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Fine Dining Chef Dave Beran Goes French Casual in Santa Monica on Saturday

The Dialogue chef’s follow-up, Pasjoli, is almost here

A bright fine dining dish, served on a wavy plate, with nasturtium and citrus.
A dish from Dave Beran’s Dialogue
Mariah Tauger

It’s going to be a busy year for chef Dave Beran. The Chicago transplant behind Michelin-starred Santa Monica hotspot Dialogue is just days away from opening his next restaurant Pasjoli, and judging by his conversation with the LA Times, there is certainly a lot to do.

Beran, who hails from Chicago’s famed Alinea and Next, has long been known for his fine-dining prowess and an ability to stay cool under pressure while standing in front of 18 diners a night, serving course after exacting course to folks who pay hundreds of dollars. With Pasjoli those formalities are gone in favor of an a la carte menu complete with individual entrees and tableside caviar service.

There is still pressure of course. Beran wants to get Westside customers to reconsider the typical French fare they have become accustomed to, so he’s leaning into the lighter side of the country’s expansive repertoire, and on the Santa Monica farmers market. That means no steak frites (they won’t have a fryer) and no gloopy french onion soup, he tells the Times, but plenty of joie de vivre. The space, a split-in-two 4,000 square foot former burger restaurant looking right out onto Main Street in Santa Monica, is touched off with brass accents and white tile and comfortable grey banquettes, ideal for lingering with just one more glass of wine.

Make no mistake, Pasjoli isn’t planning on going too far down-market. Beran envisions a restaurant (and a price point) scaled somewhere between “neighborhood spot” and “anniversary celebration,” hence the caviar and the pressed duck. After all, Beran still has Dialogue for the tasting menu stuff, where he’ll continue to roll out new seasonal menus with seeming ease. He also still plans to move that restaurant out of its hidden digs off the Third Street Promenade at some point, and establish Dialogue in its own larger space elsewhere.

Until then, Beran and chef de cuisine Matthew Kim are all in on Pasjoli, opening on Saturday. The restaurant will run dinner service hours only, Wednesday through Sunday, to start.

Pasjoli. 2732 Main St., Santa Monica.

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