It’s taken more than three years, half of that spanning a global pandemic, but Top Chef’s Stephanie Izard has arrived in Los Angeles with what is sure to be one of the biggest restaurant openings of the year. Girl and the Goat is a crown jewel restaurant for Izard and the Boka Group (that’s Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm), the kind of perpetually busy dinner spot that is just as beloved today as it was a decade ago. Now the crew is hoping to recreate that success out west, landing a big, bright corner space in the center of the Arts District, just steps from Bavel. Here’s what to expect.
Izard is a James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and Chicagoland staple, known for infusing her family-style shared menus with everyday comforts and riffs on flavors from across the globe, albeit occasionally with unintended consequences. For the LA location, that could mean a plate of goat empanadas or bowl of goat curry one night, followed by an evening of simple wood-grilled broccoli and whole branzino the next. The former JBFA best new restaurant nominee (2011) and current Michelin bib gourmand recipient does a little bit of everything, from its deep wine list to standalone bar program to weekend brunch complete with peanut butter and jelly pancakes. The plan is to balance the staple Chicago dishes with new inspirations from California’s seafood and produce bounty, while also donating proceeds from one-off rotating dishes to various area charities like School on Wheels.
As for the space, the At Mateo development property’s design comes via Chicago group Studio K, led by partner Karen Herold, who helped to usher in the first Girl and the Goat in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Here, the triangular brick restaurant shifts between rattan chairs and leafy houseplants to larger design decisions like the long L-shaped kitchen and tall warehouse-like ceilings. Natural light floods the room, while a shaded courtyard patio helps make room for up to 200 diners at a clip.
Longtime Boka Group employee Jason Beliveau will serve as chef de cuisine for the Los Angeles opening, while Mike Zell oversees the bar. Einstein Park, previously of Jean-Georges Beverly Hills, will serve as general manager. While reservations are now available, the first full day of service won’t come until July 15, with hours from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and an extension to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Brunch runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.