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Nightshade, Pasjoli, and Auburn Are LA’s James Beard Foundation 2020 Finalists

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A somber setting as multiple newly-closed Los Angeles restaurants have been nominated for the industry’s most prestigious award

A tight pile of blue crab on a fine dining plate.
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.

It was a much quieter, slightly more somber affair, but Los Angeles has officially received its finalist nominations for James Beard Foundation restaurant, chef, and design awards this year. Normally the Beards would be a boisterous in-person party, where restaurant operators and chefs hand out handshakes and the JBFA hands out hardware from the city of Chicago, but those plans were scuttled months ago as a result of the then-growing coronavirus pandemic. Now the restaurant award winners won’t be revealed until a ceremony in Chicago on September 25, but the finalists have been announced.

Here’s who made the shortlist(s) out of Los Angeles.

Restaurant Design, 76 Seats and Over

Auburn, Los Angeles (Klein Agency/ORA, now closed)

Outstanding Wine Program

Night + Market Sahm, Los Angeles

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Lincoln Carson, Bon Temps, Los Angeles (now closed)

Margarita Manzke, Republique, Los Angeles

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Jon Yao, Kato, Los Angeles

Best New Restaurant

Nightshade, Los Angeles

Pasjoli, Santa Monica, CA

Best Chef: California

Jeremy Fox, Birdie G’s, Santa Monica, CA

Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles

*Joshua Skenes was also nominated for Angler, which has locations in both San Francisco and Los Angeles