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Recently Closed Simone Space Comes Back to Life With More Mellow Version of the Restaurant

There’s a new chef, new menu, and new seating at Duello

Wonho Frank Lee
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.

Out of the ashes of one of LA’s most surprising restaurant closures rises Duello, a casual family-style dinner spot in the Arts District under chef Jason Beberman, formerly of Empellón and Gramercy Tavern.

Anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention to the restaurant industry in Los Angeles over the past few months has heard the news of Simone’s closure in the Arts District just six months in. The powerfully-backed restaurant spent three years being built and R&D’d under James Beard award-winning chef Jessica Largey, only to have the whole thing fall apart in April. Now, there’s a new glow to the place, thanks to a whole new menu, chef, and outlook.

The new Duello takes the name of the former Simone front bar area and extends it to the entire space, though for now the primary dining room in the back will remain closed to customers. Instead all of the eating will happen up front and out on a new patio right off Hewitt Street. That means no more chef’s counter, and a focus on casual fare for groups, including crispy pork belly with salsa verde, or octopus with fava beans and toasted garlic. Expect larger-format main proteins as well, from lamb to short ribs.

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Friday feels, eat with your hands

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The new-look Duello will also continue its cocktail focus under bartender Iain McPherson, who remains on from the Simone days, just like Beberman. Meanwhile, owner-operator and Avengers co-director Joe Russo has stepped away from day-to-day operations.

The restaurant’s new/old opening starts this Saturday, with hours running from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are available on Resy as of today.

Duello. 449 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles, CA.