Destination French restaurant Mes Amis is moving into 2023 without its star chef Lincoln Carson. The seven-month-old restaurant, situated just a door down from the white-hot Mother Wolf in Hollywood’s booming Vinyl District, will close for a portion of the holiday season as it retools its menu and shores up new plans for its kitchen.
While everyone is being rather tight-lipped about the shake-up at one of LA’s biggest restaurant openings of 2022, Eater has confirmed that Carson’s last night of service happened late last week. Ten Five Hospitality, the group behind Mes Amis, Mother Wolf, and a host of other hotel and restaurant properties in the area, declined to offer a statement regarding Carson’s departure, and Carson himself has not spoken publicly about the change as well. It’s thought that the Mes Amis menu may move in an even more casual direction with a new chef at the helm, but just what that looks like (and who will lead the kitchen) remains to be seen. What’s certain is that Mes Amis is not closing, only shuffling in a new chef and menu.
Carson’s departure comes just seven months after the lauded and nationally-known chef returned to Los Angeles. Previously Carson had spent a long career as one of America’s best pastry chefs at some of the nation’s largest restaurant groups, including a lengthy tenure with celebrity chef Michael Mina, before opening his acclaimed and award-winning French restaurant Bon Temps in LA’s Arts District in 2019. That restaurant closed permanently as a result of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 (the space eventually became Yangban Society), with Carson stepping away from Los Angeles altogether to join friends in opening Coast Range restaurant in Santa Barbara wine country a couple of hours north.
Carson’s return to LA was seen as a win for the city and a chance to return the chef to some of the heights he had seen with Bon Temps, this time serving French brasserie fare on one of the city’s busiest restaurant blocks. Now it’s unclear what’s to come of Mes Amis’s new direction, and where Carson is headed next. Ten Five Hospitality, meanwhile, continues to churn out projects in the Hollywood area, including November newcomer the Chap, an upscale casual British pub.