It looks like Washington D.C. will make a substantial culinary imprint on Los Angeles in 2024. Hive Hospitality, which operates the two-Michelin-starred Jônt and Michelin-starred Bresca, is opening two restaurants inside of the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills next year. Taking over part of the former Somni space, Hive Hospitality will open a West Coast outlet of Jônt with a similar 20-plus course tasting menu that will incorporate California’s incredible produce, Japanese seafood, and the group’s trademark hospitality. In addition, Hive Hospitality will open an as-yet-unnamed, dinner-only restaurant in the former Bazaar space. The duo of openings mirrors Rose Previte’s Michelin-starred Maydan and Compass Rose’s move westward from D.C. to West Adams.
The 50-seat unnamed restaurant will open first in spring 2024 sporting a country farmhouse ambience. Hive Hospitality aims to make the restaurants the kind of approachable, everyday dinner spot that captures LA’s laid-back sensibility, but with a high level of cooking. Expect an a la carte menu with a few shareable larger format dishes like roasted stuffed chickens and turbot farci vin jaune (fish stuffed with yellow wine sauce). Those familiar with D.C.’s Bresca when it first opened in 2017 with an a la carte menu might notice some culinary similarities. (Bresca exclusively serves a tasting menu currently.)
Hive Hospitality has big plans with Jônt, its flagship tasting menu restaurant that will aim squarely for the highest of accolades when it debuts in summer 2024. Managing partner and culinary director Brendan Mahon told Eater that he would love for the group to achieve a three-Michelin-starred restaurant on each coast, like Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California and Per Se in New York City. Given the lack of a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in LA, combined with the ambition, vision, and resourcing of Jônt at the SLS, it wouldn’t be out of the question.
While some dishes might carry over to the West Coast, Jônt in LA will have its own choreographed experience, with welcome cocktails in one area before diners move to a main dining room for anywhere from 22 to 25 dishes starting with snacks. Desserts will take place in a separate parlor, with optional drinks and cigars on the patio.
Executive chef and co-founder Ryan Ratino was initially drawn to California for its ingredients and its culinary talent. “California is the bounty, the growing seasons, the quality of produce, the citrus,” says Ratino. “It’s just endless with amazing ingredients.” In addition, the chef found a common approach to innovative, high-end cooking, telling Eater that he met some chefs and peers in the community and just felt comfortable.
Locally, Ratino said he admired Hayato, a two-Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant in Downtown from chef Brandon Go. He also mentioned Michael Cimarusti’s two-Michelin-starred Providence: “It’s an institution. It’s something that’s weathered it all, and the new renovation looks incredible.” Ratino also praised Evan Funke’s Felix and Aitor Zabala, the chef of Somni.
The SLS cut off ties with José Andrés Group (JAG) in 2021, which operated the longtime avant-garde restaurant Bazaar at the hotel (and received a rare four-star review from the Los Angeles Times) and the two-Michelin-starred tasting menu counter Somni. Somni announced last year that it would reopen in West Hollywood as a standalone restaurant.