Largey spent years bringing Simone to life, struggling through construction delays while working to devise a menu that would lean into her California produce-forward approach, honed over years at three-Michelin-starred Bay Area restaurant Manresa, where she was chef de cuisine. She also worked to shine a light on mental health issues within the restaurant industry, and had instituted work-life balance policies meant to give employees more time away from the job. According to restaurant reps, this policy will remain in place in spite of Largey’s departure.
Simone did not immediately take the Los Angeles dining scene by storm when it opened in September, however. The restaurant’s splashy roll-out, financed by Joe Russo from the Marvel Avengers franchise, and high pricetag, kept some away, while more recently LA Times critic Bill Addison found himself rather unhappy with the place’s poor service and “shapeless” lack of cohesion overall. Largey had just announced a new $185 chef’s tasting menu back in early February, too.
Now Largey has left the building, with reps for the restaurant telling Eater in a statement:
“The mutual decision to part ways was reached over the weekend, as Largey has chosen to depart in order to pursue outside projects. Effective immediately, chef de cuisine Jason Beberman of Empellón and Gramercy Tavern, will assume the leadership role in the kitchen, beginning with an overhaul of the dinner and brunch menu.”
Russo adds that it was an “honor” to work with Largey, and that “her craftsmanship and culinary prowess is truly a sight to behold.” There’s no official word yet on when the menu will flip under Beberman’s watch, but word is that the menu will shift to a more casual approach. The bar up front, Duello, will continue on as before.