Hollywood denizens first spotted pink neon signage for buzzy Parisian bistro Mr. T back in 2020, and after years of pandemic-related delays, the restaurant is finally set to open at 953 N. Sycamore Avenue on August 16. Mr. T has joined restaurants on the street reportedly either wooed (Gigi’s, Sightglass Coffee) or invested in and owned by (Tartine, Mizlala) CIM Group, now one of America’s most prolific developers and one also changing the face of Los Angeles’s neighborhoods.
Mr. T is the brainchild of chef Tsuyoshi Miyazaki and restaurateur Guillaume Guedj (Gyoza Bar, Ramen Bar, and the two Michelin-starred Passage 53), and has combined French technique with stylized versions of global street food in Paris’s Marais district since 2017. Guedj tells Eater he signed the Sycamore Street lease back in 2019, after considering New York and Miami as potential locations. Back then, the street was much quieter, but he felt a synergy with Mr. T: “The idea is street culture; we play hip-hop from ‘80s and ‘90s at the Mr. T in Paris. Sycamore is very industrial, so we get inspired by what’s happening on the street.”
For Mr. T’s Los Angeles location, Guedj and Miyazaki have tapped Chi Spacca, Tsubaki, and République alum Alisha Vannah to head up the kitchen. Vannah, a Los Angeles native, trained with Miyazaki in Paris and collaborated with him on several dishes that will only appear on the Los Angeles menu, such as a riff on a chicken pot pie made with caramelized onion and tare chicken jus, as well as a big eye tuna crudo inspired by Vannah’s trips to Redondo Beach with her family as a kid.
“We would go and buy fresh seafood, but my mom would bring her own rice and a sauce made of palm sugar, garlic, chile, and jalapeno oil,” Vannah says. “That sauce is going with the crudo.”
Several dishes from Mr. T in Paris will also make menu appearances, such as roast lamb kebabs and comte mac cheese served with a mimolette flambé. Other dishes include uni with Koshihikari rice, confit egg yolk, and sea urchin crème; deviled eggs with Kaluga caviar and egg espuma; carrot merguez frites; bucatini “a la tequila” with spicy San Marzano tomato sauce and crispy parmesan; and a caramelized half Liberty duck with shiitake duxelles and crepes.
“What I love about LA is that you can get good Korean, Chinese, Mediterranean — and the food is as good as if you’re eating in that country. That’s what we’re doing on our menu, melding all those different flavors in one place,” Vannah says.
On the drinks side, Mr. T will offer a selection of custom cocktails, such as the Temperature Rising (infused poblano tequila, lime juice, cucumber syrup, and a tajin rim) and the On the Run (vodka, blackberries, mint, lime juice, agave, and St. Germain foam). The wine list features more than 20 wines by the glass, from both Old World and California producers, while the bottle selection promises the most extensive selection of Burgundy and Bordeaux wines in Los Angeles, curated from Guedj’s personal collection.
Guedj designed the restaurant but tapped renowned architect and designer Richard Altuna, who worked alongside Guedj on the design and layout of the restaurant and collaborated with him on a number of custom lighting fixtures before his passing in 2021.
The industrial restaurant is outfitted in neutral tones, thanks to materials like raw stone, white quartz, and concrete. During a pandemic-related stint in Mexico City, Guedj sourced all of the restaurant’s tables and chairs (custom-made from tzalam wood), as well as its dishware. A 50-seat dining room, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass to allow for natural light and outfitted with three custom engravings by French artist Vassili, encircles a wide open kitchen and a 12-seat bar. An outdoor patio offers 40 more seats.
Mr. T will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.