It’s busy days in Brentwood, with newcomers like the Barcelona-based Telefèric opening up recently alongside staple spots like Jon & Vinny’s, Pizzana, AOC, Toscana, and Baltaire. Now another big — and locally known — face is coming to the Westside neighborhood, as Top Chef’s Jackson Kalb brings all sorts of East Coast Italian seafood to the main San Vicente Boulevard strip.
Jemma di Mare, one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year, opens today at 11677 San Vicente Boulevard, serving housemade pasta, cocktails, and loads of oceanic delights. There are baked clams and traditional dishes like linguine alle vongole, but the star of the show is likely to be the tagliolini served with a whole lobster for two people to split. It’s a showstopper of a dish that should arrive fast and often to most tables, alongside dishes like squid ink prawn scampi, sole piccata, and a bone-in veal chop parm — and that’s to say nothing of the extra-garlicky cheesy bread to start alongside heavy pours of red wine. Kalb’s full menus through lunch and dinner can be found here.
As for the new Jemma di Mare space, the former Bottlefish space has been overhauled with nautical blues, bespoke light fixtures, and lots of exposed wood. There are deep, dark booths to float away inside, and walls of windows to let in the glimmer of traffic outside at dinnertime. A large patio allows for open-air dining under the heat lamps, while the bar inside may be the secret place to be on a weekday evening. It’s all meant to blend together through lunch and dinner service to create something that feels magical but approachable, an East Coast seafood and Italian specialist with a West Coast look and pedigree. MAKE Architecture handled the build for the new restaurant.
Jackson and Melissa Kalb’s new Jemma di Mare is only one part of the busy pair’s bustling empire. Not only do they already operate Jame in El Segundo — and its newer attached bar —but the couple also runs the popular Ospi in Venice and have plans to go big in the heart of Hollywood closer to the summer this year as well. Meanwhile, Brentwood is staying busy too, with upcoming openings from the Terroni team in Los Angeles as well. It all makes for quite the exciting time dining out in what was for decades one of the city’s sleepiest neighborhoods and, now, is among its best.
Jemma di Mare is open for lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays) and dinner (daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. or later) at 11677 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049, with brunch to come soon. Reservations can be made by calling 424-317-0007, or on OpenTable.