Taking heavy taxidermy and hunting lodge cues from Angler’s first restaurant in San Francisco’s Embarcadero, this newest location opening June 19 in Los Angeles feels darker, clubbier, and perhaps even more visually striking. But the approach to the menu at the Bay Area’s celebrated (and mercurial) chef Joshua Skenes is more or less the same. Think vegetables, meats, and fish served family-style at their freshest and best moments. Fish await their fate in tanks across the far wall while an open kitchen bellows out smoke and fire.
Just a quick primer on Skenes, who founded the two-Michelin star Saison in San Francisco before opening Angler SF in September 2018. Saison first started as a pop-up ten years ago in the Mission before earning numerous accolades. Saison landed its third Michelin star a few years ago and is currently number 46 on the World’s Fifty Best restaurants. Earlier this year, Saison was demoted to two stars, which is protocol anytime a new chef — in this case Laurent Gras — takes over the kitchen of a three-star restaurant. Skenes, who’s no longer involved in Saison, has shifted his attention to Angler, which earned its own Michelin star this year, and was a finalist in the James Beard Best New Restaurant category.
Much like Saison, Angler is an elemental, extremely focused restaurant on the bounty of seafood and rustic hearth fire. Skenes plans to draw much of the seafood from local waters, as well as California game meats from his namesake ranch. The menu is incredibly simple on the page, with a small section of raw bar courses; four salads, including a sweet chicory caesar; vegetables to complement main courses, such as summer squash cured in kelp and vadouvan; and finally six main entrees ranging from grilled rockfish and poached marbled flounder to a whole smoked trout. Salt and pepper scorpion fish, an 88-day dry-aged ribeye, and whole chicken finishes that section. Prices should round out to $100 per person.
And since Skenes has a flair for the opulent, he’s serving the restaurant’s own brand of caviar warmed on fire with a banana leaf wrap along with grilled banana waffles and barbecue banana peel better. The dining room fits up to 70 while the bar and lounge accommodates another 18. There are also two private dining rooms for parties at six or 16. Dameon Evers will be the executive chef at LA’s Angler, while Bryce Vaughan oversees operations as general manager. Eater Young Gun Maxfield Schnee is the director of operations, and former Felix barman Brandyn Tepper is back in LA as Angler’s bar manager.
Angler is open Monday to Sunday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are on OpenTable.
Angler. 8500 West Beverly Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA 90048.