Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Downtown's Hottest New Chef (With An Increasingly Costly Menu) Makes Food & Wine Mag's List

Photo courtesy of Ari Taymor
We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Ari Taymor, chef/co-owner at Alma in Downtown L.A., is having quite the year. His restaurant was named Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit last August, now Food & Wine has him listed as one of the Best New Chefs for 2014.

Taymor's Broadway District restaurant is known for its cutting-edge approach to farm-to-table cooking, which includes working directly with his own farmer in Venice. Courtney Guerra grows the gorgeous herbs herbs and produce that adorn his thoughtfully-presented plates.

He recently announced that he'll no longer be doing the five-course $65 tasting menu that originally drew in Downtown denizens, and will only be offering a $95 tasting, with optional wine pairings for an extra $55. Thusly, a fully-loaded dinner date for two, after tax and tip, will run $387.

If this move sounds familiar, it's because it probably is. A lot of these super small, chef-focussed, tasting menu-only restaurants like Torrisi in New York (still one of our faves in the country as is with their other restaurant, Carbone) have started out low-balling to get diners engaged, then hike the price once the buzz comes along. Similarly, Curtis Stone's fantastic 25-seater Maude, opened last month with the price at $75, and is currently up to $80. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course; those teensy yet intimate restaurants make it hard to turn a profit.

Support for LAist comes from

And when you're getting props like Taymor, it could be expected. The 28-year-old chef joins the likes of Roy Choi, Ricardo Zarate who won the awards in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Other noms for the prestigious award—which perhaps not surprisingly is a big old boys club—include Justin Yu from Oxheart in Houston; Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan in Brunswick, ME; Greg Denton from Ox in Portland, OR; Matthew Accarrino from SPQR in San Francisco; Paul Qui from Qui in Austin; Eli Kulp from Fork in Philadelphia; Dave Beran from Next in Chicago; Matt McCallister from FT33 in Dallas; and Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek from Dover in Brooklyn.

Food & Wine's Editor in Chief Dana Cowin announced Taymor and the other Best New Chefs by posting selfies with each of them on her Instagram feed. Food & Wine is also running a People's Best New Chefs award, which were voted on by the public. The winners will be announced tomorrow.

Most Read