There seems to be renewed optimism around Los Angeles’s robust restaurant scene, particularly as the state prepares to open up more broadly next week. The latest bit of promise for LA comes out of Hollywood, as chef Lincoln Carson makes his long-hoped-for return to the city with a brand new project called Mes Amis.
As the name implies, Carson’s newest restaurant will lean into French flavors by way of Paris and Lyon’s many cafes and brasseries — though Carson says his menu will be a more California “reinterpretation” of the classics, using Southern California produce from the nearby Hollywood Farmer’s Market. While specific dishes are still being worked out for the menu, expect Mes Amis to exude an upscale casual elegance and offer a strong dessert program, in addition to cocktails and wine.
The new Mes Amis will open in the late summer or early fall of this year inside the Thompson Hotel, as part of the larger project backed by the Relevant Group and Ten Five Hospitality, which still have plans to overhaul other portions of the building. That includes the upcoming restaurant Citizen News, which has been in talks since early 2019. Carson says he’s excited to land in Hollywood after his stints on the Westside (at Superba Food and Bread) and in the Arts District, noting the increasing culinary talent in the neighborhood over the past few years.
Mostly, though, Carson has been spending time between Los Angeles and the Central Coast. He’s a partner in Coast Range Restaurant, one of the most exciting projects to open in years in the touristy city of Solvang, located in the greater Santa Ynez Valley. That star-studded project, backed by friends and co-workers like Anthony Carron (800 Degrees) and Steven Fretz (Top Round, Nic’s on Beverly), helped Carson to work through the last terrible year, particularly after the loss of his Arts District restaurant Bon Temps. While well-reviewed and nationally recognized (including several Best New Restaurant nods), Bon Temps could not get through the pandemic.
Now Carson is back in Los Angeles and ready to work on a new project, and the city is better for it. Expect an opening for Mes Amis at 1541 Wilcox Avenue later this year.