Not to be outdone by all the action in Hollywood, Beverly Hills is back with its own new opening — and at a very familiar space no less. The closed former Bouchon restaurant is returning with a brand new name, redone look, and a very familiar chef.
Tommy Salvatore, a longtime manager and well-connected front-of-house face at celebrity-favored spot Craig’s, has taken control of the property at 235 N. Canon Drive. The two-floor address will operate under the name Tommy’s, with a ground-floor bar and cafe, plus an elegant upstairs dining room, bar, and lounge. The native New Yorker, who has been in Los Angeles for years, has long been known as a hospitality pro with a deep address book. And now he gets a place to call his own, literally.
Running the kitchen is none other than Vartan Abgaryan, the longtime LA chef who earlier this year was cooking down in Orange County. Now he’s back to turn Thomas Keller’s former landmark space into his own personal culinary playground, working a menu of upscale staples from steaks to cocktails, along with vegan options and all the usual flourishes found in Abgaryan’s cooking, dating back to his time at Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake, 71Above in Downtown, and at the now-closed Yours Truly in Venice.
Together Salvatore and Abgaryan plan to run both the upstairs and downstairs spaces, with room for close to 200 diners all-in. The first floor will house a small 11-seat bar and large portico-style patio, with a more relaxed menu of drinks and bites. Upstairs, diners will be led through a small second-floor lounge for evening cocktail service, and then on into the ambitious main dining room with its soaring ceiling, Art Deco lighting, and an expansive wall of glassy doors that open out in the city beyond. Expect jewel tones, white tablecloths, and formal (but un-stuffy) service when the restaurant opens in January. The downstairs bar will start up first, followed a few weeks later by the main dining room.
Beverly Hills diners will remember Bouchon as a big get for the standalone city nestled within Los Angeles County. Chef and owner Thomas Keller is widely regarded as one of America’s premier luxury culinary talents, with multiple Michelin-starred restaurants on both coasts, including the venerable French Laundry in Yountville and Per Se in New York City. Keller oversaw Bouchon for years along Canon Drive, one of the toniest stretches of street anywhere in greater Los Angeles, before closing the business in 2017 after calling out the city for what he felt were unworkable business conditions. The city of Beverly Hills owns the Bouchon building and was Keller’s landlord during his time as a tenant.
The upscale LA-area city has become a new destination for operators and weekend diners willing to splurge. Chef Curtis Stone is reopening his Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant Maude just a few blocks away, and chef Daniel Boulud will also open a project inside city limits in 2022. Tatel is quickly becoming its own celebrity hotspot, and locals will soon be able to try some of LA’s best new pizza at Full Proof not far away.