Chef Miles Thompson has left Makani, the Venice restaurant he started up with just two weeks ago. Eater has confirmed that Thompson is no longer involved with the restaurant as of last weekend, though both sides have so far remained amicable in the sudden split. Owner Jeff Carzino says:
The opportunity to work with a chef like Miles Thompson was one we could not pass up. He had a vision to create a menu and concept that would be innovative and ingredient-driven, and we were pleased to offer him autonomy. But we realized quickly that our guests were not ready for us to pivot in this direction. It is truly unfortunate that we could not offer Miles the platform he deserves, and we wish him well.
It’s unclear what is next for Thompson. As for Makani, the restaurant will open with a mellow, neighborhood-friendly menu on Wednesday, as planned.
Meanwhile, Tanino Drago in Westwood seems to have closed. A tipster says that staff began informing customers last week, and the restaurant is no longer taking reservations online. Eater reached out multiple times for more information, but has not heard back.
Some of America’s best pastry chefs are heading to Sqirl for a big group party on Saturday. The so-called Pastry Action Network event runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features five different pastry chefs from across the country, each doing their own dish. Tickets are $50, and proceeds go to the Yellowhammer Fund and the James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Fund.
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Saturday, June 29th ): 10a - 2p In @sqirlla’s party space (two doors down) is the P.A.N. (Pastry Action Network) inaugural event at Sqirl- a collective and bi-yearly meetup prioritizing pastry’s importance in the conversation of food. (Link to in bio) One of the 5 pastry chefs at the event is the pastry chef for our new restaurant @Ondalosangeles (opening August), Jess Stephens @jessswork. Jess will be making these Lemon Turmeric Conchas (sneak peak)!! Moving to San Antonio as a kid exposed Jess to a new world of Mexican flavors. Conchas and tacos are still her favorite breakfast foods. Jess’ concha uses turmeric to update the sweet bread's neon color palate and is filled with a lemon curd to mimic the American tradition of the jelly doughnut. Her pastries seek to infuse the best of California produce with Mexican culinary traditions.
Upcoming hotel the Wayfarer in Downtown Los Angeles has a new culinary lead: Francis Dimitrius. Fans may know his name from his stint at Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills, where the chef occasionally appeared on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules, but Dimitrius also spent years at Matsuhisa in Aspen, Koi in West Hollywood, and elsewhere.
Modern Times Beer has officially opened its taproom and restaurant up in Santa Barbara. The spacious location right off State Street offers close to three-dozen taps of craft beer and cider as well as a ton of vegan food and indoor-outdoor seating. Hours for the space at 418 State Street in Santa Barbara run 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
A large loss
Marie Alfano, the namesake matriarch of Southern California chain Maria’s Italian Kitchen, has died. The 86-year-old was killed earlier this month in a car accident in Palm Springs.
There’s a new oyster bar to know about out in Redlands. It’s called Redlands Oyster Cult, and it offers evening service with loads of seafood as well as beer, wine, and cocktails. 16 E. State Street, Redlands.