Chef Ray Garcia returns to Downtown tonight, and this time on the bottom floor of Walt Disney Concert Hall. Asterid is a stunning new addition with a modern fine dining menu showcasing American fare at the ground floor of one of Los Angeles’s most iconic landmarks.
To be clear, Garcia’s new Downtown restaurant is not another Broken Spanish. Garcia’s career took a more personal and influential turn with B.S. Taqueria and Broken Spanish, which shifted LA’s dining landscape before both closed in 2019 and 2020, respectively. At Asterid — in the former Patina space — Garcia won’t rely on old dishes but instead focus on big flavors, with no tortillas on the menu.
Note the New England-style octopus roll with Aleppo yogurt and pickled cabbage slaw. Or the cashew muhammara with ancho chiles, pomegranate, feta, and house-made flatbread. Garcia developed a deep red carnaroli risotto with beets, creme fraiche, and dill, with a gorgeous lemon tart with whipped custard for dessert. Upon first sight, these dishes might seem a bit unexpected for the native Angeleno, but Garcia believes Asterid connects with the diverse flavors and foods of Los Angeles.
Asterid has an evolving seasonal menu, so expect changes throughout the year. Garcia also brought along a Broken Spanish veteran to direct the bar program. Chris Chernock developed the wine list, cocktails, and mocktails with mixtures that are as bold as Garcia’s, with options, like the mezcal and rice cocktail with kumquat vermouth, cacao, toasted rice, and Legendario Domingo Mezcal.
Asterid’s opening is part of several soon-to-open restaurants from noteworthy chefs that will ultimately transform this part of Grand Avenue. Garcia’s restaurant will reside directly across the street from the Frank Gehry-designed Grand LA complex, where chef José Andrés will debut three restaurants later this year. Those planning a visit to the Music Center, Disney Hall, Broad museum, or MOCA can book a meal or cocktail at Asterid and have a short walk to their destination.
Belzberg Architects made good use of the outdoor area, showcasing the LA skyline while creating a sleek and modern feel indoors. Asterid is open for dinner Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday to Saturday to 11 p.m., but will likely change in the coming months (closed Mondays). Make reservations via Resy.