It’s impossible to miss chef José Andrés. The globe-trotting, do-gooding restauranteur maintains ample presence throughout the U.S. with 18 restaurants, along with his non-profit World Central Kitchen which provides food relief during international natural disasters. But in Los Angeles, Andrés’ restaurant existence ceased in August 2020 after closing Bazaar and Somni at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Now after some 18 months away, that’s about to change. Per the Los Angeles Times, Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup will open three new restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles in 2022 at the Frank Gehry-designed Grand LA complex across from the famed Disney Concert Hall. The restaurants will be a part of the larger complex overall, which includes the Conrad Los Angeles, a 305-room luxury hotel located within.
The Conrad LA will house two unnamed ThinkFoodGroup restaurants on the tenth floor/arrival lobby, the first with a rooftop space where the approach is a “Latin- and Asian-inspired menu.” The rooftop restaurant will also service Conrad guests poolside with light fare. As for Andres’ second Conrad LA restaurant, it’s a return to classic Spanish flavors combined with California produce right next to a bar with the same inspiration. Construction is well underway, and the Conrad estimates an opening for April 2022.
Later this year, Andrés will also open Bazaar Meat at the Grand LA complex, outside of the Conrad, with views overlooking the Broad and MOCA. Bazaar Meat — which will reside on the sixth floor — may already be known to Angelenos from its original location inside the Sahara Las Vegas. It’s all a big return for Andrés, who first opened the Bazaar here in 2008.
Developers are hoping Grand LA becomes a “24-7 entertainment and hospitality destination,” with 164,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants, plus the Conrad LA for visitors. The corner of Grand and First is about to reveal a whole new look, that has the potential to reshape not only Bunker Hill but all of Downtown. It’s also a welcome return to building for a part of the city that was hit hard by the pandemic.
Even now, as business begin to trickle back to in-person work, there is still uncertainty about the future of Downtown’s dining and hospitality scene. Having a believer like José Andrés in the city’s corner — along with Ray Garcia, who will open his own restaurant at the Disney Concert Hall across the street this year — is a big new step. Check out a rendering for the greater Grand LA development below, and expect to be enjoying Andrés’ food by spring.