Asterid — chef Ray Garcia’s new restaurant at Disney Hall — marks the end of Patina’s longstanding era with a full food and beverage revamp at Downtown’s Music Center. The LA-native won’t reintroduce his influential and shuttered Broken Spanish into a new space. Instead, it’s a fresh approach with self-described modern American fare that opens next month.
According to Garcia, Asterid — named after the largest group of flowering plants — is not Broken Spanish 2.0. Diners familiar with his former Broken Spanish style will recognize one dish, but the 22 remaining menu items head in a completely different direction. He says that Asterid is starting from the ground up in terms of food. “We don’t even have a corn tortilla on the menu, no masa,” says Garcia. “I’m trying to have each dish not fall back to what we’re used to.”
Though the menu is still in development, a few are already established, like his spin on a beef tartare with black truffle, Kaluga caviar, and creme fraiche. There’s also a large plate lamb shank with charred eggplant puree, warm flatbread, and pickled chiles.
Belzberg Architects designed Asterid’s space along with the expanded wraparound patio that’s part of the entrance. The outdoor area has two iconic vantage points within easy view: the Broad on the left, and Walt Disney Concert Hall to the right. The lounge and bar has a direct view of the kitchen, with bar director and former Broken Spanish veteran Chris Chernock at the helm of the drinks. Beverage details are light at the moment, but Chernock’s menu will have classic cocktails, including ones with zero alcohol, a selection of local beers, and wines to match Garcia’s menu. There will be small bites to pair with drinks like the sunchoke potato rosti or a cashew muhammara with warm pita.
When chef Ray Garcia closed Broken Spanish in mid-2020, he kept busy with a regular residency/pop-up at Neuehouse Hollywood throughout 2021, while opening ¡Viva! at Resorts World in Las Vegas last July.
Though his restaurants Broken Spanish and B.S. Taqueria influenced LA dining, he appreciates his next steps with Asterid (which the owners prefer to stylize with a lowercase “a”). “Broken Spanish was one side of my brain and this is kind of the other, and this is a higher connection of Angeleno identity,” says Garcia.