The return of internationally-celebrated Spanish chef José Andrés could be coming sooner than people realize, with Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup team hard at work on three concepts in Downtown LA. The cluster of available dining spaces is part of the incoming Conrad Los Angeles, a 305-room hotel that itself is housed within the greater Frank Gehry-designed development the Grand LA, across from the Disney Concert Hall. It’s a lot to take in, but suffice it to say that with Andrés, Gehry, and some prime hilltop placement in Downtown, this is a big deal for Los Angeles.
The return of Andrés was previously announced by the Los Angeles Times, who noted that the globe-trotting chef would bring his sixth-floor high-end steakhouse Bazaar Meat to the Grand LA. Up until now, though, the remaining two restaurants have been mostly a whisper.
The first new restaurant to know is San Laurel, an upscale Spanish option that leans into California ingredients, blending the flavors of both worlds. San Laurel, situated at the 10th floor lobby level for the Conrad Los Angeles, will be the signature all-day restaurant for the hotel property within the Grand LA, meaning breakfast through dinner hours. Flourishes are expected like a shareable veal osso bucco done tableside, and a flurry of Spanish and California seafood like crab croquetas. The restaurant will also have its own tropical-leaning bar.
ThinkFoodGroup’s second restaurant inside the Related Companies-developed hotel is the rooftop spot Agua Viva; think European beach clubs mixed with pan-Latin and even Asian flavors. The menu will skew much more simple, with snackier options like ceviche and a burger. It’s all served with open-air views out into Downtown and near the pool area (which will have its own menu, too) — not unlike fellow celebrity chef Stephanie Izard’s Peruvian Cabra, which only just opened back in January.
All told, diners can expect to be enjoying Andrés’ food in Los Angeles again by June 2022. Previously Andrés operated the Bazaar and Somni inside the SLS Hotel off La Cienega, but both projects closed in the summer of 2020, leaving a large upscale Spanish gap in LA’s culinary resume (though there are options like Highland Park’s Otoño and Woodland Hills’ Gasolina Cafe that continue to serve quality Spanish food). The chef, twice named to Time’s list of 100 most influential people, has been celebrated for his restaurants and philanthropic work across the globe, with openings from Michelin-starred restaurants and bars to casual hangouts in regions from Washington D.C. to Las Vegas to New York City to the Bahamas.