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A plate of pasta and greens on a wooden table.
M. Georgina
Wonho Frank Lee

A San Francisco Dining Star Shines Bright in Downtown LA

Michelin-level chef Melissa Perello opens M.Georgina at the Row tomorrow

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.

One of San Francisco’s most celebrated chefs has made her way south to Los Angeles. Melissa Perello, star owner of Michelin-worthy Frances and of Octavia up in the Bay Area, has expanded to the Row development in Downtown with partner Robert Wright to open sprawling dream project M.Georgina this week. The large, open former warehouse will seat its first true dinner guests tomorrow night, more than a year after first being announced.

The sunny converted corner owns what may be the most prime restaurant real estate inside the massive Runyon Group development off Alameda. The place teems with weekend traffic thanks to Smorgasburg, and M.Georgina is — perhaps notwithstanding the gigantic Manufactory build-out from Tartine — the first restaurant to be seen by anyone exiting the parking garage. It helps that the Studio Unltd.-designed restaurant features walls of tall windows and raised ceilings, giving the restaurant a warm, inviting evening glow.

The two-sided open kitchen further pulls in the eye, while a private dining room to one end can act as a hideaway for larger groups and a more muted bar hunkers down the opposite end of the dining space. In all, M.Georgina sprawls across some 4,500 square feet of space, with a variety of banquettes, two- and four-tops, bar seating, and patio space.

And then there is M.Georgina’s concise menu, which hovers well below $35 for entrees and nods to wood-fired cooking and California’s bountiful seasons. Starting salads lean into rotating flavors like chicory with rapini pesto or brussels sprouts with roasted mushrooms, while seafood — a baked clam diavolo, whole fish, some squid ink pita — and roasted meats outline the mains. “Every time I open a new restaurant, I feel like my food evolves into something different,” says Perello. “I want to make the food here accessible to people, and to be heartwarming and delicious.”

Adam Flamenbaum is on to oversee the cocktail side of the bar, while master sommelier Alan Murray and wine director Alex Davis handle the wine and beer. Hannah Ziskin, formerly of SF’s celebrated Nopa, is on as the pastry chef.

M.Georgina opens tomorrow for dinner service at the Row in Downtown. An upcoming takeaway lunchtime window offering rotating daily grab and go meals, called the Slip, should arrive in the coming months.

M.Georgina. 777 Alameda St., Los Angeles.

A sunny open warehouse restaurant space.
The open dining room and kitchen
Open warehouse restaurant M. Georgina with tall windows at Row in Downtown Los Angeles
Looking towards the private dining room
An open warehouse restaurant with open kitchen at left.
The open kitchen at left
Big warehouse windows and wooden tables at a new restaurant.
Lots of Fyrn chairs in the dining room
A dark bar sits inside a sunny warehouse restaurant space.
Towards the bar
Wooden seating with dark padding at a new restaurant with big windows.
Tall windows at a new warehouse restaurant with yellow wooden chairs.
A trim stack of wood next to an open wood-fired oven at a new restaurant.
A short marble bar with wooden stools at a hip new restaurant.
Shiny marble bar seating with curved wooden backless stools.
An open kitchen at a hot new restaurant, complete with pots and pans.
A private dining area with blonde wood accents at a new restaurant.
The private dining room
A small patio in front of a glassy new restaurant.
Patio seating
A pasta dish with greens on a blonde wood table.
Contechino ragoût
Brussels sprouts and mushrooms in a fall salad.
Warm brussels sprouts salad
Crispy skinned black cod with vegetables and onions.
Wood-baked black cod
An open pita pocket dish, made black from squid ink.
Squid ink pita
A thin slice of chocolate cremeux dessert with cream next to it on the plate.
Dandelion chocolate cremeux
Menus and details for a new restaurant sit on a wooden table.
Hand painted signage for a new restaurant sits on cement.
The exterior of M. Georgina, a bright new warehouse-y restaurant.

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