Former Alinea Chef Dave Beran Sets Opening Date For New Santa Monica Restaurant

Dialogue, the Santa Monica chef's counter from Dave Beran, has set its opening date: September 5.

Beran—the former executive chef at Chicago's Next and Alinea, as well as the James Beard Foundation's 2014 pick for "Best Chef" in the Great Lakes region—left the Second City in 2016 to make his way out west. He spent some time at Wolfgang Puck's test kitchen in West Hollywood (including a brief stint with Puck's Rogue Experience dinner series) before announcing his own restaurant earlier this year.

Of the details we know, it seems Dialogue will have an 18-seat chef's counter, along with three additional tables. There is no a la carte menu. Rather, there'll be a multi-course tasting menu (which, according to Eater, will be more-or-less 22 courses, so diners don't “start to wear out”, says Beran). Tickets for dinner are priced $175 to $205 depending on various factors including day of the week and time of dinner (expect two seatings per night), a representative for Dialogue told LAist. Two wine-pairing options are priced at an additional $125 and $175. Ticket prices do not include tax or wine pairings. The tickets go on sale August 15 for those on Dialogue's mailing list, and August 16 for the general public.

So what's in store for the opening menu? Beran himself provided hints in a caption from an Instagram post.

...Even pre-opening we are looking to the future. Many of the courses on our opening menu have elements that took months to create. In order to continue that process autumn and winter menu planning has to happen early, while produce is at its prime and ideas are flowing.
Planning for our autumn menu and playing with corn husks. The smell of grilled corn and autumn go hand and hand for me. Bringing a little bit of my childhood to California.

One menu item we do know? The Dialogue rep told us that one dish will include king crab, popcorn, orchids, and earl grey tea (photo above). Yeah, we can't wait either.

Dialogue will open inside Gallery Food Hall on the Third Street Promenade. Speaking on the restaurants location, Beran told Eater in June that, “We came up with the concept that evolved into Dialogue, which was basically to open a restaurant that was a test kitchen for us, open three or four nights a week to the public.” He added that, "if it’s successful—which obviously I very much hope it is, otherwise I’m in trouble—it will outgrow the space.” Until then, we can only hope the neighbors at Sloan's Ice Cream aren't too loud.

Now enjoy a peek of Beran's time at Wolfgang Puck's test kitchen:

Dialogue is open Tuesdays through Sundays at 1315 Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The first seating is at 5:30 p.m., the second is at 9:30 p.m.