeira and pistachio; or duck and foie gras terrine with figs and Armagnac. The wide-ranging apps and mains hit a slew of French flavors and California ingredients, from crispy veal sweetbreads and blue crab “simplissime” of whipped potatoes and tarragon to pork belly cavatelli and a 34 ounce dry-aged ribeye. On the sweet side, there’s a coconut necter mousse custard with passionfruit curd and a duck egg crème brûlée with almond tuile. There’s plenty to enjoy and a bit of something for everyone, from Francophiles to those looking for seasonally-driven fare.
Once it opens on June 19, Tesse will serve from 6 to 10:30 p.m. daily.
Tesse. 8500 W. Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069.