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Downtown LA’s Ambitious New Food Project Will Feature Some of LA’s Best Chefs

Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish), Josh Gil (Mírame), and others will helm big projects right near L.A. Live soon

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An illustration for a bar lounge with pool and seats at Level 8.
The rooftop carousel bar at Level 8.
Undisclosable Inc.
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Downtown LA’s most ambitious new hospitality and hotel project is shaping up to be much more than just a cocktail hangout before a Lakers game. The all-new Level 8 at the Moxy and AC Hotels is bringing in some of the city’s biggest culinary talents to help run multiple dining concepts across several different floors, and that’s in addition to the previously discussed bar spaces run by the Houston Hospitality brothers. Here’s who is cooking up what at Level 8 in the South Park neighborhood, with the first restaurants slated to open as soon as early July.

The biggest chef name involved at Level 8 is none other than Ray Garcia, who will oversee two different restaurants on the eighth floor of the hotels. The major one is Qué Bárbaro, an upscale dinner destination that uses plenty of live-fire cooking for grilled meat and fish. The menu will highlight South American cuisine broadly and will offer Garcia a new venue to express his love of Latin American flavors. Garcia has long been in the LA spotlight for his work at now-closed restaurants Broken Spanish and BS Taqueria, as well as his current role overseeing Asterid at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Out on the open-air terrace, Garcia will also operate the Brown Sheep, a small takeaway spot that’s mocked up to look like a food truck. The Brown Sheep will offer Mexican fare along with Mexican takes on global flavors.

Mírame and Mírate chef Josh Gil is also on for a pair of dining concepts at Level 8. The larger of the two is Maison Kasai, which will see Gil push into California French cuisine with a high-end teppanyaki menu. That means a live show element as well as luxury ingredients like A5 wagyu rib cap, seafood, and beyond. Near the Brown Sheep is Gil’s other project Mother of Pearl, an al fresco (mostly) raw bar serving oysters and crudos in addition to caviar, cocktails, and wine.

A chef smiles while holding a hand under his chin at a wooden table.
Ray Garcia.
Jim Sullivan
An Asian female chef in a white chef’s coat looks at the camera inside of an empty kitchen.
Hisae Stuck.
Hisae Stuck

Chef Hisae Stuck (Joel Robuchon) will oversee shabu-shabu and seiro-mushi (steam-cooked) spot Lucky Mizu. The restaurant will focus on high-end beef cuts and local seafood, but perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the restaurant may be the dining room, where a massive earth harp will anchor the space and will actually be played during dinner service.

Overseeing the whole show is Richard Archuleta (Openaire), who has spent years cooking in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He’ll be leading the culinary charge day to day for the sprawling, 30,000 square-foot hospitality part of the Moxy and AC Hotels, and is also in charge of menu creation for Mr. Wanderlust — the welcome bar at the entrance to Level 8 — and Golden Hour, the carousel bar outside near the pool. The last project, Sinners y Santos, will be led by the Houston brothers directly.

It all adds up to eight new food and drink projects in total, with openings coming as soon as July on the restaurant side. That’s great news for Angelenos gearing up for a big summer of eating, drinking, and staring at the Downtown LA skyline.