Chef Jackson Kalb is certainly keeping busy these days. Along with running popular South Bay strip mall pasta destination Jame Enoteca, Kalb also operates the Venice Italian hotspot Ospi, which opened in September 2020. And if that wasn’t enough, Kalb was recently announced as a contestant on the upcoming season of Top Chef, which shot in Houston and begins airing in early March.
Not content with his growing empire and upcoming turn on television, Kalb is also about to uncork his third Westside project. This newest option, named Gemma di Mare, will focus on Italian-inspired seafood as seen through a specifically East Coast (that’s United States) lens. Jackson and Melissa Kalb are taking over the former Bottlefish at 11677 San Vicente Boulevard thanks to Michael Pakravan and Alec Torgan of Matthews Real Estate, who brokered the deal for one of the most heavily trafficked restaurant stretches in the city. The tony neighborhood stretch already includes AOC Brentwood, Baltaire, Jon & Vinny Brentwood, Pizzana, Winston Pies, and Toscana — and now the Kalbs.
Because of the seafood-friendly nature of the previous tenant, Kalb tells Eater that the build-out and timeline should be rather quick, with at least limited opening operations beginning in just a few short months’ time, just as summer is starting up. A full arrival, with expanded hours and service and a larger menu, won’t come until sometime further into the summer. And while specific menu details are still to come, expect plenty of grilled and fried local seafood, with an upscale-casual bent and Italian backbone. Look for more information on Gemma di Mare as time goes on, and in the meantime, fans can find Kalb competing on Top Chef starting next month.