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Foodies, Rejoice! Keller Coming to LA

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So it finally looks like the rumors were true: famed chef Thomas Keller will indeed be opening a branch of his restaurant Bouchon in Beverly Hills. We mentioned this earlier in the week, but the arrival of the true American top chef in the City of Angels warrants a closer look. The Los Angeles Times and EaterLA have both confirmed that this third incarnation of Bouchon (there is already one in Vegas and one in the Bay area) will be moving in to the Gardens building on Canon Drive. No, Keller himself will probably not be in the kitchen, but he has chosen Rory Herrmann of New York's Per Se (another Keller restaurant) as head chef. Expect the location to be ready for opening by fall 2009 -- although given Keller's reputation, you should probably start planning your reservations now. It's not a stretch to say that this may be the biggest and most scrutinized restaurant opening in L.A.'s history.

Keller's Yountville restaurant The French Laundry remains one of the premiere dining destinations in the world, on par with Spain's El Bulli and England's Fat Duck. Keller is known for his creative interpretations of classic dishes, and for his pristine presentations and perfectionist tendencies. But he promises that L.A.'s Bouchon will be inspired by a more traditional French cuisine. From the Times:

"Bouchon hearkens back to a definition that has not been changed by modern culture. I believe that a bistro has parameters, and I want our food to have integrity and a connection with French bistro history. We're not being interpretive here; we're not making crème caramel flavored with lavender. "But we are modern in the sense that we're refining and enhancing the flavors of classical dishes through sourcing the best products and using the best equipment and technique, even if it's just for roast chicken."

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Photo of Bouchon in Yountville by foodmuse via Flickr.