Even more big changes are coming to Simone, the at-times struggling Arts District restaurant opened by chef Jessica Largey and Avengers director Joe Russo just last fall. Following service on Sunday night the restaurant will completely close, reemerging only later with a new name, new chef, and new menu.
Instead of carrying on under the previous title, the soon-to-be-former Simone will take the name of its up front bar, Duello, and use it for the entire space. The new all-encompassing Duello will be both a bar and restaurant in one, and will be overseen by chef Jason Beberman, who hails from Empellon in New York City. Beberman stepped into the lead role following the surprise departure of James Beard-winning Largey in March after just five months.
Reps for the restaurant confirmed the weekend closure, adding that Duello (the bar portion) will remain open, Wednesday through Sunday, for the next several weeks. The cocktails there will still be overseen by Edinburgh’s Iain McPherson, and there will be some light bar snacks available as Beberman and company R&D out their new menu. As for what that full food menu will look like in the dining room, that remains to be seen.
The final night of Simone as it currently stands is this coming Sunday, with the restaurant reopening as Duello on May 4. The surprise closure comes after a tumultuous few months for the much-anticipated project, from a scathing LA Times review to reports of mismanagement and infighting within the organization overall. Expect a whole new direction next month.
Duello. 449 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles, CA.